Two gay Republicans running for the D.C. Council this year are protesting the Gay and Lesbian Activists Alliance candidate rankings that were released Wednesday, which rate the Democratic incumbents higher than their GOP challengers on gay rights issues.
The election rankings, distributed to gay voters through the Washington Blade and other advertisements, are based on candidates' records and responses to a questionnaire.
In the Ward 1 council race, the GLAA gave openly gay Council member Jim Graham (D-Ward 1) a perfect score of a 10. But Marc Morgan, the GOP candidate in the race, received a score of 3.
"He agrees with GLAA on the issues but offered no substance in his questionnaire," GLAA said of its rating of Morgan. "We found only a minimal record."
Morgan sent out a statement today accusing GLAA of engaging in a "high school popularity contest. "
"As a gay man who has traveled across the country fighting for gay rights, I find it hard to believe that someone such as CM Graham can be three times as supportive of LGBT rights as I am," Morgan said. "I don't understand how any person who answered GLAA's questionnaire could be more supportive of gay rights than a gay man himself, but I suppose that is something the GLAA will have to live with should one of their "favorites" not win this election."
In the Ward 5 council race, GLAA rated incumbent Democrat Harry Thomas Jr. a 6, noting he voted for the same-sex marriage law even though he opposed a GLAA-supported initiative to relocate some gay nightclubs to Northeast. The Republican in the race, Tim Day, earned a 1.5 rating.
Day said it was "downright dishonest, to claim that Thomas could ever be more supportive" of gay rights" then he is.
"As a gay business owner, I fight for gay business rights every day," Day said.
Rick Rosendall, vice-president for political affairs for GLAA, defended the ratings, saying the organization doesn't "give points just for being gay."
"We don't discriminate on the basis of sexual orientation," Rosendall said. "They gave minimal responses and did not offer much evidence of a record for working on LGBT rights. I can't believe they think we should just give them points because they are openly gay."
- Tim Craig