Meet Carl DeMaio: Anti-gay gay, newest victim of the war on intolerance

Move over Brendan Eich. The war on intolerance claims another victim: Carl DeMaio, an anti-gay “gay Republican” city council member from San Diego, who is running for Congress, and from himself.

You see, DeMaio can’t seem to figure out why the religious right likes him, and his fellow-gays don’t.

I’d written about Carl DeMaio a week ago.  You see, the gay groups have abandoned him.  Even the Victory Fund, that endorses Republican candidates, won’t touch him.  And DeMaio is hopping mad.

DeMaio even appears to have sicced Log Cabin, a front group for anti-gay Republicans, on us for calling him “Mary” in our earlier editorial.  According to Log Cabin, calling a gay man “Mary” is a “bullying slur.”


UPDATE: DeMaio supporters invoke “Benghazi”

I have a quick update. DeMaio supporters are now invoking “Benghazi” to defend DeMaio’s anti-gay positions and past:



UPDATE: DeMaio Twitter surrogate refusing to confirm DeMaio’s non-use of term “Mary”

Carl DeMaio’s surrogate on Twitter, his life partner Jonathan Hale, is refusing to answer a simple yes or no question as to whether Carl DeMaio has ever used the gay slang term “Mary,” or whether Hale himself has ever used it.



If the term “Mary” is truly “bullying” and a “pejorative gay slur,” then surely DeMaio and Hale, and the Log Cabin Republicans, will be happy to confirm that they have never used the term before.

“Mary” is not a slur, Mary

Apparently, Lob Cabin isn’t terribly familiar with “the gay lifestyle,” as Carl DeMaio’s friends on the religious right like to call it, if they think calling someone “Mary” is a slur. The only people who ever call gay people “Mary” is other gay people.  And it’s not a slur, it’s actually often a term of ironic endearment (note the title).

But then again, we shouldn’t expect anti-gay gays to actually understand, support or defend a culture that their own political party and candidates have long sought to destroy.

DeMaio’s gay-defender, Log Cabin, supports candidates with a zero voting record on gay civil rights

Keep in mind that Log Cabin supported Mitt Romney for president when Romney refused to endorse any of their basic civil rights.

Romney was against ENDA, against the repeal of Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell, against marriage equality.  Mitt Romney was even for enshrining anti-gay prejudice in the United States Constitution.

Mitt Romney was so anti-gay that he got rid of his campaign’s foreign policy spokesman when word got out that the man was gay.

And after all that, Log Cabin still supported Mitt Romney for president.

So if that’s the best Carl DeMaio has to offer to prove that he’s not really anti-gay — a group that endorses candidates with a “zero out of 100” record on gay civil rights issues — then it’s no wonder that the entire gay community has abandoned Carl DeMaio.

There’s a reason that anti-gay Christian conservatives like Carl DeMaio

Carl DeMaio

Carl DeMaio

Of course, Carl DeMaio’s gay problem goes far beyond Log Cabin.  DeMaio complains that he’s “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.” Well, let’s explore why it is that gay-haters love Carl DeMaio, while actual self-respecting, non self-loathing, gay people are less than enthralled.

Maybe, just maybe, Carl DeMaio is embraced by anti-gay religious right leaders because the gay-hating right sees something in DeMaio that we don’t.

Maybe, just maybe, the religious right is supportive of Carl DeMaio for the same reason they’re supportive of any Republican candidate — because they know Carl DeMaio will have an anti-gay voting record if elected to Congress.

And in fact, DeMaio has already said that he has no interest in supporting the civil rights of gays and lesbians in public office.  And I quote DeMaio’s campaign site, which reprinted an article about him in a local paper:

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.

DeMaio explains further in another article about his earlier race for mayor, in which DeMaio refused to endorse a statewide measure compelling schools to include the contributions of gay and disabled citizens in textbooks:

[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.

Well, considering that cities across America have civil rights ordinances, of course it’s the job of the mayor to advance a “social-issue agenda.”  Also note how DeMaio refers to the civil rights of gays and lesbians.  He calls those civil rights a “social-issue agenda.”  Agenda.  As in “gay agenda.”

DeMaio refused to speak out against Prop 8, and gay-baited a fellow candidate for being too pro-gay

Carl DeMaio refused to even speak out against Proposition 8.

But that’s not all. DeMaio’s campaign even gay-baited another pro-gay GOP candidate he was running against only two years ago:

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.

Now who’s the anti-gay bully?

