Neal: Being gay 'no big deal'

Jim NealJim Neal outed himself on Saturday.

During an online question-and-answer session on BlueNC, the candidate for the Democratic nomination for U.S. Senate confirmed that he is gay and said he does not expect it will hurt his chances.

"I am indeed," he wrote, after a first-time user on the pro-Democratic site posed the question. "No secret and no big deal to me — I wouldn't be running if I didn't think otherwise."

Neal, who is divorced and has two sons, went on to write that he plans to win the race and is "not running to make some social statement."

"When people meet me, they'll see beyond the labels and into my character," he wrote.

In the same thread, Neal said that churches can decide if they want to support gay marriage or not, but the government should not "discriminate against anyone for any reason."


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No Big Deal

Several things, on the marriage, who cares, who does it hurt to get married? 

Is it because Gay marriage may last longer than straight marriages? I have no idea why people are so irritated about it.  Your religion and my religion, always be different. 

So Arnold S. in CA cheated on his wife, put him in the pile with all the others - republican and democrat. Seems no moral fiber anywhere in marriage so that couldn't be the reason. Just the senators and House members alone make a hefty list over the past 8 years.  


Neal is being honest with himself and his family. He is also honest with the people of NC.  Far more than most people do.  I give him extra points for that alone. When groups make it horrible and miserable for gay people it keeps people form trying to be honest and themselves. 

One day we will look back and say 'why didn't this happen earlier'... think 'white only fountains' and 'women no voting'.  


Re: Neal: Being gay 'no big deal'

I guess I'm still not sure why you don't trust him.
You know way more gay people than I do, and yep, I am socially liberal, and I educate myself on candidates before voting... and usually vote straight dem.

Re: Being divorced

I guess that rules out Fred Smith. Per his book, he left his first wife because she was mentally ill.

Re: Neal: Being gay 'no big deal'

"...especially if they have put their spouse through the additional ridicule of a spouse divorcing them to enter a gay lifestyle."

Ever think that it wouldn't be an "additional ridicule" if people weren't ridiculing divorcees in the first place? If you're suggesting that the breaking of marriage vows is the problem, then it should apply equally regardless of sexuality.

And I'd agree that infidelity can be indicative of character flaws. But an assumption of infidelity doesn't at all logically follow from someone saying they were divorced. Unless you have additional direct information about the failure of his marriage, I'd say it's safest to assume a mutual "they weren't happy" and mind your own business?

Re: Neal: Being gay 'no big deal'

ninevolt, to your questions:
- I'm not saying someone who's divorced is "unfit" for public office. Just that a history of breaking solemn vows is something to consider, and yes, especially if they have put their spouse through the additional ridicule of a spouse divorcing them to enter a gay lifestyle.
- You agree that I'm correct about the government's legal ability to recognize marriage, awesome! Also, I could not care less if he wants to marry to his friend (of course, with his history of wedding vows, I would encourage him not to bother anyway). I don't want him to be Senator because he's gay, I don't want him to be Senator because I wouldn't trust him at all. I don't fear gays (unless the're pointing a loaded gun at me), and how many more should I get to know - I currently know about 150?
- Finally, I didn't assume you were gay, though I do assume you're a gay-rights liberal who votes straight Democratic no matter what.

Re: Neal: Being gay 'no big deal'

Being gay shouldn't have anything to do with whether one's fit for office or not. If he's a good candidate, he's a good candidate. If he can get the job done, his sexual orientation should not be a factor. We won't be paying him to be straight; we'll be paying him to be a senator. Go Neal!!

S in Durham

Re: Neal: Being gay 'no big deal'

So gsquared, are we to assume you believe anyone that has been divorced is unfit for public office? or is it anyone that is gay is unfit?

You are correct that we the people have the ability to legally define what marriage is, however, there is a distinct difference between the government's legal authority and what is deamed socially acceptable. If you don't want Jim Neal to have a gay marriage, so be it, lucky for you he lives in NC where he legally can't. But if you don't want Jim Neal to be a Senator because he is gay, that is simply ugly and ignorant. I encourage you to get to know more gay people... perhaps you will be less afraid of them.

PS - no, i'm straight.

I've been thinking

that Neal's candidacy would speak volumes about the character of North Carolina and its citizens.

Re: Neal: Being gay 'no big deal'

"He does not expect it {being openly gay} will hurt his chances." No, not when you don't have a chance to hurt.

"No secret {being gay} and no big deal to me." You made a solemn covenant vow to your wife and had 2 childer by her - is it a big to them?

Neal said that churches can decide if they want to support gay marriage or not, but the government should not "discriminate against anyone for any reason." So, if people want 3 wives or to marry both their aunt and uncle, the government shouldn't say anything about that either ... right Jim? Sorry, Jim, but for the exact same reasons, the people (which is "the government") has a right to say what marriages may and may not be recognized (by the people / government).

Re: Neal: Being gay 'no big deal'

Thank goodness there's competition in this race. Senator Dole has done nothing for this state except serve as one of the rubber-stamps for the failed policies and tragic errors of the Bush Administration. This is one of the worst periods in American government. We need to remove as many Republicans as possible from power. Democrats have proven themselves to be the only party that has any interest in miniorities and the shrinking Middle Class. Republicans are a disgrace.

Thank you

for posting this.

Neal has instantly fueled the enthusiasm of people all across the state for his integrity and clarity. What a remarkable contrast to the double-talk and obfuscation we get week-in and week-out from the sad Senator he's challenging.

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