Leah Daughtry is Howard Dean’s Chief of Staff at the Democratic National Committee, as well as the chief executive of our convention in Denver next month. She also heads up a multi-faith advisory team within the DNC called Faith In Action (F.I.A.), comprised of three evangelicals, a Catholic, a Muslim, and a Jew.

F.I.A. ran ads for Democratic candidates on Christian radio stations in 2006, and Daughtry helps Howard Dean and Donna Brazile dress up their speeches with Bible references.

F.I.A. has also financed the faith outreach of state parties, sometimes in striking ways. In Alabama, the pro-life party chairman was given F.I.A. money to publish a “Faith and Values Voters Guide” in local newspapers just before Election Day in 2006. The 12-page insert provided the religious narratives of statewide Democratic candidates — “I was richly blessed in my life with parents who raised me in a Christian home. . . .” — and concluded with a Democratic “covenant for the future.” The covenant pledged to “require public schools to offer Bible literacy as part of their curriculum” and made at least two vows that run counter to positions of the national party: to “pass a constitutional amendment confirming that all life is a gift from God and should be protected; and that life begins at conception” and to “defeat any efforts to redefine marriage or provide the benefits of marriage to a same-sex union.”

Here is Howard Dean’s statement about California’s Supreme Court decision legalizing marriage equality:

"The Supreme Court of California today took a step forward in the long march toward protecting equal rights under the law for every American. This should not be a matter of politics or partisanship; it is a matter of protecting the rights and dignity of all American families."

Here is part of Howard Dean’s statement on the anniversary of Roe v. Wade:

"A woman’s decision about her own reproductive health care is a very personal and difficult choice but it should remain her own and not the decision of politicians in Washington."

If the state Democratic party in Alabama wants to elect a forced-birth proponent as their chairman, that’s their business. But whose "covenant for the future" are we talking about exactly, Dr Dean? DNC dollars have funded a Democratic party voter guide that promotes an anti-choice Constitutional amendment while also promising to "defeat any efforts" at marriage equality — even civil unions, power of attorney, or benefits protections for LGBTs.

Leah Daughtry seems to think the Democratic Party is a big enough tent to accommodate folks who want to amend the Constitution as the forced-birth cadre would like, while also defeating all efforts to include LGBT Americans as anything other than second-class citizens.

Hearing Alabama’s covenant, she said right away that F.I.A. has not vetted everything the state parties have done with its money. Then she leaned heavily on the poles of the big tent: “The wonderful thing about the Democratic Party is that we have room for all kinds of opinions.”

Does your Democratic Party have money to spend to promote forced birth and bigotry? Mine doesn’t, and Dr Dean’s shouldn’t either. That’s not a covenant for the future, that’s a covenant with the past. Or a covenant with the GOP.

Teddy Partridge

Teddy Partridge

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