Edwards’ LGBT Supporters on Why Gays Should Support Edwards

October 31, 2007 at 1:38 pm 6 comments

LGBT supporters of John Edwards campaign for the presidency are stepping up their efforts to convince LGBT voters that Edwards is the best bet to advance LGBT issues. A group of those supporters released the following outlining their reasons for supporting Edwards and why LGBT voters should support him as well.

Read John Edwards platform on LGBT civil rights.

Dear Friends:

The 2008 Presidential elections offer our country and our community a chance to make history, by fundamentally restructuring American politics from the White House to the statehouse. That is why we are supporting Senator John Edwards for President and hope that you will consider joining us.

As the Democratic presidential nominee, John Edwards would represent nothing less than the chance to alter the conventional foundations of American politics. Edwards demonstrates strong leadership, not only on the critical issues facing the LGBT community, but also by offering bold ideas like guaranteeing universal health care to every man, woman and child in this nation, ending poverty in this country during our lifetime, and stopping global warming while creating hundreds of thousands of quality American jobs in a new energy economy. As the Democratic Party’s presidential nominee Edwards will run a 50-state campaign- helping to strengthen Democratic officials, not only in traditionally “blue” states, but also in “battleground” and “red” states.

Edwards’ “policy ideas are shaping the Democratic presidential race.” The Economist- July 19, 2007

Edwards’ bold leadership on the critical issues, both on those unique to our community and those that transcend all communities, has set the policy agenda for this election, making it safe for others to follow. Edwards was the first candidate to offer a truly universal health care plan, the first candidate to offer a comprehensive global warming proposal, and the first to offer a comprehensive HIV/AIDS strategy. Early on, Edwards accepted responsibility and apologized for his vote to invade Iraq, and he has consistently called upon Congress to stand up to President Bush to force an end to the war.

I am the candidate running for president on the Democratic side who’s actually won an election in a red state running against the Jesse Helms political machine. John Edwards- “Meet the Press” October 7, 2007

Edwards is the Democrat with the best chance to regain the White House against all of the top Republican candidates and offers the best chance to help Democrats get elected in some of the toughest races in the country because of his appeal in traditionally “red” areas. According to Doug Shoen, former pollster for President Bill Clinton, Edwards is “the strongest individual match up” against Republicans in the general. Edwards puts into play states where Democrats running for president have not competed in years. For example, his strength in places like Kentucky, Missouri and Oklahoma, will help Democrats competing in tight races, including for control of governorships and legislatures, control of which may mean more to LGBT Americans than most.

While members of the LGBT community are by no means single-issue voters, you may be asking yourself what all of this has to do with the LGBT community and our agenda. As most of us now realize, almost all of the victories for our community have been at the state and local level. These victories are largely due to the hard work, persistence and talent of LGBT statewide organizations and their allies. Because these activists devoted their lives to educating their neighbors and elected representatives, we have marriage in Massachusetts, civil unions in New Jersey, Vermont, California, New Hampshire and Connecticut, and laws providing workplace equality, safe schools, protection from hate crimes and domestic partnership registries in dozens of states and local municipalities.

As members of the LGBT community, we are supporting John Edwards for President because if we want to continue to see this kind of progress in the states and to see the bills that we all have worked so hard to get enacted, we need to maintain the majorities Democrats hold in statehouses and build new ones. And there is only one candidate with a 50-state plan who can ensure that we capitalize on the opportunities we have across the nation. That candidate is John Edwards.

Eric Stern, Former National Stonewall Democrats Executive Director
David Mixner, Former Bill Clinton for President Adviser
Dan Hinkley, Nevada Stonewall Democratic Caucus President
John A. Pérez, Democratic National Committee Member
Linda Elliott, Human Rights Committee Board of Directors Member
David Tseng, Kerry-Edwards 2004 National LGBT Advisory Committee Co-Chair
Skip Paul, Corporate Executive
Jenny Durkan, Washington LGBT Community Leader
Scott Benson, Majority Leader Minneapolis City Council
Kenda Kirby, former Executive Director of North Carolina Human Rights Initiative
Ian Palmquist, Equality North Carolina, Executive Director
Eric Marcus, Author and Gay Activist
Scott Wiener, Human Rights Campaign Board of Directors Member
Ken Keechl, Broward County Commissioner; Former Dolphin Democrats President
Ron Ginsburg, LGBT Community Activist
Gregory G. Simoncini, Commissioner of Illinois Human Rights Commission
Jeff Gardner, Vice Chair of Garden State Equality
James Duff, TV Producer
Robert D. Horvath, Mautner Project Board of Directors Member
Patrick J. Lyden, LGBT Community Activist; Homeland Security Advisor
Kevin Jennings, New York LGBT Community Activist
Stephen Handwerk, Board Member of National Stonewall Democrats
Jeff Anderson, Former Co-Chair of John Kerry for President National LGBT Finance Committee
Jeff Soukup, Former President and COO, PlanetOut Inc.
Andy Szekeres, Former Colorado Stonewall Co Chair
Sean Kosofsky, Michigan LGBT Community Leader
Mark Periello, Former Human Rights Campaign staff member
Kyle Bailey, Board member of National Stonewall Democrats
Hans Johnson, President of Progressive Victory
Todd Elmer, Former Clinton Administration Commerce Department Official
Les Krambeal, Board member of National Stonewall Democrats
Leslie Giblett, Washington LGBT Community Leader
Alexis Pontikis, Washington LGBT Community Leader
Gregg Gallo, National Stonewall Board Members
David Mariner, Former Out for Howard Dean Co-Chair
*Organizations listed for identification purposes only


