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Dangerous liaisons: Gays view White House outreach with suspicion

"Dangerous liaisons: Gays view White House outreach with suspicion" Continued...

Issue: "Church inside the state," Oct. 12, 1996

Mr. Michael is certain it does. "The liaison should be focused on issues, not on reelecting a politician. People like Socarides are doing gays and lesbians so much harm because all they are about is making sure people vote for Clinton." According to Mr. Michael, there is plenty of evidence to back him up. He points to a meeting between Marsha Scott and community leaders in San Francisco. According to an article published by Bay Windows, the meeting took place on March 24, 1996, when Ms. Scott still held the liaison position. At the Fenway Community Health Center, flanked by Sen. John Kerry (D--Mass.) and openly homosexual Rep. Gerry Studds (D--Mass.), she told her audience, "I think you have extremely clear choices. You are either at the political table with a Clinton administration, or there is not even a door for you to get to the table."

Such campaigning was routine, Mr. Michael insists. "Marsha Scott was always going around to the gay community saying we've got to reelect Clinton. They've both done it. Believe me, by the time we file this complaint, I will have plenty of details about how this position has been abused. Taped conversations, newspaper accounts, you name it."

Mike Salinas, news editor of the Bay Area Reporter, a homosexual newspaper in San Francisco, agrees. When asked whether the Clinton administration engages in genuine outreach efforts to gays and lesbians, he chuckles. "Socarides stopped by last week, and it was very much a replay of when the AIDS Council came to town: no information. It was all about how we have to vote for Clinton. Socarides made it very clear that we couldn't vote for anyone but Clinton. I asked him to give me an example of Clinton sticking to his principles and he said, 'Well, he supported NAFTA.' Great. But what has Clinton done for me?"

Mr. Michael is angry about this kind of behavior because it compromises issues he believes should remain above the partisan fray. "They're even making AIDS a partisan issue," he says heatedly. "It's the evil Republicans vs. the good Democrats. That's dangerous. There are Republicans who care about AIDS, and AIDS is far too serious to be used as a partisan campaign weapon."

Mr. Socarides denies that AIDS is being politicized, at least as far as the liaison position is concerned. "AIDS is obviously an issue that Americans care deeply about. It is not a partisan issue. And we have not used this office to make it one."

But Mr. Michael argues that the practice of politicizing AIDS is typical not only of Clinton administration appointees, but of far too many homosexual organizations as well. He argues that the Human Rights Campaign, which purports to be a homosexual political advocacy organization, has been involved in FEC violations due to its partisan support of Mr. Clinton. "These people have gone over the lines in a way that damages important issues. The HRC and the Clinton people. That's why something has to be done."

Yes, something has to be done, but homosexuals are likely to learn what conservatives have known all along: It is difficult to deal with The Great Triangulator. The little pink triangles flaunted by homosexuals across the country may take on a new meaning thanks to Bill Clinton. Instead of being the homosexual's badge of pride, they may come to serve as a reminder of what happens to any group that falls for Mr. Clinton's flirtations.

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