Manhunt.net Founder Donates to McCain’s Campaign

Joanne Cachapero
BROOKLINE, Mass. — Last week, socio-political blog website Huffington Post reported that Manhunt.net founder Jonathan Crutchley had donated the maximum personal donation allowable to Republican Sen. John McCain’s 2008 presidential campaign.

The amount of $2,300 has apparently been accepted by McCain’s campaign fund.

The Huffington Post report coincided with a feature article posted on Out.com, titled “Has Manhunt Destroyed Gay Culture?” by Michael Joseph Gross, in which the author described the financial clout of Manhunt.net, as well as Crutchley’s political leanings:

“Crutchley, a liberal Republican with a tight white beard, admits that he felt anxious during Manhunt’s first years, before his and [Larry] Basile’s initial investment of $800,000 bore fruit. Now, seated at his desk and surrounded by giant photographs of body builders’ glutes, Crutchley says the company brings in at least $2.4 million per month — almost $30 million a year — not counting ad revenues, and prospects for growth are strong. Manhunt’s success measures the extent to which online cruising has changed gay urban social life. Is it changing gay politics too?”

Manhunt.net is a gay social networking website, which was started as a phone dating service by Crutchley and business partner Basile in 1992. The website has a current Alexa ranking of 1,104, while OnlinePersonalsWatch.com reported that Manhunt was the 10th most-trafficked dating site in the U.S., in an interview with Crutchley that was conducted in April 2007.

Several viewer comments posted earlier this week to the thread on the 2007 interview.

One commenter questioned Crutchley’s politics and the report of the donation on Huffington Post, and Crutchley, who apparently monitors the thread, replied, “Yes, my contribution to John McCain's campaign for president was listed on the Huffington Post.

“I believe McCain will be a better commander-in-chief than Obama, who also opposes gay marriage,” Crutchley said in his response. “If we have an experienced, seasoned person defending the country in this dangerous age, we will be able to argue about the gay agenda later. Yes, I am a Massachusetts Republican, which is about the same as being an Alabama Democrat. But don't call me a ‘liberal.’ That's an insult.”

Another commenter on the blog thread said, “The owner of Manhunt is a REPUBLICAN? Wow! I had no idea. Buddy if you can't see the difference between Obama and McCain on gay issues then you are either stupid or simply not paying attention.”

According to OnTheIssues.org, a website that documents legislator’s voting records and reported opinions on important issues, McCain’s record toward gay rights is mixed.

In July 2008, the presidential candidate is listed as in support of one-man, one-woman marriage. However in January 2007, he reportedly was in favor of letting states decide legislation on gay marriage.

In June 2007, he was reported as in support of the military’s don’t-ask-don’t-tell policy toward gay service people. But in June 2000 and 2002, McCain voted twice against adding sexual orientation to the definition of hate crimes.

According to OnTheIssues.org, McCain reportedly was quoted in 1999, as saying that he would be “comfortable” with a gay president.

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