2010 Election | Democratic Party | Florida | News

AP Warns That Angry Gay Voters Could Spoil Election for Dems


A new AP article notes both the lack of enthusiasm and anger of gay voters as midterm elections approach, and warns that the mood could affect many races.

If Democratic candidates are counting on long-standing support from gay voters to help stave off big losses on Nov. 2, they could be in for a surprise.

Across the country, activists say gay voters are angry — at the lack of progress on issues from eliminating employment discrimination to uncertainty over serving in the military to the economy — and some are choosing to sit out this election or look for other candidates. President Barack Obama's hometown of Chicago, with its large, politically and socially active gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender community, offers a snapshot of what some are calling the "enthusiasm gap" between voters who came out strong for Obama and other Democrats in 2008 and re-energized Republican base voters, including tea party enthusiasts who say they are primed to storm the polls.

It didn't help that the controversy over the military's "don't ask, don't tell" policy for gays erupted less than two weeks before the election, when a judge overturned it, then Obama's justice department decided to fight the judge's decision. On Thursday, the Defense Department declared that "don't ask, don't tell" is official policy but set up a new system that could make it tougher to get thrown out of the military for being openly gay.

"It's all talk and nothing's happening, and I'm just over it," said Coatar, 62, a church business manager who said she's as concerned about health care and homelessness as about gay issues. "I don't know who to vote for and the election is a week away."

However you might feel about what has been accomplished thus far, not to vote would only be more damaging.

Joe Jervis makes another point: "Folks, you must vote. And yes, you should vote Democrat, even as disappointed as you may feel, if for no other reason than this is the year that we vote in the candidates that will control post-census redistricting. Are you so angry about DADT that you'd put the fucking teabaggers in charge of redrawing the boundaries of your district?"

Today, Save Dade, Miami-Dade County's leading organization dedicated to fighting anti-gay discrimination put out a PSA making a few more good points.

Watch it, AFTER THE JUMP...

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  1. I won't be giving the Dems my money and I won't be giving them my vote. They have taken us for granted too long. Lip service is all we have gotten for our dollars, votes and tireless support. How long do we have to wait to be respected in the party that supposedly supports us? Any one foolish enough to continue supporting the Dems after the past two years, deserves the deep disappointed that's coming! They have absolutely no argument for why we should vote for Dems other than they aren't as bad as the Reps. So I will vote Green or something else, but NOT DEMOCRATIC!

    Posted by: Leto | Oct 25, 2010 4:01:06 PM

  2. Think back to the 8 years of W.

    Did the Republicans go on anti-gay pogroms?


    Did they pass legislation keeping us from becoming teachers?


    Did we make big gains during those 8 years despite Republican control?

    Yes. We did it through the courts, mostly... just like we have had to do with the Obama administration. The only difference is the rhetoric, which is admittedly vile on the right.

    Everybody calm down. We have this freak-out right before every single election. If Democrats lose this year, then it's because of their own failures rather than any sinister gay plot. Vote your conscience. Vote for the local or state candidate that best represents your views and values, and don't let anyone bully you into voting for someone you don't truly support simply out of a sense of fear.

    If the Democrats are that concerned about the gay vote, then they should have done something about it besides window dressing, pretty words, and a hate crimes bill that hasn't resulted in a single conviction. Those were nice, but the big issues... DOMA... DADT... ENDA... the legislation that will affect vast numbers of GLBT people... those continue to be ignored save for lip service.

    Posted by: The Milkman | Oct 25, 2010 4:07:03 PM

  3. Oh, yes. Run to the polls and vote Democrat. It's important to reinforce bad behavior!

    Posted by: LincolnLounger | Oct 25, 2010 4:16:10 PM

  4. I'm so sick of GLBT community telling me who to vote for. The Democrats have done just as much for us as Republicans. Didn't the Democrats give us DADT? I'll vote for the person I like the way I've done the past 6 years. Tell Joe Jervis to stick it. He helped us get Obama and he only talks about what he's going to do this second term. In Massachusetts we obtained gay marriage during a time when there was a Republican in the Governors office and a Republican as President so don't scare me into believing that GLBT issues can't be passed with a Republican majority. The democrats have done basically nothing for the past 6 years that they've been in control. Look at the mess in the NY congress. They had the majority in they're own congress and the democrats voted against gay marriage twice. So if you want to be a sucker than keep sending your money to the those same democrats that do nothing for our community. Go ahead they'll take it. That's why their mascot is the Jack Ass.

