Heather Mizeur Hub




Wednesday Speed Read: Heather Mizeur, Executive Order, Joe Biden, NOM, 9th Circuit, Hochberg

BY LISA KEEN / Keen News Service

MizeurMIZEUR COMES IN THIRD IN MARYLAND:

Six of 10 openly LGBT candidates won their primary races Tuesday; three lost; one race is still undetermined. Lesbian State Delegate Heather Mizeur was not one of the winners, but she made a strong showing in third place, just one point behind the state’s attorney general. Mizeur garnered 19 percent of the vote, putting her in third behind Attorney General Doug Gansler with 20 percent, according to the Maryland State Board of Elections. Some political observers think Mizeur “outshined her male opponents” during the campaign, said MSNBC’s Chuck Todd on the Daily Rundown Tuesday morning. But the primary winner, Lieutenant Governor Anthony Brown with 58 percent of the vote, had at least two advantages over Mizeur: He was running to become the state’s first African American governor in a state with a 30 percent African American population, and he won the endorsement of the statewide LGBT group Equality Maryland. For full election results, see related story.

EarnestNO DETAILS ON EXECUTIVE ORDER:

White House Press Secretary Josh Earnest said during his daily press briefing Tuesday that he does not know whether the executive order that President Obama will sign prohibiting discrimination based by federal contractors will include an exemption for religious entities. And just as he was asked about the timing of the announcement last week that the President would sign such an order, a White House intern standing in the briefing room fainted and Earnest ended the press conference.

BidenBIDEN BRUSHES OFF THE TRIGLODYTES:

Speaking at a reception he hosted for participants and supporters of the White House Forum on Global LGBT Human Rights, Vice President Joe Biden said LGBT people coming out to family and friends is driving enormous progress in attitudes of ordinary Americans. “They are the majority, and those other folks, they are the troglodytes," said Biden, according to a White House pool report.

JUDGE AWARDS NOM $50,000:

NomlogoA federal district court judge in Virginia Tuesday ordered the U.S. to pay the National Organization for Marriage $50,000 for over an accidental public release of tax documents with confidential information that should have been redacted. Judge James Cacheris had ruled June 3 that an Internal Revenue Service clerk had mistakenly released the information to a member of the public who then shared it with the Human Rights Campaign and others. While Cacheris said he did not see evidence the release was deliberate and politically motivated, he said the IRS bears some responsibility for the legal expenses NOM incurred as a result of that error. NOM can still sue to recoup attorneys fees.

NINTH CIRCUIT REJECTS EN BANC:

The Ninth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals announced Tuesday it would not grant a request from one of its own judges for a full court review of a panel decision requiring heightened scrutiny of laws that disadvantage people based on sexual orientation. Ninth Circuit states now bound by that panel decision in SmithKline v. Abbott include Alaska, Arizona, California, Hawaii, Idaho, Montana, Nevada, Oregon, and Washington.

RodriguezPUERTO RICO NOMINEE CONFIRMED:

The Puerto Rico Senate on Monday confirmed the nomination of lesbian attorney Maite Oronoz Rodríguez to serve on the Puerto Rico Supreme Court. Rodríguez is director of legal affairs for the city of San Juan. The vote was 16 to 10.
 
HOCHBERG IN THE HOT SEAT:

The openly gay chairman of the Export-Import Bank will be in front of a House committee this morning. The bank, which provides billions of dollars in loans to companies producing exports, needs reauthorization by Congress on September 30, but newly elected House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy is against it.

© copyright 2014 by Keen News Service. All rights reserved.


Tuesday Speed Read: Primary Day, White House Forum on LGBT Rights, Mike Michaud

BY LISA KEEN / Keen News Service

MizeurBIG PRIMARY DAY FOR LGBT CANDIDATES:

Ten openly LGBT candidates are running in primary races today, including lesbian State Delegate Heather Mizeur in her bid for the Democratic nomination for governor of Maryland and Sean Eldridge, the spouse of Facebook co-founder Chris Hughes, running for the Democratic nomination to a U.S. House seat. Eldridge is unopposed for the Democratic nomination, but Mizeur is running third against two much better known and well funded state elected officials. Another important primary is that of openly gay U.S. Rep. Sean Maloney. He’s unopposed for the Democratic nomination, but both he and the Republican candidate are also on the Independent Party ballot.