DeMaio has gay-baited before, and he’s now gay-baiting again — this time against his own community. He playing the “even gays hate me” card in order to innoculate himself against attacks from the religious right, or other less-than-tolerant GOP voters. So it doesn’t matter if “Mary” isn’t really a slur. DeMaio’s target audience — homophobic Republicans who fear a gay member of Congress would be”too pro-gay” — will believe the charge, and thus believe that DeMaio is one of them, and not a friend of Dorothy or Mary.

If DeMaio isn’t anti-gay, then let him answer these questions

But let’s take Carl DeMaio at his word.  Let’s assume for a moment that maybe Carl DeMaio really isn’t an anti-gay gay, and that Carl DeMaio isn’t deserving of being called “Mary.”  Carl DeMaio can clear all of this up in a nanosecond by issuing a statement answering the following question.

If elected to Congress:

1. Since DeMaio’s friends at Log Cabin raised the topic of bullying, and mention anti-bullying legislation, would Carl DeMaio vote for the Student Non-Discrimination Act, federal legislation regarding the bullying of gay and transgender youth in America’s schools?

2. Would Carl DeMaio vote to repeal the Defense of Marriage Act? (Only section 3 of DOMA was struck down the Supreme Court, other parts of DOMA remain the law of the land.)

3. Would Carl DeMaio vote for the Respect for Marriage Act, a bill to ensure that the federal government respects lawful marriages between same-sex couples?

4. Is Carl DeMaio in favor of gay marriage? [Update: On this one, I finally found a link on DeMaio’s campaign site saying he’s in favor of marriage equality.  And that’s great.  That’s not an indication of how he’d vote in Congress, however, so we still need the specific answers to the questions above and below.]

5. Would Carl DeMaio vote for the Employment Non-Discrimination Act, banning job discrimination against gay and trans people at the federal level?

6. Does Carl DeMaio support gays and trans people being included in federal hate crimes laws?

7. Would Carl DeMaio vote for the Uniting American Families Act (UAFA), that, per HRC, “would amend the Immigration and Nationality Act to provide same-sex partners of U.S. citizens and lawful permanent residents the same immigration benefits that legal, different-sex spouses of U.S. permanent residents enjoy.” In states that do not have marriage equality, UAFA is still needed.

8. If he were in Congress a few years ago, would Carl DeMaio have voted to repeal Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell?

9. Would Carl DeMaio vote to let transgender people serve in the US military?

10. Would Carl DeMaio support the nomination of an openly-gay Supreme Court justice?

11. Would Carl DeMaio support America having a gay president?

DeMaio’s “life partner” (I’m only using quotes because it’s his phrase, and not one I generally use) Jonathan Hale weighed in via Twitter, claiming that DeMaio has a “100 pro-equality voting record.” I asked Hale for proof, and he pointed me to DeMaio’s campaign site “Issues” section.  All I could find there was DeMaio saying he supported marriage equality.  Nothing on whether he’d vote to repeal DOMA, whether he’d vote for ENDA, for the Respect for Marriage Act, for UAFA, how he’ll vote on transgender rights, or any of my other questions.  Literally one generic line about marriage equality is it.


Perhaps Hale is unable to do my job for me because there are no statements from Carl DeMaio about how he’ll vote in Congress on gay civil rights.

If Carl DeMaio is the second coming of Harvey Milk, as Log Cabin appears to be claiming, then surely DeMaio is willing to answer a few questions about how exactly he plans to vote if elected to Congress.

Otherwise, if Carl DeMaio is so anti-gay that he can’t even stomach answering “yes” to the simple questions posted above, then he deserves to be called a lot worse than “Mary.”

NOTE FROM JOHN: Please share our content on social media, including Twitter, Facebook, Reddit, Tumblr, Google+, Pinterest and beyond. As I explained the other day, when you share our stories, you help bring us visitors, which increases our ad revenue and helps to keep this site alive. Thanks for your help. JOHN

Follow me on Twitter: @aravosis | @americablog | @americabloggay | Facebook | Instagram | Google+ | LinkedIn. John Aravosis is the Executive Editor of AMERICAblog, which he founded in 2004. He has a joint law degree (JD) and masters in Foreign Service from Georgetown; and has worked in the US Senate, World Bank, Children's Defense Fund, the United Nations Development Programme, and as a stringer for the Economist. He is a frequent TV pundit, having appeared on the O'Reilly Factor, Hardball, World News Tonight, Nightline, AM Joy & Reliable Sources, among others. John lives in Washington, DC. .

Share This Post

© 2018 AMERICAblog Media, LLC. All rights reserved. · Entries RSS