New Anti-Gay RNC Chair Martinez Has No Issue with Gay Staffers

Incoming RNC Chair Mel Martinez, who has been vocal in his opposition to gay marriage and also attacked one of his opponents for supporting hate crimes legislation based on sexual orientation, had no problem hiring (at least two) gay staffers.

Dowless_fordhamJohn Dowless, the former executive director of the Christian Coalition of Florida, worked for Martinez as a political consultant and arranged lunches with conservative religious leaders for Martinez during his 2004 Senate race.

A top staffer on that Senate campaign was Kirk Fordham, a former chief of staff to sex predator Mark Foley and to Republican Congressman Tom Reynolds, from whose staff he most recently resigned in the wake of the Foley scandal.

As John at AmericaBlog notes: “Of course, in the end, the joke may be on the religious right base of the Republican party. Martinez didn’t just have the openly-gay Kirk Fordham as a top aide on his Senate campaign, he also had a second top aide who was gay. Mr. Martinez may play a homophobe on TV, but he doesn’t have a problem having key advisers who are openly gay. Which is great. But it also means that Martinez’s personal commitment to the anti-gay agenda is more than just a little suspect.”


  1. hoya86 says

    Actually I could care less about his “personal” commitment to the anti-gay agenda, it’s his professional commitment to promoting this special brand of hate that should concern people.

  2. bambambam says

    Shhhhh….be very, very, quiet. Let’s just leave these time bombs exactly where they are, then talk to their drug dealers and hustlers, ohhh, along around October 2008…

    Shhhhh!!! The kids stay in the picture! Until the next election!

  3. Leland says

    OMG! Not the Kirk that the Human Rights Champagne fund’s Hillary Rosen, Elizabeth Birch’s domestic muff, wanted gays to feel sorry for re his involvement in the Foley scandal finger pointing. It just couldn’t be THAT Kirk? It is? Nevermind.

  4. says

    Standard Republican M.O. In DC, no one cares if you’re gay, all the biggest haters have out gay staff, who just accept their bosses’ hate-mongering as “Part of The Game,” in the name of being “fiscal conservative.”

    This is why I throw rocks at Log Cabin Republicans.

  5. mark says

    PLEASSSE! Mel is not a homo-bigot…he is agianst gay marriage… NOT GAYS IN GENERAL… which is obvious by his hiring practices!

    But alas, if ANYONE even remotely disagrees with the idea of gay marriage… he or she is a bigot, homophobe etc.. etc.. Michael and Leland even advocate violence (i.e. “throwing rocks”) NOW, NOW… who really is being intolerant of others peoples views? I’m gay, and could care less about infiltrating a 5,000 year old religious tradition to validate my love for another man…BUT agian… thats VIEW doesn’t gel with the VICTIMHOOD…BOO HOO POOR GAY ME MENTALITY of the gay left.

    Grow-up! Stop looking for validation from the government and outside sources! If more gay men could define themselves by…BE YOUR OWN MAN!!! and not as a “Gay-Man” the gay rights agenda would be far better off!

  6. Zeke says

    Mark, be grateful that I am sick as a dog with the flu and unable to respond to your horseshit my friend. I just don’t have the energy to challenge all of the things wrong with your comment.

    Give me a couple more days of recuperation and that could certainly change.

  7. Seann says

    Mark, Mel is a homo-bigot. If you would even bother to know anything about him (and I admit I just learned who he is what he stands for from the link in Andy’s post) you would know he favors a constitutional amendment banning gay marriage. You might not want to get married but others might.

    I could go on and on about your inherent self-hate but you’re a special kind of idiot.

  8. rudy says

    Mark, The gay marraige issue is a simple matter of basic human rights. Whether you decide to exercise that right should be your choice and not denied to you by others. The tyranny of the majority has long been used to curtail the rights of the minority, That is why certain “inalienable” rights are enshrined in the founding documents that frame our government. that is why rights should not be legislated. That is why amending the Consitution would commit a legislative horror inimicable to the principles stated therein. You are not in any way being forced to partake of any tradition with which you do not agree, but you should as a human want to ensure that others in your community are not denied their rights because of an immutable human characteristic. You are right in not caring (and the correct phrase is “could not care less”) whether Mel invites you out for a drink becauue you and he are free to associate with whomever you choose; however, you should care whether he is using his political postition to deny your fellow humans societal rights. Do not confuse your opinion with inherent rights.

