Dan Choi | Harold Ford Jr. | Kirsten Gillibrand | New York | News

Harold Ford Jr. Faces Brutal Crowd at NYC Gay Center


Photo above via DailyKos.

From all reports, potential Senate candidate Harold Ford Jr. faced a tough crowd tonight as he spoke to the Stonewall Democrats at the New York Lesbian, Gay and Transgender Community Center: "They said they don't trust him and shouted that he is 'anti-gay.' Ford said all he can do is explain he was wrong in the past and has changed his mind."

Thepower DailyKos reports:

"This did not go well for Harold. If he had supporters, it was not evident... If not for the efforts of organizers, it would have devolved into a real scene. The loudest applause came when Lt. Dan Choi expressed support for incumbent Senator Kirsten Gillibrand. He told Ford he seemed to be asking our community to 'fire her' to reward her for her fierce advocacy. Ford didn't do himself any favors by asking a questioner to clarify what 'Lawrence v. Texas' was. Ladies will be glad to hear the room was equally activated when Ford tried to distance himself from his pro-life past."

Talking Points Memo adds:

"Some defended Ford for changing his mind. 'He has a right to change his view,' said Charles Bayor, Stonewall's secretary. 'I give him credit for coming here ... It's not fair to treat him with disrespect.' Lt. Dan Choi, the National Guardsman who has become a vocal opponent of Don't Ask, Don't Tell, was at the meeting and questioned Ford on the policy. Ford said he fully supports repeal. But for Choi and others, that may not be enough -- especially since Gillibrand has become a public opponent of the policy, which bans openly gay men and women from serving in the military. 'You'd be punishing our only advocate in the Senate,' Choi said. 'You can count on me to do the same thing' as Gillibrand, Ford responded."

The NY Daily News files its report here.

Some initial video (with plenty of heckling) shot by David Badash (read his report here) at The New Civil Rights Movement, AFTER THE JUMP...

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  1. I applaud Rep.Ford for evolving to a more enlightened position on the issues.

    Now he should return to Tennessee to educate the voters in his home state to embrace his newfound convictions.

    Posted by: JONNY NYNY2FLFL | Feb 24, 2010 9:14:00 PM

  2. Is this how we should treat all converts to our cause? I am so not proud of my lgbt brothers and sisters for this.

    Posted by: eco-freak | Feb 24, 2010 9:55:59 PM

  3. So let me see i understand this: Ford, once a staunch conservative and anti-gay, anti-choice carpetbagger from TN is now claiming to have become enlightened on those issues and now wants us to support him?? This is precisely what Romney did here in MA - first he was with us and now he is one of the worse in this country! The point is one does not evolve you either believe in full equality and choice for all Americans or you don't!!

    Posted by: AlexInBoston | Feb 24, 2010 10:21:07 PM

  4. Yes, Gillibrand may be a strong supporter of our issues, but so far she has been dreadful as a U.S, Senator. I'd rather have a Johnny-come-lately who is a true leader. Harold Ford has the kind of star power that a NY Senator should have. Gillibrand seems content to be in Chuck Schumer's shadow. Where is she??? The fact is in today's world if your not on Meet the Press or This Week, or on Larry King or Morning Joe... YOU DON'T EXIST.

    Posted by: JimSur212Jim | Feb 24, 2010 10:25:40 PM

  5. NOT knowing what Lawrence vs Taylor is - is enough reason to protest any politician in 2010.

    and JimSur212Jim your comment is one of the most vapid I have read in a LONG time.

    Posted by: rjp3 | Feb 24, 2010 10:38:25 PM

  6. YES -- : eco-freak we should treat this self-serving long term foe this way .... esp when his "conversion" is obvious a political stunt

    this guy is a full blown elitist who wants POWER back to promote his own celebrity

    Posted by: rjp3 | Feb 24, 2010 10:39:54 PM

  7. Yeah, this guy hasn't seen the light. The thing is, though...that all that matters is the record. I don't care if on a personal level a politician has come around...all that matters is his or her voting record; and short of that, spoken record. There just isn't anything substantive to base support of him on vs. a progay democrat. Gays that would vote for him would have that homophobic/sociopathic beauty pageant contestant as a friend...or work for NOM...or be active members of the LCRs and goproud. Same dead weight that constitutes "a difference of opinion".

