Thursday, November 1, 2012

The Gay vegans: Pro-Animal But Anti-Gay?

By Dan Hanley

It was many years ago but I remember it like it was yesterday. Rick Santorum, then a US Senator, was being honored by a national animal group. I was disgusted. It was like gay people were being kicked to the curb by this group. Betrayal in it's deepest, harshest forms.

I understand that animal groups are animal groups. They have a mission, one that does not include equality or even support for gay people. With so much animal cruelty going on in this country I totally understand that animal groups have to focus on their mission.

And I am one who works daily to be a voice for all of the voiceless. My mission includes speaking out against cruelty, hate, bigotry and intolerance in any form.

So what are animal advocates to think when a national group writes an op-ed in a national magazine, Veg News, in support of a candidate. Like everything we have to do these days, investigate.

If you are an animal rights activist and you support equality for gay people, I urge you to look into any candidate that is supported by a national animal group. I personally could never vote for or support a candidate for Congress who does not believe in equality regardless of what they may support or not support in Congress regarding animals.

A wonderful example is a positive note about Representative Mike Fitzpatrick from Pennsylvania. We know from the Veg News article that he is the lead sponsor of a bill to ban the trade of primates as exotic pets. We do not know how his Democratic opponent feels about this and, being solely focused on animals, we do not know by this account that he does not support marriage equality or that he received just a 5% grade from the Human Rights Campaign, a national gay rights group.

There is a similar note about Representative Michael Grimm, who was highlighted in the same Veg News article. He is against marriage equality. He has received a 0% grade from the Human Rights Campaign.

Of course HRC grades solely on how an elected official votes for gay/lesbian/equality issues. I get that. And i hope you get that a 0% or 5% grade means that they basically do not like gay people.

This blog post is just vegan food for thought. As I get to know many of our readers and supporters I know that they fight for animals and also believe in equality. Pro animal does not mean pro equality.

I want both in a candidate.

Please do not support anti-equality candidates, no matter what the national animal groups say.

Thank you so much for reading this!

This post originally appeared on Dan Hanley's website The Gay Vegans. Republished with permission.