A number of high-ranking DNC officials are starting off the new year with depositions in a discrimination lawsuit filed by former LGBT outreach director Donald Hitchcock. The lawsuit is the result of claims by Hitchcock that he was fired from his position with the DNC after his partner Paul Yandura publicly criticized the DNC for its anemic efforts on behalf LGBT civil rights.
Gay Discrimination Lawsuit Against DNC Moves Forward
Hitchcock was fired less than a week after Yandura's criticisms became public. According to Hitchcock, the Gay and Lesbian Leadership Council, of which he became the director in June of 2005, was created specifically to raise funds from LGBT supporters. The Party, he says, had no interest in being politically involved in LGBT issues otherwise.
The lawsuit charges that Hitchcock was paid less than his counterparts in comparable positions, while never receiving staff support or a budget. According to FEC records, his bi-weekly pay was $2,156, while the other directors were paid $2,508. The suit also says that Hitchcock, before his firing, was held personally responsible by Ms. Tagen for, and threatened over, Mr. Yandura's statements about the Democratic Party. Dean, Tobias and Tagen, Hitchcock charges, began spreading rumors within the Party in an attempt to discredit him, he claimed.
This is one issue that the DNC does not need as we are headed into the primaries that are going to decide the nominees for the presidency. It surprising that they put themselves in this position. The LGBT community has been among the most loyal constituencies for the Democratic Party and with the chance of increasing their majorities in Congress the DNC needs to settle this issue quickly and effectively.