  9. Leland says

    And, Mark, after you’ve figured out what a metaphor is, you might actually read the article about Martinez that Andy linked to. Even had he not opposed trying to reduce physical assaults on gays with hate crime legislation, and attacked his primary opponent for “catering to the ‘radical homosexual lobby’,” your assertion that he could not possibly be homophobic generally because his campaign employed gays, even were they not self-loathing gays [Dowless’ fellow gay-bashing record suggests he should have his dick nailed to a chair], is absurd on its face. Or were you born yesterday and have not yet had time to read the long history of the employment of people of color in America and South Africa during the day by whites who lynched them at night?

    I just noticed: we have a free chair, Mark. Drop on by.

  10. mark says

    WOW! So glad i could help make everyones’ day here…


    BUT… the tolerant “left” on this site see things a little differently:

    lets see… Zeke says i’m full of “horseshit” but, he’s to sick to debate (Feel Better Zeke!)

    Seann: has admittedly read ONE article on Mel and he is an expert and i am am an idiot…

    Leland: your race baiting “metaphor” is’nt an argument either my friend… comparing the gay rights movement to the plight of African Americans in the US is an insult to all people of color… gays were not enslaved for 100’s of years!!!

    and Leland needs “Special Rights” and laws be pasted to make himself feel “OK and excepted” i don’t need them, but Leland insists i am the one that is “self loathing” thou protest to much my friend…

    as for metaphor:

    Isn’t it funny that it’s “metaphor” when the left implies violence agianst those that opppose them, but FACISM when anyone else uses such insiderary language… hat tip to Leland for inviting me over to “nail my dick to a chair” Classy Leland your a real debutante…

    So many commnets… so few ACTUAL arguments…

  11. Zeke says

    Just one more point to add to the ones above before I die.

    If you think civil marriage is a religious institution I have a challenge for you Mark.

    Take two heterosexual Christians and have a priest marry them in a traditional Christian marriage ceremony in the Church before a thousand witnesses but WITHOUT a state license.

    Then take an atheist heterosexual couple and have them married by simply signing forms in a completely secular environment before a registrar and a single witness.

    When tax time rolls around, see which couples’ “marriage” the state recognizes and which couple goes to jail for fraud.

    The state is not and should not be in the business of legislating religious RITES. THAT should be, and IS, left up to churches.

    Additionally the church should not be in the business of regulating civil RIGHTS. Frankly, they don’t have a very good record in that regard.

    As a Christian, I don’t want the state regulating the religious RITE of marriage any more than I want them legislating who can and cannot be baptized or who can and cannot receive communion.

    The state should regulate CIVIL unions (which they call “marriage”)for ALL people and leave the religious marriage RITES for ALL couples to be taken to their faith and house of worship of their choice.

    Unfortunately we have confused RITES and RIGHTS in this country. Until they are properly separated and the term “marriage” is used to describe the civil right of legally recognizing couples the ONLY option is state sanctioned marriage and I don’t want to be denied this civil right.

    You call this a liberal position but I can’t imagine ANYTHING more CONSERVATIVE than not wanting to be taxed to support a government sponsored/supported institution from which you are banned.

    You seem to be under the misperception that what people like me are looking for is a pat on the back from Uncle Sam. That my friend shows your ignorance, or stupidity, I don’t know which.

    I just want my husband and my son protected just the same way my brother wants his third wife and his children from various marriages protected. Does that sound like a left wing screaming liberal gay victim to you? Actually it sounds more like the “family values” that the far right claims to support; only without all the hypocrisy.

    Now, I will retire to my bed to die. I really can’t suffer fools when I’m sick.

    Please forgive typos and grammar. I don’t have time or energy for proof reading or editing today.

  12. mark says


    what we are really talking about when you break it all down is “symantics” I’m all for state sanctioned “CIVIL PARTNERTSHIPs or CIVIL UNIONs” LEAVE IT TO THE STATES TO DECIDE!!!

