Two Gay Candidates Run for Mayor in San Diego

Picture 19 And they're both Republicans!

Councilman Carl DeMaio and District Attorney Bonnie Dumanis have partners. Voters don't seem to care either way about their orientation. And the third candidate for the Republican nomination, a former marine, was the sole state Republican assemblyman to vote for California's gay history bill.

It's a pro-gay phalanx! Though DeMaio, who recently spoke at a Rick Perry rally, is a bit controversial:

Nicole Ramirez Murray, a longtime gay activist in San Diego, criticized DeMaio in a recent column for the San Diego LGBT Weekly because DeMaio identified himself as single in a questionnaire for The San Diego Union-Tribune.

DeMaio says he listed himself single because that's what he is under California law. He noted that he often appears publicly with his partner in his conservative district.

DeMaio was silent during the Proposition 8 campaign, unlike Dumanis, who was outspoken against the marriage ban. He says he believes that gays should be entitled to marry but that he wouldn't take up the issue as mayor.

In any case, this is real progress. It was only four years ago, in 2007, that the city's mayor faced a Republican mutiny after he tearfully endorsed marriage equality at a press conference. Nationally, the trend is the same: 

A nationwide Gallup poll in June showed 67 percent of voters surveyed would elect a gay president, up 12 percentage points from four years ago. The Gay and Lesbian Victory Fund says the number of openly gay officeholders nationwide doubled in the last four years to about 500.

The big question: how can the Republican Party continue to balance its "fam-vals" and civil libertarian wings? How can it lap up the bile at the Value Voters Summit (and applaud Bryan Fischer, who wants to bar gays from public office) while simultaneously running gay candidates? Can it sustain this schizophrenia?


  1. says

    “Can it sustain this schizophrenia?”

    The schizophrenia can survive as long as Democrats continue to demonize the people who disagree with them on fiscal, labor, environmental, (I could go on) issues.

    Because of this, there’s nowhere else for a libertarian to go. And the social conservatives, especially their kids, are becoming more accepting of gays every year.

    I think the “schizophrenia”, as you call it, is healthy. At a national level our country is made up of all sorts of viewpoints. If you come from a party where you deal with that every day you’ll find it easier getting those people to work together.

  2. Dana Chilton says

    DeMaio tries really hard to move the issue away from him being gay. He rarely discusses it and does zero… seriously, zero, to help the community in San Diego. He has a lot of pet projects like reforming pensions and limiting the power of unions but gives two shi**s about other gay people. Our current Republican mayor, Sanders, lead the city against prop 8, he speaks at events and makes appearances at the LGBT center. Sanders rides in the LGBT parade. Dumanis does the same..she is very involved and has a float in the parade. Dumanis is conservative and is gay and is proud of both. DeMaio stays clear of anything ‘gay’…if elected, he would likely be the first mayor to not be present at pride in over a decade.

  3. ynot says

    How? Because of kapos like DeMaio who stay silent and let the bullies and haters of the republican party run rampart. They are in their own dream world, thinking that their party accepts them because they play along and don’t utter a peep in protest while the rest of the gay population is bashed and threatened daily.

  4. AlleninSanDiego says

    DeMaio is a whore to the Repub mess. He does nothing for the community and treats his sexuality like a shameful stain. Dumanis, on the other hand, has been a community supporter and presided over the finalization of our son’s adoption as well as many other gay adoptions.

  5. Christian says

    San Diego, although Republican is very LGBT friendly. Does anyone remember the 65,000-85,000 crowd protests after Prop 8? I do. San Diego’s next mayor will be gay. Most likely Demaio. His initiative for public reform nailed it or him. He would need a major blunder to lose this one. As for the comment of Demaio not attending Prise or hiding his sexuality- open your eyes! He marched at Pride with his partner who also happens to own San Diego Gay & Lesbian News and SDPix Magazine- San Diego’s monthly “yearbook” who pages have no content except for pictures of hot guys at the bars and clubs. You can’t get much gayer than that!!!

    Ohh and one last thing- if you are in need of a long time gay activist to quote Nicole’s Ramirez should hardly be the activist to quote. Sure she has accomplished a lot in her lifetime, but she tears down the community more with her gossip column which is filled with biased and inaccurate information. Aside from San Diego gay and lesbian news, the city also has Gay San Diego, and a number of other online LGBT publications with unbiased and accurate information.

    Nicole Ramirez is the Queen of Mean & Gossip. Next time- reference an article that doesn’t take away from your story.

  6. wtf says

    yeah. if you need quotes, you should contact Amber Cyphers at the LGBT Center in SD.

    Oh…and I wouldn’t vote for Bonnie Dumanis, period. She’s simply not well-informed enough to be a mayor, has NO ideas about what to do about SD’s problems, has changed her opinion on some major issues (which REALLY made her come off as weak) and personally comes off as a holier-than-thou bee eye tee see H.

  7. SK says

    What about Bob Filner, it seems like he’s really atoned for the mistake of voting for the Defense of Marriage Act ever since then. And he has many years of experience in politics. What is the consensus on him?

  8. says

    “A nationwide Gallup poll in June showed 67 percent of voters surveyed would elect a gay president, up 12 percentage points from four years ago.”

    Any question along the lines of “would you elect a president who is X” are virtually meaningless as far as predicting actual voter behavior. In this case, especially, where there is a Bradley effect on sexual orientation.

  9. TampaZeke says

    @DAVID R, why does that amaze you? Because being gay is so much “worse” than being an atheist? I mean really, what is your point? This gay atheist wants to know.

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