When the local black community was at its most vocal and united in calling for a civil rights boycott of Cincinnati, the gay community didn't step up to support them. In fact, Stonewall Cincinnati fractured over support of the boycott.
"I think most in the African-American community who were involved in our own civil rights struggle felt that the broader homosexual community was silent," says the Rev. Damon Lynch III. "That community was not visible when civil rights violations were taking place, when police brutality was happening to the African Americans in this city, and they need to face up to that."
Gary Wright, chair of Citizens to Restore Fairness, knows the ball's in the gay community's court.
"I think that was very complicated because there were people on all sides of the boycott, in the gay community but also in the African-American community," he says. "I think there are clearly issues in which the gay community will be with the leaders in the African-American community, but I recognize that it's up to the gay community to prove it.
We're very, very thankful for the support we've gotten from all quarters of the African-American community, and there's no question we're mindful of that moving forward."
Other boycott proponents consider the damage permanent.
"Stonewall never cared about civil rights for anyone else but they want everyone else to care about their civil rights," says Coalition for a Just Cincinnati Co-Chair Nate Livingston.
PISSED OFF: The Cincinnati League of Pissed Off Voters has released its endorsements (www.indyvoter.org), and this ain't your father's endorsement slate. Unless your father thinks Larry Flynt could do a better job as Hamilton County Sheriff than Simon Leis Jr.
No, Flynt might not even know he's running yet, but the LoPOV is encouraging voters to write in his name for sheriff because "conservatives like Simon Leis who brag about overcrowding jails should not be running unopposed."
And why is Leis running unopposed? First blame an anemic Hamilton County Democratic Party. Second, find a candidate who wants to take on the man who's held that seat since 1987 and who won all sorts of name recognition (or notoriety) for taking on Flynt and Hustler so stridently that he was immortalized in the 1996 movie The People Vs. Larry Flynt. Not to even mention Mapplethorpe.
The LoPOV's other positions range from no on State Issue 1 ("Not only is it homophobic, what they aren't telling you is that this will affect heterosexual couples' rights to benefits for domestic partnerships") to yes for Kerry ("Yeah, he's not everything we could hope for but this administration must be ended before more damage is done") to "hell yeah" for Fanon Rucker as Hamilton County Prosecutor, Dr. O'dell Owens as County Coroner, Issue 3 and Greg Harris for Congress.
The Pissed Off Voters did their homework, endorsing more races than most other politically active organizations. But they went deep as well as wide. Witness their thoughts on Issue 4, the ballot initiative to get rid of property taxes.
"No more property taxes? Hmm, sounds good ... but wait. It's another dirty trick supported by racist, right wing extremists who aren't telling us the truth -- if it passes they will have to raise other kinds of taxes on those of us who already can't afford to buy homes and cars. Vote NO."
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