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08/19/2010

TO DO: Watch openly gay dad ask Republican why she voted against his right to serve openly

by Jeremy Hooper

Bono-MackRep. Mary Bono Mack (R) recently raised gay eyebrows when she voted against Don't Ask Don't Tell repeal. She also refused to take a position on Prop 8 even as it was being hotly debated in her own state, and has shied away from co-sponsoring an inclusive ENDA (even while voicing support for ending nondiscrimination in the workplace). Or if you want to go back even further, Rep. Mack voted in 1999 for something called The Largent Amendment, a narrowly defeated piece of legislation that would have barred same sex couples from adopting children in D.C. So while Bono Mack is considered a moderate, at times on LGBT issues, that moderation has come across more like complacency.

PougnetSteve Pougnet (D), the current mayor of Palm Springs, is an openly gay, legally married dad who is challenging Bono Mack for her 45th congressional district seat. And Steve, someone who is not only married but has also performed same-sex unions as part of his mayoral duties, has vowed to hold Bono Mack's heels to the proverbial fire on all matters of LGBT interest, among many other topics (such as her reputation of absenteeism, for instance).

So why should you care about these two Californians now? Today? On a Thursday, when your eyes and brain are already on one of summer's fleeting weekends? Well, because tonight, Rep. Bono Mack has agreed to meet Mayor Pougnet in a televised debate, the first time the congresswoman has faced off against a Democrat since 2002. It's a near certainty that gay content will rival anything shown on the Bravo network, and the demands for answers will surely trump what we tend to see from many cable news anchors.

*WHEN TO TUNE IN: 6:30 PST/9:30 EST on KPSP Local 2 in California's Coachella Valley

*WHERE CAN YOU WATCH ONLINE: The official debate site is here

*ALSO: We will embed the video here on G-A-Y, once the debate goes live.

*IN THE MEANTIME: If you have debate questions, you can e-mail them to news@kpsplocal2.com.

Yes, "The Real Housewives of D.C." is also on this evening. But here is a rare opportunity to see a real-life audition for a truly powerful D.C. role. A role that Rep. Mack has held for over 12 years, but one that could be recast come November, with much dependent on tonight's performance. So come on, check it out. The slickly edited cat fights will be there when you get done.

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