    For you and your partner and child.. in the interum i would suggest powers of attorney and having your partner legally adopt your son… And agian, i am not opposed to CIVIL UNIONS… i hope your state passes them soon, so you and your hubby and son will all have those protections.. What i am opposed to is a blanket notion that anyone who opposes gay marriage is a bigot, homophobe, self loathing…etc.. etc…THAT IS THE HYPOCRISY!!! and that is what Andy’s headline states: Mel is a total homophobic asshole, but he hires gays to work for him… HUH??? that makes no sense at all!

    BTW:thanks for being so civil Zeke, you managed to only call me stupid 3 times. WOW your are REAL GENTLEMAN!!! and as any good debater knows… when the name calling starts the articulate argument has ended!!!

    Take Care & Feel Better Soon!

  13. Daniel says

    Mark, is everyone who disagrees with you not thinking for himself?

    If you’ll look at Martinez’s record he’s done more than not support gay marriage–he’s bashed an opponent for supporting anti-hate crime legislation, and he’s said that living in a country that has gay marriage would be like living in Castro’s Cuba (because Castro is so gay positive (that’s sarcasm in case you can’t tell)).

    Also, just because YOU don’t want to get married to a person of the same sex doesn’t mean it shouldn’t be legal. Talk about whiny.

    You should look more at Martinez’s statements before you go around saying he’s some sort of friend to the gays because he hires a few greedy self-loathing hypocrites.

  14. BEN says

    I agree with everything that Zeke said.

    Mark in your first post you called Michael and Leland intolerant. First of all, they were joking about throwing rocks and you know that. Second, I can’t stand it when somebody calls another person intolerant because they are intolerant of intolerance. And yes denying marriage to homosexuals is being intolerant because it prevents homosexual couples to enjoy the same benefits that heterosexual couples can enjoy. Any logical person would agree with this but you have probably been listening to too many right wing neo-conservative bigots to think logically.

  15. Zeke says

    Does anything in my comment qualify as an ACTUAL argument Mark?

    Do you have a family Mark or are you basing YOUR not needing the rights and benefits of marriage on your needs as an individual?

    Is it beyond your comprehension that there might actually be gay people whose wants and needs reach beyond their dicks and beyond their single minded selfishness?

    I wish you could spend a day with me and my family Mark. It just might open your mind and heart to a gay world that is more “normal”, “conservative” and “family values” based than you could ever imagine.

    I honestly feel bad that you haven’t been exposed to gay people who are honest, kind, responsible, thoughtful and civic minded.

    I have to say that I find it strange that you are so quick to chastize average citizens who dare express an opinion about a PUBLIC SERVANT’s position but are so quick to defend the public servants right to his opinion that he is in a position to turn into legislation that would potentially harm millions.

    I also think it’s clear that you are all about defending people’s right to free speech and expression as long as it is speech and/or expression that you approve of and/or is socially conservative.

    I think you’ve got just about everything twisted around backwards.

    And in case you’ve missed it, I used to be a Republican and I am the one who DEFENDS conservatives here.

  16. Zeke says

    I live in Florida Mark. My partner of 15 years is not allowed to adopt the child that he and I have raised since birth. My partner is the ONLY other parent my son has ever known…

    Oh forget it, I’m not going through all of this again. If you really give a damn about reality, check out the archives for my story.

    You are terribly naive if you think that powers of attorney, which I have done, are worth the paper that they are printed on.

    I sincerely hope that you never find yourself with a family that is in need of the benefits and protections that you are so flippant about dismissing now.

    Geesh, just when I thought I couldn’t feel any worse, along comes Mark.

    I’m done. Good night.

  17. mark says

    So, according to Daniel anyone who doesn’t agree with him is a self loathing hypocrite… nice argument! your quite the debator!

    and to Ben who can’t enjoy his relationship with another man UNTIL it’s recognized by the state…im PRO CIVIL UNIONS (read my earlier post) BUT to Ben i am listening to to much Rush or Sean and implies once agian (as many above have) that i am stupid.