OTHER RACES TO WATCH: Madaleno

Maryland’s Democratic primary offers another interesting match up today: openly gay incumbent State Senator Richard Madaleno against LGBT activist Dana Beyer. The winner of the primary takes the seat because there is no Republican running. First-term incumbent Democratic Delegate Luke Clippinger has four opponents for his Maryland legislative district. And first-term incumbent Democrat Bonnie Cullison has five for her Maryland district. Incumbent Democratic Delegate Maggie McIntosh also has a challenger for her seat in Maryland. Evan Glass is running for re-election as a member of the Montgomery County Council in Maryland, and Byron Macfarlane is running for re-election as register of wills for Howard County, Maryland.

WHITE HOUSE LGBT FORUM: Rice

The White House sent out a press notice after 6 p.m. Monday alerting reporters about a “White House Forum on Global LGBT Human Rights” today. Those wishing to cover the event had until 10:30 this morning to RSVP. The notice says activists from around the world would be meeting with “the broader human rights community to discuss how to partner with the U.S. government….” National Security Advisor Susan Rice will deliver a keynote which will be webcast live at 2:15 p.m. EDT.

BALDWIN TO TESTIFY:

U.S. Senator Tammy Baldwin is among the eight female senators who will testify before a Congressional hearing this morning on “combating violence and discrimination against women around the world. The hearing will be webcast live beginning at 9:45 a.m. EDT.

MICHAUD HOLDS SHAKY LEAD: Michaud

Openly gay U.S. Rep. Mike Michaud, a Democrat, has a four-point lead in his effort to unseat Maine’s Republican incumbent Governor Paul LePage, but the Portland-Press Herald said its latest poll suggests voters might swing their support to an independent candidate. A victory by Michaud in November would be historic, making him the first openly gay person to be elected governor. The poll conducted June 12-18 shows Michaud with 40 percent, LePage with 36, and independent Eliot Cutler with a mere 15. But the margin of error is 4.3 points and seven percent of those surveyed were undecided. In one-on-one match ups, Cutler leads LePage by 12 points, while Michaud leads by seven. “Poll results suggest that many Mainers will watch to see whether independent Eliot Cutler or Democrat Mike Michaud has the better chance this fall of unseating the governor, then vote strategically,” said the paper.

A NEWS LOW:

The only institutions that the public holds in worse esteem than Congress and “big business” are television news and internet news. A Gallup poll asking 1,027 adults nationally to identify “how much confidence” they have in 17 institutions (“great,” “quite a lot,” “some,” or “very little”) found the greatest confidence for the military (74 percent), “small business” (62 percent), the police (53 percent), and “the church or organized religion” (45 percent). At rock bottom was Congress (7 percent), followed by “television news” (18 percent), “news on the Internet” (19 percent), and “big business” (21 percent).

© 2014 Keen News Service. All rights reserved.


Thursday Speed Read: Wisconsin, Eric Holder, Lambda Legal, DOJ Pride, Heather Mizeur, LGBT Cities

BY LISA KEEN / Keen News Service

WISCONSIN ROLLER-COASTER:

VanhollenTuesday, the Wisconsin Vital Records office said it was not processing the records of marriage licenses obtained by same-sex couples; Wednesday, it said it is. According to media reports in the state, Vital Records got its marching orders from the state attorney general J.B. Van Hollen. Van Hollen is still fighting federal Judge Barbara Crabb’s June 6 decision declaring the state ban on marriage licenses for same-sex couples to be unconstitutional. He has asked the Seventh Circuit federal appeals court for an emergency stay of the decision.

