#Politics

Eric Holguin Could Become America's First Openly Gay Latino Congressman

Last month, we introduced you to Malcolm Kenyatta who may become the first openly gay black man to hold office in Pennsylvania’s House of Representatives. Now, we’re happy to introduce to you a man who has a shot at becoming the first openly gay Latino in the US House of Representatives.

Eric Holguin in currently running for an open Congressional set for the state of Texas.

When Holguin entered the March 6 primary for Texas’ 27th Congressional district, he was considered a lost cause. While he made it to the runoff with 23.31% of the vote, his opponent for the Democratic candidacy had 41.22% of the vote.

That said, there was an upset later in May’s primary when Holguin ended up winning by 60%. This officially made him the Democratic nominee bidding for the seat former Republican Rep. Blake Farenthold, who resigned in April after news of sexual harassment and abuse broke.

Unfortunately, Holguin is still the underdog as the 13th district is typically run by Republicans. That said, he’s hoping that Democratic voters can help push him along to another surprise win.

If he does win, he’ll become the first openly gay Latino congressman in US history. Even better, he wouldn’t be the only LGBTQ politician in office as 50 LGBTQ candidates are running for positions in Texas in this coming November.

If you want to check out Eric Holguin more and his stance on political issues like engaging young voters, the #MeToo movement, and more, you can check out his official website.

h/t: Millennial Politics

Maryland Governor Candidate Rich Madaleno Teases Trump With Gay Kiss Political Ad

A Gay politician is trying to mock Trump and his supporters in the best of ways.

Rich Madaleno is running for Governor of Maryland and he has bone to pick with Trump and his supporters. To express that, Madaleno bought an ad slot to air during Fox News program Fox & Friends this past Monday (June 7).

In the ad, Madeleno says:

“I’m running for governor to deliver progressive results and to stand up to Donald Trump,” he began before saying, “Here are a few of the things that I’ve done that already infuriate him.”

From there, Madeleno listed off some of his political positions on things like Planned Parenthood and gun law. But while the ad starts with political conversation, it ends on a celebratory and loving kiss between Madeleno and his husband.

After the post aired on tv, it was then posted on social media and Madaleno asked supporters to spread it around with the hashtag #TakeThatTrump.

So far, Trump hasn’t responded or reacted. That said, many online have. As you can expect, this ad incited a mixed reaction.

Gay Veteran Rob Smith Has Announced He's A Conservative Republican Now

People are shaking their heads at Rob Smith.

Smith is known for being deeply devoted to his country and rooted in the political structure of the United States of America.

Back in 2010, Smith and 13 other military personal and civilians joined together to protest. They chained themselves to the White House fence in order to protest Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell.

Then when former President Obama ended the system, he had Smith and the other activists join him to celebrate.

That said, many are now shocked at Smith’s next political move as it’s a jump from one party to the other.

In an interview with UK Daily Mail, Smith has announced that he now identifies as a Republican.

Rob Smith says that there are several reasons for his changing parties such as disagreements on immigration, Islam, and political focus on LGBTQ rights.

“In order to adhere to [some] principles and believe in these principles, I have to believe in everything else and I don’t believe in everything else,” he said.

“I do believe in strong borders, I do believe that we need to start having real conversations about the illegal immigration situation in this country. And when you say that, you are excommunicated. You are called a racist, you are called all sorts of different things that detract from ideas.”

That said, Smith really attests his change to reading the book American Dreams: Restoring Economic Opportunity to Everyone by Marco Rubio.

“I had never read anything or even encountered a conservative that actually had real ideas about how to change some of these systems and still help people,” Smith said.

“For me as a black person, these ideas of empowering and uplifting the black community, these ideas of fighting for LGBTQ rights, these are not ideas that need to be subscribed to any political party. These are ideas that exist within us. And these are ideas that I’m just not finding in the Democratic Party right now.”

While Smith says that he’s identifying with the group that could offer the most opportunities for black people and LGBTQ people, he says he still agrees with some of Democratic views. He just feels that Republicans will get the jobs he needs doing done.

Many have argued to Smith that he shouldn’t be aligning with the Republican party, and he says he has even lost some friends because of it. Even his family doesn’t want to understand.

 “I mean, I just talked to my mother about it last week and she says she just doesn’t understand it,” Smith told the paper.  “She literally said she’s going to come up to New York and kick my ass.”

