Friday, November 10, 2006

Gay Old Party

Los Angeles Times: "Hankwitz said that he is not bothered when people assume he is straight and that being gay is seldom an issue on the campaign trail. Of the hundreds of e-mails he has received, he said just four have been hate mail.

'The only ones who bring it up are gay Democrats who have a problem with the fact that I'm a Republican,' he said, adding that those writers have accused him of being the equivalent of a black KKK member or a Jewish Nazi.

Hankwitz said he likes to introduce himself to groups as a gay candidate.

'I want to make sure that there's never an appearance I'm hiding anything, so people know who they're dealing with,' he said. 'It's a matter of fact, and it's information of interest to some people.'

Outside the deli, Hankwitz approached a man who described himself as a communist and said President Bush and the Republican Party were 'butchers' for their roles in the Iraq war. 'I advise you to get out of the Republican Party,' the man told him. 'At least become a Democrat.'

Hankwitz nodded and thanked him for sharing. Then he turned and rolled his eyes.

In fact, Hankwitz used to be a Democrat but switched parties in the late 1990s after listening to conservative talk radio host Dennis Prager.

'It was something he said,' Hankwitz said. 'I don't remember exactly what it was, but for the first time I thought, 'Now I understand what Republicans really are about, that they care and they're inclusive.' I was so proud to have gotten it.'"

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