HOLDER SPEAKS AT LAMBDA EVENT:

HolderSpeaking at a Lambda Legal reception in Washington, D.C., Tuesday night, U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder noted all the victories and accomplishments of the LGBT civil rights movement since the 1969 Stonewall riots, but added, “fully 60 years after the Supreme Court’s decision in Brown v. Board of Education, the LGBT community is still waiting for its own unequivocal declaration that separate is inherently unequal.” He reiterated President Obama’s call for Congress to pass the Employment Non-Discrimination Act. He criticized the Boy Scouts of America policy that continues to bar gay adult scout leaders, saying it “preserves and perpetuates the worst kind of stereotypes.”

DOJ PRIDE EVENT HONORS HOLDER:

LevyDOJ Pride, the LGBT group at the U.S. Department of Justice, presented U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder with its Gerald B. Roemer Award Tuesday. Holder used the opportunity to commend the work of openly gay Assistant Attorney General Stuart Delery whose Civil Division is helping with implementation of the U.S. Supreme Court decision in U.S. v. Windsor, which struck down the Defense of Marriage Act. The group also honored lesbian Judge Judith Levy (pictured)who was confirmed to the U.S. District Court in Detroit last March, and heard from openly gay Deputy Assistant Attorney General Pam Karlan, who took over enforcement of voting rights laws last December, and Roberta Kaplan, the openly gay attorney who headed up the successful legal challenge by Edith Windsor to the Defense of Marriage Act.

COMMENTARY COMMENDS MIZEUR:

MizeurIn Tuesday’s Baltimore Sun, a local political commentator, Thomas Schaller, had this to say about lesbian state Delegate Heather Mizeur’s long-shot campaign for the Democratic nomination for governor: “Ms. Mizeur has acquitted herself quite well. Indeed, insofar as it is possible to win a campaign but lose an election, she may have already achieved that bittersweet distinction. For even if she fails to upset Mr. Brown by converting undecided, late defectors from the Gansler camp or other anti-Brown Democrats, she has proved to be an assertive, confident and unapologetically liberal candidate with a bright future in state and maybe even national politics.” The latest polls suggest the current lieutenant governor, Anthony Brown, is ahead with 41 percent of the vote, followed by Attorney General Doug Gansler with 20 percent, and Mizeur with 15 percent. The primary is June 24.

BEST LGBT CITY: LOS ANGELES OR SEATTLE?

A website called vocative has crunched 32 “data sets,” measuring 16 different factors, on 100 of the U.S.’s most populous cities to rank them in order of “Most LGBT friendly.” Los Angeles made the top of the list, followed by New York, San Francisco, Des Moines (sic), and Chicago. Just last week, a website called NerdWallet.com declared Seattle to be the most LGBT friendly city in America, followed by San Francisco, Atlanta, Oakland, and Long Beach. Back in January, the Advocate magazine declared Washington, D.C. to be the “most LGBT-friendly” place in America, followed by Pasadena, Seattle, Cambridge, MA, and Atlanta.

© 2014 Keen News Service. All rights reserved.


Thursday Speed Read: Clay Aiken, Closeted on the Job, Heather Mizeur, Maryland, HIV Criminalization

BY LISA KEEN / Keen News Service

AikenAIKEN VICTORY STILL PENDING:

North Carolina election officials will review the outcome of the Congressional District 2 Democratic primary race on May 15, after they’ve had a chance to tally in absentee and challenged ballots. As of Wednesday afternoon, openly gay candidate Clay Aiken, of American Idol fame, held just over 40 percent of the vote with a 369-vote lead over businessman Keith Crisco.

53 PERCENT CLOSETED ON THE JOB:

A report released Wednesday by the Human Rights Campaign’s educational arm says that 53 percent of LGBT people keep their sexual orientation secret at their places of employment. According to the report, only 17 states and Washington, D.C., have laws that prohibit discrimination based on sexual orientation and gender identity. Another four states prohibit discrimination based on sexual orientation only. The report, “The Cost of the Closet and the Rewards of Inclusion,” surveyed 800 LGBT workers and an unspecified number of non-LGBT workers.

