Gay GOP House candidate Carl DeMaio won’t support gay rights, upset gays don’t like him

San Diego’s gay Republican city council member, Carl DeMaio, can’t figure out why the religious right, who he tacitly sides with on the culture wars, is more supportive of him than gays, whose civil rights he refuses to promote in office.

DeMaio is now running for Congress.

“I’ve found more tolerance, acceptance and inclusion from social conservative groups who have to reconcile that I’m a Republican who happens to be gay… versus the intolerance the LGBT leaders see me as a gay man who happens to be a Republican,” DeMaio said.

Oh Mary, it’s so hard to be you.

The problem isn’t that Carl DeMaio is a Republican. The problem is that he’s acting and sounding a lot like a self-loathing Republican, someone who doesn’t actually believe in the validity of his own civil rights.

Even the Victory Fund, which supports gay GOP candidates, won’t touch DeMaio beacuse, you know, they kind of have this requirement that you actually do something to support your own civil rights.

Don’t take my word for it. Here’s DeMaio’s own campaign site reprinting an article about him that they wanted everybody to see:

Roll Call reported that the poll specifically mentioned that DeMaio is gay, but would prefer to concentrate on fixing the federal government’s finances instead of on social causes.

Yeah, why would a prospective gay member of Congress, who is upset that the gay community and gay organizations aren’t supporting him, want to focus on those pesky “social causes,” otherwise known as his and his partner’s civil rights?

Then there was the time DeMaio gay-baited Nathan Fletcher, a rival GOP candidate for Mayor of San Diego in 2012:

Before the endorsement battle, the DeMaio campaign circulated a 14-page document to members of the Republican central committee questioning Fletcher’s “conservatism.” DeMaio’s campaign manager, Ryan Clumpner also directly took issue with Fletcher’s failing grade by the California Republican Assembly and the Capitol Research Family Institute. Both conservative groups gave Fletcher failing grades for supporting LGBT-related legislation, including his vote in favor of a resolution by the California State Legislature in support of the repeal of the military’s discriminatory “Don’t Ask Don’t Tell” policy and his support of Senate Bill 48, the FAIR education act, which mandates that the contributions of the LGBT community be taught in public schools.

Fletcher was ticked, and eviscerated DeMaio about his gay-baiting. About 2:10 into the video you can hear DeMaio explain that gay rights is a “social issue” and he doesn’t think mayors should get involved in that kind of stuff:

DeMaio is part of a growing list of gay-unfriendly people who can’t seem to fathom why gays refuse to tolerate their intolerance.  Of course, in DeMaio’s case, the ennui, and almost-aversion, he expresses about his own partner’s civil rights is particularly telling, and disturbing.

How does one explain a gay politician in the year 2014 who promises to ignore the civil rights of his own community while in office? Because that’s exactly what DeMaio did to help guarantee support among the religious right – he promised to abandon his own community, his own humanity, the civil rights of his own gay spouse, in order to curry favor with voters who hate him.

Carl DeMaio

Carl DeMaio

DeMaio campaign ad — which, to his credit, showed him with his gay partner — proudly proclaimed that DeMaio “believes in equality and diversity and is a defender of our personal freedoms.” The catch is that DeMaio only “believes” in equality — he doesn’t actually believe in doing anything to help make equality a reality. That’s a big no-no in the DeMaio playbook.  Call him the Leona Helmsley of civil rights: Publicly supporting and advocating for equality is for the little people. (But he’d still really like the little people’s support!)

DeMaio’s “beliefs” are about as useful to gay voters as believing in the Easter Bunny.

People don’t vote for politicians who support their beliefs but refuse to actually do anything to promote those beliefs when in office.  That’s the whole point of voting for someone.  So why exactly does DeMaio think gay people should support him, because he enjoys sex with men?

