Steve Bullock, Democratic Gubernatoral Candidate Joins the GOP in Anti-Equality Stance on Gay Marriage

by jhwygirl

Quite a dust storm kicking up over the gay marriage position articulated by Montana’s Democratic candidate for governor and current Attorney General Steve Bullock in a recent interview with Charles S. Johnson, Billings Gazette’s State Bureau Chief.

Bullock joined all seven GOP candidates in an anti-gay marriage stance, taking what he surely felt was the safest bet, siding with civil unions instead. From the Billings Gazette:

Bullock said, “I do not favor changing the constitution but would support legislative measures giving committed same-sex couples the opportunity to be together, free from discrimination.” This would include allowing a person to visit his or her partner in the hospital, he said.

The first response I saw was a post from Roberta Zenker of Transmontana, titled Just Say No to the Bullock. Read the entire post, please…and I’ll leave you with how Roberta summed up her feelings on Bullock’s position:

Please forgive my passion on this, but I am hurting. I have been wounded too many times by the results of colloquial thinking. My view is that the LGBT community needs to see itself as a voting block – one that has been denied far too long. I can no longer accept the default position of voting for Dems not because they support our interests, but because they are the lesser of evils. I am getting to the point that I prefer the poison that I know – one whose ideals and actions are susceptible to court challenge, rather than the one that lurks in the conference rooms and minds of hypocrites who accept my donations and volunteer work, but would throw me under the bus for the sake of political expediency.

Forgive that opinion? Hell no – I stand with her.

Today I see D. Gregory Smith with a post titled Steve Bullock Just Lost My Vote. What does DGS have to say?:

I have to say I’m very disappointed in Steve Bullock. Ironically, he apparently is unaware of the pain and suffering of LGBT persons in his state because of legislative discrimination (including a sodomy law still on the books)- or he’s unwilling to acknowledge us in the face of staying safe and winning votes. Barack Obama, on the other hand, has done some amazing things, like already (2 years ago) extending LGBT partner visitation rights in most hospitals. What has Steve Bullock done for us lately ever? Not much. I’m taking the Bullock sticker off of my car.

Bullock is running in a Democratic primary taking a GOP position on gay marriage. Taking a position that will likely be a variation of Mitt Romney’s when-he’s-backed-into-a-corner position on LGBTQ marriage equality.

And to be clear to those of you who think that civil unions and gay marriage are two in the same? They are not.

Are gays a voting block – you betcha. I understand a little how both D. Gregory and Roberta feel – as an environmentalist I feel like every cycle where we near an election, I am supposed to STHU about any criticism of the Democratic candidate because there are other issues more important. Does that compare to being denied rights that my friends and neighbors have? Not at all – but I make that comparison noting that for some reason, my concerns – just like D. Gregory Smith and Roberta Zenker’s – are somehow less important than other issues. Which I’ve come to realize over many years of voting is solely the issue of getting re-elected. We are not supposed to criticize the Democratic candidate because any criticism can harm that candidate in the general. Because the alternative is (most absolutely) far worse.

Because. Because. Because.

Because if you don’t vote for (the Democrat) it’ll all be your fault.

I don’t know how far this is going to take Steve Bullock this time. Democrats across the state have been given a fake candidate and a real candidate – the real candidate taking a position on what many consider to be what should very much be a civil rights issue. Does it harm him in the general?

Its a disgrace for the Democratic Party – and and absolute disaster for the Montana Democrats.

I won’t hold my breath waiting for electeds and officers of the above to express any dissatisfaction with Steve Bullock’s comments. It is, of course, election season – when those electeds and officers abide by the democrat’s version of Ronald Reagan’s Golden Rule: Speak no evil of fellow Democrats. At least during election season. Something I spoke about that a little here in this previous post.

Bullock’s lost my vote. His anti-gay marriage position has sealed it (I had issues with his Otter Creek vote also) for me. And as it stands now, not just for the primary but for the general. I decided some time back that I’m not voting the lesser of two evils.

I will only vote for progressives that are progressives. DINOs, especially, are out of the running for my vote.

Anti gay marriage candidates like Steve Bullock? Not a chance.


  1. Even if we feel we have to vote for a “lesser evil,” holding our nose, my personal rule on this is strict: DO NOT GIVE MONEY, VOLUNTEER TIME, AND GOOD WORD OF MOUTH TO CANDIDATES WHO OPPOSE CIVIL RIGHTS. Sorry for all those caps. Yeah, i feel strongly about it.

