Wednesday, August 20, 2008

Sex and Politics - Can't We All Just Love Each Other?

Shortly after posting my last blog entry, I received an email from one of my most avid readers, "you've heard the latest re: Manhunt ... ?" with an ominous looking link. Jonathan Crutchley was asked to step down as chairman of the board of Manhunt because of a $2300 campaign contribution that he made to Republican Presidential candidate John McCain. (Crutchley has also resigned from the board.)

McCain has stated his opposition to marriage for same-sex couples, gay adoption, and ENDA. He supports the current military policy of "Don't Ask, Don't Tell."

Crutchley's contribution may cause a backlash on Manhunt. Manhunt members are being urged to cancel their accounts in protest of the campaign contribution. One writer suggested a boycott. Others are suggesting that members use alternative web sites. The writers are a little shrill (read the comments at the end of the entry), a lot of heat, but little light on the issue.

And what is the issue? Does Mr. Crutchley's contribution mean that he's a bad, hypocritical, self-loathing man who is making evil dollars off of gay men who want to have sex with each other? I doubt it. And $2300 is nothing when it comes to campaign money. I think most of the writers just can't stand the idea that some gay people might be Republican (I do admit, though, that it is a rather odd phenomenon.)

A couple of issues seem important here. Mr. Crutchley can contribute to any candidate that he wants. I disagree with his choice of candidate, but Mr. Crutchley has his reasons, and he actually spelled them out in a response to a reader (see same entry, above). The other issue is the "ick" factor. Sex and politics are a pretty combustible mix. Was I supporting John McCain when I entertained my gentleman caller yesterday afternoon? Should politicians accept contributions from the owner of a sex hook-up site? Is the most intimate, personal act ultimately political?

Well, yes, homo-sex is political. Gay people are on the spot to protect their sexual lives, and their relationships. The pressure from the political and religious right is relentless, and will continue long after John McCain and Proposition 8. How much should our personal, sexual politics drive our social actions? Should gay men everywhere boycott Manhunt?

That, too, is a personal choice. Before you fire off an angry cancellation email to Manhunt, you should know that Mr. Crutchley was acting on his own behalf, not on behalf of his company. The company co-founder, Larry Basile, is a life-long Democrat who has done a lot of activist work for the community.

I won't be canceling my membership on Manhunt any day soon. Just like I'm not boycotting other companies whose chairmen and directors are contributing to John McCain's campaign. I don't make my decisions about which companies I patronize on the basis of the owner's campaign contributions. I'll cancel my membership on Manhunt when a better hook-up site comes along.


Chino Blanco said...

LDS (Mormon) 'Yes on 8' Game Plan

I've posted a letter sent from Boyd K. Packer on July 28th to the California LDS stake presidents:

BKP July 28

Apparently, there is a plan in place to put up one million 'Yes on 8' yard signs at 7:00 am on September 22nd.

Happy said...

I'm not quite sure why Chino Blanco responded to my post. Evidently my post has Proposition 8 written all over it. Maybe Chino knows about my Mormon past. In any case, the Mormons are at it again in California. Read the BKP July 28 link. Then weep about separation of church and state. The LDS church is intruding on the state affairs of California.