Back in January, I reported that an anti-LGBT Christian group has filed a ballot measure to gut Anchorage’s LGBT right ordinance, which was finally approved in 2014 after years of viciously fought battles. In that post I noted that two openly gay men, including longtime JMG participant Christopher Constant, are now running for the Anchorage Assembly (the city council). Alaska has never elected any openly gay person to any public office.
But hang on, over the weekend Dan Savage did some sleuthing and noticed that another candidate’s filing form shows that he is married to a man. Which is rather curious since this “highly favored to win” candidate, Albert Fogle, has the endorsements of local anti-LGBT politicians. So Dan called him ask about that and about why Fogle’s husband doesn’t appear on his campaign site or in his election materials. And oh yes, Fogle voted for Trump.
Albert Fogle: I’m an openly gay guy, and I’ve got nothing hide. It’s what I am, but who I am is really more important to me. That’s just one facet of my life, it’s not the major thing. It’s just like being a son or a grandson or a brother. To me it’s not a big deal.
Dan Savage: You have supporters who have been vocal opponents of LGBT civil rights. I’m thinking of Amy Demboski, a member of the Anchorage Assembly and a rightwing talk show host, and Chris Birch, a former member of the Anchorage Assembly. They’ve both voted against protections for LGBT people, they both oppose marriage rights, and Amy Demboski in particular has said despicable things about gay men.
AF: They have, but things are coming around, and people are understanding that issue better. People’s minds change.
DS: Have their minds changed? Have Amy and Chris’s minds changed?
AF: Oh, no. I don’t know about their minds changing. Not all people are single issue folks.
DS: Do they know you’re gay?
AF: I have nothing to hide.
DS: That’s not an answer to my question. Do Amy Demboski and Chris Birch know you’re gay?
AF: No, I don’t believe so.
DS: So Amy Demboski did not know you were gay when she endorsed you?
AF: No, she did not. Because I didn’t lead with that. When people ask me, I tell them I’m gay. To me it’s just like being bald or having hazel eyes. It’s not what I am that matters, it’s what I stand for that matters.
You’ll want to read the rest of the interview, which ends with Fogle admitting that the woman with the fish on his campaign site is actually his sister. Voters, of course, will presume that she is Fogle’s wife.