Barney Frank | Carl DeMaio | Chad Griffin | Maura Healey | South Carolina

Wednesday Speed Read: South Carolina, Gay Books, Maura Healey, Carl DeMaio, Barney Frank, Chad Griffin

BY LISA KEEN / Keen News Service


A South Carolina senate subcommittee recommended a budget that leaves out the House-passed cuts to public colleges using gay books. The chair of the subcommittee, Senator John Courson, told Associated Press he thinks books “should be up to the presidents of the institution and the board of trustees which the General Assembly elects.” The decision by Courson, a Republican, bucks the Republican-led House plan to cut $70,000 from the budgets of two state universities because they used gay positive books in their curricula. According to an Associated Press report Sunday, the Senate Finance Committee could begin debating the budget this week.


HealeyOpenly lesbian Massachusetts attorney general candidate Maura Healey racked up a string of endorsements recently from women’s PACS: EMILY’s List, Women’s Campaign Fund, Feminist Majority, and Barbara Lee. The Women’s Campaign Fund named Healey one of their 40 “Game Changers,” for whom they promise to raise $40,000. Feminist Majority President Eleanor Smeal called Healey a “trailblazer for women’s rights, civil rights, and human rights.” Emily’s List has endorsed Healey, as well as her former boss Martha Coakley for governor. Healey needs the support: As of April 17, Healey had $363,644 in her campaign coffers compared to her Democratic primary opponent’s $602,400.

CARL DEMAIO ON LGBT INTOLERANCE: quoted openly gay Republican U.S. House candidate Carl DeMaio about how he’s been received by opposite ends of the political spectrum: "I've found more tolerance, acceptance and inclusion from social conservative groups who have to reconcile that I'm a Republican who happens to be gay...versus the intolerance the LGBT leaders see me as a gay man who happens to be a Republican."


A just previewed documentary about the life of former U.S. Rep. Barney Frank includes a story about Frank receiving a letter from one of his former roommates at Harvard in which the roommate told Frank he was gay and had a crush on Frank. According to the Boston Globe, Frank was not openly gay at the time and feared that being so would hurt his political career. He burned the letter and gave the roommate no indication he was gay, too.


GriffinNew York Times reporter Jo Becker has defended criticism of her book about “inside the fight for marriage equality” (Forcing the Spring) by saying it’s about “one chapter” of that decades-long battle. Her chapter is the Proposition 8 litigation organized by Chad Griffin and his American Foundation for Equal Rights, which included lead attorney Ted Olson. Griffin was on MSNBC’s Morning Joe talk show Tuesday morning and was immediately tackled with a question about all the criticism Becker’s received for focusing her book squarely on Griffin as a sort of “Rosa Parks” for marriage equality. Griffin has issued statements vigorously acknowledging that he is not the lone hero of the marriage equality movement. He did so again on Morning Joe. Interestingly, his questioner was an old comrade from AFER –Nicole Wallace. Wallace served as a spokesperson for AFER when Griffin was in charge and she’s also worked for the Human Rights Campaign, which Griffin leads now. “What was so interesting to me,” said Wallace, talking to Griffin, “was to see how raw nerves were within the movement –that there were activists who were so offended by the attention paid to what I think a lot of people on the outside thought was a very important chapter.”

Watch the Morning Joe segment, AFTER THE JUMP...

© 2014 Keen News Service. All rights reserved.

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  1. Why do people find it so hard to understand that while Jo Becker now says her book is about one "chapter" of the movement for marriage equality, her book itself makes no such disclaimer and instead claims to be the whole story.

    Posted by: anon | Apr 30, 2014 7:58:19 AM

  2. It is about 'one chapter' and Chad Griffin & the bunch did have a lot to do with this very important period... what's the big deal.

    Everyone is/was free to write a book... so get on with it! At this point, it all feels like a 'piling on' to me.

    For all these vocal critics who have access to media and feel they've been slighted/overlooked, there are millions more, regular people that will be glad at least this chapter will be told.

    Posted by: pete n sfo | Apr 30, 2014 8:53:16 AM

  3. DeMaio's observation about how he's treated differently by some social conservative and some LGBQ groups is no surprise. The pragmatic and responsible conservatives are catching on to social/cultural changes and ant to align themselves in a more realistic political position. They want distance from the wingnuts. And too many folks on the other side of gay are either politically innocent or too doctrinaire to see the advantages of having a presence all over the spectrum.

    Posted by: gregorybrown | Apr 30, 2014 9:47:39 AM

  4. Carl DeMaio will always have "candidate" in front of his name.

    Posted by: Chadd | Apr 30, 2014 12:07:22 PM

  5. Chad Griffin will now always have this asterisk following him. He really let Becker put him in a tight spot with this one.

    Posted by: Sergio | Apr 30, 2014 12:15:08 PM

  6. The "Read" has video?

    Posted by: Randy | Apr 30, 2014 2:00:27 PM

  7. "I've found more tolerance, acceptance and inclusion from social conservative groups who have to reconcile that I'm a Republican who happens to be gay...versus the intolerance the LGBT leaders see me as a gay man who happens to be a Republican."

    Indeed. That would be because the gay platform doesn't explicitly scorn small government, but the Republican platform explicitly scorns gay equality. It's also no surprise that a Republican would publicly attack gays. The fact that he's gay himself is beside the point—which is his point. He only _happens_ to be gay. He wants to convince conservative voters that he's a Republican who happens to be gay, and the latter won't dictate his politics. Maybe he also hopes to convince gay voters that he's a gay man who happens to be Republican, and the latter won't dictate his politics, but that wouldn't make any sense.

    Posted by: JJ | Apr 30, 2014 2:05:24 PM

  8. I'd thumbs up JJ's comment if this crappy comment system had such a function.

    I thought there would be comments here about what a jerk Barney Frank was about the guy with a crush on him in college. Just in case you were thinking that, he was born in 1940. He was in college in the late 50's - early 60's - when the 60's was still the 50's. Early Mad Men days. If you weren't there you just have no idea...

    Posted by: emjayay | May 1, 2014 1:35:35 AM

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