    Posted by: Name: | Oct 25, 2010 4:19:57 PM

  5. Since Obama is not on the ballot in 2010, making the election so much about him is short-sighted. Look at your candidates--are they supporting your interests or aren't they? Are the alternatives better or worse?

    I'm happy with my Democrats and will be supporting them, no reservations. Incumbents have power, and mine are on my side and will be if and when they have the opportunity to vote on my issues. In a year when incompetence is seen as a plus, I value people with knowledge and experience.

    More Republicans in office will not send a message to Democrats to do better on gay rights, quite the contrary. It sends the message that they should be more like Republicans.

    Until third party candidates become more viable, or more progressive Democrats offer a real challenge to establishment Dem's, I consider them a wasted vote. The third party candidates in my state are, frankly, a bit loony, and scratch beneath the surface of most "Libertarians" and they turn out to be social conservatives who hate taxes but don't mind the government blocking our civil rights.

    Use your anger to demand more from politicians who claim to be on our side, but use caution in the voting booth.

    Posted by: Ernie | Oct 25, 2010 4:27:02 PM

  6. I voted, but not for any Democrat in my area that doesn't have a solid voting record in support of equality in all laws. In those areas where there was lip service but no action, I voted for a third-party candidate. Believe it or not, it might behoove us to have the religious whack jobs in power for a while. . .as then the rest of the country will learn and experience what we have known for many decades. . .and it might just end, once and for all, the social conservative movement.

    Posted by: Keith | Oct 25, 2010 4:28:11 PM

  7. Right on RICCO: oct 25, 2010 2:29:47p.m. -
    Well said, I'm with you. Would you run for
    office anyware, you have my vote. WOW!!!

    Posted by: terryp | Oct 25, 2010 4:28:53 PM

  8. Until you learn the lesson that they know your vote is delivered regardless of whether they do anything for you or not, they will continue to ignore you and serve the needs of others in the coalition whose loss they value more.

    Listening to people like Jervis is what holds the LGBT community back.

    Posted by: ChimChim | Oct 25, 2010 4:33:08 PM

  9. Dudes, voting for the fascists is not an option. Fuck the republicans.

    Posted by: JackFknTwist | Oct 25, 2010 4:49:50 PM

  10. I am really rather ashamed of my LGBT friends who are so short sighted that they would throw away all the gains we have made and let the Repugs take over congress. What a sad group it is.

    Posted by: don | Oct 25, 2010 4:54:09 PM

  11. When the GOP/Teabagger/ReligiousRight coalition takes power, you can bet they will advance State & Federal Constitutional Amendments to enshrine our status as 2nd class citizens.

    They will also push lifetime appointments to the Supreme Court farther to the right & eliminate any chance of balance of power.

    The Democrats are not the bad guys. If you feel disappointment, well so do I.... but the Dem's can be rehabilitated & most are already staunch allies.

    Don't vote Republican! It's simply cutting off your nose to spite your face.

    Posted by: JONNY NYNY2FLFL | Oct 25, 2010 4:55:20 PM

  12. Go on vote Socialist, Green, or libertarian and watch all our gains be taken away or arrested by the Republicans who will surely win both houses if you do so.

    Posted by: don | Oct 25, 2010 4:56:36 PM

  13. ALL BUT TWO Democratic Senators voted to repeal DADT.

    But, hey, if you feel pissed off about something, go ahead, vote against them because they... uh... did what you wanted them to...

    And the House? The Dems PASSED THE REPEAL. But feel free to punish them for it.

    Posted by: BobN | Oct 25, 2010 5:07:06 PM

  14. Okay, I'm gay, I'm a Democrat and I've already voted. Changing attitudes is more important than throwing a hissy fit and stomping away in a huff. I am still afraid repugni-cants will take over and Sarah Palin's witches, homophobes and general idiots will ruin this country. So, sorry, I voted; so should everyone who is registered. Please!

    Posted by: mad1026 | Oct 25, 2010 5:09:53 PM

  15. It has only been two years. It took 8 years of Republican rule to nearly ruin this country with TWO wars and a recession which they continually failed to acknowledge until Wall Street went tits up. With everything that the Obama Administration walked into, it's a wonder we got anything. I realize that they can not just do what the gay community wants, they have to get the country back on track. Whether you agree or not that we are on the RIGHT track is an opinion.

