The homo heat’s on Howard Dean and the Democratic National Committee.
A DC judge gave the green light for Donald Hitchcock’s discrimination suit against the party’s internal government. Hitchcock and alleges the Howard Dean-led committee and three staffers terminated him after his boyfriend, Paul Yandura wrote a letter criticizing the organization’s soft stance on gay rights. In the a May, 2006 letter, Yandura blasted the party:
The Republicans have announced that they intend to use gay equality issues as a divisive election year tactic- AGAIN this year. Neither the DNC, nor any of the national committees have a strategy to combat this hatred (unless you count avoidance as a strategy).
For many months a number of us have made appeals to Howard Dean and party officials to care about and defend the dignity of gay and lesbian families and friends, in the same way they defend the dignity of other key constituencies.
…The DNC is fighting the vicious attacks being waged upon immigrants by the Republican party. Its the right thing to do and I applaud their action. Why then is it so difficult for them to do the same for us?
Why are gays and lesbians continually left to fight these battles alone? Where are our allies?
Hitchcock got sacked a few days later. Coincidence? Hitchcock thought not, because he filed the aforementioned suit.
Hitchcock claims the DNC – as well as Howard Dean, openly gay treasurer Andy Tobias and deputy finance director Julie Tagen – discriminated against him for advocating gay rights.
After hearing the evidence last month, DC Superior Court Judge Robert Morin set firm deadlines for both sides. Joshua Lynsen reports for the Washington Blade:
In a scheduling order dated Sept. 21, the judge also set deadlines for discovery requests, the exchange of witness lists and other procedures.
The discovery and witness steps must be completed by Nov. 20. Discovery concludes Jan. 22, and all motions are due Feb. 4. Mediation begins March 19 and is slated to go until April 18.
According to court procedure, each party must prepare a settlement proposal before starting mediation. The proposals, which remain confidential, are not binding.
Both the DNC and Hitchcock will participate in mediations, during which they’ll attempt to hammer out a settlement.