Vintage woman in closet

“Does this closet look small on me?”
via Shutterstock

Mind you, DeMaio’s logic is something closeted and/or self-loathing gay Republicans have used for years to justify their support of a political party that loathes them.  Gay Republicans famously proclaimed during the George W. Bush years, for example, that while Bush wanted to amend the United States Constitution to erase gays from every civil rights law in the country, in his heart Bush was secretly on our side.


But the fun doesn’t stop there. DeMaio also thinks gay rights is a “social issue,” rather than a “civil rights” issue. Yes, he uses the religious right messaging framework. Again, is it any surprise the religious right likes this guy? For example:

[DeMaio] was booed at one mayoral debate after refusing to answer a question from Nathan Fletcher on whether he supported a statewide measure that compels schools to include the contributions of gay and disabled citizens in textbooks and curricula.

“I do not believe the role of the mayor is to advance a social-issue agenda,” DeMaio said at the time.

Did I mention this particular debate was hosted by the LGBT Community Center? That’s like attending a Chamber of Commerce debate and refusing to discuss the economy.

DeMaio thinks cities don’t have civil rights ordinances, don’t face civil rights issues?  That’s flat-out wrong. And I suspect he knows it.

He looks to me like someone who simply doesn’t want to tick off the gay-hating overlords who run his party.

Of course, it’s even worse than that.  Not only has DeMaio promised to not advocate for the civil rights of gays and lesbians while in office, DeMaio refused to even speak out against Proposition 8, which took place in his own state. 

And DeMaio can’t figure out why gay people don’t like him, and why gay-haters do.

Ironically, DeMaio is making the same mistake that conservatives accuse gays of making — supporting a political party simply based on our genes, rather than our best interests.  DeMaio simply can’t understand why gays wouldn’t support him simply because he’s gay.  Perhaps because we’re a little more complicated, and intelligent, than that.

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90 Responses to “Gay GOP House candidate Carl DeMaio won’t support gay rights, upset gays don’t like him”

  1. David Hamburger says:

    Don’t you think that the civil rights that America has given to women and people of other colors and religions has been good for America? A great country treats all of its citizens equally, and judges them on the content of their character and their deeds, not on who they are or how they were born. Nations do best when all are allowed to contribute fully.

  2. Alias Darker says:

    you mean gay civil rights is good for all society ? please explain, i am curious i really want to understand

  3. ktward says:

    Sounds like Mr. DeMaio is more GOProud, less Log Cabin.

    As the GOP continues tacking hard into far right winds, I wonder if fewer and fewer gay GOP pols will align with the latter in favor of the former.

  4. Kelly Paul says:

    Do you need a gay partner, someone who will satisfy you very well, then contact me via my e-mail address: [email protected] or via my BBM pin:29015507.

  5. David Hamburger says:

    So, wait: we’re not supposed to judge him on his politics? What else are we supposed to judge a POLITICIAN on?!? Or are we supposed to support him and vote for him just because he’s gay, even thought he’s done quite literally NOTHING for LGBT rights or equality?

    So, let me get this straight, so to speak. He opposes equality. But he expects to benefit from what’s effectively affirmative action? What a hypocrite!

  6. David Hamburger says:

    Civil rights is good for all of society. If you don’t understand that, then you don’t belong in public office. And if you think that people aren’t equal and shouldn’t be treated equally, then you certainly should not be in office. There’s nothing worse that a person who has benefited from the equality that many of us have worked hard for for decades then using that equality to NOT support that same equality they’ve benefited from. And yes, not standing up for the rights of your own people ABSOLUTELY makes you a traitor!

  7. Mario says:

    DeMaio’s story is one of success in the face of personal hardship and he has a proven record of working across party lines for the betterment of the entire community. In your column, you pen that Carl DeMaio is a traitor to his fellow gays because he’s not putting the desires of about 4% of the population before the other 96%. It’s a bit hypocritical, especially since the left has been banging the drum of the 99%er crowd for a while. Here, you have a man that is a powerhouse for the people, doing what’s good for everyone, and you’re worried about yourself; how self-absorbed.