    Posted by: TANK | Feb 24, 2010 10:47:15 PM

  8. Harold Ford Jr. wanted to beat Obama to the presidency. Everyone in the party knows this. But unfortunately for him, he could never win the Democratic nomination because black voters are fairly passionate in their disdain for him. The reasons are complicated. However, it is sufficient to say that black folk don't trust him. And neither should gay people.

    Posted by: John | Feb 24, 2010 11:49:14 PM

  9. I submitted the Lawrence v. Texas to moderator Hegelmann, and I was shocked when Ford didn't know anything about it at all. A Towleroad staffer had to explain it to him! (I'm the guy in the red shirt and ponytail in Badash's third video, who jumps up when Ford displays his ignorance. I called him on it twice.) I felt the question fair, because Supreme Court justices are nominated by the President but confirmed by the Senate. As Senator, Ford might find himself considering a SCOTUS judge or two. His views on Lawrence were fair game. But he didn't know, and his ignorance of my question brought the house down. Pitiful!

    Posted by: Nathan James | Feb 25, 2010 12:01:31 AM

  10. I'm the former president of the Memphis Stonewall Democrats, and a long time gay activist in Memphis.

    Harold Ford Jr. screwed the LGBT community in TN. As his HRC score cards show, he had a good record of support LGBT rights from 1997-2003, including opposing the "Marriage Protection Act".

    In 2004, in response to emails and phone calls from LGBT folks here, we were told by his office staff that he opposed the FMA, and would not vote for it.

    I received one email that was intended for supporters of the FMA that reiterated is opposition to gay marriage and his support of the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA) which, he stated, made the constitutional amendment unnecessary. The email I received, just prior to Sept. 30th 2004, said that he opposed amendment the constitution! When he says that no one from his office said he opposed the FMA he is lying.

    All you need to know in NY is that Harold Ford Jr. is no friend of the LGBT community. He threw us under the bus so he could run a conservative campaign against Bob Corker for the U.S. Senate. I believe he only supported the FMA to counter the Republican attack ads, which claimed he supported gay marriage. It was a very nasty campaign.

    HFJ wants to parse he words and say HE didn't promise anyone that he would vote against the FMA. That may be true, but his office, which is supposed to speak for him, did. Either they were misleading us then or HFJ is a liar.

    Either way, the important issue for NY is to think about what kind of politician would go from general supporting gay civil rights, and even acknowledge that the FMA was unnecessary, to supporting such an amendment which would have engraved discrimination into the U.S. Constitution?

    It was bad enough to be a coward like most Democrats and not support gay marriage, but to go the extra step of supporting amending the constitution to placate the right-wing bigots in Tennessee tells you he is not the kind of politician you want representing you!

    Jim Maynard (Memphis TN)

    Posted by: Jim Maynard | Feb 25, 2010 12:01:34 AM

  11. why does a senator from new york need star power? all they need is the courage of their convictions and stay honest and true to them not flip flop to get elected. remember a leopard does not change its spots.we don't need another carpetbagger with eyes beyound new york send him back to temm to spread enlightenment

    Posted by: walter | Feb 25, 2010 12:17:47 AM

  12. NY with the level of flippant compassion it showed for it's MANY GLBT members months ago is NOT at a place to elect someone base on words...NY must elect someone based on actions and record in the past.

    Don't be so easily fooled my gay NY brothers and sisters.

    Posted by: Bayley | Feb 25, 2010 2:41:04 AM

  13. I'm shocked that, knowing he was going to be facing a hostile crowd, he didn't bone up on some LGBT basics. I don't like the guy at all, but I at least gave him some credit for having a couple brain cells, no matter how deceitful.

    I'm not sure why he even attended this event.

    Posted by: Paul R | Feb 25, 2010 6:06:26 AM

  14. I love the comment, "Quiet and give him a chance to lie some more!" Bwahahahaa!

    Posted by: cowboyneok | Feb 25, 2010 7:28:54 AM

  15. Nice work New York queens.

    Harold needs to take his lying high-yellow confederate-flag campaigning pedicured helicopter-flying black ass back to Tennessee.

    On the other hand...

    I would not vote for him in 2010.