    • And part 2 to that rule is also crucial: let the candidate know you are withholding support and why.

  2. bas el ariah

    You’re part of a very small, sick minority. Who cares what you think? You’re probably not even legally qualified to vote.

  3. Eve

    Just reading the words, “gives us the right to visit our partners in the hospital.” ARE YOU KIDDING ME???!!!! How does anyone have the right to take that right away or make it an issues…This is all so crazy. I am going to marry the love of my life soon…yes, here in Montana…will it be recognized as “lawful”? NO…will I get any of the legal or tax benefits from marrying her? NO Yet, I will marry her because I love her and NO ONE can take that! Why is it so difficult to “allow” others to love who they love…I cannot imagine someone taking away the “rights” of a heterosexual couple based on some phobic idea that their love is wrong. Did you know that those who reside in prison for crimes such as rape, murder, drug dealing…they may marry a person legally at any time while in prison…I have never been to prison or jail, I have worked from a very young age, paid taxes all these years, and yet I cannot legally marry the woman I love. This system is so fubared that it needs to be torn down and reconstructed…Tracy Chapman says, “it’s time to start all over”
    I propose that each state representative be a person from the communiites…go to D.C. for two years to represent the people, do not get an astronomical salary, do not get benefits for life, just serve for your people…like on a jury…then when your time is up, you return to your community and the next person is chosen…no more big money for those who are to be representing us with no big money…let’s work for each other as it was meant to be.

  4. Adam

    I think you misinterpreted Bullock’s comments. I certainly didn’t interpret that quote to say that he even support civil unions. Having visitation rights at hospitals is not a civil union. Being together free from discrimination is not a civil union. My interpretation is that Bullock flat out doesn’t support allowing gay marriage or civil unions, and he threw in some doublespeak hoping that that he wouldn’t lose his LGBT support. Are you surprised to find a professional politician acting like a professional politician?

    Also, you’ve mischaracterized Bullock’s position as a “GOP position.” It seems anytime you disagree with a Democrat’s position you’re quick to call it a GOP position, conservative position, moving to the right, etc. Tell me, if it’s only a “GOP position,” then why, when the Democrats controlled the Presidency, US House, and US Senate, was gay marriage not legalized? There are Democrats on both sides and Republicans on both sides of the issue.

    Steve Bullock may very well support gay marriage, but he’s always been more interested in political gain than following his convictions. Bullock is just another degenerate member of the means justify the ends crowd.

    • I won’t disagree with you first paragraph at all Adam. I answer ‘no’ to your question at the end.

      I missed it where any GOP candidates or leadership called for gay marriage. At least there are a few Dems still fighting for equality. And if you read that article, it was about all the gubernatorial candidates. Bullock did take the GOP position. There’s little to dispute there imo.

      I see it as pretty factual.

      • Adam

        Ok. Fair enough. If you meant Bullock was taking the position of the GOP Gubernatorial candidates, then I misunderstood you.

        I still stand by my point. There are Republicans in favor of marriage equality. They are not running for governor, as you point out. The Democrats have used the LGBT community for political gain, sometimes (as in this case) without any real conviction to work on their behalf. Some people in the LGBT community have made a huge strategical error in blindly aligning themselves with the Democratic party and demonizing all Republicans. The truth is, there are a number of Republicans on their side, not so much in Montana as in other states though. I know many more would proudly step up if they weren’t routinely chastised. Besides, the best way to further your issue is to convince the opposition to change their mind, not dump piles of money into the wolves in sheeps clothing.

        When you’re a one issue or one party voter (or activist) you’re bound to get burnt, especially if your one issue is a wedge issue.

        What’s astounding to me is that there are people out there who have given money, volunteered time, and otherwise supported a candidate without even having asked questions about the issues most important to them. Did no one ask Bullock this question before? Seriously? Are Democratic events just pep rallys without any substance and no chance to vet candidates?

        Anyway, good for you for blogging about issues instead of strictly partisan garbage. You should teach the Cowgirl a thing or two.

        • I’m not a one issue voter Adam. That’s pretty clear just from this post alone.

          Within each party blanket there are always outliers. On both sides. Each party, though, has some basic principles. So yeah – but I’m not writing a dissertation here either. If you look at what I write and say overall, I think you know that I don’t think of ALL Republicans as bad just as I don’t think of all Democrats as bad.

