Sunday, October 24, 2010

Good For The Gays? Not Mary Bono Mack, Not Anymore


Palm Springs, California, once best known as Frank Sinatra's and other retirees' homes, is now one of America's most gay-friendly communities. So gay friendly, in fact, that they elected a proudly gay mayor, Steve Pougnet, who is legally married to his partner and is raising their two adopted children. And now Pougnet is running against the incumbent congresswoman, Mary Bono Mack. Bono Mack more or less inherited her seat when ex-Palm Springs mayor Sonny Bono died in a freak skiing accident. She was an airhead waitress at the time. She's an airhead congresswoman now, married to an airhead congressman, Connie Mack. Mack inherited an easy smile, a House seat, millions of dollars and a really dull mind. He and Mary live in his mansion in Ft Myers, Florida, although she ventures back to Palms Springs to make the locals think she lives there. She also tries-- or at least used to-- persuade her gay constituents that she stands up for their interests. But that was a long, long time ago, before she desperately threw her lot in with the teabaggers who threatened to end her tenure for being "too liberal."

On Friday the Human Rights Campaign (HRC) released their annual congressional scorecard for 2010. Bono Mack, once a favorite of the organization, wound up with a 39% (an F, no matter how you cut it). She may not be as bad as Virginia Foxx (R-NC) or Steve King (R-IA)-- or even her hubbie Connie (R-FL)-- but her votes in the last session were toxic for gay people and for their families. HRC scored Congress on 9 pieces of legislation:
1) Local Law Enforcement Hate Crimes Prevention Act (H.R. 1913)

2) Local Law Enforcement Hate Crimes Prevention Act Motion to Recommit (H.R. 1913)

3) Murphy Amendment to National Defense Authorization Act (H.R. 5136)

4) Souder Amendment to the Labor, Health and Human Services, and Education, and Related Agencies Appropriations Act (H.R. 3293)

5) Employment Non-Discrimination Act (H.R. 3017) (Co-Sponsorship)

6) Tax Equity for Health Plan Beneficiaries Act (H.R. 2625) (Co-Sponsorship)

7) Respect for Marriage Act (H.R. 3567) (Co-Sponsorship)

8) Uniting American Families Act (H.R. 1024) (Co-Sponsorship)

9) Early Treatment for HIV Act (H.R. 1616) (Co-Sponsorship)

She voted against every bill but three, the legislation for the early treatment of AIDS and two votes on Hate Crimes. The other six bills... as bad as anyone on this list of Congress' worst homophobes. Anything that smacks of equality for the LGBT community, from repealing DADT to anything remotely involving marriage and suddenly Bono Mack is... well a lot more Mack than Bono. Friday the more grassroots and less-DC Insider gay civil rights organization, Stonewall Democrats, endorsed Pougnet against Bono Mack.

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