    The question you should ask is, are we better off than we were when Bush was in office? The answer is YES! There is a recovery, but it is slow. The Congress, with NO HELP from the Republican's passed the Matthew Shepard Act. DADT and DOMA is under review, and the DADT repeal already passed the House of Representatives. I don't see those as failings, like most. I see them as steps forward. If the Republicans get into power, we will take numerous steps backward. This is the 21st century, the Republican Party is not a progressive party.

    As I have stated numerous times, the Republican Party is a party of theocracy and they have let their far right take over. Eisenhower, while President, blocked the John Birch Society from taking control, understanding their extremes. Today, the party embraces those beliefs. I was born into a Republican family and actually supported Republicans, however, as the extremes have taken over with their bigotry, war mongering, and theocratic beliefs I have divorced myself from them, as have the rest of my family.

    The question arises, in 2 years, the Presidential election, with the Republican's in control of Congress, and no repeal of DADT, EDNA, or DOMA, who are you then going to blame? The Democrats and Obama or the Republican's that you helped put there?

    Posted by: CB | Oct 25, 2010 5:15:58 PM

  16. They're blaming us for not delivering on their promises. They don't care for our rights. The Dems just want to stay in power--that's the bottom line.

    No votes from me.

    Posted by: Adrian | Oct 25, 2010 5:16:57 PM

  17. No way am I going to vote Democrat, no way. We need to vote for those who actually support us, such as independent candidates or the Greens. If we vote Democrat simply because they are 10% better than the Republicans, we'll continue to be lied to by the Democrats.

    If Joe Jervis wishes to play the battered wife role, go right ahead, Joe. You are more than welcome to vote for the Dems. Just keep it to yourself, honey.

    Posted by: jason | Oct 25, 2010 5:17:22 PM

  18. I think that I will actually cast my votes in keeping with my conscience this time around. I will no longer vote out of fear. I remember President Kennedy talking about the only thing that we have to fear is fear itself. Well, it sounds like there are some angry establishment-Democrats out there that want me to vote out of fear of Sarah Palin and the other Republicans. I'm an old woman now, and I have decided that I don't buy that way of thinking anymore. I feel liberated to actually vote according to my beliefs. I'm afraid the Democrats have become a little too conservative lately for me.
    Have a wonderful day, friends!

    Posted by: Janice | Oct 25, 2010 5:22:31 PM

  19. Already voted by mail. Didn't vote for one Republican or one Democrat, except for Gavin Newsom. He's the only Dem who gave me the right to marry my husband. We took advantage of it and remain married today. Beyond that, the Dems and the GOP can take a leap.

    Posted by: os2guy | Oct 25, 2010 5:22:52 PM

  20. morons...cut off your nose to spite your face...what is throwing your vote away gonna do...lets see how bad it can get...remember bush and everything they destroyed for you...i could care less about your politics but a republican vote is a vote for hate

    Posted by: epic | Oct 25, 2010 5:26:15 PM

  21. I'm not giving my opinion on how to vote, but I do know that what petrifies the gays more than anything would be if the Republicans took power and things actually got better for gays. That's just not how it's SUPPOSED to be in their minds.

    Posted by: JT | Oct 25, 2010 5:31:11 PM

  22. Um, janice, that wasn't president kennedy...oy...I think a lot of gay blogs are being freeped.

    Posted by: TANK | Oct 25, 2010 5:32:26 PM

  23. P.S. : I think Joe Jervis is a decent guy, but his opinion holds no more weight on this than any other individual citizen from North Carolina.

    Posted by: JT | Oct 25, 2010 5:35:37 PM

  24. All of this commentary is proof that it DOES NOT get better. It is getting worse. We are now doomed to closetdome and we have NO advocates anywhere willing to stand up against discrimination. I now know how ALL minorities feel - and it ain't good. Forever in the closet.

    Posted by: Pointless | Oct 25, 2010 5:49:33 PM

  25. Before you vote, look at the voting records of house members and senators from both parties on gay issues.

    You might just notice a pattern.

    Those of us in states where marriage was earned IN THE LEGISLATURE know which party voted which way.

    I'm beginning to feel the same way about gay voters after reading these posts as I do about American voters in general: stupid sheeple with a short attention span and little appreciation for politics or facts.

    Posted by: KevinVT | Oct 25, 2010 6:17:20 PM

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