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Out Gay Candidate Receives Second National Endorsement

by J. Rudy Flesher on June 1, 2012

in Elections,J. Rudy Flesher,News,Politics

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Chris Dietz is one of (at least) three out LGBT candidates that will be seeking election this November to the Pennsylvania’s General Assembly. Already endorsed at the national and state levels, respectively, by LGBT organizations The Gay & Lesbian Victory Fund and Equality Pennsylvania, as well as Planned Parenthood PA Advocates and a number of unions, Dietz picked up another national endorsement last week. The Progressive Majority chose only twenty candidates nationwide to endorse, with Dietz among those making the cut in this incredibly selective process.

Since 2004, Progressive Majority has helped elect 411 progressive champions to office. The Progressive Majority identifies and recruits the best progressive leaders to run for office; coaches and supports their candidacies by providing strategic message, campaign, and technical support; prioritizes the recruitment and election of candidates of color; and brings new people into the political process at all levels.

From Dietz’s press release announcing this endorsement, it is clear the Progressive Majority’s mission and values are in line with his own:

Chris has three young nephews, so quality public education is a priority for him. Pennsylvania must ensure future generations have equal or better opportunities to learn the necessary skills to compete for careers in the global economy. With the reapportionment process continuing to drag on, it is quite apparent that we need to reform our state government procedures. In times when few workers are seeing raises, when many citizens are unable to find work, when schools districts are cutting education programs and closing schools, the fact that our legislators receive an automatic cost of living increase is out of touch with the people of our great state.

Chris is proud to continue building a broad based coalition with those concerned about job creation, public education, government reform, conservation, equal rights, women’s rights, mental health, veteran’s affairs and the middle class.

A full list of the organizations endorsing Dietz can be found at his campaign website. If he is elected in November, Dietz will join Brian Sims, who won his primary in April and runs unopposed in the general election, as the first out gay Representatives in Pennsylvania’s history. Two other out LGBT candidates, both also endorsed by Equality Pennsylvania, are Kelly McEntee and Jeff Dahlander. We will continue to track all of these historic campaigns as they progress.

J. Rudy Flesher, a Philadelphia based actor and author, holds a B.A. in Women’s and Gender Studies from The College of New Jersey, and is an award-​winning feminist scholar. Ze blogs here and at The Pistol in Bed Thirteen, works with PhinLi Bookings to connect LGBTQ and sex positive talent with audiences, and is currently writing hir first book, an essay collection on the daily experiences of a genderqueer life. Ze will also be published in the forthcoming anthology “Beyond Masculinity.”

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Lou Gagliardi June 1, 2012 at 10:22 am

If elected I hope the first thing he and Brian Sims do is work to get arid of the state Defense of Marriage Act. As a native Pennsylvanian, I'm embarrassed that my state has such a law.

njrugger45 June 1, 2012 at 10:48 am

I certainly hope they will work on repealing our marriage ban, although with Rep Metcalfe still introducing Constitutional amendments to ban marriage, I'm not sure that law will be going away any time soon. Then again, no state has achieved marriage equality without out gay legislators, so hopefully their presence in the House will positively change opinions about marriage equality.

I would argue that the first LGBT bill they should work on would be HB 300, the non-discrimination bill covering employment, housing, and public accommodations. Unlike marriage, this bill has majority support – over 60% in fact – in every area of the state, and has for years. This is the most passable LGBT bill we have right now.

Lou Gagliardi June 1, 2012 at 2:03 pm

You're right. HB 300 should be the first.

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