Crutchley Resigns as Manhunt.net CEO

Joanne Cachapero
CAMBRIDGE, Mass. — Gay blog Towleroad reported today that Manhunt.net CEO Jonathan Crutchley has stepped down as chairman of the gay networking website’s board of directors.

The action comes after this week’s revelation that Crutchley had donated $2,300 to Republican presidential candidate John McCain’s campaign fund.

The donation was originally reported on socio-political blog Huffington Post’s campaign donation tracking webpage. The report coincided with a feature article posted on Out.com, in which Crutchley was referred to as a “liberal Republican.”

Towleroad and several other gay online media websites picked up the story, which may have sparked a negative reaction in the GLBT community, based on McCain’s mixed record on gay rights issues.

A statement issued to Towleroad.com by Manhunt.net co-founder Larry Basile read:

"There has been a depiction this week of Manhunt being Republican. All my life, I have never voted to the right, and have always been generous to 20th Century Democrats, Gay and Lesbian Advocates and Defenders, HRC, and the NGLTF.

"I was arrested at the Supreme Court and FDA in Act-Up actions, and was the founder of the Grass Roots Gay Rights Fund, which over the years has raised more than $800K. I was the Treasurer of Out Week magazine, which was a powerful force in its time. I began giving Obama donations in March 2007, and I have sent several checks that have yet to be reported. The hat and t-shirt I wear say 'Obama for President', as does the sign in front of my house. I refuse to live in a country that is so marred by war and hate. To me, Barak [sic] is by far the best candidate, probably better than we deserve.

"It should be known that Jonathan Crutchley's donation to McCain left the entire Board in disbelief. I am disappointed that we have lost some customers, and I understand the anger. It is too bad for the web site if we lose customers, but PLEASE never refer to me as a Republican. I consider it an offense.

"Earlier today, at the request of the Board, Jonathan has stepped down as Chairman. Sincerely, Larry Basile."

Towleroad made note that its original posting had not referred to Crutchley as republican.

Towleroad founder and blogger Andy Towle also stated “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.”

Crutchley was not immediately available for comment at post time.

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