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AP: Openly Gay Legislators Have Great Impact

Pierce
The AP today has published an article today about the powerful impact of openly gay lawmakers toward LGBT issues. According to the piece: "The gay lawmakers have impact in two important ways. Their speeches, often evoking personal themes, can sometimes sway wavering colleagues, and they can forge collegial relationships even with ideological foes through day-to-day professional and social interaction."

Included is an example of Further proving that people's minds can most certainly be changed simply by knowing someone who is gay.

"In 2009, New Hampshire's legislature became the first to legalize same-sex marriage without ever facing pressure from marriage-rights lawsuits. One of the emotional high points of that debate was a speech by Rep. David Pierce, a gay Democrat from Hanover who is raising two daughters with his partner. He described telling his oldest child, 5 at the time, that 'some people don't believe we should be a family.' Afterward, Pierce said, a fellow representative came over to say that the speech prompted him to change his vote in favor of same-sex marriage."

Currently, out of the 7,382 lawmakers in the US, only 85 are out gays and lesbians - that's just over 1 percent.

Pierce (right) and his partner Robert Duff (left) are pictured in the photo above (from a 2009 article in Valley News).

Watch Pierce's marriage equality speech from 2009, AFTER THE JUMP.

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Comments

  1. What a great guy. I think their kids are lucky.

    Yep -- it was true 20 years ago, and it's just as true today -- the single most important contribution any gay person can ever make to the world is to come out.

    Posted by: Strepsi | Mar 6, 2011 4:51:36 PM


  2. 85 are gay?

    85 are OPENLY gay!

    BIG difference!

    Posted by: TampaZeke | Mar 6, 2011 4:56:49 PM


  3. @Tampazeke: The article says 85 are "out,"which I suppose means the same thing as "openly" gay.

    When out gay and bi voters make up 4% of all voters in exit polls but only 1% of all lawmakers, it seems we are still very under-represented.

    It does make sense that on-the-fence lawmakers will think instead of voting anti-gay when they realize that their vote would be hurting the person sitting next to them while helping no one.

    Posted by: GregV | Mar 6, 2011 5:51:44 PM


  4. Look at these guys, trolls in every sence of the word. Yet it's they & other middle aged homebodies that are moving the ball foward while the Chelsea bitches tweek-away their lives.

    Posted by: pat | Mar 7, 2011 12:49:47 AM


  5. I've said it a million times and I'll say it again...our best way to ensure equality is for LGBT TO RUN FOR OFFICE! We need to have a more encouraging movement of sorts to encourage our LGBT youth to consider running for office, local or big venues, and becoming elected officials who can make a difference in a matter of fact way. Other demographics did the same, and waiting to sway public opinion can be tricky when the public is far slower to evolve. It takes well rounded gay folks to run for office to really have a strong voice. Otherwise, we'll continue being behind the scenes begging for a hand out that could be there in a tangible manner if more gay folks would accept being gay and contribute in such a powerful way (becoming a lawmaker)

    Posted by: Dynex | Mar 7, 2011 3:38:59 AM


  6. @Pat - Bigoted jerk. These guys are not "trolls" in every sense of the word." (not correct spelling). Only a self-absorbed narcissist would even use the hateful word "troll" toward someone that never did him any harm.

    Posted by: wimsy | Mar 7, 2011 1:51:56 PM


  7. AP: OPENLY GAY LEGISLATORS HAVE GREAT IMPACT...

    Except when they don't.

    Is it a good thing when Barney Frank blocks equality legislation and instead bends over spreads his well-greased fat ass for Wall Street? NO.

    Is it a good thing when gay legislators vote for Obamacare, which consolidates the health insurance corporations control over our health at the expense of our well-being? NO.

    Drop the identity politics, folks. Working class LGBT people have NOTHING in common with billionaires and millionaires who happen to suck dick. They win our votes by proclaiming they are "on our side" but articles like this never mention how the perks are undermined by their bipartisan attacks on us.

    Posted by: George | Mar 7, 2011 5:05:56 PM


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