Openly gay veteran Detroit television anchor Charles Pugh will enter the Detroit City Council race, reports his former station FOX 2.
Pugh recently signed off as an anchor and radio host and says a formal announcement is planned May 3. The veteran broadcaster is one of the very few openly black gay local or national television news personalities. "I'm opposed to the word 'coming out'," Pugh tells Darian Aaron. "You can't come out when you've never been in. I'm not in. I don't hide the fact that I'm gay. I don't hide it at work. I don't hide it with my friends. I'm not ashamed of anything."
Pugh's candidacy makes history in more ways than one, the Michigan Messenger reports: "Pugh's sexuality will attract a great deal of attention because he’ll be the first openly gay candidate in Detroit to run for city council in anyone’s memory—and do it in one of the country’s largest African-American cities where openly gay elected officials are rare if present at all."
Alicia Skillman, who is black and lesbian, was preparing to run for city council this cycle before she became executive director of the Triangle Foundation, the Detroit-based gay-rights advocacy group. Skillman says Detroit's problems are so great that voters will look past sexuality. "I don’t believe they’re going to care about what a person does in their private life, their orientation. I think they’re going to care about whether or not the person can do what’s best for the city and do it ethically."
Detroit's former longtime Mayor Kwame Kilpatrick—the anti-gay, serial adulterer who pushed a same-sex marrriage ban—mayor was sent to jail for corruption. The city council is under FBI investigation for bribery and corruption. Council member Martha Reeves is also facing lawsuits and investigations. General Motors is cutting thousands of jobs and shedding its Pontiac brand. Hopefully voters in the overwhelmingly black Motor City will be able to look past sexuality because the regular way of doing business in Detroit ... is not not working.
Thanks KEN G
AFTER THE JUMP, FOX 2 covers Pugh's decision.