    Well, calling me stupid isn’t an argument and NO ONE HAS ADDRESSED MY POINT: What i am opposed to is a blanket notion that anyone who opposes gay marriage is a bigot, homophobe, self loathing…etc.. etc…THAT IS THE HYPOCRISY!!! and that is what Andy’s headline states: Mel is a total homophobic asshole, but he hires gays to work for him… HUH??? that makes no sense at all!

    Your as bad as BUSH: “Your either with us or agianst us! Well, the real world is a little more nuanced then that… So if Mel Martinez isn’t willing to be my best man, hang out in the Castro, and watch Queer Eye…Then he is a de-facto BIGOT, HOMOPHOBE, GAY HATER etc… etc…

    How consilitory of all of you! No wonder the gay rights movement seems to be taking steps backward! To get some respect… you’ve got to be willing to give a little too…

  18. mark says


    you asked: Does anything in my comment qualify as an ACTUAL argument Mark?

    my answer: NO!

    You then go on to pelt me with red herrings and hyperbolic statements about me that you could not possibly know about me! I never said i was single, i never said i was a republican, i never said i have no family… BUT, all of theses things are just another clue of your weak argument!

    Zeke also states: I also think it’s clear that you are all about defending people’s right to free speech and expression as long as it is speech and/or expression that you approve of and/or is socially conservative.

    But alas, couldn’t i say the same thing of you Zeke… (replace social conversative with secular progressive)

    Back to Mel and my ORIGINAL POINT: We know one thing about Mel Martinez… he opposes same sex marriage… Andy and you above then apply to him a huge label of bigot, homophobe etc.. etc… explain, how you can qualify this?


  19. Leland says

    I get it now, Mark. It’s less your grasp of grammar than your dimwittedness generally. How else could you possibly find a “race baiting ‘metaphor'” in what I wrote. I can actually tolerate difference of opinion. But I cannot bare strutting ignorance.

    While I was not comparing the Black civil rights struggle with the gay civil rights struggle in that post, I most certainly DO compare them generally. You seem to be the one with a fondness for “victimhood.” Climb off your “More Shat Upon” circus wagon and smell the roses. Blacks, in this country at least, have not been slaves for over a 100 years. Are TODAY people of color denied marriage to whomever they wish? Adoption? Are Blacks legally barred from the military? The Boy Scouts? Is job discrimination against them LEGALLY PROTECTED? Could Jesus Suckers With Green Thumbs in Houston legally refuse to do business with them because of their color? Is the President of the United States proposing to remove them from the Constitution? Are all people of color straight?

    But thank you for your superior knowledge: I guess Bayard Rustin, Coretta Scott King, and Julian Bond, among many others, weren’t/aren’t actually “people of color” as they made it clear that they do NOT believe that “comparing the gay rights movement to the plight of African Americans in the US is an insult to all people of color.” In the case of Bond, Chairman of the NAACP, who has worked harder and longer for civil rights than you—or I—could imagine, as recently as ten days ago at the NGLTF dinner in Miami he said:

    “For some, comparisons between the African-American civil rights movement and the
    movement for gay and lesbian rights seem to diminish the long black historical struggle,
    with all its suffering, sacrifices and endless toil. However, people of color ought to be flattered that our movement has provided so much inspiration for others, that it has been so widely imitated, and that our tactics, methods, heroines and heroes, even our songs, have been appropriated by and served as models for others.

    No parallel between movements for rights is exact. African-Americans are the only
    Americans who were enslaved for two centuries, and people of color carry the badge of who we are on their faces. But we are far from the only people suffering discrimination—sadly, so do many others. They deserve the law’s protections and civil rights, too.

    Sexual disposition parallels race—I was born black and had no choice. I couldn’t
    change and wouldn’t change if I could. Like race, our sexuality isn’t a preference—it is
    immutable, unchangeable, and the Constitution protects us all against prejudices and discrimination based on immutable differences.

    Many gays and lesbians worked side by side with me in the ‘60s civil rights movement.
    Am I to now tell them “thanks” for risking life and limb helping me win my rights—but they are excluded because of a condition of their birth? That they cannot share now in the victories they helped to win? That having accepted and embraced them as partners in a common struggle, I can now turn my back on them and deny them rights they helped me win, that I enjoy because of them? Not a chance.”

