A Republican candidate for the U.S. Congress is getting attention after posting a campaign ad that for a brief moment — if you look closely — shows him holding his partner’s hand. Carl DeMaio, whose past seems behind him now that he has become what for now is a novelty — a gay Republican candidate running for national office — is getting national attention from the mainstream media, including the Wall Street Journal.
“Carl DeMaio is a former San Diego council member but it’s as a Republican congressional candidate that he’s doing something nobody has done before: appear in a campaign commercial with his same-sex partner,” the Journal reports, under a photo of him holding up a large rainbow flag.
For the record, former State senator Ed Murray, who wrote Washington’s marriage equality law and is largely credited with its passage, ran for and was elected mayor of Seattle. His campaign ad included shots of him with his fiancé.
“Mr. DeMaio on Thursday will take a step that none of them has, airing a campaign ad that features a shot of him with his same-sex partner,” the Journal adds.
The clips are brief: A shot of Mr. DeMaio holding hands with his partner, Johnathan Hale, as they march in a gay pride parade in 2012, followed by a clip of the San Diego candidate waving a rainbow flag that symbolizes the gay-rights movement.
For all this — holding his partner’s hand, and holding a rainbow flag — the Wall Street Journal claims DeMaio is “highlighting his sexuality.”
Were DeMaio straight, and shown in a campaign and holding his wife’s hand, would he be accused of “highlighting his sexuality”?
Of course not. In fact, it’s rare for a congressional candidate to not appear with their spouse in an ad launching their campaign.
DeMaio isn’t “highlighting his sexuality,” he’s living his life, with his partner, and supporting causes he believes in.
Former Congressman Barney Frank last year said that gay people “don’t talk about our sexuality any more than straight people do. The difference is when we talk about sexuality, it’s called ‘coming out.’ When straight people discuss their sexuality it’s called ‘talking.’”
To be fair, overall, the Journal piece is not negative or anti-gay — but words matter, especially words in the WSJ.
For all the attention the Journal gives to DeMaio being gay, it leaves out one aspect of his past.
Last summer, during the race to replace San Diego’s vile Democratic mayor Bob Filner, California Democratic state Senator Ben Hueso revived accusations he had found DeMaio masturbating — twice — in a a City Hall men’s public restroom in 2009, when both men were serving on the San Diego City Council.
DeMaio flatly denied the accusation, and took — and passed — a polygraph in late August of last year.
Will Americans ever know the truth? Probably not.
DeMaio is running in an attempt to unseat Democratic freshman U.S. Congressman Scott Peters.
Here’s DeMaio’s ad:
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