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POLITICAL UPDATES
LGBT Issues in Current Politics
 

List of Openly Gay US Politicians

Tammy Baldwin: First Openly Gay Person Elected to US Senate

 


BARACK OBAMA RE-ELECTED
Pro-LGBT Agenda is Affirmed
 

November 2012

 

"I believe we can keep the promise of our founders, the idea that if you’re willing to work hard, it doesn’t matter who you are or where you come from or what you look like or who you love. It doesn’t matter whether you’re black or white or Hispanic or Asian or Native American or young or old or rich or poor, able, disabled, gay or straight, you can make it here in America if you’re willing to try."

-Barack Obama

 

The Presidential Election is over, the votes have been counted, and the results are in.  President Barack Obama was re-elected for a second term of office.  Governor Mitt Romney was defeated after a very contentious and polarizing campaign during which a sharp contrast was drawn between pro-LGBT and anti-LGBT platforms.  Obama received 303 electoral votes.  Romney received 206 electoral votes.

 

 

With Obama's victory comes a victory for the LGBT community. Two more states (Maine and Maryland) have been added to the list of states legalizing gay marriage.  Obama's LGBT-friendly platform supports LGBT rights and same-sex marriage.  Oh, and a lesbian couple got engaged at an Obama election night celebration party n Maryland.

 

In the aftermath of the election, there is much room for optimism.

 

Jessica Merchant, ALGBTICAL President, stated:  "This is almost the best morning ever for enthusiasm and hope for equality!  Second only to marrying my wife!" 

 

Frank Hrabe, ALGBTICAL Co-Founder, said:  "I didn’t think I would be as optimistic as I am this morning.  What a great morning for Equality!  A President who is on record supporting marriage equality,  our first LGBT member of the US Senate, other allies elected to the Senate.  More LGBT members in the House.  Then two states vote for marriage equality and two other races yet to be decided.  Add to that, as far as I know this hasn’t happened before, a state that all major elected positions are held by women.  New Hampshire now has a woman holding each US Senate seat, each seat in the House, and a woman Governor.  Times they are a changing."

 

 

Mark Leggett, ALGBTICAL Past President, said: "I'm just giddy with excitement!"

 

Glenda Elliott, ALGBTICAL Co-Founder, added some sobering thoughts:  "At the same time, we did experience some losses by allies here in Alabama. The defeat of Robert Vance by Roy Moore is very troubling to me. Also, Lucy Baxley was a quiet ally. On the local level, we lost a Republican ally in Judge Brian Huff, from Birmingham Family Court. This fall he agreed to the establishment of a nondiscrimination policy inclusive of sexual orientation and gender identity and expression for all Family Court workers as well as youth served by the Court. He followed up the policy by allowing and promoting a training in October for Family Court workers on issues for LGBTQ youth. He had hoped to promote similar training in the Family Court system statewide. So, we do still have much work to do here in Alabama!"

 

 

LINKS:

 

President Delighted About LGBT Wins

Obama Victory Speech: The Best is Yet to Come

Transcript of Victory Speech

Politico: 2012 Presidential Election Results

Gay Marriage Victories in Maine and Maryland
Slate: How Gay Marriage Won at the Polls

Lesbian Couple Gets Engaged at Obama Election Night Celebration
LGBT Celebrities Sound Off

Tammy Baldwin: First Openly Gay Senator

SPLC: For Radical Right, Obama Victory Brings Fury and Fear

 


TAMMY BALDWIN
Groundbreaking Win in US Senate
 

November 2012

 

Rep. Tammy Baldwin (D) beat former Governor Tommy Thompson (R) to represent Wisconsin in the US Senate. Baldwin is the first openly gay US Senator and the first female Senator to represent Wisconsin.

 

Baldwin's win keeps the Senate seat long held by retiring Sen. Herb Kohl in Democratic hands, and ends a bitter race that pitted two long-time Wisconsin politicians against each other.

 

 

Opponent Tommy Thompson, a former Wisconsin governor and Republican presidential contender, was well known in the state and nationally. And Baldwin served three terms in the Wisconsin Assembly before successfully running for Congress.

 

In her victory speech in Wisconsin, Baldwin acknowledged that she makes history as both Wisconsin's first female senator and the country's first openly gay senator.

