First up is Andy Humm, co-host of the Gay USA cable and online show:
Once again, Richard Socarides fails to come clean on the role he played in advising President Clinton on whether or not to sign the Defense of Marriage Act--other than to sign it late at night. Any self-respecting gay aide would have felt compelled to resign in protest after his or her boss signed an anti-gay law--but Socarides went to work for Clinton after he enacted Don't Ask, Don't Tell and stayed after he signed the Defense of Marriage Act. Why?
Had Clinton stood up at the beginning of his term signed an executive order ending the ban on gays in the military as promised and not let himself get rolled by the generals, he might have gotten some respect even if the Congress went ahead and enacted a ban (at which point he could have vetoed it even if he was going to be overridden).
But Socarides has never been one much for principle. He campaigned hard for Bloomberg in 2005, the year the mayor appealed a court order to issue marriage licenses for gay couples in New York. Oh, yeah. Everyone is on board now. But we are judged how we behave when doing right is not the easy thing to do. And on that, Clinton, Socarides and Bloomberg all failed.
All this is particularly rich coming from Socarides who spent the last several years going on TV to chide Obama for not moving fast enough on undoing the bad laws passed by Clinton without public objection from Socarides.
Andy speaks much truth. Homosexual hypocrite are the words that frequently come to mind when considering anything to do with Socarides and there can never be enough holding him to account.
From Duncan Osborne, reporter for the Gay City News, who quotes this passage of Socarides' from the New Yorker and then reminds us of the Aloha State lawsuit:
"What we didn’t fully comprehend was that, sooner than anyone imagined, there would be thousands of families who would be harmed by DOMA—denied federal benefits, recognition, and security, or kept apart by immigration laws."
To believe this, one would have to believe that the White House was entirely unaware of the lawsuit in Hawaii brought in 1991 by same sex couples seeking to marry there. That lawsuit was a significant part of the motivation for passing DOMA and that case was still live when DOMA was enacted.
Next we have the editor of Gay City News, Paul Schindler, weighing in:
Here's the most important phrase in this Socarides posting: "the President’s chief political advisers were not willing to take any chances." Clinton beat Dole by 8.5 %, won 31 states and DC, for a total of 379 electoral votes, a surplus of 109 over what he needed. And I did not mention the absurdity of the phrase that it also reflected: "a failure to imagine... how difficult it would be to undo the damage that DOMA did." So, their prospective repeal plans were poorly put together? Jeez.
From Allen Roskoff, president of the Jim Owles Gay Democratic Club of Manhattan, who has this say:
Socarides is not a long time gay rights activist, as claimed by the New Yorker. He is a political activist who, when convenient has advocated against the gay community. Not only was he Obama's chief gay antagonist,criticizing Obama for not cleaning up the mess Socraides helped create fast enough, but I also found his support of Bloomberg in 2009 against a progressive Black Democrat, Bill Thompsom, equally appalling. Socarides is a disgrace. So many have sacrificed so much for the movement but when Socarides could have made a difference he did what was he felt was best for his career. Socarides continues to do us harm by endorsing candidates whose politics are hurtful to progressive causes. Socarides has no shame.
Duncan, Paul and Allen offer cogent rebuttals to and reminders about Socarides' bullshit. Their comments and those from Andy, are just the tip of the iceberg in terms of all the damage this Democratic Party hack has forced on us. David Remnick should dump Socarides from the New Yorker's site.
Socarides one day will be publicly held to answer for his deceit, lies and hypocrisy that have harmed lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people for decades.