Friday
November 4, 2005

SGN.org
Volume 33
Issue 44

 
 
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Monday, Sep 16, 2019
 

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Letters
ELECTIONS

Dear SGN,

If our community is going to exercise any real political power, we need to focus our interests and then vote them as a bloc. In the election next week we have no openly Gay candidates running nor do we have any specifically Gay issue on the ballot. So we have to identify allied candidates who have supported our issues and make sure they get our votes.

But what is a "Gay issue"? My example is Greg Nickels. Many have told me to write in Paul Allen for mayor and skip the middle man. True, I don't like how Nickels gives Paul Allen toy streetcars but sabotages the monorail.

Yet streetcars and monorails are not Gay issues. On the other hand, Nickels has been strong for our community on discrimination issues and most recently recognizing same sex marriages for city benefits. So while I have a strong personal connections to many other interests, I vote Gay and Nickels gets my vote.

Same with the city council. Jan Drago has been a persistent champion for LGBT issues. She walks her talk and shows up at a lot of our functions.

She easily gets my Gay vote. Same with Dwight Pelz, Richard Conlin, and Nick Licata. Sure, I differ with them on some funding issues and priorities, but they have never disappointed me on an LGBT issue. I can yell at them about libraries in email, but I vote Gay.

The Port of Seattle is a place where our Gay vote can really make a difference. Laurence Molloy sponsored a domestic partner effort on the commission last year so he gets my Gay vote. Jack Jolley gets my vote because he is running against Pat Davis, who defeated the domestic partner effort. Lloyd Hara is so solid on our issues right down the line that I gave him all A's in the SEAMEC interview. These three can get the domestic partner measure through if we put them in office.

Finally there is Ron Sims. He is roundly criticized for bungling the elections office, for undermining the monorail, and for pissing off right wing Eastsiders. Pissing off right wing eastsiders is fun, it's not really a Gay issue, and neither are the others. On our interests, Ron Sims is the best King County executive we have ever had. He has led time and again for us, most recently as the defendant in the same sex marriage case now before the Washington State supreme court. I proudly give my Gay vote to him.

It's difficult sometimes, I know, to narrow our voting specifically to Gay candidates, Gay ballot measures, and Gay allies. Sure, it tends to fuel the political polarization we see across America. But who says we LGBT people have to be the most intelligent, altruistic, and noble voters when everybody else - women, labor, big money, blacks, religious denominations, farmers, etc. are out there voting for their interests? If we don't articulate our issues and stay focused specifically on them, who else will? How will other candidates know what we stand for if we are always walking around?

So if we really are out and really are proud, we really should always vote Gay.

Sincerely,

Janice Van Cleve

Seattle, WA



Dear SGN,

To say that I am profoundly disappointed in SEAMEC's endorsement of Cheryl Chow, is to merely scratch the surface. Not only is Ms. Chow a "lackluster" choice; her true agenda for this run for office remains hidden. We should ask as well what her true allegiance to the LGBT cause is, given her complete lack of leadership during our recent struggles. Questions about Ms. Chow abound.

Some insight can be had by examining her dismal record as Principal of Garfield High School. Never were so many unfair labor practices committed by, or grievances won against a principal by my union, Local 609 Operating Engineers. Our union represents school cooks, custodians, security and grounds workers.

Examples abound of intemperate behavior as a coach of young girls. Parents have seen displays of temper directed at kids and fellow coaches; even refusing to shake hands after a loss. Beyond her questionable interpersonal and management skills is the total lack of a noteworthy record in her stint on the City Council or at O.S.P.I.

She has received no major media, labor, or business endorsements. Democratic groups have largely endorsed her opponent. Still, SEAMEC has endorsed her, why? Could it be that this is interest group politics at it's worst? Make the right kind of assurances behind closed doors and you get the nod. I have participated in the SEAMEC "process" and have watched good, progressive candidates wither under the arcane questions cooked up by the Grand Pooh-bahs of LGBT political correctness.

SEAMEC has always suffered from a lack of transparency, especially given this murky endorsement. One might suspect that the endorsement has as much to do the fact that she is 50-plus and unmarried as anything else. Perhaps SEAMEC could ditch the questionnaire and instead shine a light on candidates Chow's record.

Sincerely,

Jeffrey Wasson

Seattle, WA



Dear SGN,

From whisper campaigns to mixed messages, Victory Fund endorsees continue to face serious obstacles as we approach Nov. 8th. We need your support! To contribute to a candidate's success, click here!

In Georgia, Doraville city council candidate Brian Bates (R) is facing intolerance that is subtle but insidious. A whisper campaign has sprung up, apprising voters of Brian's sexual orientation. Brian stated that some members of his opponents' campaigns are attempting to casually bring his orientation into conversation, trying to sound "not malicious, simply...informative."

Those behind this whisper campaign are making sure that sexual orientation becomes an issue in this race. The current mayor has abandoned subtlety and publicly come out against Brian, disparaging him in conversation and placing signs for Brian's opponents in his driveway. Brian has also had signs stolen all over his district. He has had over 60 signs stolen in the past two weeks, roughly ten percent of the signs he had put up. Brian has a plan ready to fight these attacks but needs your help to implement it - click here to support Brian's voter outreach!

In Michigan, Chris Swope is stepping up his campaign to defeat incumbent Debbie Miner for Lansing City Clerk. A key endorsement came on Oct. 21st from the Lansing State Journal. In its editorial, the paper called Miner "a disappointment" who has "let too many details slide," and "urge Lansing voters to elect Chris Swope." The editorial praised Swope, the director of Equality Michigan, noting that "his experience in state government" and "his degree in financial administration," make him well prepared for the position of city clerk.

