The Most Dangerous People in America: In This Election Year, Gays and Lesbians Need to Pay Closer Attention Than Ever to Friend and Foe, Because Who We Don't Know Can Definitely Hurt Us. Here's a Primer on Nine People Who Put Equal Rights at Risk by Their Actions or Inactions
Flanders, Laura, The Advocate (The national gay & lesbian newsmagazine)
9. Sean O'Malley, archbishop of Boston. Even as his archdiocese is closing three dozen parishes to pay for legal settlements in the worst child abuse scandal in the history of the Roman Catholic Church, O'Malley's pouring money into fighting marriage equality in Massachusetts. Ominously, he's forging new links with the most extreme Protestant evangelicals. It's hard to know whom he most endangers: mainstream Catholics, LGBT people, or Catholic kids.
8. Randall Tobias, U.S. global AIDS coordinator, faces pressure from the World Health Organization and international AIDS groups to spend U.S. AIDS money on cheaper generic drugs. But Tobias, a former CEO of Eli Lilly and Co., resists. With 40 million people infected with HIV worldwide (about two thirds of them in impoverished sub-Saharan Africa), Tobias disparages generics and sexual transmission education--and supports condoms only as a last resort for "high-risk" populations. "Condoms haven't been very effective," he has said, contradicting the science. It's a recipe for global disaster, say activists.
7. Terry McAuliffe, chair of the Democratic National Committee, counts on incoming dollars from loyal LGBT voters. But unlike Karl Rove [see page 69], McAuliffe takes without giving. Democrats pledged to kill the antigay Federal Marriage Amendment; with 48 senators and an unpopular measure, defeat should be a snap. But now they're going weak over lesser-not-equal civil unions, and at-risk Dems (including the minority leader) are said to be "off the hook." At every level the party needs a push: Of the 14 legislative bodies in seven stales that have passed anti-gay-marriage amendments (which are subject to voter approval), six were Democrat-dominated; two state legislatures had both houses controlled by Democrats. (Fun fact: Voters have already OK'd four of those amendments.)
6. Laura Bush, first lady. Former librarian Laura lulls socially moderate voters into believing that--all appearances notwithstanding--the White House is not in the clutches of an extremist religious cult. Her statements on Roe v. Wade or the Federal Marriage Amendment seem to contradict her husband's, but that's no coincidence: Her job is to temper his frat-boy image and woo critical on-the-fence voters to his camp. On homosexuality, she's said that most Americans find same-sex marriage "very, very shocking." But she's also said that the Bushes have gay friends: "Everybody does." With friends like Laura, LGBT Americans don't need evildoers.
5. Tom Coburn, cochair, Presidential Advisory Council on HIV and AIDS. The council's "advice" has helped to get scientifically sound information on condoms removed from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's Web site while a censorious abstinence-only message gets millions of government dollars. …