          We need to break the two party system. How that occurs, I don’t know. The problem is that there’s little room for open debate and discourse under the current system. Us and them, internally. Disagree and you are a traitor.

          I’m a fan of the UK system. There’s an ocean of difference between the House of Commons and the House of Representatives in terms of debate. Here in the U.S. we have speeches given. Oh, there’s a back and forth but there are decorum rules that prevent actual engagement.

          If you have time on Sunday evenings, the House of Commons is on CSpan. Now that’s lively debate. Good luck trying to spin things – it’s not the most forgiving of atmosphere. The Brits do like lively debate…and it seems politically healthier to me.

          • Adam

            I know you’re not a one issue voter. When I said “you” I was referring more to a generic “someone.”

            You’re right…the two party system has to go. I don’t think that’s very likely. The most realistic fix, in my opinion, is for real leaders to step up within both parties, quit playing games, and get to work.

        • Ryan Morton

          As a big faggot, I totally love it when the Dems (don’t) use me and my friends for political gain. I only vote Gay. Obviously!

    • Karl

      One justification for calling it a “GOP position” is to compare the GOP and Dem Party platforms. They each have a plank that addresses this, thus, a position. Obviously, not all GOPers agree with their party, nor Dems, but when the organization has an official position on it, its a position.

  5. Dem Dame

    I see no one here appears capable of considering that a governor can’t change the constitution. So, there is that.

    • JC

      Well, duh [to your comment about a governor not being able to change the Constitution]. But where he stands on the issue, and how he leads as governor is important, no?

      Or is it not important to understand what our candidates think and believe, only to know that they aren’t as bad as the other guy?

      You sound just like the Puritopian basher.

      • Dem Dame

        Well why not ask him what bills he would sign and veto then? Thanks for the link to Wulfar’s post. I agree with him.

      • Wulfgar intentionally obfuscates my twitter feed.

        Liar.

        ~jhwygirl

        • Rob Kailey

          jhwygirl, I copy/pasted exactly what you wrote. That’s hardly a lie … on my part.

          • You are a liar & anyone that reads my twitter feed knows it.

            I can not believe you will come here & lie about that. It’s not like it isn’t still there for everyone to see.

            Liar.

            ~jhwygirl

          • Rob Kailey

            For the record, you could actually show what it is I am supposed to have lied about. What you “believe” or not is of no account. Show me to be a liar. You have the evidence at your disposal, right? Just post it.

            Have some sympathy for the non-Twitter users here.

            Or are you the one who is actually trying to “obfuscate” something?

            • I’d expect that someone being called a liar – twice – would actually make some effort to prove me wrong. Of course, since you are lying, you really can’t do that, cay you.

              Here’s a link to my twitter feed. Here’s a link to to the specific tweet in question that you intentionally obfuscated.

              “Bullock’s anti-equality message means less votes for governor of Montana. JUST SAY NO TO THE BULLOCK http://po.st/Zqwykq/ #lgbtq #noh8″

              JUST SAY NO TO THE BULLOCK is a blog post by Transmontana– verbatim – the title of the blog post. Then, of course, there is the link there to that blog post.

              But then again – you don’t even mention that. You just take D. Gregory and I to task.

            • Rob Kailey

              J’girl, your link doesn’t work. I didn’t take D, Gregory to task. That’s a lie. I took you to task for exactly what you wrote. Please do try again.

              • Let’s get this straight:
                1.) You obfuscated my post because you did not accurately repost my twitter post.
                2.) I did not know that the link didn’t work. No one said anything. That being said, I did post a link, and the link was to the article I have now linked to in the reply above.
                3.) If the link didn’t work, you should have said something – I’d of fixed it for you on twitter.
                4.) I had, by the time of that tweet, identified three issues with Steve Bullock. Please pay attention before shooting off and labeling me a single-issue vote.

                Now – do you really want to rehash the other two reasons for my “No” vote to Bullock? Right now, I’m sure Bullock and the party machine is thrilled that we’re all discussing Bullock’s failure to support equality.

                I’ll rehash it eventually – but I’m a little focused on equality, so you’ll have to wait.

                Or actually read back just a few posts. It’s all there.

              • Rob Kailey

                You’d best reread what I wrote. I never called you a single issue voter. I suggested that you are a multi-issue voter manipulating others to agree with you unless they aren’t worthy to agree with you. It kinda seems you’ve made my point for me.

