Rich Madaleno, currently running in the party primary for the governorship, made a strong pitch to the progressive wing of the Democratic party by outlining his opposition to Trump and his policies in a political advertisement. At the end of the video, the candidate asks viewers what the number one way to “piss off” Trump is, then turns and kisses his husband, Mark Hodge.
In an obvious attempt to irritate the President, the advertisement was broadcasted in the Washington DC area during one of Trump’s favourite TV shows, the staunchly conservative “Fox & Friends.” Trump has phoned into the show before and his tweets regularly use information gleaned from the programme, so it is common knowledge he is a regular viewer. There is still no reaction to video as yet from The White House.
According to U.S LGBT+ organisations this is the first time an LGBT+ candidate has kissed their partner in a political ad, although a previous political advertisement from Hillary Clinton had featured a gay kiss.
The kiss has spawned a range of opinion across the ideological spectrum. Annise Parker, an openly gay former mayor of Houston was quoted in The Guardian as saying, “At a time when the White House and other anti-LGBTQ politicians are attempting to erase our visibility and roll back our rights, Rich Madaleno is boldly stating he’s proud of his family and will fight for all Marylanders if elected.”
However the move was not without its detractors. Anthony Moll a US queer writer said the kiss “reads like a desperate move for attention late in the game, like a post-glory celebrity coming out once it finally impacts the bottom line in a positive way.”
Madaleno is one of several democratic candidates battling it out in the primary. Recent polling has him in fourth place with 6% of support. If elected he would become the state’s first openly gay governor.
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