Windy City Media Group Frontpage News
Celebrating 30 Years of Gay Lesbian Bisexual and Trans News
home search facebook twitter join
Gay News Sponsor Windy City Times 2017-06-21
DOWNLOAD ISSUE
About WCMG Publications News Index  Entertainment Features Bars & Clubs Calendar Videos Advertisers OUT! Guide    Marriage

Sponsor
Sponsor

  WINDY CITY TIMES

Commercial Closet: Democrats Follow Corps In Targeting Gays
by Michael Wilkie
2004-11-10

facebook twitter google +1 reddit email


Gay issues were debated like never before and so were gay voters in the election. Echoing the growing interest of corporations in the gay market, the Democratic National Committee courted the gay vote nationally for the first time with hopes of growing their part of the vote. According to CNN exit polls, gay, lesbian and bisexual voters represented 4% of the vote in 2000 and this year ?% in this year's primaries). Although gays have already historically voted more Democratic than Republican, DNC director of specialty press Brian Richardson was looking to tilt the odds further in the November election. 'In 2000, one million GLBT voters cast their ballots for Bush,' Richardson says. The advertising plan was 'to reach out to those one million voters, as well as countless GLBT Americans who don't usually vote.' The DNC advertised in every issue of The Advocate since April 2003 with messages such as, 'One out of three gay couples has children … . Republicans believe they should be taken away' and 'Their Attorney General: John Ashcroft. Our Attorney General: Janet Reno.' 'The GLBT community is an integral part of the Democratic Party,' declares Richardson, calling the DNC ad campaign 'the largest (GLBT) outreach program ever by a major political party.' Still, 23% of the gay community supported George Bush—nearly the same as in 2000, at 25%—despite his support for a constitutional amendment banning same-sex marriage. However, Kerry picked up an additional 7% of gay votes over Al Gore, some gained from Ralph Nader defectors. Back in 2001, the DNC ran its first ad—a full-page listing reasons why gay voters should vote Democrat. DNC treasurer and GLBT community leader Andy Tobias first came up with the idea to target gays, Richardson explains. 'Those ads are part of a larger ad campaign to the GLBT community, which also includes placing ads in local GLBT publications and on GLBT Web sites.' Still, while the DNC consistently placed ads in the bi-monthly Advocate for well over a year, the ads never took up more than a third of a page. 'We want to advertise in national publications, but still have enough resources to purchase ads in local GLBT papers and online so we can reach the most voters in the most possible ways,' Richardson says. He reported feedback was strong and the DNC's GLBT outreach Web site &#40www.democrats.org/glbt/index.html& 'received a number of phone calls and e-mails from supporters looking to volunteer in their own neighborhoods after they first saw our ads in their local papers.' The DNC was not afraid of offending the undecided fence-sitters. 'Voters know that we are the party that fights for all Americans and that we believe in an inclusive America,' Richardson says. Marriage Amendments Heated Up Advertising With anti-gay rhetoric high this year, it was not surprising that the Republican National Committee did not follow the DNC's lead to advertise in the GLBT community. The RNC did not respond to repeated calls for comment. Not missing a beat, anti-gay groups were inserting gay issues into their advertising to affect the presidential race. The Arlington Group, a coalition of evangelical organizations, spent $2 million on newspaper ads in February and March to thank President Bush for his endorsement of the Federal Marriage Amendment. In October, conservative Gary Bauer began a $500,000 television ad campaign for Americans United to Preserve Marriage, which states John Kerry opposed efforts to stop gay marriage in Massachusetts and ends by asserting, 'John Kerry—too liberal for America.' The ad ran in battleground states Pennsylvania and Michigan, and the Human Rights Campaign says it is the first television political attack ad to use same-sex marriage in the presidential election. Over the summer, HRC itself invested in an unprecedented amount of print and TV advertising, over $1 million, to sway voters against the Federal Marriage Amendment and similar state amendments in Ohio, Missouri, Oregon and elsewhere. Also fighting the Missouri amendment, the Constitution Defense League ran a television ad in the final days before losing the vote. The gay organization Log Cabin Republicans, which did not endorse President Bush for the first time this year, ran its own first TV commercial against the marriage amendment featuring Vice President Dick Cheney. State politics have also used gay issues as hot buttons. Citing support by New York Sen. Charles Schumer and Republican challenger Howard Mills for gay civil unions, Conservative Party candidate Marilyn O'Grady ran a TV spot representing the men together atop a wedding cake. And Colorado Republican Bob Schafer's campaign to defend his U.S. Senate seat from Pete Coors accused him of supporting gays. Cynically, the DNC's Richardson offered that the RNC was targeting the GLBT community in their ads—but not to win them over. 'Instead of reaching out to GLBT voters, they are using us in a divisive and discriminatory campaign of bigotry.' He adds the DNC 'never takes votes for granted and these ads are one more way we can show GLBT Democrats that this is true.' (With reporting by Eric Noll.)

