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June 30, 1992: Reform Party's Perot alienates gays.

The recent controversial comments from the Reform Party's Jesse Ventura and party-hopeful Pat Buchanan are part of a tradition dating back to the Reform Party's inception. In 1992 The Advocate's John Gallagher examined the fallout from party founder and then--presidential candidate Ross Perot's announcement on ABC's 20/20 that, if elected, he would oppose gays in the military and would refuse to name gay people to his cabinet. "Gay political groups were quick to vehemently denounce [Perot's announcement]," Gallagher wrote. "The statement seems sure to end Perot's nascent support among gays and lesbians and to solidify gay support behind ... Gov. Bill Clinton. The statement may also damage Perot's popularity among heterosexuals, especially educated, affluent young people--a group that is key to Perot's electoral strategy."

Perot justified his antigay cabinet ban by saying, "I don't want anybody there [who] will be a point of controversy with the American people. It will distract from the work to be done." But as William Schneider, a political analyst for the policy group American Enterprise Institute, told The Advocate, "It's like saying that if most people don't want to live with blacks, it's fine to kick them out of schools and neighborhoods. If that's what he thinks, it means he's a crude kind of populist."
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Author:Romesburg, Don
Publication:The Advocate (The national gay & lesbian newsmagazine)
Article Type:Brief Article
Geographic Code:1USA
Date:Nov 9, 1999
Words:210
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