Barbara Venezia...
Stirring the pot of controversy
 one column at a time...
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Rohrabacher’s anti-LGBTQ comments fall

On indifferent Republican ears

6/1/2018


Think before you speak.


Roseanne Barr and incumbent Rep. Dana Rohrabacher (R-Costa Mesa)

 are two examples of public figures unwilling — or unable — to take this

 wise advice.


Barr blew up her career this week over a racist tweet.


Rohrabacher, addressing a group of Realtors, may have done the same 

when he said it’s OK for homeowners to decline to sell their properties to buyers 

whose LGBTQ “lifestyle” doesn’t align with their beliefs.


Or maybe not.


 Judging from the OCGOP’s lukewarm reaction to his discriminatory

 comments, it may not affect him at all.

Disney-owned ABC took appropriate action, quickly canceling a hit TV

 show, which sent a strong message that its star’s inappropriate behavior

 would not be tolerated.


This week I asked the chairman of the Orange County Republican Party, 

Fred Whitaker, if the party would take any action against Rohrabacher

 following his statements since the OCGOP endorsed his re-election.


“Dana Rohrabacher is the endorsed candidate for election to the 48th

 Congressional District for both the OCGOP and the CAGOP and has 

been since December,” Whitaker said in an email. 


“Congressman Rohrabacher has issued a statement on the bill in question.

 I refer you to that statement.”


The bill to which he refers, House Resolution 1447, “the Fair and Equal 

Housing Act,” would expand protections based on sexual orientation and 

gender identity. 


It’s already illegal not to lend, sell or rent property based on race, color, 

religion, gender or national origin.


The Realtors had asked Rohrabacher to support the bill expanding those 

protections to the LGBTQ community.


While Barr’s statement had dire consequences in the entertainment business, 

no one in Republican politics is publicly distancing themselves from 

Rohrabacher.


On May 23, before Rohrabacher made his comments, Orange County 

Supervisor Michelle Steel penned a lengthy endorsement commentary in 

the Daily Pilot touting her support for Rohrabacher, a “trusted friend,” 

“godfather to her second daughter” and “… the best man for the job.”


I called Steel’s office this week to see if she still supports Rohrabacher in 

light of his stance. I didn’t get a response.


I don’t know Rohrabacher personally, but I spent a substantial amount of

 time with Barr in the early 2000s and never heard her make a racist 

comment until that tweet appeared.


She’s a comedian with no filter, which is an unfortunate part of her complex personality.


Tweeting in the middle of the night on Ambien was just plain stupid, and

 she’s old enough to know better. 


But at least she apologized.


When I first read Rohrabacher’s comments, I thought they were stupid as

 well and figured he’d recant.

He didn’t. 

He’s unapologetic.


Rohrabacher’s campaign spokesman told CNN that the congressman 

“does not believe the federal government should force those with strong 

religious convictions into a personal or business relationship that is contrary 

to their religion.”


Rohrabacher himself told the Orange County Register that he meant what he said.


“We’ve drawn a line on racism, but I don’t think we should extend that line,” Rohrabacher said, according to the newspaper. “A homeowner should not be 

required to be in business with someone they think is doing something that is immoral.”


So what does former Assemblyman Scott Baugh — Rohrabacher’s chief 

Republican opponent in the 48th Congressional District primary — think of

 his opponent’s latest comments?


Was he jumping for joy in his living room as I imagined?


Baugh said, “It’s an absurd position” Rohrabacher is taking here since

 “selling real estate is a commercial transaction.”


Though I don’t condone what Barr wrote, let’s face it, she’s just a comic,

 not a 30-year congressman who can‘t figure out that housing discrimination 

based on sexual orientation is similar to racial discrimination, 

that “the line” he describes between these two fair housing issues needs

 to be erased.


Unlike ABC’s swift actions, the OCGOP is choosing to do nothing about

 Rohrabacher. 


At least the National Assn. of Realtors withdrew its endorsement.


Will voters follow suit Tuesday and kick this guy to the curb?



Think before you speak.

Roseanne Barr and incumbent Rep. Dana Rohrabacher (R-Costa Mesa) are two examples of public figures unwilling — or unable — to take this wise advice.


Think before you speak.

Roseanne Barr and incumbent Rep. Dana Rohrabacher (R-Costa Mesa) are two examples of public figures unwilling — or unable — to take this wise advice.