                And just in the interest of justice, you still can’t say anything about what ‘facts’ I’ve gotten wrong. It would rather seem you’ve gotten your facts wrong, ‘jhwygirl’.

            • Rob Kailey

              I should clarify, the link in your Twit” doesn’t work.

            • Rob Kailey

              Now this is kind of funny:

              I’d expect that someone being called a liar – twice – would actually make some effort to prove me wrong.

              Expecting someone to react to lies is a wingnut kind of thing, and grossly arrogant. Faux News does that. Aaron Flint does that. Rush Limbaugh does that. The Havre Daily Corrupter does that. Jhwygirl does that. Just saying …

              • You are a liar. I have proven that. You can create your own reality, but facts are facts.

    • No one here said that. What are you talking about?

      ~jhwygirl

  6. Though Bullock’s comment is offensive, and anything other than pure equality for all is wrong. I think you would be mistaken to not vote for him in the general election, if your choice is between him and a Republican. Push for someone all you want in the primary. But voting for a third party progressive candidate in the general election, would effectively increase the probability that a member of a political party that wants to Criminalize Homosexuality would win the governorship. Which would be further from every sane person’s goals. Pragmatism must be considered.

  7. Buzz Feedback

    It appears just about anything can be rationalized as long as there is a “D” after a candidate’s name.

  8. But, D. Gregory Smith also said he would vote for Bullock in the general election. I absolutely agree that Bullock is wrong on this issue, but I respect Smith’s point of view. He wrote:

    I will vote for the Democratic nominee in the General Election (of course), but I want to vote with the candidate in the primary who most eloquently echoes my own position, and right now that’s Margolis.

    • I hope I didn’t suggest otherwise, Don. If I did, I didn’t mean to. You are correct – DGS was clear in those regards.

      • My reading comprehension decreases by the end of the week. If it’s not clear, it’s probably me. :)

  9. if you can’t say anything good don’t say anything at all……
    the following is my comment……..

    • to clarify. the above is in reference to steve bullock.

  10. RINO DINO

    I am sure that appealing to the extreme and rejecting DINOs is the wrong way to go to advance this agenda. What we have in common is always more powerful than that which alienates us.

    As for what is a GOP position or a DEM position, well, Roberta Zenker will vote for this old GOP-er.

  11. RinoDino

    Thought about this some more and the GOP should be ashamed of its platform supporting the law on the books, unenforceable, making homosexuality a crime. That’s such an extreme position for a platform that it does put all Republicans on the extremist hook.

    It’s legitimate to suppose that all the Republican candidates for Governor agree with this plank in the party platform. If not, they should say so. That should make it clearer for someone sympathetic to lgbt issues.

    Because AG Bullock is under no such cloud. But he has defended the state against the suit by the same sex couples. The waffles he’s serving up are politically wise in the sense that it’s certain that the marriage amendment passed a few years ago is still the majority opinion of Montana voters. Is that all it is, political expediency? Or does he lack a commitment to individual rights? Is it a lack of commitment to rights, or an unwillingness to take a principled leadership role?

    I don’t know. Sometimes leadership requires stepping ahead of the general consensus. Leaders can’t follow the crowd. The upcoming Rick Hill vs Steve Bullock race provides little choice for supporters of MM or same sex couples’ rights. That’s frustrating, but if decisions can’t be made on those issues, then we will have have to find other reasons for voting one way or another.

    Tougher for a RinoDino since I’m not a knee jerk D or R voter. I will look at a commitment to lowering taxes and cutting spending, respect for other individual rights like womens’ rights and property rights, and intelligent ideas about the economy. From my perspective,for various reasons, it’s still a toss up.

  12. Your post took guts, j-girl: you and Heather Margolis deserve my primary support.

    Best wishes to you and to lizard, whose post also verbalizes my own lack of confidence in Steve Bullock.

  13. Ryan Morton

    The Gays get thrown under the bus all the time in both parties. “Wait you turn, you silly Gays.”

    Anyway, I like the “Go Local” approach recently. Seems like some communities just get it. Hopefully, more statewide candidates will catch on in both parties so we can just be done with this issue. I just want to live my life, not be an ambassador for gay the rest of my life. But I will fight, with our allies, to my last breath for equality.

    Thank you, everyone who supports marriage equality. I love you more than you know even if I haven’t met you!

  1. 1 Another Single Issue Revolt « 4&20 blackbirds

    […] didn’t want to derail jhwygirl’s post taking Bullock to task for his political calculation to win an election, but this post is along the […]




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