Since I started blogging, I've taken quite a few hits for being an equal opportunity critic. I've never hesitated to call out anti-gay politics - no matter what side of the aisle it originates. My standard answer to those who think I should automatically support Democrats over all others is simple. I'm gay before I'm partisan; in Indiana several Democrats are worse on my issues than some Republicans. My community ranks higher than my political party.
A recent anti-gay mail piece for Democrat Andy Schemenaur for Indiana House District 33 is a case study in my mantra. To add that extra special touch, Schemenaur is running to represent my hometown of Winchester. In an election cycle that has voters fleeing rightwing nutjobs' negative division tactics, Schemenaur decided to run as a social conservative.
The mailing sent to voters in the district features a grinning candidate surrounded by his wife and family in half of the eleven photos. Two shots are clearly meant to emphasis his church in the background. It's entitled, "Faith & Family: A Hoosier Way of Life" so you can see where this is going... Pictures after the jump. (Click any of them to embiggen.)
Like I said, I grew up in Winchester. I came out as a Junior at Winchester Community High School; I got the beatings to prove it. When I tried to find out more about being gay, I had to go outside of the county to find more than encyclopedia references in the library. The area is not overflowing with gay people, African-Americans or non-Christians.
Indiana is not a trend-setting state. Hoosiers resist change at most levels, granted. But could someone please tell Andy Schemenaur that it is not 2004 anymore? "The Sanctity of Marriage" was the Republican boogeyman during the last presidential election. The Democrats are running on a platform of change and respect for each other now, not desperately denying gay friendly stances.
NEWSFLASH: We're not the goddamned whipping boy this year.
But the most infuriating part?
It was paid for by the Indiana Democratic State Committee
A state party spokesperson asked to review the mailer before making a statement. No statement was ever given. E-mails to the Andy Schemenaur for State Representative campaign were not returned.
The African-American community and the LGBT community were both given seats on the Democrat's State Central Committee at the same time. I can't imagine the Committee paying for an ad advocating a constitutional amendment to ban interracial marriage without black leaders demanding an immediate apology.
Here's hoping our leaders do the same.