Gay man looks set for Congress
BOULDER, Colo. — Jared Polis (pictured) will likely become the first-ever openly gay man elected to the U.S. House of Representatives as a non-incumbent. On Aug. 12, Polis won his Democratic primary to represent Colorado’s 2nd Congressional District. As the Democratic nominee in an overwhelmingly Democratic district, Polis is nearly certain to win the seat in November. He would join Rep. Tammy Baldwin (D-WI) and Rep. Barney Frank (D-MA) as the only openly gay or lesbian Members of Congress.
Polis, who was previously elected statewide to the Colorado State Board of Education, would fill the seat of Rep. Mark Udall, who is running to represent Colorado in the U.S. Senate. Polis came out publicly while serving on the Board of Education.
“Jared’s election is a victory for democracy. Gay Americans are woefully underrepresented in our government,” said Chuck Wolfe, president and CEO of the Gay and Lesbian Victory Fund, which endorsed Polis. “Jared’s victory brings us one step closer to fulfilling America’s promise of truly representative government.”
Dem platform good for LGBTs
WASHINGTON, D.C. — Movement leaders have praised the proposed Democratic National Platform for its positions on issues of importance to the LGBT community. The platform, which will be ratified at the Democratic national convention this month in Denver, Colo., calls for passage of LGBT-inclusive hate crimes and employment non-discrimination legislation, as well as repeal of the “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” military policy. For the first time, the platform opposes the federal Defense of Marriage Act.
Rea Carey, executive director of the National Gay and Lesbian Task Force Action Fund, said, “It is a forward-looking platform in so many areas, including those relating to LGBT people. The Task Force Action Fund is certainly pleased to see that in the opening paragraph of the section titled ‘A More Perfect Union,’ for the first time the platform explicitly calls for an end to discrimination based on sexual orientation and gender identity.”
Human Rights Campaign President Joe Solmonese concluded, “This year’s Democratic Party Platform does more to address policy issues important to the GLBT community than ever before.”
AFA launches McDonald’s boycott
TUPELO, Miss. — The American Family Association has initiated a boycott of McDonald’s because the fast food giant joined the National Gay and Lesbian Chamber of Commerce. AFA’s action alert said, “To help promote the gay agenda, McDonald’s paid $20,000 to become an official ‘organizational ally and corporate partner’ of the National Gay and Lesbian Chamber of Commerce and secure a seat on the group’s board of directors.”
The statement continued, “AFA asked McDonald’s to remain neutral in the culture war. The company refused, stating they will continue to support the gay agenda including same-sex marriage. AFA has called for a boycott of McDonald’s restaurants.”
Joining AFA is the Timothy Plan, which is marketed as “America’s first pro-life, pro-family, biblically-based mutual fund group.” Fund President Arthur Ally said, “McDonald’s corporation has a fiduciary responsibility to their shareholders to continue to earn profits and expand their company. By alienating such a large consumer base, the Christian community, they are undoubtedly neglecting this responsibility.”
Tax protest movement grows
NEW YORK, N.Y. — John Bisceglia has refused to file his taxes since 2005, and he vows that he will continue to do so until the federal government grants all LGBT Americans and their children the 1,400-plus legal rights and protections civil marriage affords. Bisceglia, who documents his battle for equality on his blog, Gay Tax Protest, is part of a growing movement of gays who are protesting discrimination in the Federal Tax Code against same-sex couples.
Bisceglia said recently, “While it is crucial for Americans to know specifically how marriage inequality hurts LGBT families and their children, the details are irrelevant when it comes to law. The myriad of horror stories are not the reason for civil marriage — it’s about equality. The federal government’s discrimination against LGBT families is an abomination; it is cruel to deny our families a marriage certificate while simultaneously doling them out like candy to heterosexuals.”
Other leaders in this equal rights effort include Charles Merrill, a wealthy former North Carolinian who is facing prosecution by the U.S. government for non-payment of taxes.
Census Bureau to edit gay families
WASHINGTON, D.C. — The Census Bureau has reported that in completing the 2010 Census, it will “edit” the data from same-sex couples who accurately report that they are legally married and will instead re-classify them as “unmarried partners.” This is the same procedure the Bureau used during the 2000 census, when no states yet recognized same-sex marriage. People For the American Way decried the decision.
A PFAW release noted “that kind of ‘editing’ undermines the Bureau’s mission to provide accurate and high quality data about the U.S. population, and according to a paper on the Bureau’s own website, creates a distorted picture of same-sex households.” The paper was written in 1999 by two members of the Census Bureau’s Fertility and Family Statistics Branch, Population Division.
“There are legally married same-sex couples in the United States,” said PFAW President Kathryn Kolbert (pictured). “It’s a fact that can’t be ‘edited’ out of existence. It’s time to stop faking the data for the sake of people who want to pretend that same-sex married couples don’t exist.”