  8. Jeremy Adkison says:

    A classic example of an Aunt Mary, and very possibly a deeply antigay, yet nevertheless gay, person. His inability to even answer pertinent questions is a sign of cowardice, outright cowardice. An elected official with such a quality has no place in office.

  9. Silver_Witch says:

    Sorry – much of what I read here is true – I have seen his campaign and his stance and he is a Republican for sure. Cares little about the people he hopes to lead and little about those he is hurting.

  10. Butch1 says:

    Not politically; on the far right of the picture displayed.

  11. Patrick Howell says:

    The article parses out one line out of context, so yes “nothing in this article is true.”

  12. Reasonoverhate says:

    Gays are snarky. That’s hardly a new thing. Mary used in this context is hardly a slur. I seriously doubt the majority of gays out there find this offensive. I certainly don’t!

  13. Patrick Howell says:

    If that is what you want to say about Carl, say it (it’s all easily debunked as I stated before). We’re all different, we have different goals and party affiliations. We don’t walk lockstep, and that’s not a bad thing (in my opinion). If you don’t like Carl because he is a Republican, and don’t think electing him is important, that’s your right. A lot of people disagree with you, as you would probably concede. There are probably some really liberal gay candidates that I don’t want to see elected. But when we use slurs to describe each other and shame each other, and put those out in public, and straight people think it is okay, we have diminished ourselves. That is entirely my point.

  14. Reasonoverhate says:

    Wow, imagine that…..the gay community not being supportive of a candidate that is on the record saying he’ll do nothing to further the fight for equality. Shocking I tell you!

  15. Patrick Howell says:

    Thank you for continuing to make my point.

  16. Reasonoverhate says:

    Carl is a gay man supporting the party that constantly works against us and we’re supposed to like the guy? Lemme guess, you’re a Ken Mehlman fan too??? Get real!

  17. Silver_Witch says:

    Nothing in this article is true – even the information taken from DeMaio posted on his own site in the link. When you say NOTHING is true – be sure that is correct or we think you are wrong about your entire statement.

  18. Patrick Howell says:

    Thank you for completely making my last point.

  19. Reasonoverhate says:

    Carl DeMaio is no friend to the gay community. He’s trying to appeal to voters that wish to deny him and his partner their equal rights. Seems rather self absorbed to me.

  20. Silver_Witch says:

    This is all public information. If you want to know then you can research it and find out. Police and Firefighters and Paramedics get a pension, they also get death in the line of duty pay. Who would pick up YOUR garbage if you did pay the trashmen who do the dirty work. Why resent those that serve us for the work they do?

  21. Patrick Howell says:

    Such an apologist if the cause is right. The ends always justify the means, don’t they? This is hardly two pals texting in private, and you know that. This is a hack job article, full of lies and misinformation, that Carl DeMaio’s opponent has prominently displayed on his website. It’s disgusting. You should be ashamed.

  22. Mike_in_the_Tundra says:

    I’ve been around this blog for almost ten years, so a gay dad is not a new idea.

  23. Reasonoverhate says:

    see above

  24. Reasonoverhate says:

    So many assumptions there. I just asked a simple question. Mary when used between two gay men is hardly offensive. Leave it to a thin skinned conservative to play the victim.

  25. Patrick Howell says:

    Oh I see. Because my son is in my profile photo I can’t possibly be gay? Or is it the fact that I’m kayaking? Would you rather I take a photo behind a chair at a hair salon? Nice one, Alec Baldwin. And yes, “Mary” is a slur, you dumbass.

  26. Karma_HitMan says:

    Then the blame rests with the people put into power, who represented, We the people .

  27. Karma_HitMan says:

    Use your power of the vote and make sure he never gets back in any office.

  28. Karma_HitMan says:

    Mary Mary Mary, …ok now that you are completely offended, please unwind your undies and take a deep breath……… hold it………… hold it…….. oh my, you do look wonderful with that shade of blue.

  29. US395 says:

    We the people had no idea what benefits they were getting.

