Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Five LGBT Allies

Sometimes it's hard to tell the gay-friendly from the homophobes--yes, I'm talking switch-hitter Tim Pawlenty, for one. And then you have the blatantly homophobic, anti-gay, anti-equality Jim DeMint from the great :::cough cough::: state of South Carolina who gets physically ill at the idea of homosexuality; and then we also have Queen Of The Asshats, Michele Bachmann of Minnesota, who believes that the LGBT community is a bigger threat than terrorism.

Still, we do have Tammy Baldwin, Barney Frank and Jared Polis taking up our issues in Congress, but, um, they kind of have to, being gay themselves. So, who else is there? Are there are any gay-friendly heteros in office willing to stand up for us and against the likes of Bachmann and DeMint?

We do....and here are five of them that deserve our thanks, our time, and our support:

Number Five:
Senator Tom Harkin, who did what a handful of Senators did this year: he publicly stated that he regretted his vote on the Defense of Marriage Act in 1996. Harkin joined Senators Arlen Specter and Chris Dodd in denouncing their vote for DOMA. But Harkin had a sense of eloquence in his comments, and it didn't hurt that they came right on the heels of Iowa's Supreme Court ruling that the state’s constitution required the recognition of same-sex marriage.
Tom Harkin: “We all grow as we get older, and we learn things and we become more sensitive to people and people’s lives. And the more I’ve looked at that, I’ve grown to think differently about how people — how we should live. And I guess I’m at the point that, you know — I’m to that point of live and let live.”

Number Four:
Congressman Earl Blumenauer, of Oregon, who also blasted the Defense of Marriage Act. Blumenauer also issued a statement regretting his original vote for DOMA, going so far as to say he not only regretted the vote, but felt it was the worst vote he ever cast in his entire political career. Blumenauer vowed to lobby his fellow legislators in efforts to overturn DOMA.
Earl Blumenauer: “I will work to make sure that my colleagues who once, for whatever reason, joined me in supporting [DOMA] take this opportunity to correct their record and eliminate an injustice.”

Number Three:
Senator Kirsten Gillibrand who has, well, for lack of a better term, come out strongly as one of the Senate’s biggest supporters for equal rights. Hers is one of the loudest voices in the Senate for ending Don't Ask, Don't Tell and has called the battle for marriage equality the civil rights battle of today’s generation. Gillibrand even tried to exert some pull with the New York State Senate in their [failed] marriage equality vote, and supports a fully inclusive version of the Employment Non-Discrimination Act.

Number Two:
Congressman Patrick Murphy is the first Iraq war veteran to serve in Congress and is one of the loudest and strongest voices on ending DADT. He seems to be making it one of his goals, even touring with the Human Rights Campaign’s “Voices of Honor” tour, calling attention to how eliminating gays and lesbians from the U.S. Armed Forces not only smacks in the face of equality and freedom--the very principles that our military stands for--but also threatens our national security.
Patrick Murphy: “‘Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell’ clearly isn’t working for our military, and it hinders national security and military readiness at a time when America is fighting in two wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. My time in Iraq taught me that our military needs and deserves the best and the brightest who are willing to serve -- and that means all Americans, regardless of their orientation.”

Number One...and we have a tie:
Congressman Joe Sestak of Pennsylvania has emerged as a fighter for LGBT equality. He says that one of the fights that keeps him going in politics is the battle to end the only form of institutionalized discrimination still legal in the U.S.--that of discrimination against LGBT people
Joe Sestak: “How can we demand that the 65,000 of our troops who are estimated to be gay act dishonestly and conceal information from their comrades and commanders? No one who serves in defense of liberty should be forced to live a lie. I cannot imagine denying equal rights to anyone I served with. How can anyone say, we fought and served together, we depended on one another, we risked our lives for this country, but back home you shouldn’t enjoy the rights that you defended?”
Congressman Jerrold Nadler also works tirelessly to get rid of DOMA, going so far as to introduce the Respect For Marriage Act that would dismantle DOMA. Nadler’s reason for introducing the Respect for Marriage Act: he wants to send DOMA “into the history books where it belongs.”

So, there you have five straight allies of the LGBT community. These are just some of the politicians who deserve our time, our support, and our donations, They understand equality; they understand marriage; they understand freedom and respect.

And they deserve ours.

list from


Larry Ohio said...

Senator Gillibrand impresses me to no end. One would think a mid-term appointee would play it safe and do nothing that could possibly be seen as controversial. But not her! She showed strong leadership right from the start. I wish her well in the 2010 special election.

David Dust said...

I am so proud that Jerry Nadler is my Congressman.

We're (tied for) #1! We're (tied for) #!...

Anonymous said...

Yay! for this post. It's always heart warming to see such influential people out and about keeping our best interest at heart and breaking down stereotypes of gay people.


Some of them truly deserve our support...hope they continue to keep up!

Wonder Man said...

We need to make a list of these folks and make sure they keep their offices in 2010

Dr. Jillian T. Weiss said...

I have a concern about Tim Murphy. He voted against the Employment Non-Discrimination Act in 2007, and I can't find any indication that he has changed his mind. If he votes the same way this coming year, then I'd have to wonder what the heck is going on with him. What do you think of this?

Dr. Jillian T. Weiss said...

Oh, wait....different Murphy. Patrick Murphy good, Tim Murphy bad