 

"Now, I am well aware that I will have the honor of being Wisconsin's first woman senator. And I am well aware that I will be the first openly gay member," Baldwin said to loud cheers and chants of "Tammy, Tammy!" from her supporters. "But I didn't run to make history. I ran to make a difference."

 

Baldwin said she believes that she and tea party Republican Sen. Ron Johnson can find common ground to help the state despite being on opposite ends of the political spectrum.

 

LINKS:


Baldwin Reflects on Victory

Wisconsin Elects First Openly Gay Senator
Baldwin Wins Wisconsin Senate Race

Baldwin Wins Wisconsin, Becomes First Openly Gay Senator

Tammy Baldwin and Krysten Sinema

 


PARTY MATTERS
The Fight for LGBT Equality
 

October 2012

 

Commentary From Rep. Barney Frank

The 2012 US Presidential Election is just around the corner.  Just in time for election day, in a recent commentary featured in the Huffington Post, US Representative Barney Frank made the following statement:

"From the standpoint of legal equality for lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people, the upcoming elections will be the most important in our history. In decades, there has not been a sharper distinction between the two parties on any issue than there is today on LGBT legal equality. President Obama, the Democratic platform and the overwhelming majority of Democrats in Congress support abolishing the restriction on federal recognition of same-sex marriages in states that recognize them and support an LGBT employment nondiscrimination act. Republican presidential hopeful Mitt Romney, the Republican platform and more than 90 percent of congressional Republicans strongly oppose them.  If you care strongly about LGBT issues, the case for voting Democratic is very clear.  The facts are clear: There is simply no logical basis whatsoever for arguing that voting for Republicans this year is a good way to advance LGBT legal equality."

 

LINK:

 

Huffington Post: Party Matters in the Fight for LGBT Equality

 


OBAMA VS. ROMNEY
Compare the Candidates
 

 


CONVENTION TIME
LGBT Issues in the Spotlight
 

September 2012

 

As the two major American political parties wrap up their individual conventions, voters are left with a lot to consider regarding the two presidential candidates.  The Republican National Convention, held in Tampa, nominated Mitt Romney, while the Democratic National Convention, held in Charlotte, backed President Barack Obama for another term.

 

 

 

Both conventions played host to a lot of rhetoric and gave voters much to mull over.  For citizens listening closely, this time around, for clues that reveal the candidates' platform on critical issues related to LGBT concerns, there was a sharp contrast.  LGBT concerns, including support for marriage equality and LGBT persons serving in the military, were repeatedly expressed in speech after speech during the DNC.  Meanwhile, during the RNC, not a word was uttered about LGBT persons except to reiterate their support of "traditional" marriage.

 

More precisely, Democrats chose specific vocabulary when discussing LGBT issues at the convention.  Instead of using the term “sexual orientation,” it was about “who you love.”  This election featured the DNC's first-ever plank endorsing same-sex marriage.

 

More than a dozen speakers mentioned LGBT equality on the first two nights of the Democratic convention. Openly gay speakers got primetime billing. A record-setting 8 percent of delegates are LGBT. The party’s unprecedented embrace of gay equality comes a week after Joe Biden thanked gay rights advocates in Provincetown for “freeing the soul of the American people.” The gay rights movement, said the vice president, was advancing the “civil rights of every straight American.” For gay people’s “courage,” he said, “We owe you.”

 

 

For the first time ever, Democrats at their most public, high-profile moment are treating gay rights as a political winner. And they’re moving along with public opinion.  In the latest Harris Interactive poll, 52 percent of likely voters favored same-sex marriage, including 70 percent of Democrats and 55 percent of independents.

 

LGBT speakers and issues were in the spotlight at the DNC.  Zack Wahl's spoke about being raised by two mothers.  Army Captain Jason Crow commended Obama for ending Don't Ask Don't Tell.  Lesbian Latina law student Alejandra Salinas spoke in support of Obama.  And two very high-profile openly gay public officials...  Reps. Barney Frank (D-Mass)...  and Tammy Baldwin (D-Wis)...  also took to the stage. 

 

First Lady Michelle Obama notably put gay marriage in a particularly august civil-rights pantheon as part of a crescendo late in her speech:

 

“If a young preacher could lift us to the mountain top with his righteous dream, and if proud Americans can be who they are and boldly stand at the altar with who they love, then surely, surely, we can give everyone in this country a fair chance at that great American dream.”
 