    Consider the subject, if not you, nailed.

  20. mark says

    Leland said:

    While I was not comparing the Black civil rights struggle with the gay civil rights struggle in that post, I most certainly DO compare them generally.

    and Mark responds: BUT YOU ARE BLANCH! YOU ARE!!!

  21. Zeke says

    Mark is obviously trolling.

    He’s just trying to provoke a flame war and is obviously not interested in intelligent discussion.

    I suggest that we not waste any more time entertaining him.

  22. bambambam says

    The bottom line is so simple. No need to waste time arguing with trolls.

    Let’s just keep outing the self-hating Republican hypocrites and winning elections.

    Much better to research and document the Republicans’ meth-taking ways than arguing with a troll.

    Bottom line: until gay Democrats have the right to equal marriage, gay Republican hypocrites DON’T have the right to privacy. Simple. Why is one right inalienable, and others negotiable?

    No right to marriage? No right to privacy.

  23. rudy says

    Zeke and Leland, Thanks for your willingness to take on Mark. I gave up because I did not have time to continue pounding his hard head against the rhetorical wall. He is obviously ignorant and incapable of reasoned argument. Let the posts speak for themselves. He never bothered to address my post. Bottom Line: The thousands of rights and privileges conferred by marriage are basic human rights that are being denied because of an immutable human chracteristic. The denial of rights is antithetical to our consitutional democracy which is why legislating rights is not appropriate. Amending the Constitution to deny rights would hollow the philisophical basis of the foundational document of our government. Rest assurred that the hearts and minds of thinking people are daily becoming aligned with our fight for basic human rights. It will be a long struggle but is winable because it is right and just. Re-read the magnificent NJ decision. Their parsing of societal civil unions (marriages by any other name) with religious ceremonies is masterful and the way out of the semantic thicket. Call it what you will, just do not deny all the rights and privileges to my family of thirty years or Zeke’s of fifteen years or thousands of other gay families. Once again, thanks gay soldiers for fighting the good fight. Victory is claimed on a daily basis through your efforts.

  24. mark m says

    Zeke, my bud, I have been worried about you… so many juicy news stories and where is Zeke?? Sorry to hear you’re under the weather. My partner and I have been as well.

    It’s a shame that a flame instigator brought you out of your sick bed but I’m thankful it did. Your analysis about certain people’s trolling is dead on. I saw plenty of level minded points made by those who believe civil unions/marriage/pagan partnership rights is about being treated equal at the Federal level. Leave it up to the States? Yeah like separate schools for blacks. That should have been a state issue too right?

    Blacks can have their own schools so it’s not segregation if they’re equal right? Separate but equal isn’t just about semantics right?

    Wrong. Gay Marriage/civil partnership is the same principle.

    Being anti gay marriage doesn’t make one a bigot if they have gay staffers. It makes them a hypocrite and it makes the staffers all “back of the bus” and all. Yeah that’s the moral high ground. Said troll has won said argument. Bravo.

  25. Jack says

    If you can’t stand this homophobe wait until the borders are opened. Most immigrants are homophobes and Martinez wants to open the border to let them all come in.

  26. Daniel says

    Mark, do you work for Martinez? And I certainly didn’t say everyone who disagrees with me is a self-loathing hypicrite. Although, you seemed to imply that everyone who doesn’t agree with you is whiny and doesn’t think for himself.

  27. Zeke says

    Thanks for all the kind words, concern and emails guys.

    Still sick but improving.

    I swear, they shoot horses that are in BETTER shape than I’ve been for the last week and a half.

    I told my husband that I’m sleepin with one eye open, just in case he gets any ideas! He keeps asking me about my life insurance policy.

    Nothing says “I love you” like having the hubby call you from work to ask if you’re dead yet!

    At least I have friends at Towleroad that love me!

  28. mark says


    Mark M is half way there…

    he said: Being anti gay marriage doesn’t make one a bigot if they have gay staffers. It makes them a hypocrite and it makes the staffers all “back of the bus” and all. Yeah that’s the moral high ground. Said troll has won said argument. Bravo.

