During the contentious confirmation hearings of then-Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh in October 2018, countless officials and pundits on the left played the role of judge, jury and executioner in regard to vague and uncorroborated allegations of sexual assault lodged against the nominee.
One of Kavanaugh’s many outspoken critics was the Democratic mayor/city council member of West Hollywood, John Duran, who was sharply critical of the judge’s behavior during the confirmation hearings and seemed to have uncritically accepted at face value the unconfirmed allegations of sexual misconduct that had been made public.
West Hollywood media outlet WEHOville reported in Oct. 2018 that Duran had joined with the rest of the city council to officially condemn Kavanaugh’s confirmation to the high court. Duran said, “Brett Kavanaugh’s display of rage and belligerence at the Senate Judiciary Committee hearings proves that he does not have the temperament to be a judge — much less on the Supreme Court.”
“It is abhorrent to think we are placing our future, our equality, and our liberty in the hands of a drunken frat boy who sexually assaulted a teenage girl while his friend Mark Judge stood by and laughed. This is a sad moment in the history of our nation,” Mayor Duran added.
Fast-forward just four months and now the openly gay mayor of West Hollywood is singing an entirely different tune when it comes to the credibility of sexual misconduct allegations against individuals in positions of power, as he has come under fire in his own “#MeToo” scandal.
The Los Angeles Times reported that Duran stands accused of having sexually harassed at least three current or former members of the Gay Men’s Chorus in L.A. — of which Duran serves as chairman of the board — which consisted of his sticking his hand down their pants or making sexually suggestive comments.
The mayor also stands accused of using the gay dating app Grindr during public meetings, including in at least one instance of using the app’s messaging service to repeatedly make unwanted and inappropriate sexual advances toward an aide for a fellow council member.
On top of that, Duran has also been linked to the scandalous deaths of two gay black men at the home of prominent Democratic donor Ed Buck. Duran, who is also an attorney, used to represent Buck.
Despite calls for him to resign from several of his fellow council members, the unashamedly homosexual mayor stands defiant, and told the Times that it was all just a “culture clash,” and that, “If somebody expresses himself or herself sexually, that doesn’t make it harassment, per se.”
As to the use of Grindr to pursue sexual acts with the council member’s aide, that aide’s boyfriend — city events service coordinator Mike Gerle — filed a formal complaint against the mayor. Gerle said, “It’s about consent. … He has this sense of entitlement that because we’re gay, ‘I can do whatever I want with you because that’s our culture.’ He’s decided that’s our culture. He doesn’t understand that every gay man gets to decide what interactions he has. You don’t get a pass.”
For his part, Duran hypocritically sought to demand the due process he had denied Kavanaugh and defend himself from the accusations lodged against him in a lengthy statement posted to Facebook, a post that concluded with a vehement “HELL NO” in response to the demands that he resign.
Duran wrote, “SEXUAL HARASSMENT is a serious issue. Accusations must be taken seriously and addressed. This has been extremely painful for women for decades and decades. But once the allegations are made and received, there MUST be an investigation before conclusions are reached.”
“This is DUE PROCESS of law in the courts. And I know those rules do not apply in the court of public opinion,” he continued. “It’s much easier in this social media world for people to read something, ‘like’ it, retweet it and then move on.”
“But none of us (including me) wants to ever be accused falsely and have people jump to opinion and conclusion without any process in between. That is contempt prior to investigation,” he added, apparently oblivious to how differently he treated Kavanaugh versus how he demands to be treated.
After playing up all of the work he had done over the years on behalf of the gay community, Duran noted, “Now, I understand that the ground has shifted in a tectonic way with the ‘Me Too’ movement. I get that. But the pendulum swings too far when accusation is treated as truth, and mobs swirl around rumor and conclusions are drawn based on someone’s race, gender or sexual orientation and accusation alone. That leads to injustice.”
Too bad Duran didn’t apply that same standard to Kavanaugh just four months ago, while he hypocritically now demands it be applied to himself.
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