The Democratic Party prides itself on its inclusion. Their past electoral missions, however, suggest otherwise.
In the months leading up to the 2006 election, the Democratic National Committee’s Faith In Action initiative, led by the DNC’s troublesome Chief of Staff, Leah Daughtry, funded and endorsed an anti-gay agenda.
From the New York Times:
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 â€œFaith and Values Voters Guideâ€ in local newspapers just before Election Day in 2006. The 12-page insert provided the religious narratives of statewide Democratic candidates â€” â€œI was richly blessed in my life with parents who raised me in a Christian home. . . .â€ â€” and concluded with a Democratic â€œcovenant for the future.â€ The covenant pledged to â€œrequire public schools to offer Bible literacy as part of their curriculumâ€ and made at least two vows that run counter to positions of the national party: to â€œpass a constitutional amendment confirming that all life is a gift from God and should be protected; and that life begins at conceptionâ€ and to â€œdefeat any efforts to redefine marriage or provide the benefits of marriage to a same-sex union.â€
When pressed about the matter, Daughtry, a Pentecostal minister, claims no knowledge, and “leaned heavily,” as journalist Daniel Bergner says, on the party’s inclusive philosophy: â€œThe wonderful thing about the Democratic Party is that we have room for all kinds of opinions.â€
This certainly isn’t the first time the DNC and Daughtry’s respective queer opinions have come under scrutiny. There’s the ongoing discrimination lawsuit filed by Donald Hitchcock, the former gay and lesbian outreach officer who claims Daughtry, Chairman Howard Dean and other DNC officials fired him as retaliation for his boyfriend’s public criticism. Then there were allegations that Daughtry and fellow Democratic bigwig Donna Brazile attempted to block gay inclusion in the party’s affirmative action policy, a move that resulted in the contentious gay delegate goals.
[Image by Alessandra Petlin]