#GayPolitician

NYC City Council Speaker Corey Johnson's Thinking About Running For Mayor

Corey Johnson is eyeing the New York City mayorship.

Just as openly gay Indiana mayor Pete Buttigieg is raising attention in his pursuit of U.S. Presidency, Johnson is announcing his pursuit of NYC mayorship.

Johnson tweeted on Monday that he’s “thinking about a potential people-powered Mayoral run,” which his ultimately him gauging the public on whether or not they’ll support him.

Johnson says that he will not fuel his campaign with donation money from real estate developers, lobbyists, or corporate PACs. He also says he won’t take more than $250 from any single person. Though, some twitter users were quick to point out that Johnson has already received $63K from real estate execs in campaign contributions.

As the New York Times surmises, he would need at least 7,286 contributors to reach the maximum spending limit. 

"I think this is the future of the Democratic Party,” Johnson told the Times. “I think a lot of anxiety in New York City about gentrification and over development and people don’t like any appearance of influence based off of contributions. This is a way to totally eliminate that.” 

Johnson, who is openly gay and HIV-positive, has earned great respect for his political achievements in the past year. The City And State NY Magazine wrote a piece on him and titled it, “Is Corey Johnson Already Mayor?”

This time last year, Corey Johnson was elected as the Speaker of New York City Council. In that one year, he has lobbied and fought for budgeting limits, making public transport more affordable for New Yorkers, limiting the number of for-hire vehicles like Uber in the city, strengthening the Oversight and Investigations Committee against fellow politicians, and much more.

Then at the start of this year, Johnson took on the additional role of acting public advocate. While a special election is being held to replace Letitia James, who was elected as state attorney general, Johnson has been working the dual-positions in New York City.

With the leverage and attention gained from holding both of those positions, Corey Johnson has now made this campaign announcement. We’re looking forward to seeing what he’ll do next.

h/t: New York Times, City & State NY Magazine, Towleroad

Gay Congressman Jean Wyllys Fled From Brazil Over Several Death Threats

Brazil’s only openly gay Congressman has just fled the country in fear of his life.

The Associated Press reports that Congressman Jean Wyllys has left his job and has no plans to return. Even further, Wyllys shared this news earlier today and says his leave is due to death threats set against him and the rise of violence against LGBTQ people.

Wyllys later posted to Instagram the following statement:

"Preserving the threatened life is also a strategy of fighting for better days.We have done a lot for the common good.And we will do much more when the new time comes, no matter what we do by other means.Thank you and all of you with all your heart. Axé! "

 
 
 
 

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

A post shared by Jean Wyllys (@jeanwyllys_real) on

Wyllys was re-elected in October and set to begin his third term in February.

Perhaps one event that increased Wyllys’s fears was the death of friend and political ally Marielle Franco. Franco was a councilwoman for Rio de Janeiro who was shot and killed with her driver last year.

In addition, Wyllys had ongoing conflict with the new Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro. Bolsonaro has repeatedly expressed that he is a “proud homophobe.” He even once stated that he’d prefer to have “a dead son rather than a gay son.”

Then just hours after his inauguration, Bolsonaro removed all LGBTQ issues from the agenda of the Human Rights Ministry.

As the Associated Press writes:

“In arguably their most public clash, Wyllys spit on Bolsonaro on the floor of the lower House of Deputies during the 2016 impeachment process of then-President Dilma Rousseff. Bolsonaro, a former army captain, voted for Rousseff's impeachment while giving tribute to a former colonel who tortured Rousseff when she was jailed as a guerrilla fighter during the dictatorship.”

“In the hours after Folha published its story, Bolsonaro, set to return from the economic forum in Davos, put out a series of tweets that many interpreted as cheering Wyllys' departure. They included icons of a hand giving a thumb's up, a Brazilian flag and an icon of a plane.”

“’Fake News!"’Bolsonaro wrote, posting a tweet of O Globo daily that framed his messages as celebratory. ‘I was referring to mission completed, productive meetings with heads of state and return to the country I love.’”

“In the interview, Wyllys said his decision to leave wasn't because of Bolsonaro's rise, but rather the climate of heated rhetoric and intensifying violence toward members of the LGBT community in the wake of last year's campaigns.”