  30. US395 says:

    I’m not black and I know “n*gger” is offensive.

  31. US395 says:

    On the far right? He was a democrat.

  32. Reasonoverhate says:

    Says who? Are you gay?

  33. Patrick Howell says:

    Nothing in this article is true, and each allegation has been debunked. What a hack job. By the way, calling a gay man a “Mary” is unbelievably offensive.

  34. Butch1 says:

    Interesting that on the far right was the mayor who was forced to resign for alleged sexual misbehavior with females at city hall. ;-)

  35. BeccaM says:

    Posted without irony, example, or citations, just a yawp with a juvenile epithet.

    You win today’s Pathetic Troll Award.

  36. Sams_1 says:

    There are many, and always have been ,preppie

  37. Sams_1 says:

    The Real War on Women -Democraps

  38. loder74 says:

    I like to call him Aunt Tom.

  39. loder74 says:

    Let’s also not forget that this man was accused of being caught masturbating in a bathroom at San Diego city hall. He is not just an embarrassment as a wannabe politician. He is an embarrassment as a human being.

  40. Silver_Witch says:

    I can fault him for that. Unions were agreed to. Most governmental/city/school jobs pay less than a job in private industry. Part of the reason is because of the “benefits”. We, the people of California, told these people that they would be getting a pension – now we are backing out of our agreement with them. That is wrong.

  41. Normandy says:

    well, most of us are anti-unions-they are detsroying CA with unsustainable pensions-you cant really fault him for that

  42. BillFromDover says:

    “I do not believe the role of the mayor is to advance a social-issue agenda,” DeMaio said at the time.

    Zeus forbid that a politician have any concern about social issues?

    Then again, what is a conservative’s 1st concern if not about simply increasing wealth for the already ka-billionaires.

    Vote for me cuz I’m queer… just like you. BTW, I hate the gay lifestyle!

    Fit that on a bumper sticker.

  43. Silver_Witch says:

    DeMaio is also anti-union, anti-women’s rights, and only cares about balancing the budget of a City/Country on the backs of those who can bear the burden least. Self-hating is not the only issue he has. His “Roadmap to Recovery” was all I needed to read.

  44. Timothy Kincaid says:

    And…. you just proved his point

  45. Stev84 says:

    They use the word “attraction”, because they refuse to see it as an “orientation”. For them it’s just a superficial feeling that people are expected to suppress.

  46. MidnightPoet says:

    Actually, he sounds a lot like Southern Evangelicals (I grew up in the South, by the way) who think they can have their own private sex life just as long as they claim they believe it is still sin. How they rationalize that is that they are forgiven by grace, whereas those who have not been born again like they have, are not forgiven of their sexual activity. That is why they can have preachers who have girlfriends, or boyfriends, and enjoy porn, then stand in the pulpit and blast “the world” (that is how they label others who are not one of them) for the same things. As you can see, the Republicans practice that very well themselves.

  47. gratuitous says:

    Hey, lay off the Easter Bunny. At least if you tell people you believe in the Easter Bunny, some of them might be mildly amused and bring you delicious chocolate treats once a year. As for DeMaio, yeah, screen doors on submarines are of more use.

  48. Richard says:

    DeMaio was booed at the the San Diego Gay Pride parade and deservedly so. He lost his run for the Mayor’s job (thank goodness) and now he is trying to unseat Democrat Scott Peters. The gay community needs to stand by Congressman Scott Peters who supports the LGBT community.

  49. dcinsider says:

    Loser. And ugly, too.

  50. Yalma Cuder-Zicci says:

    Does DeMaio think no politician at any level should be engaged in affecting social issue laws? Republicans are famously against Federal overreach in general, that those issues should be more localized, but a mayor is about as small and localized a governance as there is, yet he still punts.

  51. chr477 says:

    Ok I have to ask – what is the deal with politicians and bottled water? Almost always the logo is deliberately placed where the cameras could see. There is always one in front of them. A normal person wouldn’t care less where the damn logo is.

