Dana Watch: The Anti-Pride Candidate

Illustration by Bob Aul

On June 13, which was eight days after he received more votes than any other candidate in the 48th Congressional District primary election race, Representative Dana Rohrabacher (R-Putin’s ballot box) drew a crowd to Laguna Beach.

But the 40 or so people huddled by the Main Beach lifeguard station were not there to cheer him on to victory in November’s general election. Most carried signs with messages such as these: “OC rejects Rohrabacher bigotry,” “Not my values, not my representative” and “Dana, stand up for your district, not for discrimination.”

Demonstrators had been invited by activists from ACLU-OC, Indivisible OC48, Orange Coast Unitarian Universalist Church, Women for American Values and Ethics, Orange County Equality Coalition, Orange County Young Democrats, Organizing for Action-California, SoCal Healthcare Coalition, and HB Huddle. All were horrified by Rohrabacher having told Orange County Realtors in May that home sellers should be able to reject offers based on a potential buyer’s “lifestyle.” That lost his campaign financial support from the National Association of Realtors.

However, it’s not really surprising when you consider the votes he has cast since joining Congress in 1989. For instance:

1993: He voted against the Don’t Ask Don’t Tell policy.

1995: He voted for Don’t Ask Don’t Tell, now arguing it should be up to the president and his advisers to decide who can and cannot serve.

1996: He voted to ban federal recognition of same-sex marriages and authorize states to do the same.

2004: He voted for a constitutional amendment to ban same-sex marriage. (It failed to get the required two-thirds majority to pass.)

2007: He voted against one bill banning job discrimination based on actual or perceived sexual orientation and another expanding the federal hate-crime law.

2011: He voted for the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA), which prohibited same-sex couples from receiving federal benefits.

2013: He voted for separate bills to remove Violence Against Women Act protections for LGBT individuals and to continue funding the legal defense of the DOMA.

2015: He voted for the second time against repealing Don’t Ask Don’t Tell.

2016: He voted, in multiple bills, to allow discrimination of LGBT individuals by religious groups; Washington, D.C., private schools; and federal contractors and subcontractors.

Got Dana Watch fodder? Email mcoker@ocweekly.com.

Matt Coker has been engaging, enraging and entertaining readers of newspapers, magazines and websites for decades. He spent the first 13 years of his career in journalism at daily newspapers before “graduating” to OC Weekly in 1995 as the paper’s first calendar editor. He went on to be managing editor, executive editor and is now senior staff writer.

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