U.S. Could Get First Openly Gay Lieutenant Governor

Massachusetts State Senator Richard Tisei, the running mate for that state's Republican candidate Charlie Baker, could become the first openly gay lieutenant governor.

TiseiGOP Politics evaluates the Tisei and Baker: "The GOP ticket is led by Charlie Baker, a fiscal conservative who supports marriage equality, and State Senate Minority Leader Richard Tisei, an openly gay candidate for lieutenant governor.  Not only is the GOP ticket in Massachusetts the most LGBT-friendly the Republican Party has ever fielded, but in this liberal bastion they’ve provided the Republican Governor’s Association (RGA) with a real pick-up opportunity."

Also, the Victory Fund has stated their support for the state senator: "Tisei has earned the respect of his colleagues and stands an excellent chance of becoming the party’s nominee for Lieutenant Governor if he can beat back the forces of intolerance on the extreme right wing of his party.  A group has emerged that’s urging Republican voters to reject Tisei because of his strong support for marriage equality, his support of teachers and because of his pro-choice stand."

Tisei himself noted that he has the potential to make history when speaking to the Martha's Vineyard Times last month: "People judge you on your performance," and not completely hiding his pride, added, "To tell you the truth, if I'm elected, I'll be the first gay office holder statewide, and the highest ranking in the country —unusual for a Republican."

You may remember that while Baker supports gay marriage, he and Tisei disagree on a Massachusetts transgender anti-discrimination bill.


Towleroad News #gay

—  John Wright

California Governor Race A Toss-Up

Polling averages are calling the Whitman-Brown race a toss-up at the moment. This despite Whitman’s campaign expenditures in the tens of millions and Brown’s in the tens of dollars. Obviously this race may be the most important for LGBT folks nationwide, should Whitman prevail and be allowed to defend Proposition 8.

Joe. My. God.

—  John Wright

Governor Paterson Signs NY Safe Schools Bill into Law

Today, New York Governor David Paterson signed into law the “Dignity for All Students Act.” The act is a broad safe schools law that requires schools to adopt policies to address harassment and discrimination against students, to educate teachers and students on harassment and bullying and provides reporting requirements. Particularly notable is that the bill enumerates, or lists, classifications for protection including the basis of real or perceived race, color, weight, national origin, ethnic group, religion, religious practice, disability, sexual orientation, gender – defined to include gender identity and expression- and sex.

Enumerated laws have been shown to provide better actual protections to students and to make students feel safer in school. GLSEN’s 2007 National School Climate Survey found that 9 out of 10 LGBT students experienced harassment in school. By highlighting categories of vulnerable students, states send a strong message that all students are valuable and alerts students that they can seek help from teachers and the administration if they face harassment or discrimination.

The “Dignity for All Students Act,” passed by overwhelming majorities in both the Assembly and Senate, also marks the first time the New York Senate has passed legislation explicitly protecting trans people. The step bodes well for passage of the New York “Gender Expression Non-Discrimination Act” which would prohibit discrimination on the basis of gender identity and expression in employment, housing, credit and public accommodations.

Currently, 14 states and the District of Columbia prohibit discrimination, harassment, and/ or bullying against students based on sexual orientation and gender identity. Only 12 states and the District of Columbia prohibit employment discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation and gender identity.


Human Rights Campaign | HRC Back Story

—  John Wright

HRC Governor Chosen as Member of Atlanta Police LGBT Advisory Board

Last week, the Atlanta Police Department moved another step toward strengthening its relationship with the LGBT community in the city. The department recently named the nine members of the local LGBT community to sit on a new advisory board for the department’s recently assigned LGBT liaison. The intent of the board is to team with the police to identify and resolve issues between the department and the community.

HRC was excited to learn that Molly Simmons, an outstanding volunteer that sits on our Board of Governors, was among those chosen to sit on the 9-member board. Molly’s experience as a former police officer and as an established leader in our community will be a great asset to the board and we know that she will continue to be a positive force for the LGBT community in Atlanta.

You can read more about the LGBT liaison or the advisory board here and here.


Human Rights Campaign | HRC Back Story

—  John Wright

Governor Rick Perry: Texas is ‘a Land of Opportunity’ Unless You’re Gay and Want to Marry

Perry

On the campaign trail, Governor Rick Perry talked up Texas:

That prompted a question, later on, from someone in the audience who wanted to know if the governor of Texas wants to be the next president of the United States. "No," Perry said. "I have no intention to go to Washington, D.C., except maybe to go to a museum, like the Smithsonian."

Social issues might be in the back seat, but they're still in the car: "There is still a land of opportunity, friends — it's called Texas," Perry said. "We're creating more jobs than any other state in the nation. … Would you rather live in a state like this, or in a state where a man can marry a man?"


Towleroad News #gay

—  John Wright

Worst Governor Ever: Sarah Palin Confronts Woman With Banner

An unscripted scene from Sarah Palin’s Alaska, her unreal reality show, probably won’t make it onto the air after Palin confronted a woman wielding a “Worst Governor Ever” banner. The clip at the bottom of this post was taken with a cell phone.

