Tuesday, November 03, 2009

To Win, Avoid Gay Inc Help;
Houston's Lesbian Parker Top Vote-Getter

We gays suffered another in an endless string of ballot prop losses tonight. The defeat in Maine, which from my San Francisco perch, sure looks like a reply with same idiots on both sides running the same show I saw with Prop 8. For our side, the same Gay Inc orgs were the national partners to Maine's effort. Here's the list of honored speakers at Tuesday night's No on 1 program:
Rea Carey, Executive Director, NLGTF
Joe Solmonese, President, Human Rights Campaign
Robin Brand, Senior Consultant, Gill Action
Thanks for another failure guys. We really couldn't continue to suffer at the ballot box without you. And to think many of the same ilk are preparing, with Equality California's leadership, to spend $15 million on educational campaigns targeting people of color communities. I have no doubt these loser will squander that money.

The immediate lesson I saw from tonight, other than the boring old one of Gay Inc really knows how to lose these things, was that if you want to be a top vote-getter, avoid lots of public backing from or be seen as the darling of the HRC/NGLTF/GLAAD/Gill Action/DNC axis.

In Maine the AP is calling the gay marriage proposition a loss. But down in Houston, Texas, the openly lesbian mayoral candidate, Annise Parker, who I really never heard of until very recently, was the top vote-getter tonight in a race still to be settled in a run-off. Check out these numbers from the Houston Chronicle:
Houston Mayor In: 84%
Annise Parker 30.5%
Gene Locke 25.9%
Peter Brown 22.9%
Roy Morales 19.8%
Obviously, Parker is doing something very right, and in Texas, of all places, and coming out on top, without any overt push from Gay Inc that I am aware of. To win the run-off, it's best to continue to keep our national orgs far, far away. Good luck, Annise. The eyes of a weakened gay political community are upon you, hungry for out and proud advancement.


Unknown said...

Aside from the usual top-down, capital-intensive media campaign (with, for once, much more capital on our side than the other side), the main failing on our side was a lack of boldness in going for the political jugular.

Our opponents fear being labeled as bigots, because they know that if we're successful in labeling them as such, it's game over -- their soft support melts away. One of the most important legacies of the African Civil Rights Movement is that most Americans don't like to be viewed as being bigots.

And yet our messaging shies away from this basic point: opposition to equal rights is bigotry.

So once again we had a media campaign lamely saying that "gays are people too" (boring) while our opponents didn't shy away from the "gays are corrupting our kids" political jugular.

And notably absent from using the bulley pulpit against Question 1 was our "fierce defender" President who found it much more important to expend tons of political capital on a scandal-ridden sitting New Jersey governor. At least they got what they deserved. Thanks, Democratic Party. We got screwed, but at least you did as well.

Anonymous said...

"Hungry for out and proud advancement"...

geez. maybe that's the problem.

I have nothing against gays myself, none of my business who does what with who in the bedroom, but that shrill activism honestly does offend me. I'd vote for a gay person if he/she was the best for the job, but not if he/she ran on being gay.

might be why Parker is winning.

JorgXMcKie said...

Charles Pugh led the city council vote, meaning he will be next council pres. He's mildly open, a well-known former Fox 2 newscaster [quit to run for office] and got a lot of 'quiet support' from the gay community.

Brian Oxley said...

A key point about Houston often missed by those not living here -- we have one of the largest gay populations in the country, but its character is mostly orientation-blind. Houstonians generally don't care if someone is gay when that is not their primary public identity.

Republicans call for a truly color-blind society in the MLK tradition ("content of character", etc.). Houston is the same way about orientation, nationality, etc. It just doesn't matter so; business and money count much more.

I voted for Parker for a simple reason -- she was the most conservative candidate with a good chance to win. Morales was even more conservative, but had little chance. Parker has been a strong fiscal conservative on city council, and a moderate on other issues. Social issues have virtually no play in city politics (again, they aren't business or money), so many of the social issues that plague other cities just don't matter in Houston.

I suppose you could say we are one of the most Libertarian cities in America.

Anonymous said...


Unknown said...

Wouldn't these results also square with the thesis that Americans in general don't have anything against gay people (eg voting for a lesbian mayor), but they have no desire to change traditional marriage (eg voting against SSM each time it comes up)?

