Tuesday, November 17, 2009

NH Republican Radio Host Fired for Homophobic Rant, GOP Response Exposes Their Hypocrisy

Out New Hampshire Democratic Party Chair Ray Buckley and I share the same birthday. November 14. I got to go to Disneyland. He got to step into the line of homophobic fire from Republican radio talk show host Doug Lambert.
After his radio show "Meet the New Press" ended today, GraniteGrok.com co-founder Doug Lambert looked into a live web-streaming camera, mockingly wished state Democratic Party Chairman Ray Buckley a Happy Birthday and then called Buckley a "faggot" before basically wishing him dead.

...After co-host Skip Murphy said that he should probably shut off the feed, Lambert looked into the camera and said, "Speaking of gays, Happy Birthday Ray Buckley. Are you going to Holland or taking another trip with your buddies?"

He then dances in a way meant to mock a gay male and says:"Yeah you Faggot. [Pause.] That's right I said it and I meant it. You are reprobate. How the people, the Democrats, I think of some of the gray haired ladies and older people from the old party would stand behind you is beyond me. You are a disgrace to yourself to humanity to mankind and to your party.

"Other than that Happy Birthday Ray and many more -- not," Lambert continued before the feed was quickly shut off.
Condemnation came quick and fast.

Rep. Jim Splaine, who sponsored New Hamsphire's successful marriage equality bill, said "Ray Buckley has put up with a lot since he let others know he is gay. All of us who are openly gay are at times on the receiving end of such disgusting comments. Some of us receive hate mail or calls for what we do on our fight for equality. But in this case, Ray and the many others who have worked hard this year and in years past to achieve marriage equality in New Hampshire have a louder voice than this GraniteGrok co-host character. The majority of people in New Hampshire are on the side of equality and love, not hate and discrimination."

When GOP state representatives distanced themselves from Lambert, he attempted an apology writing, "To be blunt, what I said is something that never should have been said in any kind of a public setting, or, quite frankly, in a private one either. Being human, and an honest person that is used to freely speaking my mind, my passion got the best of me."

But it wasn't enough.

Nassua Broadcasting, the owner of WEMJ 1490am in Laconia, terminated its contract with Lambert's Meet the New Press on Monday. "Although the comments by Mr. Lambert were not aired on our station, we find the comments by him to be completely out of line and unacceptable, and we will not allow Mr. Lambert the opportunity to continue to air his show on our radio station," said Rob Fulmer, regional manager for Nassau.

On top of that, Ed Engler, the editor of the Laconia Daily Sun, announced his newspaper would no longer carry Lambert’s weekly column. Even more, Lambert is being forced to resign from county co-chairman position on Republican congressional candidate Frank Guinta’s campaign.

Lez Get Real reports that Ryan Williams, a spokesman for the Granite States GOP said, “Mr. Lambert’s comments were completely inappropriate, offensive and hurtful” and they “having nothing to do with the party whatsoever.”

This is where I pause. Really? Really?!

Is it just me, or does that sound a little hypocritical? Isn't it the Granite State GOP who is attempting to overturn New Hampshire's new marriage equality law? Isn't it New Hampshire's Republican legislators who want to strip the state's LGBT citizens of their new found equality? Isn't that just a disguised, "sophisticated" way of saying what Lambert barbarically ranted on his show?

Mr. Williams, your party's actions are also "completely inappropriate, offensive and hurtful" and they having everything "to do with the party."

So I praise Mo Baxley of New Hampshire Freedom to Marry for calling out John H. Sununu, Chairman of the State Republican Party and his silence on the controversy thus far, at a press conference yesterday. Back in April, he called both the marriage equality bill and a transgender rights bill "garbage."
While some Republican candidates and public officials have denounced Lambert’s offensive remarks, the silence from John H. Sununu, Chairman of the State Republican Party, on these hateful slurs is deafening. But his silence comes as no surprise. Over the past few months, he has crisscrossed the state using rhetoric not dissimilar from the hateful things Lambert said on his show. Although he has not used the specific slur mouthed by Lambert, John H. Sununu has continually railed against gay and lesbian families. He has described marriage equality as garbage, called on Governor Lynch to 'veto the garbage,' and accused Democrats of trying to impose a San Francisco agenda on NH dozens of times.

Make no mistake, Sununu’s repeated claims that equal rights for everyone would ruin NH is just coded language. And the sentiment he seeks to foster is no different from the politics of hate and fear expressed by Lambert on his show this past Saturday.

As a frequent guest on Lambert’s show, Sununu should denounce his despicable comments, pledge never to go on the show, and vow never again to use the issue of equal rights as a weapon to gain political advantage. Additionally, the Belknap County Republican website, which is run by Doug Lambert, should post a statement denouncing his comments and remove him from his position of authority. And the radio show WEMJ, which hosts Lambert’s 'Meet the New Press' radio show, should remove him from the air immediately.

I also want to make it clear that this press conference, and the actions we demand, are not about any one person. This is about a greater culture that has been created by John H. Sununu at the New Hampshire Republican Party. He has sought to marginalize the gay and lesbian community over the past several months by using hurtful rhetoric, and should stand against such discrimination. A failure to respond by Sununu, the Belknap County Republicans, and WEMJ would speak volumes. New Hampshire has a long tradition of rejecting discrimination and promoting equality. The libertarian streak in our state lends itself to freedom, and not hate. This type of behavior should be discouraged by all political persuasions—a simple apology is not enough.
ACTION: If you live in New Hampshire, find out who you're legislator is here and then call and tell them to reject these proposals. And if you happen to be represented by any of the sponsors, GIVE 'EM HELL!

To get more involved, go to New Hampshire Freedom to Marry Coalition.

Correction: Earlier, I had the wrong picture up of John H. Sununu. It has been corrected.

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