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Help LGBT Candidates Stand Up to Hate – Take the Pledge!

Help LGBT Candidates Stand Up to Hate – Take the Pledge!

LGBT candidates running for political office face the usual hurdles in getting elected, from the need to create effective campaign strategies to the trials of securing appropriate backing. On top of that, they face the extra threat of being vilified by ultra conservative groups claiming that support for LGBT officials assists the “homosexual agenda” and adds to the “homosexualization of America”. But you can help LGBT candidates ensure that they get a fair and equal chance in their campaigns this year with a new Care2 pledge sponsored by the Victory Fund that lets you say no to hate in your community.

LGBT Candidates Targeted With Death Threats, Hate and Smears
A Wisconsin Republican group recently tried to have openly lesbian Representative Tammy Baldwin’s nomination papers disqualified because, they say, she broke rules over how she listed her home address. From The Advocate:

Charla Halverson, president of the Young Republicans of Dane County based in Madison, Wisc., said Baldwin, one of three openly gay Congressional representatives, lists her campaign office as her address instead of her voting address, the Associated Press reports.

“Tammy Baldwin has always been a blind supporter of liberal interests,” Halverson said in a statement.  “However, she is now demonstrating reckless disregard for the voters of the [Wisconsin] Second Congressional District by not even bothering to conceal the fact that she no longer lives in the district she was elected to represent.” 

The complaint was soundly rejected though as there is a legitimate and very important reason for the discrepancy. After the Wisconsin Democratic lawmaker gained her seat in 1998 to become the first openly lesbian non-incumbent to win a place in Congress, she received several death threats. This prompted state election officials to give Rep. Baldwin permission to list her campaign office as her home address so as to guard against anyone following through on those threats.

Unfortunately, anti-gay animus still remains a real problem, even today. Vandals recently defaced around a dozen of Florida Democratic candidate Scott Galvin’s election yard signs, spray-painting the word “Fag” across his image. Galvin, who came out in 2004 when he was a councilman, is one of nine Democrats vying to replace U.S. Rep. Kendrick Meek in Congress, but he was the only one targeted in this way.

Unfortunately, it’s not just LGBT candidates that face this kind of intimidation over LGBT issues. A Memphis city council member, Janis Fullilove, who has gone on record as supporting an LGBT anti-discrimination ordinance has reportedly received death threats this past week. Police investigating the case, and an incident where a dead cat was thrown onto the council member’s garden, have confirmed that they believe this behavior to be fueled by anti-gay animus over Fullilove’s advocacy. If this is the kind of threatening behavior that straight allies sometimes face, imagine, then, the pressure out-LGBT candidates are under when pursuing a place in office. This is on top of the misinformation spread by groups like the Family Research Council (FRC) who try to hamper LGBT candidates and appointed LGBT officials year in and year out.  

Readers may be familiar with how Kevin Jennings, Assistant Deputy Secretary at the Department of Education for the Office of Safe and Drug Free Schools (OSDFS), faced several smear campaigns following his appointment by the Obama Administration in 2009. At the time, the FRC accused the openly gay official of “trying to create special protections for privileged groups (especially homosexuals)” in schools, a notion which was soundly and thoroughly refuted by many LGBT and non-LGBT groups alike. Read the ThinkProgress fact check on that case here.

Support the Victory Fund Sponsored Care2 Petition And Help Qualified LGBT Candidates Fight Hateful Rhetoric

Electing LGBTs to office is important on two fronts. It can help in breaking the chilling effect of political homophobia that, for instance, has so far prevented Congress passing even basic federal protections for LGBT workers. It also makes it harder for anti-gay groups and anti-gay lawmakers to perpetuate misinformation when there are highly visible elected LGBTs working in the public eye and exhibiting none of the extreme characteristics that they are so often accused of, such as mental illness and being solely interested in the aggressive pursuit of the so-called gay agenda.  

As such, the Victory Fund endorses qualified, committed LGBT candidates that stand for social justice and civil rights for all. You can browse a list of the LGBT candidates up for various appointments this year by going here. They include Victoria Kolakowski who is running for a seat on Superior Court of Alameda County, California. If Kolakowski wins, she will become America’s first openly transgender judge. There’s also Mary Washington, who could become only the second openly lesbian African-American state legislator in the country should she win the race for a seat in the Maryland House of Delegates.

Of course, this is not about asking you to support a candidate just because of their LGBT identity. Rather, it’s about asking for your help in combating those who would vilify LGBT candidates solely because of it.

Sign the pledge today and promise to help LGBT candidates in your community combat the anti-gay, anti-trans rhetoric, because everyone deserves a fair and equal chance at the ballot box.

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Photo used under the Creative Commons Attribution License, with thanks to Marlith.

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83 comments

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1:11PM PDT on Aug 10, 2010

This kind of attacks are indicators the change in progress.

Reactionaries are everywhere.

12:35AM PDT on Aug 10, 2010

thanks

3:12AM PDT on Aug 6, 2010

Why do you feel Republicans hate gay people? I am a conservative and I do not hate gays. If I thought the gay running for office represented what I wanted, I would certainly vote for him/her. Also, the tea party group does not carry guns at their meetings. But, just remember, everyone has the right to bear arms. Read the Constitution.

1:44PM PDT on Aug 5, 2010

Signed, Gay people are born that way, they did not just wake up one day and said I feel like being gay from now on. God made gay people, unfortunatly they have to suffer because people are so stubborn and close minded. What are you going to do when your child says Mom, Dad I am gay ? I hope you learn to accept it, you do love them unconditionally, right?

7:18AM PDT on Aug 5, 2010

This is so stupid America; God you keep pissing me off everyday! Be like Canada for once we are open about it! we have been since the 1960's Pierre Trudeau was the best Prime Minister this country ever seen it's still not to late America it's been 50 years sure but better late than never. This is my favorite quote of all time 'Love isn't about being sraight or not. People should love freely as long as it's pure.'

9:27AM PDT on Aug 4, 2010

True article; but gays must truelly ally together to fight off the hate that only seems to be growing. The Christian Right, and the republicans have very little to do as far as Gods' will, but then there is God according to man and that's what these 'Christians' are. Until the gay community as a hole send s a loud & CLEAR MESSAGE, then don't whine when they strip your rights, and continue the 'gay marriage' blocking.

4:25AM PDT on Aug 4, 2010

Thank you

8:32PM PDT on Aug 3, 2010

I signed the pledge and i will do part to protect EQUAL rights.....

4:43PM PDT on Aug 3, 2010

I signed the pledge... and thanks for the chance to do so..

3:17PM PDT on Aug 3, 2010

Floyd.
The only mentally disordered here is you .

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