Anonymous said...

At some point gays will understand that you have been misled to believe that America hates you. America doesn't hate you, America hates being bullied and coerced (by the Gay Mafia).

DangAndBlast! said...

I think part of Annise Parker's appeal (well, besides that she's done an excellent job as comptroller and the beloved yet term-limited Mayor clearly sees her as his best successor) is that she's not "out and proud" the way other people are -- she's not aggressive about it. As my grandparents -- who have had their opinions on the subject slightly modified by Parker -- said, "she's a lesbian, but she acts like it's normal, like it's just the way she is." People down here don't generally like aggressive activists -- if she'd staged a "kiss-in" on the steps of city hall, she'd have lost a lot of support (and having Barney Frank, the king of identity politics, campaign for her did lose her some support), but, as she has presented herself, pretty much nobody would mind the chaste peck on her partner's lips most candidates give their wives on election night. (Al Gore-style snogging, well, everyone was turned off by it when it was hetero as well, so that doesn't count. Plus, it's tacky. Parker's not tacky. And down here, tacky's what counts! That's one of the main reasons why Brown lost his support at the end -- he got tacky.)

(And yes, they do have all sorts of things going on in Montrose, where Parker and I both live, but that doesn't really count. Plus, what happens in Montrose stays in Montrose -- nobody'll judge you based on what you did in my part of town!)

-- proud Houstonian

Anonymous said...

"Obviously, Parker is doing something very right"

If I had to guess, it's not making central to her candidacy, something that most people believe belongs only in one's own bedroom.

Anonymous said...

Well put. I'm a 56-yo gay man who has never seen eye to eye with what you call Gay, Inc (love that term!) and has never joined or contributed to any of them (my spare bucks go directly to local community AIDS organizations). Gay, Inc has never spoken for me, yet I am not alone. Go figure. It's a question of put up or shut up; they can only put up a noisy show and they seem incapable of shutting up. Unseemly, and unhelpful.

Anonymous said...

I'm not gay, but I voted for Annise. I'm sick and tired of rich people trying to buy any office they can (case in point - the third guy on the list spent $2 million of his own $$ trying to buy the office). I voted for her because she's worked her way up through the ranks and seems to know what she's doing. I could care less what her sexual orientation is or her color or anything else - I just want somebody to be mayor that won't put all their old cronies in plum positions and actually might care about where Houston is going.

Anonymous said...

What gays don't get is that America has overcome its homophobic past, and that gays don't scare us anymore. Heteros see you as just people with different sexual preferences.

At the same time, that does not mean that gays get to overturn the definition of humankind's oldest identifiable form of "officially recognized organization," that of marriage as between one man and one woman.

It would be like the kid Pat who likes Pistachio bubble-gum ice cream dictating the dessert menu at school. None of the kids (except the bully Bruce) have a problem with Pat's personal tastes (after all he's a good, smart, friendly kid ), but there is no way they are going to allow him to dictate what is actually on the dessert menu.

Crazy is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results. Hello!! Can gays not see that voters in 31 states have rejected the principle of SSM? Maybe things will change in a generation or two, unless muslims and their totalitarian anti-gay Sharia law overtake Western civ due to PC multi-culturalism tolerance crap, because then gays will just all be stoned to death, or hanged like they do to gays in Iran and Saudi Arabia. (Isn't Islam the apotheosis of leftist PC tolerance? I mean, there's more tolerance for this strain of theocracy than there is to any other religion...why?)

I read that the organizer for Maine's SSM appeal said in defeat, "this is about love and family." Well, I got news for you: You can have all the love and family you want. But you can have that outside of SSM. My recommendation? Give it a rest for a generation.

Gobog said...

You can be against gay marriage and support a gay candidate

Anonymous said...

Michael- I'm a pretty conservative guy- and I agree with you 100%. I have no problem with gays and their issues, etc. What I do have a problem with are activists of almost any sort. Gay acivists, right wing crazies, ACORN, etc. Once they get in, I get out.

It may take a little longer (or, based on the results, maybe not) but I think gays will make bigger strides by not making things a "gay issue".

Note the Houston race. Gay hardly mentioned: gay wins. ALL these Prop 8 type issues: All gay all the time: gay loses.

