Play Live Radio
Next Up:
Available On Air Stations
KPBS Midday Edition

Why Did San Diego's LGBT Community Support Filner?

Political Changes in Gay Community
Why Did San Diego's LGBT Community Support Filner?
GUESTSStampp Corbin, publisher, San Diego LGBT WeeklyNicole Murray Ramirez, community activist

The fact that many in San Diego's Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender community did not support the openly gay candidate, Carl DeMaio, for mayor of San Diego this past November attracted a lot of attention, even from the New York Times.


DeMaio did not get approval from community leaders angry at his acceptance of financial support from developer and U-T San Diego owner Doug Manchester, who also backed Proposition 8, the 2008 ban on same-sex marriage.

Nicole Murray Ramirez, a community activist, told KPBS the vast majority of LGBT leaders in San Diego did not support DeMaio.

"When Carl DeMaio not only accepted money from right wing and homophobes and never spoke out against their stance, when Carl DeMaio went around with the Tea Party," he said.

He said DeMaio's refusal to vote for a City Council motion calling for a repeal of the Arizona immigration law was also a factor.

"The defeat of Carl DeMaio was not a defeat for the gay community," he added.


Ramirez said the gay community loves current Mayor Jerry Sanders, and said he expects Mayor-elect Bob Filner to champion issues they hold close.

During the campaign, some said Filner made an effort to "gay bait" DeMaio by reminding voters of DeMaio's sexual orientation, but Stampp Corbin, the publisher of San Diego LGBT Weekly, disagreed.

"They call it 'gay baiting.' Well you can't African American bait me," Corbin said. "I'm African American everywhere I go, I'm African American whether I'm north of the 8, south of the 8, in East County, at the coast, I'm African American. And I'm also gay in all of those places.

"To say that Filner was trying to bring out the fact that Carl is gay, Carl should have, and what would have been appropriate, was be honest and open at every place."

Local community leaders are also awaiting the U.S. Supreme Court's decision on whether to accept appeals of rulings overturning the Defense of Marriage Act or California's Proposition 8.

The California Legislature now has a super-majority of Democrats in both houses, which arguably could make it easier to enact legislation advocated by LGBT voters.

Corrected: June 10, 2023 at 11:19 AM PDT
Claire Trageser contributed to this report.