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Report: Hunting board distancing itself from McCain

by Jeremy Hooper

Following intense criticism and an apparent bleeding of membership in the days since his donation to the McCain campaign became public knowledge, Johnathan Crutchley, founder and chairman of the gay-targeting "hookup" site Manhunt.net, has reportedly stepped down from his company's board of directors. Andy Towle has more, including a letter from left-leaning cofounder Larry Basile:

Manhunt Chairman Jonathan Crutchley Steps Down from Board [Towle]

A fitting move, considering the recipient of Crutchley's funds seems to have even more fully stepped up to his company's board of GayRightsHunting.

It remains to be seen if those liberal Democrats who enjoy the online dude safari that ManHunt apparently provides will be appeased by this move. Though we hear that to win them back over, the site is considering changing it's name to the more gun control-friendly name, ManWinOverWithDiplomacy.

**UPDATE, 8/18: We're thinking we're pretty much done with this topic here at G-A-Y. But for future updates, you can check out StopManhunt.net.

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Your thoughts

Crutchley's stepping down from the board seems to be mainly PR window-dressing. Since he is one of the website's founders, it's a good bet that he will continue to collect bundles of money from subscribers.

The most significant part of Andy Towle's post is "Also, though Crutchley has stepped down from the board, as far as we know he's still collecting money from thousands of gays and donating it to a presidential candidate who would deny them status as equal citizens."

Posted by: Richard Rush | Aug 15, 2008 10:14:35 AM

Richard: This is far from my area of expertise, so I'm sort of deferring to others on this whole situation. But yes, I can't really see how this move would change anything in terms of Crutchley profiting off of gay men.

Posted by: G-A-Y | Aug 15, 2008 10:20:32 AM

I am a liberal Democrat. Super liberal. So liberal, in fact, that I think this uproar is very sad for the overall gay view of freedom: It reminds me of the disgusting things that were done by the rabid right wing to the Dixie Chicks, except now gay men are doing it to a conservative gay businessman. We gay folks demand the right to be who we want to be, but this angry batch of boycotters won't give the same dignity back.

Posted by: PJ | Aug 15, 2008 10:51:07 AM

Well just to play Devil's advocate PJ: People have a right to stay away from any company that they see as working against their best interests. If Manhunt members are uncomfortable with putting money in Mr. Crutchley's (and therefore poss. put more in Sen. McCain's) than that is their right.

I do see what you're saying. But I also respect the power of the consumer to use their dollar in the way they see fit.

Posted by: G-A-Y | Aug 15, 2008 11:10:02 AM

PJ: I think the issue here is more that we all have a choice. He absolutely has the right to make this donation, and the consumers who his company has targeted and made millions off of have the right to not provide anymore money to him. I don’t agree with all the angry rhetoric on both sides being thrown about, but at this time in history gay men and women need to look at all the issues. Yes military strength is an important issue, as is the economy and the environment, but this election is becoming evermore a decision between inclusion or exclusion for us. As McCain moves further to the right in an attempt to fool the conservatives that he has some sort of moral leg to stand on, we will lose. We have to look at this with a long view, all we have worked for to just be seen as humans by a majority of the population will be undone by another conservative appointment to the supreme court, by a veto of a simple non-discrimination bill. So after some rambling my point comes down to this: Yes I will defend to the death his right to support McCain, but I will also yell at the top of mountains against the shear stupidity of the act.

Posted by: Randy | Aug 15, 2008 11:33:38 AM

Also I don’t think the issue would have been as big if the entire discussion of the merits of Manhunt in general had not just been brought up in OUT.

Posted by: Randy | Aug 15, 2008 11:35:19 AM

I don't know Randy, this is an election year and all the different types of press including the blogosphere are scrambling for 'stories.' Here though is a perfect example of some good American ways.

1) Money talks... so people who make a lot are 'celebrities' here, even the courts say that.

2) Now we can all really, really say what we mean and have ourselves heard... THAT IS WHAT G-A-Y does and is very good at.

This is a perfect example of the power of the people! ALL the people!

