Once upon a time, I volunteered for the South Carolina Equality Coalition (SCEC). I was a legislative observer, waiting for something… anything… to be mentioned in the SC Legislature to be mentioned of the impending Defense of Marriage Act. I never really saw anything, but it was cool to learn about the process.
While I was there, I learned a lot, like how to block a bill from going through. That is, get a supportive Congressperson to complain about how someone put this crazy, unrelated amendment onto another bill, and is that really how we want to run government?
And, thus, in 2004, we stopped the Defense of Marriage Act from getting voted on in South Carolina.
Years later (well, in 2008), I found out one of the members of SCEC was running for Congress in SC as an open lesbian and ended up doing pretty well against a staunch incumbent conservative. I was proud! Linda Ketner, the former Dem. candidate, showed that it was possible that a Southerner could possibly be elected to public office as openly LGBT.
A few days ago, though, she let a bombshell drop in a FireDogLake interview where she outed several SC politicians. This is the quote:
We have more gay people serving in South Carolina than probably in anyplace in the United States; they’re just not out of the closet. We have an awful lot of people in the closet– Lindsey Graham, Glenn McConnell who’s our Senate president pro tem, our Lt Governor… I obviously lost the conservative, religious crazy vote, but I would have anyway because I’m pro-choice… It got more national attention than it did local attention; it was no secret to anybody around here.
Now, it’s one thing to out Lindsey Graham — in fact, it wouldn’t be a surprise. He’s no friend to the LGBT community. But do you want to know who our supportive ally in Congress was who stood up and railed against attaching unrelated amendments to bills? Glenn McConnell. He actually made a great point, as the bill it was attached to had other spending and taxing bits attached which were unnecessary, so he could have as easily been talking about those amendments.
But, word was, he wasn’t. He was helping us out.
Now, I don’t know if Graham, McConnell, or anyone else is really gay. It was always just rumor and speculation, but I am sure of one thing: if you can out Graham, that’s fine. Ethically, I think you’re clear on that one. But McConnell, even if he is, has been a supporter in the past.
And so, it is with great reluctance, Ms. Ketner, that I have to give you the finger. You fail, today, where once you were a WIN.
Later, Ketner would say in the comments that “By the way, in Howie’s intro, he quoted me as saying several members of state and U.S. government were gay. I don’t know that for sure having never been intimate with any of them. Those are the rumors.” Right, but you still don’t get to come out publically like that and then pretend like it never happened. I think you still just lost a lot of credibility, and maybe one or two supporters.