***EXCLUSIVE to TOWLEROAD – DNC Treasurer Andrew Tobias spoke at the Convention this afternoon. More on his remarks tomorrow. He’s pictured above (left), following those remarks, with his partner, fashion designer Charles Nolan. I asked him if he’d like to write us a post on the occasion of this year’s Convention. I’ve posted it below.
I watched my first Democratic Convention in 1960 at Camp Wigwam, where I was secretly and hopelessly in love with Timmy Morse. Which was a problem.
The older you are (or the deeper into the back woods of today’s Alabama you live) the more you can relate to just how big — just how enormous — this problem was.
Which is why I come to Denver, in my role as glorified concierge and apologiser-in-chief (“we put you in a Residence Inn, Ambassador? Oh, my God, I’m so SORRY!”), with such a sense of wonder and gratitude.
For our country to have come so far since 1960 is amazing (at least to me). And a lot of the progress comes thanks to Democrats, who’ve overwhelmingly been leaning forward with us, against opposition at every step from an overwhelming majority of backward-leaning Republicans.
I’m sorry to make it partisan, but when every one of our primary candidates in 2004 and 2008 favored our open military service (for example) and every one of theirs opposed it — how is it NOT partisan?
I’m sorry to make it partisan, but when our nominee favors everything we want short of marriage (and even sends a public letter congratulating “all of you who have shown your love for each other by getting married these last few weeks”) — and their nominee OPPOSES everything we want (even opposes including us under existing hate-crimes legislation) — how is it not partisan?
I’m sorry to make it partisan, but when more than 350 of our delegates and alternates are openly LGBT . . . when our chairman appoints a transgendered person to our Platform Committee . . . when the guy who’s been training our organizers around the country for three years was specifically encouraged by our Chairman to “come out” at every one of those hundreds and hundreds of training sessions (because once they get to know gay people in Kentucky and Kansas everything changes) . . . when the third most powerful guy in our candidate’s campaign is openly gay . . . when the Chairman of the House Financial Services Committee is openly gay . . . when the next First Lady (knock wood) uses the phrase “from Selma to Stonewall” and the next President (knock wood) tells the congregation of the Ebenezer Baptist Church that we need to get over homophobia in the African-American community — BUT HIS OPPONENT FAVORS WRITING DISCRIMINATION INTO THE ARIZONA CONSTITUTION — how can it not be partisan?
Uh, oh. I’m getting carried away. But it’s been so heartbreaking to see the other side play dirty . . . win . . . and then run our country off the rails.
And now we have a chance to fix it. To elect another inspiring young Senator (not 43, as in 1960, but just turned 47) and put aside our fears (would Kennedy, a Catholic, take his orders from the Pope?) and get to work.
Because BOY has the current President ever left us a huge mess to clean up.
For those of you out here in Denver with me, feel free to come by for an apology (“you got stuck in line HOW long? I’m so SORRY”). But bring your credit card.
And for those who had the good sense to stay home with TiVo and an umbrella drink, but who want to toss in a little visibly LGBT support, click here: https://donate.barackobama.com/page/contribute/GLBT.
— Andrew Tobias