Candidate Survey: Public Advocate of the United States

When I first received the survey from Public Advocate of the United States, my jaw dropped. I have received some pretty outrageous letters and surveys before, but I just couldn’t be silent about this. Their website seems to be a repository of boilerplate nonsense, and it’s not really the focus of this post. If you want to visit, you’ll be treated to some pretty fringe things, so here’s some fair warning.

I chose not to participate in their survey. I couldn’t. It’s very hard to communicate with special interests and groups of people who do not enter into a dialogue honestly. It’s very obviously targeted to a certain demographic–a certain kind of candidate. I am pledged to being open and honest with people–with not hiding anything about what I believe and what I stand for. I will not pander to anyone. I’m not the kind of candidate that’s going to interact with a group that, well, you’ll see what I mean below.

I elected instead to send a letter. Their survey was hurtful; I have family, and many friends, that are LGBT. They’re not immoral, and they’re not seeking special privileges. They want equality–they want to be treated with respect, and dignity, just like any other person does. I think that they deserve that, without reservation. Groups like Public Advocate would like people to believe that there’s some great conspiracy, that a powerful and monied group of people is trying to usurp special rights and take away American values and destroy families. It’s a lie, of course. A rather malicious one that seeks to make certain citizens second class.

Fighting against this harmful and damaging rhetoric starts with people like you and me standing up and saying, “No, we will not discriminate against people because they’re different. No, we will not allow prejudice to harm and degrade human beings.”

With that said, here’s the letter, the survey, and my response.

Public_Advocate01Public_Advocate02Public_Advocate03Public_Advocate04And if you think I’m being too harsh about the “HON. EUGENE DELGAUDIO” thing, look at the return envelope that came with it.

Public_Advocate_EThis is the most direct I’ve been in a response to a survey. And I believe that it’s really important to be outspoken about these kinds of things. You have to stand up for what you believe–for what’s right. That’s my promise–I stand up for what is right, regardless of politics, or elections.

Like always, if you’d like to leave me some feedback or have a discussion, you can engage me in the comments section or send an email to jderke2014@gmail.com.

Thank you for reading.

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49 thoughts on “Candidate Survey: Public Advocate of the United States

  1. Didn’t the KKK think of themselves as “public advocates”, speaking for the views of ordinary white men? And they were, arguably, more correct in their point of view.

  2. You missed one thing, that has had a massive effect on British politicians.

    Listen to Married Gay People. You may have to travel more than ten miles to find some, but hear them speak about how marriage has brought stability and commitment into their lives. Conservatives like those two words, right? Ours certainly did.

    • I think that’s also a pretty good suggestion, Michael. Thank you. It certainly helps when you actually listen to people. And, if you read a few of the court cases that have overturned state gay marriage bans, you’re going to find language that talks about how gay couples who decide to adopt provide a lot of stability. I think one of the relevant statistics is that for ever 1 child in foster care in the US, there are 5 gay and lesbian couples that want to adopt.

  3. Excellent comment and response to Delgaudio. If I were a resident of your state, I would certainly vote for you. As it stands, as part of a bi-national gay couple together for over 27 years, our legal marriage 9 years ago, after it became legal where we live, has provided us with much dignity, peace of mind and equal access to the same rights and responsibilities as opposite-sex couples before the law. When I was hospitalized after a serious accident, my husband was fully recognized and accepted by hospital staff and subsequently by the rehabilitation center. It does make a difference. We are grateful for enlightened politicians like you.

    • Thank you, for both the encouragement and for telling your story. I think that it will take a greater awareness of the stability and support that marriage can offer to gay and lesbian couples for more people to change their minds about it. If they’re more aware of stories like yours, and if they’re not close-minded or bigoted, I believe that they’ll change their minds.

      I’ve actually seen it happen. It gives me hope.

  4. “Pro family is standing by your gay brother” – my brother and his husband are wonderful foster parents to two boys, one autistic and one with learning difficulties. They are very lucky kids to have such a great pair of dads. Good luck to you Josh, from the UK.

    • Thank you very much. One of the benefits of allowing gays and lesbians to marry and adopt children is that they’ll be making a conscious, planned decision to raise children. They can give caring, nurturing homes to foster children.

      Thank you for sharing this with me.

  5. I wish I lived in Michigan just so I could vote for you! Well said, and I truly, truly hope that you go very far in politics. Thank you for sharing your response to these bigots, and thank you for standing up for one of America’s most marginalized groups. Please keep that flame of liberty alive in your heart as you progress through what I am sure will be a succession of offices in your future.

    • I very much appreciate the support and encouragement, Captain Cassidy. Social justice and matters of equality have always been important to me. I want to try to inject more empathy in these discussions–the kind of “walk a mile in their shoes” concepts to try to get people thinking outside of their own experiences, talking to people, and learning things.

  6. Sadly I do not live in Virginia so I can not vote for you. As a lesbian identified trans woman, I want to thank you for your support and for a brilliantly written response. I only wish that more politicians showed the courage you have. Thank you and best of luck to you in your quest for office.

  7. All the best to you and your campaign. It warms my heart that there are politicians with integrity and true morals in our system. I only wish I could vote for you. Hopefully your future constituents wil recognize what a jewel they have the chance to vote for.

