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04/19/2007


Monday Speed Read: Ohio Marriage, Nevada GOP, Tammy Baldwin, Mark Takano, Kyrsten Sinema

BY LISA KEEN / Keen News Service

OhioOHIO DECISION EXPECTED TODAY:

Today is the self-imposed deadline a federal judge in Cincinnati set for issuing a formal ruling that Ohio’s ban on same-sex couples marrying is unconstitutional. State Attorney General Mike DeWine has already indicated he will appeal the decision and is expected to seek an emergency stay to block its enforcement.

NEVADA GOP STAKES BIGGER TENT:

The Republican Party of Nevada, at its annual convention Saturday, overwhelmingly voted for a platform that removes previous language defining marriage as being only between a man and a woman. Ed Williams, president of Log Cabin Republicans of Nevada and a delegate at the convention, said the state party “has made it clear that they want a 'bigger tent' and has welcomed us into it." National Log Cabin Executive Director Gregory Angelo praised the Nevada Log Cabin chapter for making a “critical difference pushing the GOP toward the right side of history.”

BaldwinLET US EAT BOLOGNA!

U.S. Senator Tammy Baldwin is taking a lead in defending the right of U.S. meat, cheese, and beer producers to call their products what they want. Baldwin, joined by more than 40 of her Senate colleagues, sent a letter April 4 to the USDA and the U.S. Trade Representatives, saying the European Union is attempting to impair U.S. competition with these products by prohibiting the U.S. versions from being identified by such common names as bratwurst, bologna, Octoberfest, feta, and parmesan. The EU says the names are indicative of a geographically specific product. But Baldwin is pushing back. “If the United States were to be subjected to a ban of these traditional names for various products,” she wrote, “consumers may be confused and Wisconsin dairy farmers, meat producers and beer brewers could suffer.”

TakanoTAKANO STAGES ‘INTERVENTION’:

U.S. Rep. Mark Takano (D-Calif.) staged a mock intervention on the U.S. House floor April 2. He said he wanted to help House Republicans overcome their obsession with repealing the Affordable Care Act. “To my Republican friends, I want to say, this is a safe place. We are here to help. Your addiction to repealing Obamacare and peddling conspiracy theories about the law are not doing any good – for yourselves or for the American people. Stop standing on the wrong side of history….Let’s move on!”

SinemaSINEMA’S ON THE RUN IN BOSTON:

Bisexual U.S. Rep. Kyrsten Sinema (D-Ariz.), who in November became the first active member of Congress ever to complete an Ironman competition, is registered to run next Monday in the Boston Marathon. Sinema posted a message on Twitter Sunday indicating she was running to honor survivors of last year’s bombing at the finish line.

FACING THE NATION:

CBS Face the Nation host Bob Schieffer sounded somewhat fatigued by the subject matter Sunday when asked Evan Wolfson, head of the national Freedom to Marry group, “So, now it’s gay rights. Is that the next chapter of the civil rights…uh…struggle that’s been going on for so long?” “I wouldn’t call it the next chapter,” said Wolfson, “I think it’s part of the same struggle. I think that what the struggle ... that the civil rights movement did so much to lay the foundation for… was to create an America that’s a more perfect union for everybody. And gay people are part of that everybody. But as we’ve just all heard and said, we’re not done with any of these fights on any of these fronts that overlap anyway. My blood boils when I see voter suppression and the assault on women’s access to contraception…. Civil rights is about the America we want for everybody.”

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


'Queer ConservaDems' Kyrsten Sinema and Sean Patrick Maloney Savaged for Joining GOP in Shutdown Vote

Bisexual Arizona Rep. Kyrsten Sinema and gay New York Rep. Sean Patrick Maloney, both Democrats, voted with House GOP to shut down the government and are being taken to task by LGBT advocates for doing so, the Washington Blade reports:

Maloney“I strongly support the president’s decision to give employers more time to comply with the law, and I believe that we should give families the same flexibility we’re giving to our small businesses,” Maloney said.

Maloney also explained his support for eliminating health care subsidies for government employees by saying the playing field for public and private workers should be equal.

“Families and businesses in the Hudson Valley are not getting special subsidies from Obamacare and neither should members of Congress or the White House,” Maloney said.

In a separate statement, Sinema defended her votes by saying they ensure individuals can sign up for health care plans without “being punished” for failing to purchase adequate healthcare coverage.

SinemaMichelangelo Signorile tears them a new one in a new HuffPost piece:

Since taking office, Sinema has voted with the GOP against economic justice issues that progressives, including LGBT activists, view as crucial. Both she and U.S. Rep. Sean Patrick Maloney (D-N.Y.), an openly gay former Clinton aide, also elected for the first time in 2012, have voted with big banks and Wall Street time and again. Right out of the gate, Maloney, who took a lot of Wall Street money, voted with the GOP on the debt ceiling early this year, and actually co-sponsored a bill that would roll back reforms of the very Wall Street practices that led to the economic collapse. He even voted with the GOP to take authority over the Keystone XL project from the president. Like Sinema, he also voted to jeopardize Obamacare or shut down the government. And he too was supported in his election campaign by the Gay and Lesbian Victory Fund, the Human Rights Campaign, and other gay and progressive groups, touted as a progressive.