Wyllys’s aide says that the now former Congressman is safe and sound in an undisclosed location.

h/t: The Associated Press

Gay Mayor Pete Buttigieg Announces Bid For US Presidency

Buckle up folks, because Pete Buttigieg has officially entered the presidential race.

We are currently in a time where several politicians are announcing their interest in running against Donald Trump in the 2020 Presidential Bid. So far, names like Kamala Harris and Elizabeth Warren have already announced their intention to run for president, but now a secret hopeful has dropped his name into the hat.

Pete Buttigieg is the mayor of South Bend, Indiana and he’s now running for President. The openly gay mayor shared this news in a video announcement earlier this Wednesday morning.

Said Buttigieg, "The reality is there’s no going back, and there’s no such thing as ‘again’ in the real world. We can’t look for greatness in the past. Right now our country needs a fresh start.”

Many laypeople and everyday citizens may not be familiar with the name Pete Buttigieg, but he’s an up and coming politician whom many politicians are aware of.

Back in 2015, Buttigieg came out through an essay. In it, he shared that it was hard to accept his sexuality.

“Like most people, I would like to get married one day and eventually raise a family,” he wrote. “I hope that when my children are old enough to understand politics, they will be puzzled that someone like me revealing he is gay was ever considered to be newsworthy. By then, all the relevant laws and court decisions will be seen as steps along the path to equality.”

Thankfully, Buttigieg eventually became comfortable with his sexuality. He even later got engaged to and married comedian Chasten Glezman.

After that, Buttigieg jumped into the political world and started to make subtle ripples from within.

Buttigieg is praised for being a Democrat who can make bipartisan deals and appeal to conservative voters and lawmakers. Buttigieg’s connections with Republicans within his red state have helped him to understand how to bridge the gap between the two major political parties. As such, he’s been tagged by the Democratic Party as someone to watch.

Buttigieg even ran for chairman of the Democratic National Committee in 2017, but later pulled out from the race despite being a strong contender.

Because of this, many politicians considered Buttigieg to be a future Presidential hopeful. CNN even placed him as a potential 2020 presidential race participant, and now it appears that they were right.

That said, the general populace still don’t know who Buttigieg is. Will the mayor from Indiana find a way to jump that hurdle against more well-known contenders like Warren and the rumored Joe Biden/Bernie Sanders duo?

If not, this is at least a great starting point to get his name out there for the entirety of America, and the world, to notice. And if 2020 doesn’t work out, maybe he’ll win another year.

Politicians & Stars Swarmed The Opening Of Daniel O'Donnell's Campaign Office

Democrats in Manhattan have chosen to support Daniel O’Donnell who’s running for public advocate.

O’Donnell, who is openly gay and married, has worked in politics since 1995. O’Donnell has served as a community board member, a delegate to the Democratic National Convention, a representative of multiple districts, from the Upper West Side to West Harlem, since 2003, and now as a State Assemblymember.

But that’s not all for O’Donnell. He wants to now take on the task of being New York City’s public advocate after Letitia James won the State Attorney General ticket.

This week, O’Donnell opened up a campaign office on Broadway to help his efforts for the public advocate position. In order to celebrate the opening of the office, several political figures and someone from the entertainment world joined together.

Deborah Glick, a fellow LGBTQ Manhattan Assemblymember, Queens Assemblymember Cathy Noland, former Manhattan Assemblymember and current Democratic Committee Chair Keith Wright, AIDS advocate Ann Northrop, and Rosie O’Donnell, wearing a tag reading “the sister,” all showed up to celebrate Daniel and his campaign.

Several stories were shared about Daniel O’Donnell during the event, according to Gay City News. Sister Rosie O’Donnell shared that Daniel was a born politician. She told the childhood story of how Daniel once told a neighbor who had chased them to the sidewalk that he was now on government property.

Daniel himself shared some words of his past and how growing up poor and as a gay man made him feel like government was never an option for him. He says that very history is why he wants to be a “watchdog” for the people and a local counterweight to growing “fascism” in Washington.

Now that Letitia James is leaving the New York City public advocate position, a citywide special election will be held in February to replace her. We’ll see if the rest of the city supports Daniel O’Donnell then.

h/t: Gay City News

Ricardo Lara Celebrates After Becoming California’s First Openly Gay Statewide Officeholder

Ricardo Lara is making history in California.