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6 Comments Add your own

  • 1. Webster  |  October 31, 2007 at 5:15 pm

    I’m counting on Edwards to at least be honest. He has been so far–and I expect more openness and a willingness to learn and change. Not to mention that his wife is on our side, and I’ve a feeling she can be pretty persuasive. I just don’t trust Hillary, and Obama’s willingness to go dancing with McClurkin, pretending it was blind date, has soured me on him for now…

  • 2. Win in 08  |  October 31, 2007 at 5:40 pm

    In addition to the fact that he’s the most electable Democrat in the race, it’s easy to see from a policy perspective why gay and lesbain Americans support John Edwards over Hillary or Barack:

    First, Barack showed his true colors last week by courting evangelical voters by using a known homophobe as his surrogate. And Donnie McClurkin wasn’t the only homophobe on the tour as Mary Mary compared gays and lesbians to murderers and prostitutes. If Barack had really wanted to lead, he would have admitted that he made a mistake and then cancelled the tour. Instead, he tried to sweep it all under the carpet by asking a gay minister to join the tour. Too little, too late.

    Second, that episode came on the heels of both Barack and Hillary’s failure to respond when General Pace said that gays and lesbains are immoral. Edwards immediately denounced this statement. Hillary and Barack took days to see how they should respond (and only after they saw the public’s reaction).

    Third, Edwards wants to repeal Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell. The Clinton’s put it in place and now Hillary is saying that passing DADTwas all part of a long-term strategy to get rid of it. Huh? Talk about “two steps back”. She should explain her brilliant strategy to the thousands ofproud gay and lesbian Americans who were drummed out of the service because of her support for DADT. Or how about to the American tax payers who have spent millions training those individuals only to have that investment flushed down the toilet of DADT.

    Fourth, Edwards wants to repeal ALL of the so-called Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA). Hillary only wants to repeal a PORTION of it (she believes that states should still be allowed to discriminate and violate the full faith and credit clause of the Constitution). Besides, we wouldn’t even have DOMA if it weren’t for the Clintons. They said that Bill hated “having” to sign DOMA, but then they were up on the air with ads in the South within two weeks boasting of how Bill took the lead to pass DOMA.

    Fifth, Hillary is also lying about DOMA and the anti-gay Federal Marriage Amendment (FMA). She says that DOMA was all part of an effort to stop the FMA. But there was no FMA until EIGHT years later. Has she no shame? Does she really expect us to buy this line?

    Sixth, Edwards supports ending immigration discrimination against gay and lesbian families by passing the “Uniting American Families Act”. Barack and Hillary both oppose the Act. Get this: based on “national security” concerns. Where have we heard that crap before? See for yourself; look at their responses to the HRC questionaire (if you can even find the actual responses any more since the Hillary-loving HRC staff appears to have taken it down and only shows their white-washed summary of the responses in tabular form without any of the details which are what really tell the story. Same thing goes with Hillary’s response to repealing DOMA).

    Seventh, Edwards supports federally funded needle exchange. Hillary does not, saying that there is not the “political will” to pass it. I thought that she said she wanted to be a leader and that she knew how to work in Washington. I guess that only applies when it comes to getting money from lobbyists, huh?

    Eighth, during the 2004 campaign, Bill Clinton took it upon himself to call John Kerry to tell Kerry to support the anti-gay Federal Marriage Amendment. Kerry refused to throw us under the bus, but Clinton showed (yet again) what he’s made of and where his principles are. And the sadest part is that Hillary boasts that he would be one of her top advisors. With “friends” like that …

    You know the old saying, “Fool me once, shame on you. Fool me twice, shame on me.” The Clintons have fooled us time and time again. Barack has now shown his true colors as well.

    It’s time for us to wake up and support Edwards. He’s the best Democrat in the race and he’s also the most electable!

  • 3. LGBT supporter  |  October 31, 2007 at 11:55 pm

    John Edwards is our only hope!

  • 4. John Edwards Reaching For The Gay Vote / Queerty  |  November 1, 2007 at 9:53 am

    […] the rest, after the jump… Via Bloggernista: Dear […]

  • 5. proudprogressive  |  November 1, 2007 at 11:07 am

    gonna change from a green to a dem , just for the primaries to vote for Edwards. Like others said above – at least the guy listens.. He will close Gitmo on day one of his presidency , stop wholesale surrvailence and the thing about him that gives me real hope is that HE cares about JUSTICE and FAIRNESS. He will listen and is open to persuation , not an idiologe. Once for example he comprehends that say the schedule one of marijuana is accounting for some of 2.2 milion in jail – at least this guy will think about changing the laws. Once he gets and he will that FEDERAL LEGISLATION for Civil Rights must guide the states..HE will not stand in the way of it. He has integrity. He has some baggage , but his laundry is a hell of a lot cleaner than some of the others. And HRC is JUST not an option. i mean think about the four yrs of clinton bashing we will be subjected to again plus a dynasty bush clinton bush clinton..neo libss/cons…its tooo weird. Plus Edwards does NOT take coprorate donations..he gets matching funds. My 50 dollars became 100. I urge any lgbt who really wants to attempt to get some semblence of honest government , and the Constititution back to give Edwards a serious look see. Clinton is certainly NO Friend of ours..never EVER has been.

  • 6. Mombian » Blog Archive » Weekly Political Roundup  |  November 2, 2007 at 7:37 pm

    […] slew of LGBT supporters of John Edwards released a letter explaining why they think he is the best […]


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