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McCain donation costs Jonathan Crutchley his Manhunt job

By Emily Morgan

August 19, 2008 at 10:57am

The co-founder of one of the leading hook-up websites in the gay community, Manhunt.net, has been outed as a McCain supporter.

Jonathan Crutchley’s political leanings, (he was labeled a ‘liberal Republican’), were referred to in an article that ran in Out magazine earlier this month. Since then, he has been asked to step down as chairman of Manhunt.

In the comments section of the Out article, a reader posted that Crutchley had contributed to John McCain’s presidential campaign. FEC records indeed show that Crutchley gave $2,300 to the campaign in March.

McCain’s campaign team has since returned Crutchley’s donation.

Crutchley responded in Out’s comment section, defending his choice: “I believe McCain will be a better commander-in-chief than Obama, who also opposes gay marriage. 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.”

He added, “Don’t call me a ‘liberal.’ That’s an insult.”

The comment has since been removed from the forum, but can be found on a screencapture on The Huffington Post.

Manhunt, founded in 2001, boasts 1.7 million users. On the website for Manhunt’s parent company, Online Buddies, the goal of Manhunt’s service is described as “providing safe, friendly and exciting ways for members to express themselves and to interact with one another freely.” The site runs often uncensored personal ads for men looking for men.

Manhunt’s other co-founder, a self-described liberal, Larry Basile, told the Boston Herald, “Boy, was I embarrassed when I found out he gave $2,300.”

On Saturday, Crutchley was asked by Manhunt’s board to step down from his position as the company’s chairman to minimize the alienation of the site’s mostly liberal users.

“Politically, it was just off-base, with the whole feeling over here at Manhunt,” Basile told the Boston Herald. Some patrons of Manhunt canceled their memberships to the service due to Crutchley’s alignment with an anti-gay marriage and adoption candidate.

Basile has begun to do damage-control to retain Manhunt’s clients. He released a statement, which explains his support for Obama and longtime involvement in Democrat politics:

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, Barack is by far the best candidate, probably better than we deserve.”

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