It looks like gay politicians are making waves in California. First, state politician Evan Low is working hard to completely ban Conversion Therapy in California. Now, Ricardo Lara is making history as California’s first openly gay statewide officeholder (meaning an office in the realm of Governor, Lieutenant Governor, or Attorney General).

Former Democratic state Senator Ricardo Lara is known for making history as he was the first openly gay person of color to join the state Senate back in 2012. That said, no other gay person has ever taken the office seat of insurance commissioner.

At the end of last month, the Secretary of State’s office reported that Lara defeated Independent opponent Steven Poizner with 4.9 million votes (51.6 percent of the vote).

According to Q Voice News, Lara released the following statement in thanks:

“I am grateful for the support of California voters who deserve a strong consumer advocate. Helping communities recover from wildfires while preparing for the threat of climate change will be my first job as Insurance Commissioner. As communities are rocked by devastating wildfires, Californians need a healthy, honest insurance market that allows them to quickly rebuild their lives and protects against future disasters.”

As the incoming California Insurance Commissioner, Lara will be responsible for the California Insurance Department, which oversees insurance laws and licenses, regulates companies, and investigates fraud.

h/t: Q Voice News

Gay Housing Activist Matthew Cardinale Is Running For Atlanta City Council

We have more news of aspiring LGTBQ politicians.

Atlanta’s City Council may gain a new gay member in the coming future, as Matthew Cardinale has announced his bid for an opening spot.

According to Project Q, the 37-year-old civil activist and editor of Atlanta Progressive News is running for an open spot to replace the late Ivory Lee Young. The election will take place in late January. If he wins, Cardinale will be the first openly gay council member since Alex Wan lost is bid in 2017.

After announcing his decision to run, Cardinale shared that he would like to represent the people of Atlanta from within office. That said, LGBTQ issues aren’t the only thing on his political agenda.

“My number one priority for District 3 is to use my policy expertise in affordable housing to mitigate gentrification and ensure the preservation and creation of housing to serve the hard-working low-income families and seniors who call our district ‘home,’” Cardinale said in a press release.

“District 3 is at a crossroads, where we must take proactive steps to ensure that as new development continues to come into District 3, that we have homes we can rely upon to stay affordable in perpetuity,” he added.

Despite only now running for office, Cardinale is no stranger to Atlanta City Council meetings. Cardinale has made headlines before for showing up to meetings and rapping his views on issues. In addition, he filed a lawsuit against the city in 2011 over private meetings being held from the public.

We’ll see how Cardinale fares sometime between January 23rd and the 25th.

h/t: Project Q

Out Texas Councilman Loses Seat After Nude Photos From Grindr Lead To His Recall

While this November 6th’s midterm elections saw several LGBTQ politicians being elected into office, one gay man from Texas was sadly kicked out.

19-year-old Cross Coburn was an openly gay councilman at Groves, Texas only a few weeks ago. Unfortunately, Coburn, who had only served one year of his two-year term, had become the subject of a sex scandal earlier this year.

According to the New York Times, Groves City hall received an anonymous package nine months ago. The package delivered in February contained nude photos of Coburn that were sent through Grindr. Shortly afterwards, Coburn was called into a meeting over a “personal matter.”

“At that point I was confused,” Coburn told the NY Times. “I was a little shocked. I didn’t know what he meant.”

At the meeting, Coburn was presented with the photos. According to Coburn, he was then offered the option of resigning or relenting to an unspecified investigation. Coburn refused both options.

According to Texas Monthly, the local news caught wind of the package. After that, Coburn’s morals were brought into question by the conservative community. This eventually surmounted in a recall petition that garnered over 900 signatures.

“Someone organized the equivalent of a tar-and-feathering to get him removed from office,” said Chuck Smith, the chief executive of LGBTQ advocacy group Equality Texas, to the Times.

In response, Coburn shared that he didn’t regret the messages or the photos.

“I regret that it got out, but I will never regret being human,” said Coburn. “I do not believe that me having consensual conversations with another adult has any merit to how I can perform my duties.”

After the recall was greenlit, over 2,400 citizens (62 percent of the votes) voted against Coburn.

That said, Coburn isn’t taking this situation lying down. He is now challenging the recall and has filed a complaint with the District Court of Jefferson County.