And particularly notable, given the fear that gripped Democrats over this issue in 2004 and the reticence with which they approached it in 2008, Rahm Emanuel even auditioned marriage as a wedge issue:

 

“Whose leadership, whose judgment, whose values do you want in the White House when that crisis lands like a thud on the Oval Office desk? … A person who wanted to keep don't ask, don't tell or a president who believes that who you love should not keep you from serving the country you love?”

 

LINKS:

 

Democratic National Convention Website
Washington Blade: LGBT Speakers and Issues at DNC

San Diego LGBT News: Openly Gay Calif Assemblyman at DNC

Washington Post: Convention Speakers Worth Hearing
Huffington Post: Zack Wahls Speaking at DNC
Washington Blade: LGBT Delegates at DNC

Slate: DNC Talking About LGBT Issues
Daily Beast: Why Dems Backed LGBT PLatform
C-SPAN: LGBT Issues at DNC
CBS News: Gay Rights in the Spotlight at DNC
Internatl Bus Times: Dems Embrace Gay Equality Like Never Before

Slate: Gay is Good for America

 


PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATES
Their Stance on LGBT Issues
 

February 2012

 

What are the official positions of the candidates who sought office in the 2012 elections?  More specifically, what are their attitudes regarding LGBT issues?

 

 

Mitt Romney has created and acquired a reputation for being the most conservative candidate in the 2008 Presidential elections not only by taking a tough stand against gay and lesbian marriage but also opposing most of their petitions seeking rights for these groups. He is against the idea of letting gays and lesbians serve actively in the US Military. In addition, he has said that he would not support over-turning the 'Don't ask, don't tell' legislation. He has openly opposed same-sex marriage saying that it is the family which forms the basic foundation of America and therefore, it needs to be built further, protected and strengthened instead of being redefined. To this effect, Romney has expressed support for the Federal Marriage Amendment which would modify the US Constitution and prohibit same-sex marriage. He has expressed opposition for civil unions as well saying that he would want to see marriage limited to being between a man and a woman. He said he would support neither but if asked to choose between same-sex marriage and a civil union, he would choose the latter as being a lesser evil.  Opposing the Supreme Court judgment on the matter, Mitt Romney strongly feels that same sex marriage would destroy not only the culture of America but would also irreparably damage the education system and thereby children. Although he personally believes that Americans should be respectful of all people and their sexual orientation, the long standing institution of marriage should be upheld and respected as being the only acceptable norm.  He frequently told Republican audiences that every child has a 'right to have a mother and father' but also acknowledged that same-sex couples have a 'legitimate interest' in adopting children.

 

Newt Gingrich opposes domestic partnership benefits for same-sex couples.  He wants a constitutional amendment to protect the traditional family.  He believes that same sex couples should have some sort of legal rights so that they can leave their estates to their partners or visit them in the hospital.  Gingrich believes that homosexuality is a sin.  He thinks that same sex couples should not be able to adopt children.  He thinks that gays and lesbians should be able to teach as there are many good and decent people who happen to be gay and children will encounter them in everyday life.

 

Rick Santorum has equated the issue of gay marriage to bestiality and pedophilia.  He gave a pep talk to gay marriage opponents in Washington. He wants a constitutional amendment defining marriage as between a man and a woman and said he would support a constitutional amendment banning same-sex marriage.  He said he would restore “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” if military leaders advised him to.  He prides himself on being a crusader for divisive social issues and for being decidedly anti-gay.

 

LINKS:

 

Republican National Convention Website

2012 Presidential Candidate Profiles

Republican Candidates Differ on Gay Marriage Views
Mitt Gets Worse Video: Julie and Hilary's Story
Mitt Gets Worse Website Home Page

Seattle Times: Santorum on Same Sex Marriage Laws

Rick Santorum Interviewed by Chris Wallace
 


PRESIDENTIAL CAMPAIGN 2012
Candidate Stories
 

December 2011

 

GOP Republican Presidential hopeful and Minnesota Congresswoman Michele Bachmann has been particularly vocal regarding her opposition to LGBT rights and has made numerous anti-gay remarks.  She has signed an anti-gay pledge that states homosexuality is a choice. As a result, she has come under siege by young activists speaking on the behalf of the lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender community.

