Letter to the Editor: Fmr. Rep. Mark Foley is a Respected and Beloved Member of Our Community

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Mark Foley (left) and Nancy Brinker. Photo by J.R. Davis.

Dear Editor:

Next week on Get Out South Florida LGBT radio we are planning a discussion on how the LGBT community treats each other. It’s going to be called “Eating Our Own.” When I saw your recent issue with former U.S. Congressman Mark Foley and former Ambassador Nancy Brinker, who is also the founder of the Susan G. Komen for the Cure Organization, I thought that our topic could not be more timely.

This Congressman Foley’s voting record on LGBT issues:

  • He voted NO on Constitutionally defining marriage as one man-one woman.
  • He voted NO on a Constitutional amendment banning same-sex marriage.
  • He supported same-sex domestic partnership benefits.
  • More federal funding for healthcare.

Yet, your headline says “Diversity Honors Stirs Controversy with Conservative Speakers.” It goes on to quote Stuart Milk as saying, “I prefer to think about the 99.5% of people who don’t know who Mark Foley is.” Also, you quote Lee Rubin, a former committee development chair at the Pride Center, as saying, “Nancy Brinker gave a shout out from the stage to disgraced Congressman Mark Foley who she brought as her guest.”

Obviously neither Mr. Milk nor Mr. Rubin know South Florida. Congressman Foley is a respected and loved supporter in South Florida AND the LGBT community. I suppose if either one of them had an opportunity to invited former President Bill Clinton to speak they would jump at the chance – despite the fact that he had an extra-marital affair with an intern and lied under oath to a Grand Jury, which eventually led to his impeachment.

Mark Foley is someone I admire, and yes, consider a friend and supporter of our community – as do many, many other people. He was an effective and reputable House member who went far beyond party affiliation.

These are the double standards that our community has – it regards political ideology as being more important than fact and record. We ask to be accepted yet, we “eat our own” – until we stop this ideological divide and see people for who they are – warts and all – then our LGBT community will not advance.

Sincerely,

Tom Hantzarides

Producer of Get OUT! South Florida


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