In the now filed complaint, Coburn says that some recall petition signatures were forged, that Mayor Brad Bailey and Councilman Kyle Hollier helped arrange the recall campaign, and that he was initially blackmailed on Grindr.

In addition, Coburn notes how this controversy has instill a new sense of political energy within him.

“It has given me a sense of duty,” he remarked.

h/t: New York Times, Texas Monthly

SNL Jokingly Criticized The Term "Openly Gay" During Their Weekend Update

This weekend, SNL did a round-up of some of the most talked about results from this year’s mid-term elections. In doing so, they also got a jab in at the term “openly gay.”

During the Weekend Update segment, Co-host Colin Jost talked about the historic election of Jared Polis, the new Governor-elect of Colorado.

“Colorado’s Jared Polis became the first openly gay man elected governor in United States history, which is fantastic,” said “Weekend Update” anchor Colin Jost on last night’s episode of Saturday Night Live.

Jost then added, “But it’s also weird to me that the media uses the term ‘openly gay. It just implies there are a bunch of other governors out there they’re pretty sure about, but for now they’re still going to call them ‘confirmed bachelors."

 

 

In response to the joke, Jared Polis, who is married to Marlon Reis and has two kids, posted to Instagram that he was thankful to SNL for the mention.

“Thanks @nbcsnl for letting me [check] one off my bucket list,” Polis wrote.

 

 
 
 
 

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

Thanks @nbcsnl for letting me one off my bucket list

A post shared by Jared Polis (@jaredpolis) on

 

Remember folks. It's all in good fun.

Sam Park, Georgia's First Out Asian-American Politician, Was Re-elected Into Office

It’s a great reality when we are still collecting stories from last Tuesday’s elections of LGBTQ politicians winning their races. The latest wonderful news is about Democratic Representative Samuel Park.

Park is the first Asian-American man elected to Georgia’s state legislature as a State Representative. He won that title last year when he became the representative for House District 101, and now he is able to retain that position for another term.

 

 

One main reason the 33-year-old Sam Park originally ran for office was to fight for health equality. A cause near and dear to him as his mother was fighting a battle with cancer.

"While we still have not expanded Medicaid to cover more than half a million Georgians, that's still a fight that I'm continuing." - NBC News

While his mother lived long enough to witness her son win his candidacy the first time and see him take office, she sadly died earlier this year.

Another factor playing into Park’s political goals was his desire to stop harmful anti-immigrant and anti-LGBTQ legislation. This is in part because of his belief in basic human rights, but also because he is a gay man who was raised by South Korean immigrants.

Park hopes to harness the diversity that exists in Georgia to help move the state forward. He did so in his own county of Gwinnett (where the median age is 35 and where a quarter of voters are below the age of 30) and he hopes to do it with the whole state in the future.

The Republican Party still holds the majority in the State's House of Representatives, something Sam Park will have to contend with.

“It’s important for us to introduce and work on passing legislation we think would benefit the state to at least demonstrate to those we represent what exactly it is that we are fighting for,” he said. “Being in the minority, it’s difficult to pass legislation, but that still doesn’t mean you can’t do it.” - NBC News

Congratulations to Sam Park on the re-election win and best of luck in the future. We're sure you will continue to help our community and show it support, like in this #NationalComingOutDay video released earlier this year.

 

 

h/t: NBC News

Dana Nesel, Michigan's First Openly Gay Attorney General, Kissed Her Wife In Honor Of Homophobes

One newly elected official is sending message to all the homophobes who were upset by her win.

This Wednesday, Dana Nessel found out that she became Michigan’s first openly gay attorney general with a slim lead of 48.5% of the vote.

After it was announced that she won, homophobes and supporters of her opponent, Republican Tom Leonard, swarmed the internet to complain.

Nessel didn’t let that get her down. Instead, she used that as a driving force of inspiration for her acceptance speech.

During the now viral speech, Nessel turned to her wife, Alanna Maguire, and said, “[I want to thank] my beautiful wife for sticking with me through all of this. Thank you Alanna, I love you.”

She then added, “And for all of you out there that can’t handle the fact that I am about to become the first openly gay person to hold state-wide office [in Michigan]…” before turning to kiss her wife wile on the air.

After the crowd cheered, Nessel said, “That was obnoxious, but I just had to do it.”

Congratulations to Dana Nessel. We look forward to seeing you do great things.

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