facebook twitter google +1 reddit email




Windy City Media Group does not approve or necessarily agree with the views posted below.
Please do not post letters to the editor here. Please also be civil in your dialogue.
If you need to be mean, just know that the longer you stay on this page, the more you help us.



Copyright © 2017 Windy City Media Group. All rights reserved.
Reprint by permission only. PDFs for back issues are downloadable from
our online archives. Single copies of back issues in print form are
available for $4 per issue, older than one month for $6 if available,
by check to the mailing address listed below.

Return postage must accompany all manuscripts, drawings, and
photographs submitted if they are to be returned, and no
responsibility may be assumed for unsolicited materials.
All rights to letters, art and photos sent to Nightspots
(Chicago GLBT Nightlife News) and Windy City Times (a Chicago
Gay and Lesbian News and Feature Publication) will be treated
as unconditionally assigned for publication purposes and as such,
subject to editing and comment. The opinions expressed by the
columnists, cartoonists, letter writers, and commentators are
their own and do not necessarily reflect the position of Nightspots
(Chicago GLBT Nightlife News) and Windy City Times (a Chicago Gay,
Lesbian, Bisexual and Transegender News and Feature Publication).

The appearance of a name, image or photo of a person or group in
Nightspots (Chicago GLBT Nightlife News) and Windy City Times
(a Chicago Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual and Transgender News and Feature
Publication) does not indicate the sexual orientation of such
individuals or groups. While we encourage readers to support the
advertisers who make this newspaper possible, Nightspots (Chicago
GLBT Nightlife News) and Windy City Times (a Chicago Gay, Lesbian
News and Feature Publication) cannot accept responsibility for
any advertising claims or promotions.

 

 

 

TRENDINGBREAKINGPHOTOS

Sponsor
Sponsor
Sponsor


 



Sponsor

About WCMG Publications News Index  Entertainment Features Bars & Clubs Calendar Videos Advertisers OUT! Guide    Marriage


About WCMG      Contact Us      Online Front  Page      Windy City  Times      Nightspots      OUT! Guide     
Identity      BLACKlines      En La Vida      Archives      Subscriptions      Distribution      Windy City Queercast     
Queercast Archives      Advertising  Rates      Deadlines      Advanced Search     
Press  Releases      Event Photos      Join WCMG  Email List      Email Blast     
Upcoming Events      Todays Events      Ongoing Events      Post an Event      Bar Guide      Community Groups      In Memoriam      Outguide Categories      Outguide Advertisers      Search Outguide      Travel      Dining Out      Blogs      Spotlight  Video     
Classifieds      Real Estate      Place a  Classified     

Windy City Media Group produces Windy City Queercast, & publishes Windy City Times,
The Weekly Voice of the Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual and Trans Community,
Nightspots, Out! Resource Guide, and Identity.
5315 N. Clark St. #192, Chicago, IL 60640-2113 • PH (773) 871-7610 • FAX (773) 871-7609.