  52. Alanwingate says:

    A perfect Republican. Interested in nothing but himself and his own self aggrandizement.

  53. goulo says:

    I wonder whether he would similarly say that the mayor should do nothing about social issues & civil rights if many restaurants started refusing to let black people in, as they used to 50 years ago, or if some companies started firing people explicitly because they were Jewish, or publicly stated that they happily paid women lower salaries than men for the same work…
    Or if (more likely) this is just another case of not valuing civil rights for gay people as much as for other people.

  54. pricknick says:

    They recognize same sex attraction?
    You could’ve fooled me with the money they spent on prop 8.

  55. John Ruff says:

    Ugh, Ken Melman. I’m about to lose my breakfast, lunch, and dinner.

  56. John Ruff says:

    Fantastic article! Wish I could say things like that to my Repug-leaning relatives, but I don’t think they’d ever comprehend all the “big words.”

  57. Timothy Holmberg says:

    It goes even deeper than the writer lists. DeMaio allied himself with non other than Charles Limandri,
    Of all the enemies of LGBT rights in San Diego, this man looms large. DeMaio’s pledge to avoid LGBT rights was made to this man. And later the following year, when the Supreme Court invalidated DOMA and left in place the ruling that invalidated Prop 8. DeMaio and his partner strolled to The Center and high fived anyone willing to touch his hand.

  58. Scooter Livingston says:

    Kind of like Jesse Lee Peterson thanking White people for slavery…

  59. Monophylos Fortikos says:

    In DeMaio’s case, I’m guessing there’s not a particle of sincerity to his complaints about how the mean nasty gays don’t like him just because he’s Republican; he’s just looking to score the usual “liberals are the real bigots” points. But I have seen more genuine examples of such behavior. Maybe they’re just expecting you to be a doormat and are surprised when it turns out differently.

  60. Dan says:

    He’s used to be a councilman. He has no position now.

  61. grandpamike1 says:

    Typical POS Republican.

  62. caphillprof says:

    We could say Roy Cohn, Ken Melman, . . .

  63. BeccaM says:

    He’s self-admittedly gay, which is something GOPers tend not to do unless they actually are and have been forced out of the closet…

  64. Houndentenor says:

    Who would admit that? And really we’ve all made mistakes so I wouldn’t want to shame someone for having too much to drink and hooking up with a jerk. No need to shame them any more than they already have been for being alone in a room with such a sleazebag.

  65. Houndentenor says:

    I get that part. (I think it’s sick and morally repugnant, but I understand it.) What I don’t understand is that they are mad that gay liberals won’t jump on board their campaign even though they aren’t for anything we support INCLUDING gay rights!

  66. pricknick says:

    Can anybody prove he’s gay?
    Might just be an attention whore.

  67. Houndentenor says:

    Can someone explain this mindset to me? I have met people like this. People who obviously didn’t like me or who had badmouthed me in some way and then seemed shocked that I didn’t like them and didn’t want to spend any time with them. There’s one of these from college who keeps trying to friend me on Facebook? Really? No, we are not friends. You don’t like me and I don’t have time to bother being nice to people who don’t like me. I’m also not going to go out of my way to be mean or rude to such people but I’m certainly not going out of my way to be nice to them either.

    DeMaio and many other gay Republicans go on and on about how awful gay Democrats and liberals are and then seem shocked that we don’t like them either. I guess they think it’s not “personal”. I’m not claiming that I don’t have my own insecurities and problems but I’m certainly not fucked up enough to pal around with people who openly hate me and then blast my own kind because they actually paid attention to what they said about me. Surely there’s an actual medical diagnosis for such a pathology. I certainly don’t want it near me in case it’s contagious.

  68. tedhayes says:

    We have enough anti-gay Republicans in Washington as it is. Adding one who is gay is like pouring salt on the wound. Defeat him.

  69. OrliJoe in Fla says:

    Can we say Uncle Tom? Can we say Quisling? Can we say ‘turns my stomach’?

