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Howard Dean knows he stepped in it

His behind was torn up after that little appearance on Crazy Pat’s show, folks.

Dean knew he was wrong, particularly when the NGLTF took the switch to him, and returned a $5,000 donation the org received from the DNC. The mea culpa, hot off the press… (US Newswire):

In a Christian Broadcasting Network interview aired on Wednesday, May 10, Democratic National Committee Chairman Howard Dean said the following in response to a question about gay marriage:

“[On] gay marriage: the platform said marriage is between a man and a woman. That’s what it says. I think where we may take exception with some religious leaders is we believe in inclusion. That everybody deserves to live with dignity and respect and equal rights under the law are important. I’m not saying we’ll agree with everything between the more conservative evangelicals and Democrats but I think there’s more common ground and we’re willing to work with the evangelical community.” [CBN, 5/10/06]

Dean today issued the following statement:

“I misstated the Democratic Party’s platform, which does not say that marriage should be limited to a man and a woman, but says the Party is committed to full inclusion of gay and lesbian families in the life of our nation and leaves the issue to the states to decide. The Democratic Party remains committed to equal protection under the law for all Americans. How we achieve that goal continues to be the subject of a contentious debate, but our Party continues to oppose constitutional amendments that seek to short circuit the debate on how to achieve equality for all Americans.”

Most of us have a serious problem with the Dems’ “leave it to the states” tack, because the state amendment battles have been lost each and every time when they’ve gone to the ballot, with feeble vocal opposition and resources from the DNC to counter the endless bible-based diatribes about “protecting” marriage. Hiding behind the apron of leave it to the states has done real harm to gays and lesbians living in those Red states.

The party needs to put its money where its mouth is as several states vote this fall on amendments. The period between now and then will be telling as to whether there is any real commitment to “debate on how to achieve equality for all Americans,” or simply more surface coddling to convince queer dollars to flow into DNC coffers. My wallet is shut tight.

The dude was on the 700 Club trolling for votes. Is this the new Dem outreach, when they have millions of other voters they could be reaching out to? The fundies will not vote Dem, Howard — the only folks watching the 700 Club are the looniest of the fringe.

Shakes Sis also has commentary.

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UPDATE: As Blender Sarah in Chicago noted, HRC was slow on the uptake, but finally released a statement and they are adding to Dean’s misery.

‘Governor Dean’s comments weren’t a mere slip of the tongue but a glaring reminder of the governor’s lack of leadership on this issue,’ said Human Rights Campaign President Joe Solmonese.

Solmonese continued, “While Governor Dean’s clarification of the Democratic platform’s inclusive message is a step in the right direction, it’s imperative that the Democratic National Committee and Governor Dean himself continue on that path in a clear and unequivocal way. We join fellow gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender leaders in concern over a troubling series of missteps that fail to convey Governor Dean’s and the DNC’s commitment to equality.”

Ouch. Now if HRC can learn to actually keep the heat on the party — out front and not in reactive, supplicant mode.

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Pam Spaulding

Pam Spaulding