    But...Gillibrand is up for this seat again in 2012. IF she proved to be an ineffective Senator and IF Harold got out there and really was an advocate on GLBT issues as a private citizen (i.e. if the vote were to come up in the NY Senate again, he were to speak at a committee hearing, if he were to continue talking to the gay community, if he were willing to do grassroots work on marriage and other issues in the black community) then he could POSSIBLY (but not likely) justify a vote to replace Gillibrand in 2012.

    Possible but not likely, and given that he lied to Tennessee gays, I wouldn't trust him.

    But if he got out there and acted like a natural ho for the next 2 years (and ALL politicians are varying degrees of natural hos) and if Gilibrand winds up being horrible, then MAYBE Ford could be an option.

    he has a lot of work to do, though.

    Oh, and he needs to get over himself as far as his jelousy of Obama.

    Posted by: Chitown Kev | Feb 25, 2010 9:29:56 AM

  16. I was at the event last night - and it's unfortunate that no one put HF on the spot with the question:

    "Will you co-sponsor an omnibus, LGBT civil rights bill to bring about full, legal equality, under civil law, for all of us in all 50 states?"

    He couldn't weasel his way out of that.

    Posted by: leftypower | Feb 25, 2010 9:45:02 AM

  17. These people should use their energy to protest republicans who are publicly speaking against gay rights, not a democrat who now admits he was wrong. Sure, he was an @$$ in congress and doesn't deserve the nomination, but use respect. Put your priorities in the right place, damn.

    Posted by: KFLO | Feb 25, 2010 11:16:22 AM

  18. Anybody in NYC knows the NYC Gay Center is nothing but ghettoized vicious jerks. Try walking in there sometime if you're a "straight-acting" type guy. They treat you like, "Why aren't you acting more gay??"

    Posted by: JT | Feb 25, 2010 11:48:39 AM

  19. Let's see. The guy has never paid taxes in NY, he works for an investment bank (one of the greediest at taking public dollars to bail out their bad decisions) and he has a firm position on all sides of every issue.

    He is not electable. Period.

    Posted by: JusticeontheRocks | Feb 25, 2010 12:46:30 PM

  20. Project much, JT?

    Posted by: Willig | Feb 25, 2010 1:25:45 PM

  21. JT, I stopped supporting The Center a long time ago because they had their kind of "gay" and if you didn't fit their kind of "gay", you were pretty much given short shrift. A bunch of tired queens.

    Posted by: jamal49 | Feb 25, 2010 2:33:03 PM

  22. The time when we should be treating Obama, Biden, Pelosi and Reid to doses of the same medicine is long past due.

    Posted by: Bill Perdue | Feb 25, 2010 2:38:33 PM

  23. Yes Eco-Freak this is exactly how he deserves to be treated as well as Obama and other politicians who have lied to us ALL!! Maybe when or if we as gay people start getting angry we'll start caring and fighting. I'm tired of apologist speaking on behalf of these people such as those in the audience saying "shhh" and "let him speak" or "stop acting like tea party people". If you're a New Yorker eco-freak you don't have full equality right now because of politicians like Mr. Ford saying one thing and doing the other behind the closed doors of the senate chamber. Apologists like the HRC and various individuals need to realize that we are tired of lying down and letting these people walk all over us and treat our lives like a game to be won. I suggest you join in.

    Posted by: gaynpissed | Feb 25, 2010 4:26:45 PM

  24. I can relate, Jamal. Though I don't know, specifically, what your own problem with them was, I know they don't allow for the full range of varied same-sex-preference people. It's like you HAVE to be a gay stereotype, or else..

    Posted by: JT | Feb 25, 2010 4:44:48 PM

  25. There are some fucking idiotic queers posting comments here. How dangerously naive you are to actually believe politicians over people. Specifically, the first two posts. Both of you: fuck off, die, and get the fuck away from our movement. I'm sick of faggots like you who attack lgbt people for demanding equality. Ford is a bigot, like every other bigot in the Democratic Party, who is just trying to put on a pretty smile to get votes. He's not suddenly more "enlightened." He's A FUCKING POLITICIAN AND ALL POLITICIANS, INCLUDING YOUR LORD AND SAVIOR BARACK "I'm a homophobe" Obama, LIE.

    Posted by: Norm D Plume | Mar 2, 2010 5:28:39 PM

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