Think about this: On what is arguably the most important debate in Congress, two of nine Democrats who voted with the tea party-led blackmailers are openly gay or bisexual. Two of only five openly gay or bisexual members of the House voted with the extreme far right to undermine the president. Veteran recording industry executive Howie Klein, the founder of the progressive Blue America PAC and an openly gay man himself, has been criticizing both of them for their votes for months. He told me that Sinema had been calling him throughout last year's campaign, looking for money. He'd known her and liked her, having served with her on the board of People for the American Way, but he told me that when he had her fully vetted, he was "horrified" by her record. Blue America is now actively recruiting a candidate to run in the Democratic primary against Sinema.

Some say it's better to have Democrats like Sinema and Maloney than to possibly have a Republican in the seat. If it means they have to vote with the GOP, especially if the vote isn't pivotal, then so be it, the thinking goes. But that breeds the most cynical kind of politics and drives people away from participating when we need to bring them in.

The Blade adds:

Sinema and Maloney have been active on LGBT-specific issues since their election to Congress. They voted for an LGBT-inclusive version of the Violence Against Women Act reauthorization and signed a friend-of-the-court brief urging the U.S. Supreme Court to strike down the Defense of Marriage Act.

Dana Beyer, a Chevy Chase, Md.,-based transgender activist, said the LGBT community shouldn’t judge Sinema and Maloney too harshly for their votes because “these late night political machinations are generally theater” and don’t say anything about the lawmakers’ overall voting records.

“This issue isn’t about the LGBT community; it’s about America,” Beyer said. “They should be judged on a much broader set of criteria and values than this one vote, and I hope people take the context into account.”

What do you think?

How should Sinema and Maloney be judged by this vote? Should we let it slide and be thankful there's no Republican in their seats, or are they, as blogger Mike Rogers told the Blade, "DINOs (Democrats in Name Only)" and "sellouts" who Signorile suggested in a tweet should "meet the fate of Christine Quinn."


Kyrsten Sinema Victorious in Arizona House Race; Becomes 1st Openly Bisexual Member of Congress

Former Democratic state senator Kyrsten Sinema has officially won her Arizona congressional race, the AP reports:

SinemaSinema had a narrow lead on election night that made the race too close to call. But she slowly improved that advantage as more ballots were tallied in recent days, and now has a nearly 6,000-vote edge that is too much for Republican Vernon Parker to overcome.

Parker, who took the national stage briefly in September when he gave the GOP weekly address, was criticized by Democrats as a tea party radical who would hurt children by cutting the federal education department.

Sinema is the first openly bisexual member of Congress.


Kyrsten Sinema Leads in Arizona Congressional Race; Would Be First Bisexual Member of Congress

Sinema

With 98% of precincts reporting Kyrsten Sinema (47%) led her Republican opponent Vernon Parker (46%) by a single percentage point in the race for Congressional District 9 in Arizona. Sinema would be the first bisexual member of Congress if elected.

AZ Central reports:

Sinema, a former state lawmaker, was eking out a small margin over Parker, a former Paradise Valley mayor, in the 9th District. Independents make up much of the new district, added during redistricting to reflect Arizona’s population gains. Voters there have swung between Republicans and Democrats in past elections.

The battle between Sinema, 36, and Parker, 52, was no-holds-barred.

She accused Parker of hewing to the “tea party” line during the primary. She knocked his positions on abortion and education and his opposition to raising taxes on the wealthy. Sinema’s campaign criticized Parker for his support of Maricopa County Sheriff Joe Arpaio and for interviews in which he stumbled, for instance, not being able to name hospitals in the district.

Watch Sinema address the crowd last night, AFTER THE JUMP...

Continue reading "Kyrsten Sinema Leads in Arizona Congressional Race; Would Be First Bisexual Member of Congress" »


Arizona Candidate Kyrsten Sinema Would Be First Out Bisexual Congressperson in Nation's History: VIDEO

Sinema

Current's John Fugelsang asks Arizona Democratic Congressional candidate Kyrsten Sinema, who would be the first out bisexual member of Congress in the nation's history if elected,  "Do you think that bisexual Americans have an equal place in the gay rights movement?"

Says Sinema: “I believe that all people have an equal place everywhere in this country, regardless of what movement you’re in or what community you live in. Every single one of us is equal in this country. That’s the beauty of the American dream. I believe we all have a place.”

Sinema would much rather focus on issues than her sexuality, however.

Watch, AFTER THE JUMP...

Continue reading "Arizona Candidate Kyrsten Sinema Would Be First Out Bisexual Congressperson in Nation's History: VIDEO" »


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