Democratic Party | Elizabeth Dole | I'm Gay | Jim Neal | North Carolina

Jim Neal, Challenger to Elizabeth Dole in NC, Says He is Gay

In an online question and answer session over the weekend, Jim Neal, the Democratic challenger for Elizabeth Dole's Senate seat, acknowledged that he is gay.

JimnealIn response to a one participant's statement, "I've heard you are gay," Neal answered, "I am indeed. No secret and no big deal to me-- I wouldn't be running if I didn't think otherwise."

When asked the follow-up question, "Do you really think a gay man can be elected in North Carolina?" Neal replied:

"I'm not running this race to lose. I'm not running to make some social statement. I'm running to lead in the Senate for the voters in NC-- something Senator Dole has not done. When people meet me, they'll see beyond the labels and into my character."

That line of questioning led into an inquiry about his position on gay marriage. Said Neal: "It's okay if churches want to unite same-sex couples; it's okay if they don't. That's their Constitutional right which I support 100%. But when it comes to the Government, I'm not in favor of any laws that discriminate against anyone for any reason."

In response to one participant's warning that the right wing would be after him, Neal replied, "I'm a big boy. I can take it and I can dish it."

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  1. Excellent, candid answers. Good for him. I hope he does well.

    Posted by: David D. | Oct 22, 2007 11:57:41 AM

  2. Good for him. I know where some of my contributions will be going towards.

    We need more people like him to run for statewide office.

    Posted by: Sean H | Oct 22, 2007 11:57:45 AM

  3. What a brave man. Maybe he thinks he's in Massachusettes, but can't he hear Elizabeth Dole's accent. She sounds like Agnes Moorehead in "Hush, Hush, Sweet Charlotte" Charlotte? Isn't that in NOrth Caro...

    Posted by: Derrick from Philly | Oct 22, 2007 11:58:03 AM

  4. Good for him. We need more brave, confident and forthright politicians like him in the game. Not to mention he's quite the looker!

    Posted by: Derrick | Oct 22, 2007 11:58:58 AM

  5. What's that? Condor? Honesty? Almost makes me want to move to NC to vote for him. Almost....

    Posted by: noteasilyoffended | Oct 22, 2007 12:03:08 PM

  6. Why are gay men so handsome? He's a hottie!

    Posted by: Mike | Oct 22, 2007 12:29:25 PM

  7. Robert Redford could play him in the movie.

    Posted by: crispy | Oct 22, 2007 12:35:19 PM

  8. North Carolina can be surprisingly progressive, despite Jessie Helms and Liddy Dole. I hope he does well. Plus, he sure is handsome.

    Posted by: sam | Oct 22, 2007 12:37:13 PM

  9. He has two sons too... I don't think he has much of a chance against Liddy Dole though, but maybe I'm wrong.

    Posted by: Peter | Oct 22, 2007 12:38:18 PM

  10. Good for him; good for us; good for North Carolina and good for America.

    Posted by: Zeke | Oct 22, 2007 12:43:45 PM

  11. And to think we fantasize of so much in our community, none of which compares to true character. Best of luck.

    Posted by: Rafael | Oct 22, 2007 12:44:46 PM

  12. I'm a NC native but I've never heard of this guy - what's his claim to fame and/or the source of his $$?

    Dole is certainly beatable ... she hasn't made a big impression on swing voters in NC.

    Posted by: ATLSteve | Oct 22, 2007 1:03:38 PM

  13. Bravo for him. His card carrying cunt opponent, Lucretia Dole, is probably applauding, too, because now she and her Brooks Brothers Brown Shirts won't have to conduct the kind of "whisper campaign" the Bush Reich used to defeat Ann Richards in Texas. Now they can attack him directly and will, mes amis, you can count on it.

    Posted by: Leland Frances | Oct 22, 2007 1:03:40 PM

  14. I love him already!! Go Neal,go!

    Posted by: Shabaka | Oct 22, 2007 2:31:36 PM

  15. The repubs themselves are p'd off at Dole. She can be beat. They are mad at her and blame her for loosing senate seats in 2006 since she was the one in charge of the repub senate election campaign. her own party is furious with her which means this guy might have more of a chance then one might think

    Posted by: jimmyboyo | Oct 22, 2007 3:36:19 PM

  16. Oh thank God. I'd vote for Mickey Mouse if he'd run against Dole. Neal makes it even easier. We do have some openly gay politicians in N.C. including a State Senator, Julia Boseman. If he's got a good message and some $ its quite possible he can upset Dole (I'm thinking positively.).

    Posted by: WillnDurhamNC | Oct 22, 2007 4:11:06 PM

  17. This all seems very early. When the hell is the primary?? It's over a year until the general election!

    Posted by: anon ( | Oct 22, 2007 11:23:21 PM

  18. The interviewer forgot to ask an important question after the "Are you gay?" question, which is "Are you single?".

    Posted by: Wheezy | Oct 23, 2007 12:06:07 AM

  19. hey willndurhamnc, i, too am in Durham. And have relatives who live in liddy's hometown. this could become a very interesting race.

    Posted by: nillachino | Oct 23, 2007 5:58:21 PM

  20. We're starting a house party fundraising program for the Jim Neal for Senate campaign. Please go to to register your own event, and let's show the nation that an openly-gay man can generate the attention and the finances necessary to challenge Liddy Dole. The next round of events are on "Leap Friday" -- Join us!

    Posted by: David Salie | Feb 13, 2008 6:29:30 PM

  21. Guys...I just read about the HRC not endorsing Jim Neal. I e-mailed Joe Solmonese at with the following complaint. I encourage you to do the same.

    "Dear Joe Solmonese,

    I've been very interested in the Democratic race in North Carolina and very excited with the openly gay candidate, Jim Neal. Although I am a Rhode Island resident, I took the time to spread the word about his candidacy and donated monies to his race. I'm very impressed with his stance on many issues and he is a much more well-rounded candidate for human rights than his contender, Kay Hagan.

    I was greatly disappointed that you, in turn, did not do the same. I would agree that endorsements do not win races...votes do, IF, however, the HRC didn't make endorsements. But the clear fact is that the HRC does make endorsements and endorsements help raise awareness to gay people in public office and yes...even helps raise money. It is folks like me who rely upon you to be the megaphone to my voice...but your inability to take a stand in this very important race by not giving your support behind someone who is openly gay and needs your support (and who is also dead on the issues that you endorse) is very disappointing.

    I will no longer be giving my annual donations to your organization and I will be encouraging my very large and influential group of friends (gay and straight) to also stop donating to your organization.

    Be assured of my displeasure and my voice of opposition to your organization."

    Posted by: JerryinRI | Apr 29, 2008 5:09:33 PM

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