Buzzfeed’s Chris Geidner posted an excellent and detailed piece, “14 Races LGBT People Will Be Watching Closely On Tuesday,” and we’re sharing some excerpts here, along with some thoughts and background. Head over to Buzzfeed for Geidner’s take, and, of course, photos!
This election is a game-changer for America’s LGBT community, one which will decide if the civil rights that have finally been acknowledged by our elected representatives and our president will continue to be enabled, one that will show America that people from the LGBT community are capable and welcome in all houses of Congress, one that will show LGBTQ children and teens that we’re all people, and that we all deserve the same rights, if these races are decided in our favor.
Overall, in addition to the presidential race, there is one Senate race, one state supreme court justice race, seven House races, and four marriage ballots that are of extra special concern for LGBT people.
1. PRESIDENT: We’re cautiously optimistic that President Obama will win re-election, assuming there’s no funny business going on with voting machines.
2. U.S. Senate — Wisconsin: Baldwin v. Thompson: Congresswoman Tammy Baldwin is set to become the first openly-gay U.S. Senator. She’s running against a Wisconsin former governor and heavyweight Republican, Tommy Thompson, who benefitted greatly from his time serving in George W. Bush’s administration.
3. U.S. House of Representatives — Colorado: Polis v. Lundberg: Openly-gay U.S. Congressman Jared Polis is favored to win re-election.
4. U.S. House of Representatives — Rhode Island: Cicilline v. Doherty: Openly-gay U.S. Congressman David Cicilline faces a tough re-election race against Republican Brendan Doherty.
5. U.S. House of Representatives — New York: Hayworth v. Maloney: Openly-gay candidate Sean Patrick Maloney is attempting to unseat GOP Congresswoman Nan Hayworth, whose district lies north of NYC. The ads, which we’ve seen here in NYC, are brutal.
6. U.S. House of Representatives — Arizona: Parker v. Sinema: “Democratic House candidate, Kyrsten Sinema, a state senator, is facing off against Republican Vernon Parker in Arizona,” Geidner writes. “A Sinema win would make her the first out bi member of Congress — and the only out LGBT woman in the House in the 113th Congress.”
7. U.S. House of Representatives — Massachusetts: Tierney v. Tisei: If Richard Tisei wins he will be the first Republican elected to Congress as an openly-gay man. He’s been endorsed by several LGBT groups, including the Victory Fund, despite the fact that his stance on LGBT issues is to the right of his non-LGBT Democratic opponent.
8. U.S. House of Representatives — Wisconsin: Lee v. Pocan: Congresswoman Tammy Baldwin gave up her seat to run for the Senate (above) and Mark Pocan, who is also gay, is favored to win.
9. U.S. House of Representatives — California: Takano v. Tavaglione: Openly-gay Democrat Mark Takano is favored to win election to the U.S House against Republican challenger John Tavaglione. Chris Geidner notes a win for Takano “would make him the first out LGBT person of color in Congress.”
STATE MARRIAGE REFERENDA
10. Washington: Christine Gregoire, Governor of the state of Washington, signed into law a same-sex marriage bill that was quickly thrown onto today’s election ballot by anti-gay religious right forces. While polling is favorable for a win, it could be very close.
11. MARYLAND: Also very close, Maryland‘s same-sex marriage bill, (similar story,) in March was signed into law by Governor Martin O’Malley after a contentious debate in the legislature. If the word “cockmonster” means anything to you, you know the Maryland debate has never ended.
12. MAINE: Maine was one of the first states to pass a same-sex marriage law in 2009, only to have voters rescind it at the voting booth later that year, a heartbreaking, crushing defeat. Now, voters seem poised to pass a same-sex marriage equality bill, and the religious right and NOM are pouring money into the state attempting to defeat it — with lies, mistruths, and misdirection, of course.
13. MINNESOTA: Home of Michele Bachmann, Minnesota is the only state this year attempting to further exclude same-sex couples from marrying. The Republicans have managed to place on the ballot an amendment that would add a ban on same-sex marriage into the Minnesota constitution. Does the name Kally Yanta ring a bell? Geidener notes, “Close, though PPP shows it 52-48 for us.”
14. IOWA: Iowa was one of the first states to legalize same-sex marriage because their Suupreme Court — in a unanimous decision — ruled their ban on marriage equality violated their constitution. So, of course, NOM and radical right wing Republican “pro-family” haters like Bob Vander Plaatz got to work — on removing supreme court jstices from office, the first time that’s ever happened sucessfully. They were successful in removing three, now they’re back for another. Despicable.
Supreme Court judge David Wiggins is likely to lose his job for correctly interpreting Iowa’s constitution.
Of course, we’re all hoping to see Congressman Allen West, Congresswoman Michele Bachmann, Congressman Steve King, and Congressman Louie Gohmert get defeated tonight, but we’re not holding our breath.
Image: Obama For America
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