 

 

She regards LGBT people as sick and dysfunctional.  She is quoted as saying, If you’re involved in the gay and lesbian lifestyle, it’s bondage. It is personal bondage, personal despair and personal enslavement.”  And she has also said, Don’t misunderstand. I am not here bashing people who are homosexuals, who are lesbians, who are bisexual, who are transgender. We need to have profound compassion for people who are dealing with the very real issue of sexual dysfunction in their life and sexual identity disorders.”

 

While stumping in Iowa, Bachmann went toe-to-toe with Jane Schmidt, a high school student who is the president of Waverly High School's Gay-Straight Alliance. Jane confronted the Presidential hopeful on her same-sex marriage stance and Bachmann replied, "We all have the same civil rights."   To which Jane then asked, "Then, why can't same-sex couples get married?"   "They can get married," Bachmann responded. "But they abide by the same law as everyone else. They can marry a man if they're a woman. Or they can marry a woman if they're a man."

 

A week later, while attending a book signing, Bachmann was approached by eight-year-old activist Elijah, probably coached by his mother, who told Bachmann: "My mommy's gay but she doesn't need fixing."  Most likely Elijah’s comment stems from a statement Bachmann made in the past.

 

LINKS:

 

Bachman's Anti-Gay Comments

Bachmann's Top Ten Anti-Gay Quotes

Reprehensible Michele Bachmann

Bachmann Quotes

Bachmann on Jay Leno Show

LGBT Weekly Article on Bachmann

CBS News Report on Bachmann

Bachmann's Comments Ignorant of the Law

 


MORE STORIES
Candidates' Anti-Gay Stance

December 2011

 

Many of the Republican contenders appear to be anti-gay...


Mitt Romney on Gays in the Military
Mitt Romney on Gay Marriage

Rick Perry's Anti-Gay Political Ad

Herman Cain: Homosexuality is a Sin

Mike Huckabee's Comments on Homosexuality

Rick Santorum's Anti-Gay Remarks

Rick Santorum Argues With Student Over Gay Marriage

 


TAMMY BALDWIN
First Openly Lesbian Congress Woman

State Rep. Tammy Baldwin has made history by becoming the first openly gay first-time candidate ever elected to Congress, winning Wisconsin's 2nd congressional district seat over Josephine Musser.
 

While four openly gay men have served in the House, all disclosed their sexual orientation after first being elected to their posts. Baldwin also becomes the first lesbian to win a House election.
 

The 2nd district seat was vacated by moderate Republican Scott Klug. He successfully held onto this Democratic-leaning district, which includes Madison, for four terms by veering from his party's orthodoxy and working hard.
 

 

His retirement was expected to hand this seat to the Democrats, but that was thrown into some doubt as Baldwin's liberal politics and sexual orientation were expected to be a hard sell in conservative rural and suburban areas of the district.
 

A GOP primary that drew six hopefuls was won by state insurance commissioner Musser, a moderate who has Klug-like appeal.
 

On the campaign trail, Baldwin tried to focus the spotlight on the issues rather than her sexual orientation. She stuck with traditional Democratic themes such as universal health coverage.
 

Musser portrayed her opponent as a single issue candidate. But Baldwin denied the charge, pointing to her work on prisons, health and campaign finance reform issues.

A former nurse and health care consultant, Musser also spoke about health care reform. Like her Democratic challenger, she is pro-choice.


Musser diverged dramatically with the more conservative side of her party on several key issues: She said she supports a ban on some types of late-term abortions only if there are exceptions for the life and health of the mother; she opposes a constitutional amendment barring flag desecration; and she would not support legislation to ban gay marriage.
 

The Republican candidate was known during the campaign as being blunt and a self-described "difficult person to manage," having gone through four campaign managers over the course of the race.


The race for Wisconsin's 2nd congressional district was one of the few match-ups this year between two women.

LINKS:


CNN: Baldwin Becomes First Openly Lesbian House Member
About: Out Lesbian Congress Woman
Tammy Baldwin: US House of Representatives
Tammy Baldwin for Congress
Wikipedia: Tammy Baldwin

 


 

"If you dream of a world in which you can put your partner's picture on your desk, then put her picture on your desk...and you will live in such a world.  And if you dream of a world in which you can walk down the street holding your partner's hand, then hold her hands...and you will live in such a world.  If you dream of a world in which there are more openly gay elected officials,  then run for office...and you will live in such a world. And if you dream of a world in which you can take your partner to the office party, even if your office is the US House of Representatives, then take her to the party. I do, and now I live in such a world. Remember, there are two things that keep us oppressed --- them and us. We are half of the equation."