Kathleen Gustafson is a teacher married to a local commercial fisherman. She felt like Sarah Palin had let the state down by becoming a dollar-chasing celebrity and ignoring the oath of office she’d sworn on a Bible. Kathleen was motivated by the fact Palin was using the very place where her family makes a living to fortify the Palin personality cult — pretending to do the very thing they worked so hard to sustain. Initially, Kathleen just wanted to waste a little of the camera crew’s time, since Palin wasted so much of her time purporting to represent Alaska’s interests. She didn’t imagine Palin would be so easy to draw out. Saturday morning, Billy Sullivan helped Kathleen tape the banner up on his place of business at the top of the boat ramp. Then here she came. Sarah. She couldn’t just walk by. Only a few fishermen and tourists would have seen the banner, but Sarah had to stop and protest. I spoke with Kathleen. She said she wanted Palin to know how she felt, but never dreamed she’d get the chance to say to her face, “You’re not a leader, you’re a climber!” Early in the conversation, Sarah actually winked at Kathleen in what seemed to be a case of eyelid Tourette’s Syndrome. At one point, a Palin daughter chanted, “You’re just jealous”.

Watch Palin’s eyeroll when she learns the protester is a teacher. Reportedly Palin’s crew ripped down the banner shortly after this clip ends.

Joe. My. God.

—  John Wright

Plaintiffs, Governor Arnold and AG Brown ask Judge Walker to end the stay

From Karen Ocamb, the plaintiffs have asked Judge Walker to end the stay and allow marriages to proceed in California:

The legal team of David Boies and Ted Olson (pictured here with American Foundation for Equal Rights’ Chad Griffin) filed their motion asking Judge Walker to lift his stay on allowing Prop 8 to be struck down as unconstitutional.

And, via the San Francisco Chronicle, Arnold wants the same thing:

Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger called today for the immediate restoration of same-sex marriage in California, urging the federal judge who overturned Proposition 8 to impose his ruling while the case moves through the higher courts.

Allowing gay and lesbian couples to marry “is consistent with California’s long history of treating all people and their relationships with equal dignity and respect,” said a legal brief written on behalf of Schwarzenegger.

Earlier this week, several people reminded me on Twitter that Governor Schwarzenegger vetoed marriage legislation — twice. Seems like he’s really trying to redeem himself or something.

Also, the Attorney General of California (and Democratic candidate for Governor) Jerry Brown:

Attorney General Jerry Brown, who is running for governor, also filed arguments Friday against extending a stay of Walker’s ruling. Referring to the ban on same-sex marriage, Brown’s filing stated that “the public interest weighs against its continued enforcement.”

If Judge Walker lifts the stay, marriages can begin. But, the other side will ask the Circuit Court for a stay.




AMERICAblog Gay

—  John Wright

Lunch with Ohio Leaders Governor Ted Strickland and Senator Sherrod Brown

Today, HRC Regional Field Organizer Karl Bach and I attended a DC fundraising luncheon for Governor Ted Strickland.

It was great to hear the Governor talk about his strong support for equality. Senator Brown spoke to us about how grateful he was for HRC’s strong support of his campaign in 2006.

As we gear up for this fall’s elections, Ohio will once again be a key battleground in the fight for fairness. We’re proud to have such supportive leaders in the Buckeye state like Governor Strickland.

Paid for Human Rights Campaign Ohio Families PAC, Jim Rinefierd, Treasurer, 1640 Rhode Island Ave. NW, Washington DC 20036.


Human Rights Campaign | HRC Back Story

—  John Wright

Minnesota governor vetoes 'Final Wishes' bill because he supports 'traditional marriage'

tim_pawlenty_mn_gov
Gov. Tim Pawlenty

Minnesota’s Republican governor, Tim Pawlenty, on Saturday vetoed a bill passed by the state’s lawmakers that would have given same-sex partners control over the dispensation of their partners’ remains after death. Pawlenty said he vetoed the bill because it “addresses a non-existent problem” (same-sex couples can draw up living wills, he said) and because domestic partners should not be treated the same as married spouses.

In Minnesota, only surviving legally married spouses have the right to decide what to do with the remains of a deceased spouse. And of course, only opposite-gender couples are allowed to be legally married there.

Marriage — defined as between a man and woman — should remain elevated in our society at a special level, as it traditionally has been. I oppose efforts to treat domestic relationships as the equivalent of traditional marriage. Accordingly, I am opposed to this bill,” Pawlenty said.

The legislation, known as the Final Wishes Bill, would also have allowed surviving same-sex domestic partners to sue for recovery of hospital and funeral costs in the event of a wrongful death.

Pawlenty has said he won’t seek re-election as governor and has been rumored as a possible GOP presidential candidate in 2012.

You can read more about it at OnTop Magazine.

—  admin

TWO PEAS IN A POD: The 15 Things Rick Perry And Barack Obama Have In Common

Kay

This was sent to us by the Kay Hutchison for Governor campaign. Yes, Barack Obama and Rick Perry are two peas in a pod, according to our senior Senator. And she found 15 things they have in common. Here they are and forgive me if I just had to make some snotty comments. Attack ads are so much fun. And forgive me for calling her Kay, but the logo above comes from the email she sent us.

PERRY PARALLEL #1: Perry And Obama Both Started Their Careers As Democrat State Legislators

OK. Well, Obama was a Democratic state legislator, but we get the idea.

PERRY PARALLEL #2: Perry And Obama Both Voted For Large Tax Increase Packages

Obama voted for some taxes in the Illinois legislature and Perry voted for tax increases, the largest in Texas history, while he was in the Texas legislature. And the governor at the time was Bill Clements. Um … Kay, wasn’t Clements a Republican? In the last hundred years, we’ve had three Republican governors. We know you don’t like Perry. Now you don’t like Clements. The third was Bush. And we should vote for you because of this campaign literature why?

—  David Taffet