Is it wrong for Democratic volunteers in a local Virginia legislative race to point out to Republican voters that the GOP candidate is openly gay (when his orientation isn’t stated in his campaign bio)? Patrick Forrest is running for the Virginia senate and (as reported in the Washington Blade) is “accusing his Democratic incumbent opponent of engaging in gay-baiting tactics, an assertion supported by an audio recording obtained by the Washington Blade of inflammatory remarks made by a Democratic volunteer.”
The Democrats argue that if Republicans were not homophobic bigots (and racist, and sexist, and all things morally inferior), it wouldn’t matter. But I tend to agree with A. Barton Hinkle of the Richmond Times-Dispatch that what these Democrats are doing is more like reinforcing the hidebound attitudes of certain Republican voters for partisan advantage, and being disingenuous about it to boot.
Strategically, it’s good to have gay Republicans elected to office, where their presence serves to counter their party’s anti-gay sentiments. Democrats, of course, put the interest of their party first. But that doesn’t mean antics like this should get a free ride.
More. The president of the DC chapter of the Log Cabin Republicans weighs in.