Unfortunately, it is hard to downplay a "gay marriage" issue, let's face it- that is all gay; all the time, but maybe a softer approach may win one.

We all know many committed gay couples who fit seamlessly into thier communities, and are accepted as such. there will eventually (that's the tough word) be acceptance and the "marriage" issue will be accepted by the mainstream.

With no real knowledge of the Maine issue, my guess is it would have been a closer race, if not ending in a different result if it would not have gone national.

Just a few opinions by a conservative on the outside looking in.

Chap said...

Interesting observation. I've heard of Big Oil and such, but this is the first time I've heard of Big Gay.

Except for Al, of course.

Anonymous said...

I'm a straight, libertaina leaning guy from Houston. Annise Parker has a chance of winning the mayor's job because:
- she has name recognition, having been an at-large councilmember and city comptroller
- she is smart and competent at her job. She has served the city well in both jobs.
- she focuses on quality of life issues that affect everyone: policing, roads, etc.
- she make no big deal out of being a lesbian. It's just part of who she is. She hasn't tried to hide it or make a big deal of it.
- she has worked to court support from the business community, the police unions, neighborhood groups, and the lbgt community

In other words, she's a good candidate that happens to be a lesbian.

Shawn Levasseur said...

That's the annoying part of hot-button referrenda such as question 1 was here in Maine: That out of state groups flood the airwaves.

I'm stunned that it was the same group that lost Prop. 8 in CA that was running things here. Did they use the same playbook as before?

Beth M. said...

Thanks for this post. I came here from Instapundit. I tried to pick up on this idea and write more about it here: http://www.bethmauldin.com/

submandave said...

I think Andy's comment about the "African (sic) Civil Rights Movement" (emphasis added) is endemic of what many have said an dwhat is wrong in the Gay, Inc. approach. MLK did not believe in African Civil Rights, he believed in Civil Rights. Wielding shame like a bludgeon to get your way is exactly the sort of mindset that kept so many gays in the closet and, IMHO, fueled the pointedly in-your-face counter-culture gay life style that so many here cite as being counter productive to Gay, Inc. professed causes. If you really want to create a hidden subculture of virilent gay-hating, then by all means throw about wanton charges of discrimination and homophobia.

Personally, I prefer honest dialog in which people, not demographics, can discuss and even disagree.

Nahanni said...

I agree with binkley.

Houston, which will be the nation's 3rd largest city after the 2010 census*, is either ignored or stereotyped by the bicoastal "intelligentsia", media and elites who live in their own "reality-based community" of the mind.

The truth of the matter is outlined very well in this article.

Lone Star Rising

Perhaps the key factor that will influence the rise of the next great American city is the ability to fit into the global economy. An opportunity city with only modest links overseas can certainly grow rapidly, but only an urban center with powerful ties to global commerce is likely to achieve greatness.

This may be where the case for Houston’s emergence is strongest. From its inception, Houston has been oriented to markets outside the country, first through its exports of timber and cotton and later as a major oil port. Trade and the global connections of the energy industry have also paced the development of internationally minded banks, business-service firms, hotels, and specialized shopping areas. An indicator of Houston’s international reach: it now ranks third among U.S. cities, behind Los Angeles and New York, in the number of consulates located there.

Another of Houston’s advantages is its history of tolerance. In the antebellum period, Houston was home to a large proportion of Texas’s “free people of color.” For decades after the Civil War, blacks certainly suffered the indignities of segregation, but Houston largely avoided the ugly desegregation battles of the 1950s and ’60s (for one reason, business elites realized that such conflict would be bad for economic growth). Perhaps nothing better reflects Houston’s openness to minorities than its willingness to accommodate upwards of 150,000 poor, predominately African-American evacuees from the New Orleans area after Hurricane Katrina. The massive humanitarian undertaking was largely a joint effort of the city’s African-American churches and its largely white evangelical congregations.

In the future, Houston’s culture of tolerance will no doubt be tested by the challenge of assimilating immigrants. Houston’s traditional racial mix of blacks, whites, and a much smaller Hispanic population has been upended by an immigrant wave that began in earnest after the oil bust of the 1980s. Attracted by low housing prices and economic opportunities, large numbers of immigrants from Mexico, Vietnam, China, India, Nigeria, Venezuela, and other countries swarmed into the city. In the 1990s, Houston’s foreign-born population soared by 94 percent—the biggest increase of any major city. Today the newcomers account for over 21 percent of the population.