-Tammy Baldwin, US Congress

 


PRESIDENT OBAMA'S CIVIL RIGHTS AGENDA

Support for LGBT Community

"While we have come a long way since the Stonewall riots in 1969, we still have a lot of work to do. Too often, the issue of LGBT rights is exploited by those seeking to divide us. But at its core, this issue is about who we are as Americans. It's about whether this nation is going to live up to its founding promise of equality by treating all its citizens with dignity and respect."
-Barack Obama, June 1, 2007
 


Here is an overview of President Obama's agenda regarding gay and lesbian rights, as stated on the official White House website:

Expand Hate Crimes Statutes: In 2004, crimes against LGBT Americans constituted the third-highest category of hate crime reported and made up more than 15 percent of such crimes. President Obama cosponsored legislation that would expand federal jurisdiction to include violent hate crimes perpetrated because of race, color, religion, national origin, sexual orientation, gender identity, or physical disability. As a state senator, President Obama passed tough legislation that made hate crimes and conspiracy to commit them against the law.

Fight Workplace Discrimination:
President Obama supports the Employment Non-Discrimination Act, and believes that our anti-discrimination employment laws should be expanded to include sexual orientation and gender identity. While an increasing number of employers have extended benefits to their employees' domestic partners, discrimination based on sexual orientation in the workplace occurs with no federal legal remedy. The President also sponsored legislation in the Illinois State Senate that would ban employment discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation.

Support Full Civil Unions and Federal Rights for LGBT Couples: President Obama supports full civil unions that give same-sex couples legal rights and privileges equal to those of married couples. Obama also believes we need to repeal the Defense of Marriage Act and enact legislation that would ensure that the 1,100+ federal legal rights and benefits currently provided on the basis of marital status are extended to same-sex couples in civil unions and other legally-recognized unions. These rights and benefits include the right to assist a loved one in times of emergency, the right to equal health insurance and other employment benefits, and property rights.

Oppose a Constitutional Ban on Same-Sex Marriage: President Obama voted against the Federal Marriage Amendment in 2006 which would have defined marriage as between a man and a woman and prevented judicial extension of marriage-like rights to same-sex or other unmarried couples.

Repeal Don't Ask-Don't Tell: President Obama agrees with former Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff John Shalikashvili and other military experts that we need to repeal the "don't ask, don't tell" policy. The key test for military service should be patriotism, a sense of duty, and a willingness to serve. Discrimination should be prohibited. The U.S. government has spent millions of dollars replacing troops kicked out of the military because of their sexual orientation. Additionally, more than 300 language experts have been fired under this policy, including more than 50 who are fluent in Arabic. The President will work with military leaders to repeal the current policy and ensure it helps accomplish our national defense goals.

Expand Adoption Rights:
President Obama believes that we must ensure adoption rights for all couples and individuals, regardless of their sexual orientation. He thinks that a child will benefit from a healthy and loving home, whether the parents are gay or not.

Promote AIDS Prevention:
In the first year of his presidency, President Obama will develop and begin to implement a comprehensive national HIV/AIDS strategy that includes all federal agencies. The strategy will be designed to reduce HIV infections, increase access to care and reduce HIV-related health disparities. The President will support common sense approaches including age-appropriate sex education that includes information about contraception, combating infection within our prison population through education and contraception, and distributing contraceptives through our public health system. The President also supports lifting the federal ban on needle exchange, which could dramatically reduce rates of infection among drug users. President Obama has also been willing to confront the stigma -- too often tied to homophobia -- that continues to surround HIV/AIDS.

Empower Women to Prevent HIV/AIDS:
In the United States, the percentage of women diagnosed with AIDS has quadrupled over the last 20 years. Today, women account for more than one quarter of all new HIV/AIDS diagnoses. President Obama introduced the Microbicide Development Act, which will accelerate the development of products that empower women in the battle against AIDS. Microbicides are a class of products currently under development that women apply topically to prevent transmission of HIV and other infections.