MizeurMIZEUR HANDLES FIRST DEBATE:

Openly lesbian Maryland gubernatorial candidate Heather Mizeur stayed above the fray and focused like a laser on the need to increase the minimum wage and the virtues of legalizing marijuana. Mizeur, a delegate in the state House, was participating Wednesday night in the first debate in the three-way race for the Democratic nomination June 24. Mizeur ranks behind both Lieutenant Governor Anthony Brown and Attorney General Doug Gansler in polls. But a transcript of the debate published by the Washington Post, indicates Mizeur managed a solid performance.

MarijuanaMARIJUANA FOR CHILDREN?

At one point during Wednesday night’s debate, Maryland gubernatorial candidate Heather Mizeur was questioned about her support for legalizing marijuana. She noted, among other things, that legalization could provide tax revenue to pay for a universal pre-Kindergarten. Mizeur then added that it would send “an important message about the fact that this is a substance that is arguably less harmful to the body than alcohol and tobacco.” That awkward juxtaposition of pre-Kindergarten and marijuana being “arguably less harmful” apparently prompted this question from moderator David Gregory of Meet the Press: “Are you comfortable saying to the children of this state, ‘marijuana’s okay’?” “We’re not saying that to the children of this state,” replied Mizeur, noting that, in fact, her plan calls for spending $4 million a year to make sure children know marijuana is a “a very dangerous substance for a developing mind.”

HolderREPORT URGES DOJ ACTION:

A report Wednesday from a coalition of groups working on fair treatment of people by the criminal justice system recommends the U.S. Department of Justice amend its guidelines to stop profiling of LGBT people and people with HIV by federal law enforcement agents. The “Roadmap for Change: Federal Policy Recommendations for Addressing the Criminalization of LGBT People and People with HIV,” was developed by former NGLTF Executive Director Urvashi Vaid and former AIDS Project Director at Lambda Legal Catherine Hanssens and others. DOJ announced in January it would revise its rules for federal agents to prohibit the use of sexual orientation and other characteristics to prompt investigations. In April, Attorney General Eric Holder said the department would begin to collect data on people stopped or arrested to “reduce” the possible effects of bias. But he did not make specific mention of LGBT bias. In a preface to the coalition report, former NAACP President Benjamin Jealous notes that New York City police have used “stop and frisk” practices against LGBT people. Another of the Roadmap’s authors, Andrea Ritchie, co-coordinator of the LGBT group Streetwise and Safe, said the coalition members have spoken with DOJ about some of their recommendations and look forward to conversations in the future.

© copyright 2014 by Keen News Service. All rights reserved.


Gay Maryland Delegate Heather Mizeur Announces Run for Governor

Maryland Delegate Heather Mizeur announced today she's running for governor of Maryland, the Baltimore Sun reports:

MizeurThe 40-year-old Montgomery County lawmaker would join Lt. Gov. Anthony G. Brown as an official candidate on the Democratic side in the June 2014 primary. Attorney General Douglas F. Gansler is expected to formally jump into the race in September. Rep. C. A. Dutch Ruppersberger, a Baltimore County Democrat, has said he is considering a run.

If elected, Mizeur would become the first woman in Maryland to serve as governor and the first openly gay governor in the nation. Along with Del. Ron George on the Republican side, she also is trying to achieve what no other member of the Maryland General Assembly has done: win a popular election as governor while serving in the legislature.

In an interview with The Baltimore Sun, Mizeur said she would run a non-traditional campaign that emphasized public-service projects. She said she's planning such activities as repairing a playground in Silver Spring, painting a school in Baltimore and restoring a hiking trail in the Blackwater National Wildlife Refuge outside Cambridge.

Mizeur also spoke with the Washington Blade:

“Diversity is enormously important,” she told the Blade. “Not simply to have a gay governor, but to have a governor who can represent the voices of people in communities that have not always had a voice in the process.”

...EMILY’s List and the Gay and Lesbian Victory Fund are expected to back Mizeur’s campaign, but campaign finance reports indicate both Brown and Gansler have a significant fundraising advantage.

Gansler has also been a huge advocate for same-sex marriage in Maryland.


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