Magazine article The Advocate (The national gay & lesbian newsmagazine)

Ballot Box Poison: Why Would a Candidate Cater to the Dwindling Power of the Antigay Far Right? California Gubernatorial Candidate Bill Simon Did Just That-And It Cost Him. (Election 2002)

Magazine article The Advocate (The national gay & lesbian newsmagazine)

Ballot Box Poison: Why Would a Candidate Cater to the Dwindling Power of the Antigay Far Right? California Gubernatorial Candidate Bill Simon Did Just That-And It Cost Him. (Election 2002)

Article excerpt

While Republican leaders at the national level are increasingly reaching out to--or at least not repelling--gay GOP members, politicians at the state level often still cling to the antigay far-right voting bloc, even though doing so may backfire. Case in point: National leaders didn't flinch (and state media barely covered it) when Lou Sheldon, the diminutive president of the California-based Traditional Values Coalition, complained about California gubernatorial candidate Bill Simon's supportive stands on a number of gay rights issues, which the candidate had taken in written responses to an August 20 questionnaire from gay political group Log Cabin Republicans.

The only person who paid attention, it seems, was Simon himself. And his reaction unleashed a firestorm.

Apparently fearful of Sheldon's clout with California's few religious conservative voters, Simon immediately backpedaled, blaming the gay rights positions on campaign staffers. In response, the Republican Unity Coalition, a gay-straight GOP group, disinvited Simon from a September 5 fund-raiser to be headlined by Mary Cheney, the out lesbian daughter of Vice President Dick Cheney. …

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