Should identifying as another political party be so bad? As Smith points out, Democrats aren’t inherently a “sign of morality” and Republicans aren’t automatically “a sign of evil.” LGBTQ sites are often very liberal, and write under this misconception. We shouldn’t demonize Smith and gay Republicans like him just for being Republican.

That said, we shouldn’t let their idealist thoughts steamroll facts. Republicans under the messy leadership of Donald Trump have become the party of traditionalism verging on racism, sexism, and many other problematic things.

Despite a few “Gays for Trump” rallies happening in Washington, there’s not a lot of connection between LGBTQ people and Republican people. In fact, Republicans have openly opposed LGBTQ people on many fronts.

Republicans have repeatedly attempted to ban transgender service members from the military under the excuse of avoiding medical bills. Trump’s administration has also stopped acknowledging Pride Month, dropped LGBTQ people from the U.S. 2020 Census (before later adding them), erased LGBTQ rights issues from the official white house site, fired the AIDS Advisory Council, and more.

While Republicans don’t necessarily need to be demonized, let’s not pretend that they are the Promised Land for social rights and justice. They may have their benefits, but that in no way erases their problems.

h/t: LGBTQNation

 

GOP Congressman: People Should Be Able To Refuse To Sell Their Home To LGBTs

While engaged in one of the most competitive primaries of his political career, Republican Congressman Dana Rohrabacher of California has informed a key National Realtor group that homeowners should be able to refuse to sell their property to LGBTs.

Rohrabacher told an Orange County Association of Realtors meeting on May 16 in Washington, D.C., “Every homeowner should be able to make a decision not to sell their home to someone (if) they don’t agree with their lifestyle.”

The congressman doubled down on that sentiment telling reporters on Thursday that homeowners should have the right to “choose who they do business with.”

“We’ve drawn a line on racism, but I don’t think we should extend that line,” Rohrabacher said. “A homeowner should not be required to be in business with someone they think is doing something that is immoral.”

Rohrabacher’s comments came during a mid-year lobbying conference in Washington with the real estate professionals who asked him to support H.R. 1447, among other issues.

The legislation would expand the 1968 Fair Housing Act to include anti-discrimination protections based on a person’s sexual orientation and gender identity. The existing law already bans home sellers, landlords and lenders from discrimination based on a person’s race, color, religion, sex or national origin.

Jeff Berger, a Florida Realtor and founder of the National Association of Gay & Lesbian Real Estate Professionals wrote to the president of the National Association of Realtors asking Rohrbacher’s support be rescinded.

“When a supposed champion of the Realtor Party outright states that housing discrimination should be lawful, I hope you agree there should be cause for concern,” wrote Berger. “Ignoring the congressman’s comments belies the decades of serious work and progress NAR has made in the area of fair housing.”

Although Rohrabacher had previously been designated as a “Realtor Champion” by the NAR,  the trade group has now withdrawn its recommendation that members support Rohrabacher based on his recent statements.

Equality California's Executive Director Rick Zbur agrees: “Californians decided years ago that we don’t support housing discrimination — not based on race, not based on religion and not based on sexual orientation or gender identity.”

“And while Dana Rohrabacher may think it’s okay to discriminate against people because of who they are or whom they love, Orange County families don’t," added Zbur.

Harley Rouda, a Democrat who was recently endorsed by Equality California in the race and is the son of a former Realtor association president, called Rohrabacher’s statements “outlandish and unacceptable,” saying everyone should have the same rights to buy and sell a home.”

(h/t Orange County Register)

Gay Man David Ermold, Who Was Rejected A Marriage License By Kim Davis, Just Lost The Race For County Clerk

We have some sad news to share with you all.

Back in December, we shared with you the news that David Ermold was running for county clerk in Kentucky's Rowan County.

Ermold was one of the gay men who County Clerk Kim Davis denied service to when they wanted their marriage licenses three years ago.

Back in December, Ermold stated that he was running so that the position could be filled by someone who would follow the law.

As he told the Lexington Herald-Leader:

“I am running to restore the confidence of the people in our clerk’s office and because I believe that the leaders of our community should act with integrity and fairness, and they should put the needs of their constituents first.

“My commitment to Rowan County is to restore professional leadership, fairness, and responsibility to the clerk’s office. I will build upon the successes of the past, and I will seek solutions for the challenges we may still face.”

Unfortunately though, it seems that Ermold lost that race. Ermold lost the Democratic nomination during the May 22 primary.