LINKS:

 

Official White House Website 
Message From President Barack Obama About Bullying: It Gets Better
 


HYPOCRITICAL ANTI-GAY POLITICIANS
Anti-Gay Politicians Caught Being Gay

As Shakespeare once said, "Me thinkest thou dost protesteth too much." In a similar vein, once we start hearing some self-righteous politician or demagogue proclaiming just a little too loudly the sinfulness of homosexuality, be on the lookout for a closeted (or should we say cowardly) public official dripping with all manner of hypocrisy. The occurrence of such acts is now so commonplace, media outlets are easily able to assemble top ten lists of the most egregious anti-gay activists who have been caught in the act of being gay. These are the twisted lawmakers who campaign against gay rights in public, but who are, in fact, gay (and who generally enjoy the rights they're publicly against, thanks to their power and privilege).

LINKS:

Ranker: Top Ten Anti-Gay Politicians Caught Being Gay
AlterNet: Conservative Hall of Shame
365 Gay: Top Ten Anti-Gay Politicians
Outrage: Documentary Outs Anti-Gay Politicians Who Are Secretly Gay

 


HATE TALK FROM OKLAHOMA LAWMAKER
Comments From State Rep. Sally Kern

"I honestly think it's the biggest threat our nation has, even more so than terrorism or Islam."
-SALLY KERN, Oklahoma State Representative

 

 

Message From Joe Solmonese, HRC President:

That's from an Oklahoma lawmaker's speech about gay people. You heard right. A secret recording has just emerged of State Rep. Sally Kern speaking to a Republican group in January, where she equates both sexual orientation and religion with terrorism.


She thought no one was listening. Now hundreds of thousands are.
And despite her refusal to apologize, we won't let her get away with this.

Click here for the HRC Report and to hear the actually recording


Tell Oklahoma's governor and top legislators to publicly denounce Kern's remarks. This recording, first released in a video by the Gay and Lesbian Victory Fund, is all the more troubling given the recent spate of hate violence against gay and transgender youth.


Last month in California, a 15-year-old boy, Lawrence King, who suffered taunting and bullying by his classmates because of his sexual orientation, was killed by one of those classmates – a 14-year-old boy. The week after Lawrence King's death saw the murder of another teen, this time a 17-year-old transgender youth in Fort Lauderdale, Florida.


Words matter.
Especially words from elected officials. Rep. Kern's private feelings towards homosexuality and Islam are one thing. But public statements that encourage disrespect or violence towards those with whom she disagrees are completely unacceptable.
 

Here are a few more completely unfounded claims from her speech:

 

"The homosexual agenda is destroying this nation."

"No society that has totally embraced homosexuality has lasted for more than, you know, a few decades."

"What's happening now is they're going after, in schools, two-year-olds."


(From Joe Solmonese / HRC President)


LINKS:

 

More News Updates
YouTube Recording of the Sally Kern Anti-Gay Speech

Info About Equality Alabama's Petition Against Rep. Sally Kern
Send E-Mail Message to Rep. Sally Kern
Visit Rep. Sally Kern's Website
Huffington Post Report

 


LGBT POLITICAL COMMUNITY
Gay & Lesbian Public Servants
 

July 2006

 

It’s official that Patricia Todd will serve as the first openly gay legislator in the State of Alabama. 


On July 18, 2006 Patricia Todd won the Democratic primary election runoff, beating out Gaynell Hendricks to replace retiring Rep. George Perdue for House District 54.  Since there is no Republican challenger for the seat, Todd is the apparent winner.

 



Patricia Todd will be the first openly gay state legislator in Alabama in obtaining a state House seat representing parts of Birmingham. The district includes part of downtown Birmingham and all or part of the city's East Thomas, Fountain Heights, Druid Hills, Forest Park and Crestwood neighborhoods. It also includes part of Irondale.

In the June 6 primary election, Alabama voters overwhelmingly approved a state constitutional amendment banning gay marriage.  Ironically, on the same day Patricia Todd came one step closer to becoming the first openly gay member of the Alabama Legislature.


The massive vote for the anti-gay marriage amendment did not make her victory bittersweet, she said. "We knew the marriage amendment was going to pass overwhelmingly. It was not surprising. It was just a matter of how big the margin was going to be," Todd said.