    • Thank you very much. There are others in the legislature that are doing some good work on this front. The House Speaker recently said he didn’t want to include trans protections (he thinks they’re unnecessary) and the Senate Minority Leader, Gretchen Whitmer, really blasted him on that. And she’s right, of course: trans people need support.

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    • It was such an outrageous survey that I couldn’t just ignore it. It needed a strong response–and I hope that I articulated my position well enough for people who read it. I never thought I would reach someone like Delgaudio; but there are others out there who will be receptive of a message of inclusion, tolerance, and equality.

  9. Pingback: Dem candidate for Michigan’s 93rd House District sends epic response to anti-gay hate group | Eclectablog

  10. Thank you for writing (and posting) your reply to Eugene Delgaudio’s letter and “survey.” Your did an excellent job of refuting his lies and pointing out his hatred and bigotry. I think that letter is one of the best dealing with those subjects that I’ve seen in a long time.

    You might like to see how well received your response was on Daily Kos http://www.dailykos.com/story/2014/09/27/1332788/-Dem-candidate-for-Michigan-s-93rd-House-District-sends-epic-response-to-anti-gay-hate-group

    Best of luck with your campaign, you are doing Michigan proud!

  11. Thank you for sharing this epic slapdown of Mr. Delgaudio. My husband and I happen to reside in the county where he holds office – he is in fact the only known elected official in the nation who also runs a hate group. We’ve been observing his nonsense for years.

    My assessment is that he is a charlatan and a sociopath, and incapable of guilt or shame. He has actually admitted – off the record, of course – that he doesn’t really believe or care about the preposterous things he says. His only objective is raising money from the fearful, ignorant demographic he has targeted. Thank you again for giving his scam a bit more exposure.

    • And thank you for the support and encouragement, David. I’ve been forwarded some of his most recent emails so I have some idea of how he operates.

  12. Read about your epic response on DailyKos and had to stop by with applause. We need more people like you in politics. Let me join many others here to say I wish I lived in Michigan so I could vote for you.

    One thing that struck me about the original letter – how bullying and blackmailing it was. “No response means that you’re in the pocket of the Homosexual Lobby”; what nonsense. I wonder how many people filled it out just so they wouldn’t be targeted by this hate group.

    Thank you for your courage in exposing them to the light of day (and to some mockery).

    • Hello Susan!

      I’ve received other surveys that were bullying and blackmailing like that, but they’re usually for gun rights and similar issues.

      When I first read it, I realized I couldn’t ignore it. I had to write a letter and outline just everything that’s wrong with it. I’m glad that people are seeing the survey and sharing it, though, because they need to be exposed.

  13. Pingback: Delgaudio Comes to Michigan

  14. Mr. Derke, this is on of the best responses I have read in quite some time. I have been getting Eugene’s crazy emails for several years and he is seriously disturbed. If I lived in your district you would certainly get my vote. Keep up the excellent work.

  15. Superior letter/response. The one thing I would have mentioned is that Mr Delgaudo, his group and people and groups like his are the one’s doing the greatest harm and damage. His and their groups promote hatred and that is what does emotional damage to Gays & Lesbians, especially to young one’s just learning and coming out, just look at the suicide rate of young gay people. And he fuels hatred among those that are ignorant or less educated that incur assaults on gays

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  19. Thanks so much for having the courage to treat the survey with the disdain that it deserves. I hope that the voters in your district appreciate having a candidate who will tell them the truth about what he believes. Good luck in November!

  20. Pingback: UPDATED: Dem candidate for Michigan’s 93rd House District sends epic response to anti-gay hate group | The Fifth Column

  21. Josh, I have been doing LGBT justice work within and beyond the Church ( I am an Episcopal priest) for decades. This is my kind of letter, and you are my kind of candidate. If I lived in your district I would certainly vote for you. Blessings, and good luck, Anne

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  24. Pingback: Check Out This Michigan Candidate’s Awesome Response to Anti-gay Bigotry: READ

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  27. I’m sorry to say that you’ve just lost my vote, Josh.

    I share your outrage at the discrimination LGBT individuals suffer, and I share your desire to see them get the rightful protections due to them in a free and fair society.

    But as you say in your letter, “Pro-family is not demonizing and dehumanzing people because they’re different than you are. It is not labeling a group of people immoral because you don’t understand human sexuality.”

    And unfortunately, that’s precisely what you’re doing to pedophiles, demonizing and dehumanizing them because they’re different than you are, and labeling them immoral because you don’t understand human sexuality.

    Pedophiles are not the same thing as child molesters, and treating them as though they are the same is utterly unacceptable for a person holding a position of power. The overwhelming majority of pedophiles do not molest children, and this is something you should be aware of before speaking on the subject and certainly before hoping to make law.

    To reiterate, I have no interest in defending the bastards who wrote that survey, since they’re obviously not actually concerned about minor attracted persons, and are just using them as a bludgeon against another sexual minority they want to hurt by the association.

    I would have been 100% with you on the letter telling them off were it not for this issue, but you’ve crossed a line here, and until your position changes, I will no longer be voting a straight democratic ticket.

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