And who won the nomination? Elwood Caudill Jr., who’s a 20-year veteran of the Property Valuation Administrator’s office. While Ermold ran a campaign focused on pointing out the mistakes of Kim Davis, Caudill led a campaign stating that the conflict brought on by Emrold and Davis should be a thing of the past.

“What happened in 2015 is in the past and just as my logo says, we’re just focused on the future,” Caudill said.

Texas Has Its 1st Major Party LGBT Candidate For Governor

Former Dallas County Sheriff Lupe Valdez made history in Texas last night, becoming the first openly LGBT and first Latina candidate to win a major party nomination for governor, defeating her opponent Andrew White.

According to the Dallas Morning News, Valdez told supporters, “I am constantly hearing this is going to be such an uphill battle. Please, tell me when I didn’t have an uphill battle.” 

“I am getting darned good at uphill battles,” she added.

Annise Parker, former mayor of Houston and president of the LGBTQ Victory Fund, was jubilant: “Tonight Texans made history by making Lupe Valdez the first openly lesbian woman to win the gubernatorial nomination from a major political party — the latest in a series of groundbreaking wins for LGBTQ candidates in the state.”

Valdez now turns her focus to incumbent Governor Greg Abbott, who has amassed a $41 million war chest for the general election. In six months, Valdez has only raised $200,000.

Also in Texas, Gina Ortiz Jones, a lesbian Filipino-American and Iraq War veteran, won her contest in the 23rd Congressional District over Rick Treviño. She will challenge two-term Republican incumbent Will Hurd.

Out lesbian Lorie Burch triumphed in the Democratic runoff in the Dallas-area Third Congressional District to face Republican newcomer Van Taylor in November. 

And openly gay Eric Holguin cruised to victory in the Democratic runoff for the Corpus Christi-area 27th Congressional District. Holguin will run against Republican Michael Cloud this fall to replace now-retired, scandal-ridden U.S. Rep. Blake Farenthold.

Good night for Texas!

Hackers Interrupted A Political Debate's Live Stream To Play Pornography

A political debate was rudely (or maybe nicely) interrupted by gay porn.

This past Thursday (May 17), a California Congressional debate, hosted by an organization called Independent Like the North State, was being broadcast live online. Also, the debate was being shared over radio station KFOI 90.9 FM.

The debate was meant for all seven candidates currently running for the 1 District U.S. Congressional seat, which is currently being held by incumbent Doug LaMalfa, but only two politicians agreed to participate.

Green party candidate Lewis Elbinger and Democratic Party candidate David Peterson were making their opening statements when they were interrupted.

As KRCR News reports:

“Online viewers and listeners on radio station KFOI 90.9 FM had just heard opening statements from the two candidates when a video feed, clearly showing sexual acts between two men, filled the screen for several seconds shortly after 8:00 p.m. Thursday night.”

“The moderator could be heard saying, ‘Looks like we got hacked again, we’ll try to fix this.’ The feed was then shut down.”

In order to address the situation, Chris Verrill, who was working as the debate’s moderator, spoke to KRCR News to say that the situation was disappointing, but a part of the democratic process.

"We had a community forum, and while it's disappointing people did not respect us, or the candidates, or more importantly the democratic process, or the community, that's part of the way democracy works," Verrill said.

Verill also shared on Facebook, “We’re already making plans to reschedule the candidate forum so we can work together to move forward.”

LGBTQ Advocates Panic As Apple Inc. Considers Building A Campus in Anti-LGBTQ Law Ridden North Carolina

Apple’s considering opening up a campus in North Carolina despite the anti-LGBTQ laws that it previously fought against.

In 2016, Apple joined 67 other companies in a legal challenge to fight North Carolina’s bathroom bill, HB2. In addition, many also stopped and withdrew business deals with the state that caused allegedly $3.7 billion in business losses.

The bill that started all of that controversy was set to ban transgender and gender nonconforming people from using any bathroom besides ones aligning with the sex assigned to them at birth.

Eventually that bill was repealed thanks to the help of new Democratic Governor Roy Cooper. That said, Copper had to compromise in order to take the bill down. That led to the agreement that no more anti-discrimination laws could be passed until 2020.

As Mashable reports though, we can’t thank Cooper entirely for protecting LGBTQ people in the state of North Carolina. Copper has also helped pass legislation that allows LGBTQ residents in the state to be fired from their jobs based on sexual orientation and gender identity.

