Metro Weekly

Post Endorses NOM’s Nom in Ward 5 Council Race

From The Washington Post editorial board:

In Ward 5, first-term council member Harry Thomas Jr. is facing challenges from Kenyan McDuffie, Delano Hunter and Tracey D. Turner. With the notable exception of the courage he showed in voting for marriage equality, Mr. Thomas has been a major disappointment. He pretty much defined his role as trying to stop anything — no matter how sensible — sought by the mayor. He led the effort to prevent school facilities chief Allen Y. Lew from overseeing park projects and has been the union’s main champion in trying to thwart needed reforms in the schools and government workforce. Particularly distasteful was how he allowed racial demagoguery to derail the nomination of Ximena Hartsock as parks director.

Both Mr. Hunter, a community organizer with Brookland Manor, and Mr. McDuffie, a lawyer who worked in the Justice Department civil rights division, are better alternatives. We give the edge to Mr. Hunter, an engaging newcomer who is running a grass-roots campaign. He has an intimate knowledge of the needs of the ward and has smart ideas on how to tackle issues such as truancy and joblessness. Mr. Hunter is not a supporter of marriage equality, but he is not the homophobe his critics make him out to be, but rather someone who thinks there is a way to provide equality for gays while respecting the beliefs of religious groups. He said he would not seek to change the law.

Hunter attended the National Organization for Marriage’s “Summer for Marriage” D.C. final tour stop at the U.S. Capitol grounds on August 15. As noted by Bob Summersgill at the GLAA Forum, NOM then sent a mailer out in support of Hunter. He earlier received NOM support from fliers produced by NOM in opposition to D.C. marriage equality supporters, including Thomas.

[UPDATE: Adam Bink at Open Left follows up, noting how the Post‘s contortions are “muddying the waters” on its previous steadfast support for marriage equality.]

[FURTHER UPDATE: Gertrude Stein Democratic Club President Jeffrey Richardson writes:

The Washington Post’s endorsements or lack of endorsements in the September 14th DC Democratic Primary make on thing very clear, if you challenged Mayor Fenty or questioned schools Chancellor Michelle Rhee, “No Endorsement for You”.

Nothing made this clearer than the Washington Post editorial board’s decision to endorse Delano Hunter for the Ward 5 City Council seat dismissing his stance against marriage equality in the District of Columbia and his call for a referendum or initiative on the legislation and ignoring him having tied himself to the homophobic, hate filled, and offensive statements and actions of the National Organization for Marriage.

Check out his full post.]