Marriage-flipper Harold Ford Jr.
received an icy reception Wednesday at a gay event in New York City,
the AP reported.
Ford, who recently flipped in favor of
gay marriage, walked into a den of gay lions when he addressed
political group Stonewall Democrats.
Furious crashers shouted “liar”
over Ford's explanation of how he evolved from backing civil unions
for gay couples to supporting marriage.
“I falsely and wrongly believed that
the two were equitable. I turned out to be wrong … I believe that
the position that I hold now is the right position,” he said.
The thirty-nine-year-old politician's
change of heart has been widely criticized by gay activists, who've
pointed to Ford's record in Congress, where he twice voted in favor
of the Federal Marriage Amendment, a bill that sought to define
marriage as a heterosexual union in the U.S. Constitution.
“I know a snake oil salesman when I
see one,” Empire State Pride Agenda Executive Director Alan Van
New York-based gay rights group The
Power called on people to protest Ford's appearance. Nearly
two-hundred-and-fifty people accepted the group's Facebook
invitation. “Stop this anti-gay candidate from running for Senate
in New York,” the group Crash
Harold Ford, Jr.'s Address to Stonewall Democrats NYC says.
The wrangling over whether Ford is
pandering to the gay community comes as he contemplates a challenge
to New York Senator Kirsten Gillibrand for her Senate seat. HRC, the
largest gay rights advocate, recently endorsed Senator Gillibrand's
2010 reelection bid.
Gillibrand has become an outspoken gay
ally in the Senate on repeal of “don't ask, don't tell,” the 1993
law that prescribes discharge for gay troops who do not remain
celibate or closeted.