Wednesday, November 09, 2011

VICTORY! Gay and lesbian candidates sweep into public office

Annise Parker won re-election as Houston's mayor

In addition to the embarrassment suffered last night by the National Organization for Marriage, there is also more excellent news to report.

A large number of gay candidates were elected to public office last night. According to the Victory Fund:

Houston - Houston voters have returned Mayor Annise Parker to office without a runoff election, giving her nearly 51% of the vote in a general election tonight that featured five opponents. Parker, an out lesbian, was first elected in 2009 and will be able to run for one more 2-year term in 2013. Voters in the new city council District J chose Mike Laster to represent them. Laster becomes the first openly gay man elected to the Houston City Council.

Montana - Caitlin Copple, an out lesbian who was endorsed by the Victory Fund, has won her race for the Missoula, Montana, city council, defeating an incumbent who voted against an LGBT non-discrimination ordinance.

Cincinnati - Chris Seelbach has won his race for the Cincinnati, Ohio City Council. He becomes the first openly LGBT council member in the city’s history.

North Carolina - LaWana Mayfield won her race for Charlotte, N.C., City Council, becoming that city’s first openly LGBT elected official. She was heavily favored after ousting the incumbent Democrat in the primary earlier this year.

New Jersey - Bruce Harris was elected mayor of Chatham Borough, N.J. He’s likely the nation’s first openly gay, African American, Republican mayor. Mayor Tim Eustace of Maywood, N.J., has been elected to the New Jersey Assembly tonight, becoming the first openly gay non-incumbent to win a seat in the legislature. Eustace will join Assemblymember Reed Gusciora, who won his reelection bid, as New Jersey’s only openly gay state lawmakers.

Minnesota - Mary Doran has been elected to the School Board in St. Paul, Minn.

Connecticut - Pedro Segarra easily retains his post as mayor of Hartford, Conn. His main opponents dropped out of the race earlier this year.

Massachusetts - Alex Morse, a 22-year-old graduate of Brown University, has just been elected mayor of Holyoke, Mass., a city of nearly 40,000 residents near Springfield.

Indiana - Zach Adamson has won his race for city council in Indianapolis, giving the city its first openly LGBT city council member.

Florida - An incumbent on the Largo, Fla., City Commission who attacked her openly gay opponent over his sexual orientation has lost her reelection bid to him tonight. Michael Smith defeated Mary Gray Black, who has a history of anti-gay and anti-trans activism on the commission.

In addition, word has come that Daniel Hernandez, the intern whose actions saved Congresswoman Gabby Gifford after that awful shooting earlier this year, won a seat on Arizona's Sunnyside Unified School District governing board, with 61.8 percent of the vote.

Of course none of these candidates won because of their sexual orientation and it would be insulting to think of them as solely "the gay candidates."

But to ignore what their victories mean to the community and the nation at large would be even more insulting.

They prove that while the lgbtq community still has a hard road to trod, we are walking it rather nicely and all of the lies, slander, and hate done under the guise of religious beliefs can't stop us if we don't let it.

The world is changing, regardless of how some folks on the right feel about it. Lgbtqs are no longer hypothetical. We are no longer being seen as abstract pieces in religious arguments. We are real people who lead families, pay taxes, have normal lives, and - as seen by last night - are elected to public office.

Deal with it. And if you can't, that's YOUR problem.

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Sage said...

You are such an amazing resource, Alvin!

BlackTsunami said...

Thank you, Sage ;p

James said...

Keep up the great work Alvin!

Anonymous said...

Mary Doran is from the great state of Minnesota! You have her listed as hailing from Montana!

In other good news for Minnesota there is a lesbian candidate who was elected to another City Council in MN, but I'm not sure how out she is yet so I don't want to share the name.

We also have the opportunity to elect a well-qualified member of the LGBT community, Susan Allen, in the House District 61B Special election. The endorsing convention is this Saturday (13Nov2011) and the primary is on 06Dec2011.

David Joseph DeGrio, Chair
Stonewall DFL (Democratic-Farmer-Labor) of Minnesota

BlackTsunami said...

Sorry about that, David. I made the change and congratulations on your other victory ;p