However, despite this recognition from its editors, on Oct. 28th the Lansing State Journal printed a letter attacking Chris for being Gay. Calling Miner "the safe pick," Linda Stiver, the letter's author, implied that Chris has a secret homosexual agenda that would make him a dangerous choice for city clerk. The letter mentions Chris' recent Canadian marriage to his partner and paints him as a one issue militant activist, which is a ludicrous suggestion. To get his message out, Chris is in the midst of a massive mail campaign, articulating his strong qualifications to over 20,000 homes.

YOU can help Chris get his positive message out to voters and overcome intolerance! Contributions are limited to $1,000 for Friends of Chris Swope and $2,000 for Friends to Elect Brian Bates. Contribute online or make checks payable to Friends of Chris Swope or Friends to Elect Brian Bates, c/o the Victory Fund, 1705 DeSales Street NW, Suite 500, Washington, DC 20036.

Thank you for helping support these candidates. The waters are a little rough, but with your gift of at least $35 right now I believe that victory is within reach.

Yours in Victory,

Robin Brand

Sr. VP, Politics & Strategy

Victory Fund

BENEFITS AND DISCRIMINATION

Someone suggested something intriguing to me today that I hadn't thought of. One argument we'll have to deal with in advocating for equal marriage rights is that businesses, who are already overburdened with covering their employees' insurance, are going to protest against having more people be eligible for their coverage. I have not yet heard anyone say this.

If a company needed 100 employees to run the business and all of them were heterosexual, and they had company paid, or partially paid insurance, then "Management" wouldn't blink an eye in providing that coverage. If that same company had 100 employees and 80 of the were heterosexual and 20 of them were LGBT there would either be an uproar in providing the 20 employees with equal benefits or they simply wouldn't do so claiming "they couldn't afford to."

Yuck. I'm so tired of defending me & my family against this bigotry. Even we, the LGBT community, can't agree on what's worth fighting or how to fight this injustice. We're the only class of citizens in our own country who must suffer government sanctioned and encouraged discrimination. Let's fight that.

Sincerely,

Marge Ballack,

Plaintiff in the ACLU/WA Supreme Court Marriage Equality case.

Spokane, WA

SCHOLARSHIPS FOR QUEER WRITERS

Dear SGN,

Where are the James Baldwins, Audre Lordes, and Truman Capotes of today? Queer writers abound in high schools and colleges everywhere; they and their friends have unique contributions to make to their schools and to the larger community. Some have the potential, with proper support, to go on to become the creators of the award-winning books and plays we will be reading in the coming years.

As Queer Scholars, these young writers can positively affect the conditions of their fellow LGBT students and other Queer youth. Collected, their writings can become Queer-the-curriculum materials that schools and teachers can use for positive change.

The Queer Foundation's Effective Writing and Scholarships Program is today a dream. But it can become a reality through the generous donations of individuals like you. Together we can make it happen. Help establish the firm financial foundation that will make it possible. Please write a check today to the Queer Foundation.

100% of your contribution will go to provide a scholarship for a young Queer writer to study Queer theory or a related field at the college or university of his or her choice. Please visit our Web site for detailed information.

The Queer Foundation is a Washington nonprofit corporation and a 501(c)(3) public charity. Find us on GuideStar.org (search for "Queer scholars").

Sincerely,

Joseph Dial

Exec. Dir.

Queer Foundation

206.999.8740

jdial@post.harvard.edu

Seattle, WA

BUSH SHOULD RESIGN FROM SCOUTS POST

Dear SGN,

Congressman Barney Frank, D-MA, supports Scouting for All's effort to ask President Bush to step down as the honorary President of The Boy Scouts of America.

Sincerely,

Scott Cozza

President of Scouting for All

info@scoutingforall.org

Petaluma, CA



[Editors Note: The following is a statement from Congressman Barney Frank to be read at a press conference in Washington, D.C., later this month calling on President Bush to step down as the honorary President of the Boy Scouts of America. Congressman Jim McDermott, D-WA, declined to attend the press conference or issue a statement in support of Scouting for All's effort to end discrimination against Gay and non-theist youth in the Boy Scouts.]

Office of U.S. Representative Barney Frank.

I cannot attend the press conference because the House is in session and I am not able to get off the Hill. So I am sending instead this statement of my gratitude and admiration for Steven Cozza and the work he is doing through Scouting for All.

I continue to be deeply disappointed that the Boy Scouts of America betrays its own professed mission of bringing out the best in young people by perpetuating this unfair and unjustified discrimination based on sexual orientation and religious belief. Clearly, there is zero reason to think that atheists or Gay males are in any way unsuited for the work that the Boy Scouts do.

I note that in its justification of the exclusion of people like me from any role in scouting, the Boy Scouts do not even allege that the problem is that of sexual abuse, but rather simply that they disapprove of us and believe that we do not meet their moral standard. And, of course, the discrimination against young males who have the independence of mind to come to their own religious conclusions with which the Boy Scouts disagree is a great violation of the spirit of freedom and tolerance that all Americans should defend.

I was disappointed that President Clinton refused to acknowledge the shortcomings of the Boy Scouts in this regard, and I call on President Bush to accept this invitation to move beyond his predecessor in this important area of human rights.

Congressman Barney Frank

2252 Rayburn House Office Building

Washington, DC 20515
   

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