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Antigay Harold
Ford Jr. to chair DLC

Antigay Harold
Ford Jr. to chair DLC

Former Tennessee congressman Harold Ford Jr., who voted for the Federal Marriage Amendment when it was brought up for a vote in 2004 and 2006, became the new chairman of the Democratic Leadership Council on Thursday, the Associated Press reports. Ford, who lost his campaign last year to become the first black U.S. senator from the South since Reconstruction, also took pains to say he disagreed with the New Jersey supreme court's validation of marriage rights for gays. Ford's aversion to marriage equality immediately came under fire by gay rights groups, who noted that the DLC, a centrist group, has opposed antigay ballot measures on domestic-partnership benefits, civil unions, and other rights for gays in the past. The National Stonewall Democrats, for one, called on the DLC to affirm its opposition to such initiatives now that Ford is in charge. "We are asking the Democratic Leadership Council to affirm its opposition to antifamily constitutional amendments that have been championed by Harold Ford," Jo Wyrick, executive director of the Stonewall Democrats, said in a statement. "Antigay populism has failed just about every Democratic candidate who has tried to exploit it, and it has failed Harold Ford. The DLC should not allow such diversions that it has labeled 'cynical and desperate' in the past to corrupt the mission of its organization." She added that "the Democratic Leadership Council and Congressman Ford need to strongly affirm the platform of the Democratic Party and the past policy of the DLC in opposing these measures." Ford, 36, who represented Memphis for 10 years in the House of Representatives, lost a close race to Republican Bob Corker to replace Sen. Bill Frist, who retired, in November. He has indicated that he intends to run for office again in Tennessee. (The Advocate)

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