To be sure, an entrepreneur like Al Colbert enjoys the city’s diversity—and the staggering array of restaurants, cultural offerings, and shops that it has produced—but above all he sees one thing: more customers. They are people like him, seeking their futures in a city of promise. “The key to success is finding an underserved market, and if you look beyond your own, you will see plenty of people in need of service,” Colbert observes. “You don’t care if the client is black or white, you just go to the people who can get you the revenues. And I don’t think there’s any place better than this place to do it.”

*If the census is done accurately. I doubt it will be seeing as the Obama regime took it away from the the Department of Commerce and is personally conducting it from the White House.

Anonymous said...

Yeah, Charles Pugh ran his campaign in Detroit without mention of his homosexuality, and won. He was even touched by scandal, as he walked away from a home mortgage he'd recently purchased... and he still won. People care about the issues, and candidates who forget this and put their personal lives to the fore, are choosing to remove themselves from consideration. Gay, Inc. would do well to remember this, as their hamhanded tactics have become an obvious negative.

Anonymous said...

The other thing is that I think that gay marriage propositons are loosers because of branding. I have people in my family that would simply never agree to allowing that term to be enshrined in law. But they also don't have any problem with gay people choosing a life partner and agree that the current laws stink at defining that relationship when it comes to things like wills, property, and emergency hospital type rules. If the gay community ever decides for outcome over semantics and tries for "espousal" or "gay partnership" ballot proposals, with the same sort of restrictions, fees, etc as the state's marriage restrictions, and some sort of 'you can only have one spouse, but you can have one of any gender' clause, THAT would most likely pass. Even in conservative states with high evangalical counts, if my family is any indication.

Anonymous said...

I gotta disagree very heavily with Andy. I live in California, and one of the things that Gay, Inc. did was throw around the "bigot" label too much. Traditional marriage supporters were truly concerned about about their religions being forced to perform gay marriages. There are a fair number of these people who could live with a solution like Vermont's, assuming they believed that the other side would settle for it. Of course, Big Gay never acknowledged the validity of those concerns, so there was no room for compromise.

(And don't try to argue that their fears aren't valid. That belittles their emotions, and that's almost as bad as calling them a bigot.)

Unknown said...

HRC and others were partners in the Maine effort in that they raised money and provided some infrastructure support. But the campaign was run by local Maine folks, and every account I've seen is that they ran a nearly flawless campaign. Their ads were clear and direct, using real Maine families. They walked neighborhoods in all parts of the state. And they had an outstanding GOTV effort. That's partly what makes this loss so hard to take.

And I don't agree that Annise hasn't been an activist in her life. She was president of the Gay/Lesbian Political Caucus in the '80s. She was appointed to the police chief's Citizens Advisory Council in the '90s specifically to address issues of police homophobia. But when she's running for public office, she recognizes that she has to address the needs of all of her constituents. And that's why she's won 6 previous citywide elections, and why I'm confident she'll win a seventh.

(And an "activist" is anybody who speaks out when they see someone doing something wrong.)

Anonymous said...

Gay Inc. is first and foremost about lining their own pockets. In fact, they do better financially when they lose than when they win. They are 0 for 31, but live in mansions. But the suckers will keep sending their money.

Everybody gets what they deserve in life.

Gays wanted Obama, and now everyone who opposes gay marriage is just "agreeing with President Obama, who also opposes gay marriage."

Gays lost again. Thanks Obama voters!

EgregiousCharles said...

The government should not marry people at all; gay and straight couples should get identical civil unions from a judge. Since major religious sects differ on whether gay marriage is marriage, it is no longer permissible under the First Amendment for the government to define it, anymore than they can define suitable prayers.

"Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion."

Trop said...

I'm a lesbian and I am married. I am proud of my marriage, even though my society shames it (and my state criminalizes it).

I will not stop being proud of my marriage. I won't be swept under a rug, ignored, or treated as if my family should not exist.

I will not feel ashamed for doing the right thing by my wife and my family by being married (we were married in a church, for what it's worth).

This business of people voting on the inherent worth and dignity of my marriage is bullshit.

Conservatives are all about individualism, except when said individualism comes from people too different from them.