Posted by: LOrion | Aug 15, 2008 1:10:41 PM

Well said, Randy.

And LOrion, I think you and Randy are pretty much in agreement, no?

Posted by: G-A-Y | Aug 15, 2008 1:16:18 PM

I think so.
On a further note, I think it will be interesting when we get to a point in time when we are equal to see what our culture will be like. Will it be a distinct vibrant culture or will we meld back into the various cultures we come from? I think the bigger issue, besides this donation, is what sites like Manhunt does or doesn’t do to us as a people. When I came out I had just moved to a different city and lived in a vibrant and rich scene. Yes we had issues with drugs and drinking, but we would go to shows and recitals, go on trips with other gay people, bar hop to see everyone and to be seen. Sure parts of that were superficial, but we belonged to a community that cared about each other, and dealt with each other as equals, no matter how the rest of the world treated us. Now it seems that our culture is changing into something I am having trouble defining. Maybe that is for the better, maybe once we are equal we should have no difference between us and everybody else, but that just depresses me. And I am only 30 for crying out loud, I feel like I am reciting an old mans tirade… Ok Rambling a bit sorry, this just all brought to a head a sense of foreboding I have been having for our community, killed by our own success.

Posted by: Randy | Aug 15, 2008 2:47:04 PM

No, no -- your rambling is interesting, Randy.

More than just being equal, when we can get to the point to where we release the negativity, release the artifice, release the pettiness, etc., then we can actually work towards building up a nation again. Politically, the 21st century has been defined by divisiveness. Culturally, it's been quite shallow and excessive. We have to get back to the "real."

As for Manhunt and other aspects of modern gay culture: One thing that might shock G-A-Y readers is that I'm very detached from any gay "scene," so I can't really speak on some of the modern cultural elements. But I do think it's good and healthy to talk frankly about what has and has not been working within the gay community. And I think it's also important to not only examine any negatives that we might perceive within our community, but also why they might have taken shape.

Posted by: G-A-Y | Aug 15, 2008 3:04:46 PM

That may be my biggest personal concern, as I have gone along I have found myself more and more detached from the "scene." At first I thought it had to do with the natural withdrawal from the singles scene as I have been in a relationship for about 8 years now. However, when we do go out it just seems stale and dead as the bars/clubs seem to have become solely about that quick hookup and around the corner to the bathhouse. That’s good fun when done right, but I remember back when I was living the party life that all of the couples would still come out, go to the bars and clubs to meet up and hang out. But we are moving towards a digital age, and maybe this is the forum in which we will keep our identity, on blogs and message boards.
I just remember that warm fuzzy feeling I got when I was still fresh from the closet and going into a gay piano bar and watching (and eventually joining in, vodka is a wonderful drink) couples and individuals singing along to show tunes or pop songs, it made me feel like we were all part of a family. You can still find those places but they seem to be falling by the wayside. Not that I am a big fan of sing-a-longs, and anyone who has ever heard me can agree, but even the dance clubs, which were once packed with people now seem to have more empty dance floors and crowded bathrooms. We are a group of people who have stood up for sexual freedom, and to deny that as part of our legacy and history is foolish, but that is not all we stood for. We stood for personal responsibility, because no one wanted us, we stood for community, because none would take us in, we stood for the oppressed because everyone oppressed us. We stood when other continued to try and beat us down, but we have no historians, no class taught as part of our coming out to remember the Queens of old who walked down a street with there head held high, and didn’t cry out when the bottles where thrown. Ok a big part of this may be coming from a sense of loss from nicotine withdrawal, three days and counting every freaking second, but I think we need to decide as a community if we want to exist once this is all done, or if we just need to unite until it is over, either way right now we seem to be reacting instead of acting, and that will eventually be our downfall.

Posted by: Randy | Aug 15, 2008 3:51:32 PM

The homophobic bigot is still a co-owner of HateGays.net. I've deleted my profile and will have nothing to do with that company.

Posted by: libhomo | Aug 17, 2008 3:53:33 PM

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