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Five gay candidates for Congress battle glass ceiling

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cboy4 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Mar-08-08 11:47 AM
Original message
Party leaders, national groups slow to offer support :eyes:

Friday, March 07, 2008

Ten years after Rep. Tammy Baldwin (D-Wisc.) became the first and only openly gay person to win election to a first-term seat in Congress, four gay men and a lesbian are running for Congress this year and political observers say each faces an uphill fight.

Although three other open gays, including Rep. Barney Frank (D-Mass.), have repeatedly won re-election to seats in the House of Representatives, each of them first won their seats before they publicly disclosed their sexual orientation.

Supporters of the gay congressional candidates running this year say they are hopeful that at least one or more of the five will break through what some have called a glass ceiling that has prevented another open gay from winning a first-term congressional seat since Baldwins victory in 1998.


Some of their supporters, especially backers of the gay Democrats, have complained that party leaders have shown a bias toward their straight opponents in the upcoming primaries. Supporters of the gay Democratic candidates have also expressed concern that national gay groups, such as National Stonewall Democrats and Human Rights Campaign, have yet to endorse any of the gay congressional candidates.

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hulklogan Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Mar-08-08 11:58 AM
Response to Original message
1. The more mainstream the HRC gets, the less relevant it becomes
And I'm referring to the Human Rights campaign, Obama supporters, not Senator Clinton.

The HRC's fumble of ENDA was a watershed moment, for me. When one of our own advocacy groups starts to tell certain members of the GLBT community to go to the back of the bus, I can only believe that political expedience has overtaken doing the "right thing" as the driving force at the HRC. Now they're not endorsing actual GLBT candidates for Congress. Who do they think will be better advocates for GLBT issues at the national level? Larry Craig and John Boehner?
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TechBear_Seattle Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Mar-08-08 12:08 PM
Response to Reply #1
2. I agree with you entirely
The Human Rights Campaign has increasingly marginalized itself from the larger GLBT community in favor of "mainstream" America. I can understand that as a tool to approach people less than excited over gay rights, but their politics has likewise drifted, and it is costing them a great deal of support from the communities it is supposedly representing.
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cboy4 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Mar-08-08 12:15 PM
Response to Reply #2
4. I hope you're contacting HRC and articulating your
views about this like I do TechBear.

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cboy4 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Mar-08-08 12:13 PM
Response to Reply #1
3. Yea. But look at how Barney Frank fumbled ENDA.
So it's not just HRC.

HRC also pretty much wimped out regarding McClurkin by not demanding an apology.

The organization definitely isn't perfect -- in fact, it's far from perfect.

But it still does good work from an overall standpoint. So does Barney.

IMO, we fix things...we advance important issues by speaking out. Not by abandonment.

And just like I did with ENDA, I'll be contacting HRC about these candidates.
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