Originally published on Advocate.com August 16 2003 12:00 AM ET
A gay couple involved in the leadership of the Santa Barbara County [Calif.] Democratic Central Committee have resigned in protest of what they call "backroom dealing and backstabbing."
Keith Coffman-Grey, former committee chairman, and Neil Coffman-Grey, former secretary, had earlier this year criticized state assemblywoman Hannah-Beth Jackson for opposing a gay-marriage bill. The committee, apparently without the consent of the Coffman-Greys, sent a letter to Jackson apologizing for the Coffman-Greys' behavior. In an August 12 memo to committee members, Keith Coffman-Grey stated his objections to the letter, saying a draft for the letter was never put to a vote and demanding the resignation of Rebecca Carey, committee vice chairwoman.
"I am appalled by the 'behind-the-scenes' behavior," Coffman-Grey wrote in his memo. "This is the type of schoolyard politics that has turned people away for years from your central committee and made it an ineffectual body. In all the history of gays being at the fringes of society, and even today when we are treated like dirt by the president and pope alike, who feel we are expendable and without honor, we thought the Santa Barbara County Democratic Central Committee, who we thought of as friends as well as allies...would stand up [to oppose] injustice against gay and lesbian people."
Members of the committee said Thursday that they had asked the Coffman-Greys not to resign.