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Campaign manager quits over apparent anti-gay sentiments

LANGLEY (NEWS1130) – He may not be telling the whole story.

That’s what Langley Liberal candidate Mary Polak is saying after her openly-gay campaign manager resigned this morning amidst claims of anti-gay constituents.

Todd Hauptman wrote in an open letter that he’s gay, and that “the very base of voters who will likely help Mary get re-elected in just one-week’s time are made up of individuals who hold hateful attitudes towards the community I am a part of.”

He added that he feels marginalized and is tired of politicians making endless excuses for political gain when it comes to not standing up for the gay community.

Polak says she’s always stood by him and feels hurt by what’s been written. “I can’t say I completely understand it. We have known each other for a long time, we’re friends. I care about him very deeply.”

Polak also claims the resignation came after concerns were raised that Hauptman was leaking strategy info to a friend, who happened to be Langley’s NDP candidate.

Polak insists her religious views do not influence her political views.

Below is the complete letter sent to Polak.

May 7th, 2013 

To My Fellow British Columbians:

Today is about to become a day that I will no doubt remember for as long as I live.

As many in the political community know (and in the community of Langley where I reside) I am the campaign manager for incumbent BC Liberal candidate Mary Polak.  I also happen to be gay.

Today, I am asking politicians of all stripes – including Mary – to speak up for the gay community.  We live in a day and age where we must be willing to embrace our fellow human beings, regardless of their sexual orientation.  I have had enough of being marginalized and I am tired of politicians making endless excuses for political gain.

While I can say without hesitation that Mary has always shown me respect and love, and was a source of strength and encouragement when I ‘came-out,’ I have been conflicted beyond words these past weeks.  You see, the very base of voters who will likely help Mary get re-elected in just one-weeks time are made up of individuals who hold hateful attitudes towards the community I am a part of.

It is knowing this that I simply cannot in good conscience support a campaign made-up of people who think of me as less of a person because I am gay.  It is for these reasons that – after considerable thought and deliberation – I have decided to step-down from Mary’s campaign effective immediately. 

Those who read this may be shocked or even angry at me for making this decision so late into the election.  To them I say, please know I have wrestled with this decision for sometime and simply cannot ignore my feelings or convictions any longer.  How can I live a life of integrity if I won’t speak-up for myself and my community?  How can I be in a position of leadership and influence and yet not do what I know to be right?  The answer is, I cannot.

Every human being ought to be loved, cherished, treasured, treated with respect and made to know they are valued.  Moreover, all human beings ought to be the recipient of these virtues simply by being a person; that is to say, they are not virtues that can be earned, nor are they only reserved for some and not others. 

Some of you will only take away from this letter that I am gay; but know that I am many other things.  I am a Christian.  I am the recipient of a kidney transplant.  I am a passionate, thoughtful person who cares for others.  I am a loyal friend.  I am educated. I am an active member of my community.  I am the same Todd I have always been.

With Deep Respect,

Todd Hauptman