    Other than your moral “high ground” Mark M… your getting there… and THANK YOU for actually addressing my point and noting that i WON the argument!

    Rudy: as an earlier one of my post (see above) stated i am in support of Civil Partnerships/Unions… so you and me (if either of us decided to marry… basically could… even if NJ decides to call it a UNION instead of a MARRIAGE…i am OK with ALL of that.)

    AGAIN: let me reiterate what my original post was stating: Just because your anti-gay marriage does not necessarily make you anti-gay. (the phrase anti-gay seems to suggest what other political phrases do such as: anti-Israel, anti-black, anti-jew, anti-immigrant or anti-semitic)

    ON THE CONTRARY, i have found in my 37 years of life that Christians, Republicans and conservative leaning people are more TOLERANT then Andy or the commenters above give them credit for. I live in the relatively rural suburban area of the country and have discovered that the major majority of heterosexual peeps i come in contact with are much cooler with the whole gay thing then you might think. That doesn’t necessarily mean they are all supportive of the gay-marriage thing, but they are far far far away from being bigoted, violence inducing red-neck homophobes they are made out to be by so many on this site and in the media…

    Andy labels Mel anti-gay because he doesn’t support gay marriage. I don’t support SOME of the beliefs of the Nation of Islam and the new Black Panther Movement… does that make me a racist, klan supporting, bigot… NO!!!! (And before you call me a racist please remember that the Nation of Islam is notoriously anti-semitic and the Panther’s are know friend to the gays)

    It is interest that in the last 25 or so comments i have been called a long list of names and personally attacked ALL because i refuse to march in lock step with the idea that if your not all excited about gay marriage and ready to be the best man in your gay neighbors ceremony then you are by de-facto… a bigot…that’s a huge jump as Mark M partially conceded too.

    And to Daniel: NO! not everyone who disagrees with you is a self-loathing idiot.. just the ones who work for Martinez… WOW your one tolerant fella. Feeling the love! With gay friends like you and Mark M. i’ve got two of my bridesmaids picked! thanks for all the support my brother!

    And BAMBAMBAM: what an excepting, open minded guy you are…

    BAMBAMBAM said: Bottom line: until gay Democrats have the right to equal marriage, gay Republican hypocrites DON’T have the right to privacy. Simple. Why is one right inalienable, and others negotiable?

    BAM, i have a feeling you feel differently when it comes to a woman’s’ privacy i.e. her right to “choose” is terminating your unborn an inalienable “right” (although it takes TWO people to make a baby) in your mind it is a WOMAN’S PRIVATE MATTER. BUT, if your gay and a republican… well, all bets are off then…

    and to Zeke and Bam who end this little debate with a classic gay slur…”TROLL” CLASSIC AGEISM, and by who but our friendly neighborhood liberals that are willing to except everyone…AS LONG AS YOU AGREE WITH EVERYTHING THEY SAY!!!

    and our friend Jack that asserts ALL IMMIGRANTS ARE HOMOPHOBIC… WOW… another example of this sites version of tolerance… I bet they say WE ALL HAVE AIDS too.

    Your a great bunch, and i had a blast…

    re-read all your hateful words above GENTLEMEN! and ask yourself who is really being the close minded, intolerant, HYPOCRITE…

    things that make you go hmmmmm…

  29. mark m says

    “Troll” – Internet message board jargon meaning a person who doesn’t frequent a message board but who suddenly floods it with inflamatory posts meant to stir debate and create discourse.

    It’s not a reference to age, though being a gay man you are to be forgiven for thinking it is the same gay slur for men over a certain age.

    Stick with me and I’ll “educate” you about a lot of things…. like how to REALLY be a condescending asshole. 😉

  30. says

    i came late to this party, sorry . Clearly the senator is in a lose lose position. If he has gay people he should not, because he takes the anti-gay stance of his constituents. I guarantee you, if he had No gay staffers, you’d all be bitching about that. However, if he were a democrat, then the anti gay stance would only be a temporary positional anomoly, and all straight staffers would be an oversight. Ha.

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