With HB2 gone, some companies have returned to North Carolina and it looks like Apple might be one of them. Apple is currently just looking at coming back to North Carolina, but many are worried about what this move could mean.

Will Apple bring more positive change to the state or is it essentially selling out? We’ll see as time continues.

h/t: Mashable

Cynthia Nixon Is Gaining Traction In Her Race For The New York Governor Seat

Despite her lack of political experience, it seems that Cynthia Nixon is making headway in her race for the New York Governor seat.

Last week, Cynthia Nixon made headlines for a witty line she gave while speaking about her opponent at a dinner.

While speaking to the attendees of the annual Legislative Correspondents Association dinner earlier this month, Nixon unabashedly shared her opinion on the state’s current governor, Andrew Cuomo.

“Andrew Cuomo is known for dirty politics but I have to give credit where it’s due,” Nixon told the crowd. “His history of cutthroat campaigns, helped inspire my campaign’s new slogan.”

It was then that Nixon stated the line, “Vote for the Homo, not for the Cuomo.”

That said, it wasn’t Nixon that thought up the line. Rather, she flipped an original slogan on its head.

In 1977, Cuomo’s father, Mario Cuomo, was running for mayor of New York City against Ed Koch. During the campaigning process, posters appeared across the city with the slogan, “Vote for Cuomo, Not the Homo.” While Andrew, who was a part of his father’s campaign, denied being in involved with the flyers, Koch blamed the Cuomos.

But saying a catchy slogan just shows that Nixon is witty. Does that prove that she should win office? Not quite. But, gaining powerful allies can certainly help her.

New York’s progressive Working Families Party has recently announced its endorsement of Cynthia Nixon during its annual convention at Harlem’s First Corinthian Baptist Church.

If Nixon loses the gubernatorial primary on September 13, she will still be on the Working Families Party’s ballot for the November general election. That said, she hasn’t commented on whether she would opt for that yet.

Meanwhile, polls show that Cuomo is currently in the lead when it comes to public approval.

As the Seattle Pi reports:

“A Quinnipiac University poll released May 2 found 50 percent of registered Democratic voters favor Cuomo compared to 28 percent for Nixon. The poll of 1,076 New York state voters conducted April 26 to May 1 has a margin of error of plus or minus 3.7 percentage points.”

So, it looks like Cynthia Nixon still has more to go in terms of campaigning and gaining the people’s trust. Will she be able to do it in time for the election?

h/t: New York Daily News, The Cut, Seattle Pi

Homophobic Pastor Scott Lively Is Running For Massachusetts Governor

If we want real power in the United States of America, we need to not only share our concerns in street protests but in elections as well. The power of the vote is key right now.

This is especially true when men like Scott Lively are running for office.

Scott Lively is a former pastor and the author of The Pink Swastika, which was a novel from 1995 that stated that the Holocaust was run by gay Nazis.

Beyond writing a largely debunked novel about gay Nazis killing 6 million European Jews, and additional millions of black people, gay people, people with disabilities, and more, Lively has also backed/created other anti-gay initiatives.

For instance, Lively is the founder of an anti-LGBT group called the Abiding Truth Ministries. This group is so terrible that its been listed as a hate group by the Southern Poverty Law Center.

Now, it seems Lively is jumping from pastor/author to high profile politician.

Last week, the Republican Party’s Massachusetts state convention saw the rise of Lively as a candidate for the state’s governor primary this coming fall. He’ll now be battling it out with incumbent governor Charlie Baker in September.

Despite his extremely homophobic past and mentality, 626 state politicians out of 2,000 supported him in his bid for the governor’s seat.

“When you've got the nation's most popular governor at the top of the ballot, certainly it's strange that Scott Lively would be able to get from the Republican conventiongoers that kind of support, and that kind of a vote," Massachusetts political consultant Anthony Cignoli told Mass Live. "Did these conventiongoers, these delegates, go there specifically for him; was this an effort that was orchestrated and to the credit of his campaign? Or is this indicative of what the base of the Republican party regulars are?”

While Lively isn’t expected to win, Baker has been voted the country’s most popular governor and 70 percent of delegates did not vote for Lively, there is still some room for concern.

So again, if you live in Massachusetts and are of voting age, you have to power to stop Scott Lively in his tracks. Vote in this coming primarily this September to ensure that Pink Swastika Lively does not win.

h/t: MassLive, Newsweek

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