Todd was upbeat on her chances for victory in the runoff, noting that she has been endorsed by two of her primary competitors. She also theorized that some gay voters in her Birmingham-based district crossed over to vote in the Republican primary to help defeat Roy Moore's bid for the GOP gubernatorial nomination.


Moore, an outspoken gay rights opponent ousted as Alabama's chief justice for refusing to remove a monument of the Ten Commandments, was easily defeated by incumbent Gov. Bob Riley, receiving only 33 percent of the vote.


Todd was endorsed by the national Gay & Lesbian Victory Fund, likely the most significant involvement from national gay rights groups in the Alabama election.

Including Alabama, 17 states now ban gay marriage in their constitutions. Passage of Alabama's amendment will "enshrine a firewall of protection of the definition of marriage" in Alabama's constitution, said John Giles, president of the Christian Coalition of Alabama. Giles' group spent $15,000 to print and distribute literature supporting the ban on gay marriage. One brochure claimed that allowing gay couples to marry would cause "the health care system to stagger and collapse," and called for Alabama voters to set an example for voters elsewhere because "other states and nations are watching our march toward homosexual marriage and will follow our lead."

 


LESBIAN WINS HISTORIC RACE IN ALABAMA
Patricia Todd Becomes First Openly Gay Official in State's History

July 2006
 

Patricia Todd made history when voters in Alabama’s 54th legislative district voted to send the Democrat to the State House, marking the first time ever that legislature will include an openly gay Representative.  The Gay & Lesbian Victory Fund, the nation’s largest gay and lesbian political action committee, endorsed Todd and helped raise tens of thousands of dollars from its national network of donors to help fund her campaign.  Todd has no Republican opponent in the general election in November. 


 

“The road to equality in Alabama is a mile shorter today,” said Chuck Wolfe, president and CEO of the Victory Fund.  “Gays and lesbians in Alabama will now have what all Americans deserve--a voice and a vote.  Alabama knows well what a single voice can accomplish.  We applaud Patricia’s courage in stepping up to be heard,” Wolfe said.


In other elections, Victory-endorsed candidate Rep. Karla Drenner won her Democratic primary to advance to the general election in November.  Drenner is Georgia’s only openly gay state legislator.  Allen Thornell, a Victory endorsee who is seeking election to the Georgia state House, advanced to a runoff in his Democratic primary election.
   

“Karla‘s voice in the Georgia legislature is vitally important.  We’re working hard both to make sure she stays there and to help elect Allen Thornell to join her,” Wolfe said.  Thornell would be the first openly gay man in the Georgia legislature.


The Gay & Lesbian Victory Fund provides strategic, technical and financial support to openly LGBT candidates and officials. It’s the only national organization solely committed to increasing the number of openly LGBT public officials at federal, state and local levels of government.  Victory is the nation’s largest LGBT political action committee and one of the nation’s largest non-connected PACs.  In 14 years, Victory has helped the number of openly LGBT officials grow from 49 to more than 350. 

 

(From Denis Dison)


 


LGBT POLITICIANS
Openly Gay in the Political Spotlight

 

Rep. Barney Frank
Massachusetts / US Houser of Representatives (Democrat)

First US Congressman to come out freely and win reelection

Rep. Jim Kolbe

Arizona / US House of Representatives (Republican)

 

Rep. Tammy Baldwin

Wisconsin / US Senate, US House of Representatives (Democrat)

First openly gay US Senator, First lesbian elected to Congress

 

Gov. James McGreevey

New Jersey / Governor

 

Mayor Ron Oden
Palm Springs CA / Mayor

First openly gay African-American Mayor popularly elected in US

 

Mayor Neil Guillano

Tempe, AZ / Mayor

Rep. Patricia Todd

Birmingham, AL / State Representative (Democrat)

 

Rep. Nicole LeFavour
Idaho / State Representative

First openly gay official in Idaho

 

Commissioner Sam Adams
Portland OR / City Commissioner

First openly gay Commissioner in Portland

 

Sheriff Lupe Valdez
Dallas TX / Sheriff

First Latina lesbian sheriff in US

 

Councilmember David Catania
Washington DC / City Council

First openly gay Republican Councilman in nation's capitol

 

Anise Parker

Houston, TX / Mayor

 

Sam Adams

Portland, Oregon / Mayor



 

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A L G B T I C A L    Association for Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual & Transgender Issues in Counseling of Alabama