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LiMandri email: DeMaio promised, LGBT not a priority


San Diego CityBeat reported yesterday that it had received a copy of an email in which a prominent supporter of City Councilman Carl DeMaio’s mayoral campaign says DeMaio “ … specifically promised me, as a condition of my support, that he would not push the gay agenda issues (including same-sex marriage) as did Mayor Sanders. Rather, he was emphatic with me that he did not believe that the mayor should concern himself with these issues as they are not his responsibility.”

Charles LiMandri, the purported author of the email, is an infamous figure in San Diego’s LGBT, progressive and allied communities. He was the attorney who brought the case against the San Diego Fire Department for “forcing” firefighters to march in the LGBT Pride parade. More importantly to many, LiMandri was the attorney for the anti-LGBT, National Organization for Marriage during the Proposition 8 fight.

San Diego LGBT Weekly has been reporting for several months about the fact that DeMaio has garnered and boasted of endorsements from numerous anti-LGBT equality activists and major financial backers of 2008’s Proposition 8, which outlawed same-sex marriage in California.

The list of donors and endorsers includes powerful right-wingers, such as local storage-industry multi-millionaire, Brian Caster, and former San Diego mayor and talk-radio host, Roger Hedgecock, as well as former judge Larry Stirling.

The LiMandri email was sent to anti-LGBT activist and “ex-gay,” Jim Hartline. In what may be the ultimate irony, Hartline turned over the email exchange to CityBeat because he felt LiMandri was undermining the conservative agenda by supporting DeMaio.

San Diego LGBT Weekly publisher, Stampp Corbin postulated in his Message from our Publisher entitled “Carl DeMaio: Selling his Soul in the Mayoral Race,” (March 15, Issue 69) that DeMaio sold out the LGBT community to get donations and endorsements from anti-LGBT advocates. Corbin believes this latest news confirms his earlier assertion.

“Is this what our community expects from our potential LGBT mayor?” Corbin asks. “Our issues will not be a part of his administration because it is not the responsibility of a mayor? New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg, former San Francisco Mayor Gavin Newsome, former District of Columbia Mayor Adrian Fenty and our current mayor in San Diego would disagree. Each of them advanced LGBT rights during their administrations.”

In fact, hundreds of U.S. mayors disagree with DeMaio, having become part of the Mayors for the Freedom to Marry, a group led in part by Mayor Jerry Sanders.

Leaders in the LGBT community, such as Corbin worry that, ironically, electing Carl DeMaio mayor could send the clock backward for local LGBTs.

“As the eighth largest city in America, should San Diego expect the same advocacy from our leader as is enjoyed by cities from Ft. Lauderdale to Tacoma, Washington; Hallowell, Maine to Los Angeles?” asks Corbin. “DeMaio needs to tell our community that LiMandri is a liar or that he made this deal for a $500 donation. Our community deserves answers before primary election day, June 5.”

Neither Charles LiMandri nor Carl DeMaio responded to requests for comment.

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