  70. Thom Allen says:

    That’s the Mormon attempt to be inclusive of LGBTQs. They at least recognize same-sex attraction. It’s like the GOP’s attempt to be inclusive of: women, immigrants, minorities, etc. They mention them in their rhetoric, then vote against them.

  71. Tor says:

    Reminds me of that Canadian woman who’s suing the teenager on a bike she ran over and killed.

  72. mike31c says:

    Maybe he likes it?

  73. mike31c says:

    This guy is an ass and he whines that people don’t like him? Fuck you , ya GOP pig. You are part of the problem, asshole. :)

  74. Totally true – even with all the problems with our first Dem mayor in 20+ years, Bob Filner, who had to resign and go on house arrest… every single person I know says, “still, better than DeMaio!”

  75. Fap! Fap!

    Fap! Fap! Fap!

  76. Monophylos Fortikos says:

    Gotta love it. “I know that most Republicans probably run off to the bathroom to wash themselves in holy water after touching me but I believe that we can bond together over a mutual loathing for immigrants and poors. I don’t understand why more people don’t like me.”

  77. Lawerence Collins says:

    Typical, demonic, soulless sociopathic, Rethuglican zombie sheeple. Even more tragic is that he’s gay.

  78. ugh – I’m from San Diego and believe me, she is a piece of work!

    They have substantiated allegations that, after voting on issues to harm our city’s poor people, DeMaio would run off and masturbate in the “Council-Member Only” bathroom!

  79. BeccaM says:

    Off topic, but not exactly worthy of a full-length post:

    The Mormon church recently distributed a survey to students of Brigham Young University (BYU) to ask them about their sexual orientation. The question, as originally presented, was as follows:

    What is your sexual orientation?

    – I am heterosexual, but I struggle with same-sex attraction.

    – I am heterosexual and do not struggle with same-sex attraction.

    – Other, please specify:

    After being asked about it, a church spokesperson said the question had been changed to “Do you experience same-sex attraction?” — with Yes, No, and Other being the accepted answers.

    Not that that’s much better… Seems like they can’t just come right and ask, “Are you gay, lesbian, or bisexual?”

  80. cole3244 says:

    repugnant should be the name of the gop for accuracy reasons alone.

  81. Cambel says:

    So he harms the civil rights of a group and then tries to play the victim because that group doesn’t want to support him? Gee, next thing you’ll tell me that a convicted rapist is upset because he isn’t getting a lot of support from women’s groups.

  82. He’s slightly different. He seems to just want to stay out of it all together. Sure, he’ll say he supports marriage, but don’t expect him to do anything about it, because “that’s a social issue,” which I think is one step up from an STD.

  83. BeccaM says:

    In the feminist movement, we’ve had to deal with the same kind of thing: Conservative Republican women who are happy to advocate against and vote against the very same laws and civil rights that made it possible for them to achieve positions of relative power and influence in the first place.

  84. AnitaMann says:

    More like the I’ve Got Mine syndrome. If he’s wealthy and powerful enough, nobody will trample his rights, unlike the Little Gays who don’t have the good sense to suck up to power to receive their privilege. A great monologue from Angels in America comes to mind. Roy Cohn being so proud to have Nancy Reagan on speed dial.

  85. 2patricius2 says:


  86. 2patricius2 says:

    Reminds me of the lesbian Hawaii House member who opposed and voted against marriage equality in that state. She too got great support from the enemies of marriage equality, and she got great disdain from members of her community who viewed her as a traitor to her own community. Antigay leaders just love it when a self-professed gay person turns against his/her own.

  87. oikos says:

    He’s a kapo. Stockholm syndrome is common in homocons.

  88. iamlegion says:

    Aw, don’t hate on the man. After all, it’s not like he _chose_ to be that way. He was _born_ sociopathic, self-hating, and emotionally crippled – that’s just how Republicans are!

  89. And not in a good way.

  90. Henry Owen says:

    A gay man who chooses to be a republican is also a masochist.

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