Pushing the LGBT midterms vote for November 6
It’s important that the LGBT midterms vote makes its presence felt tomorrow, November 6, because their lives depend on it.
Here are some of the reasons why.
LGBT midterms vote: Fighting the Trump administration
At the top of the list is the Trump administration’s moves to target the LGBT community, with their most recent one to redefine gender to revoke protections against transgender people.
The Trump administration wants the gender definition of the protections in Title IX, the federal civil rights law that bans gender discrimination in education, based on the genitals a person was born with.
“Everyone needs to vote on 6 November like lives depend on it – because they do,” said Diego Sanchez of PFLAG National, which supports LGBT rights.
Meanwhile, former Democrat presidential candidate Hillary Clinton said, “Let’s send a clear message that we won’t sit back and allow this type of discrimination in two weeks at the ballot box.”
Prior to this, the Trump administration had sought to bar transgender people from serving in the military.
LGBT midterms vote: Massachusetts for transgender rights
Speaking of transgender rights, Massachusetts also has this on their ballot with voters deciding whether to uphold a law barring anti-transgender discrimination in public accommodations.
The Massachusetts law, which had been signed into law in 2016 by Republican Governor Charlie Baker, is up for referendum with anti-transgender groups pushing fears of enabling sexual assault by men in women’s restrooms.
Fortunately, a poll by Suffolk University/ Boston Globe shows that 68 percent of voters want to keep the law as compared to 28 who want it repealed.
The results of the vote could affect transgender rights elsewhere by either giving support for the push to affirm transgender rights or set a bad precedent for anti-transgender attacks.
LGBT midterms vote: “Blue wave” battle for Congress
Meanwhile, as oddsmakers favor Democrats for the House– a “blue wave” of change– Republicans are touted in maintaining their 51-seat control in the Senate, and even gain more seats.
Democrat contenders in the Senate– Jacky Rosen for Nevada and bisexual Kyrsten Sinema for Arizona– are facing serious battles for their positions.
The Democrat party may also lose their seats in Missouri, Indiana, and North Dakota, while Florida is tied.
On the other hand, Wisconsin Senator and out lesbian Tammy Baldwin seems to be on her way to be re-elected ahead of her Republican competitor, State Sen. Leah Vukmir.
With the Senate being controlled by the Republicans, the Trump administration can get confirmation for their anti-LGBT appointments while also blocking any pro-LGBT legislation approved by the House.
LGBT midterms vote: A Republican-controlled Senate
Sharon McGowan, chief strategy officer for the LGBT legal group Lambda Legal, said, “The Senate plays an incredibly important role in terms of confirming the president’s nominees– not only to the Executive branch but even more importantly to the judiciary.”
“So who controls the Senate– even if only by a razor thin margin– will likely determine what kind of federal judiciary we will have for the next 30-40 years,” McGowan said.
Likewise, Sharita Gruberg, associate director of the LGBT Research & Communications Project at the Center for American Progress, said: “Democratic control of the House will prevent the Senate from passing anti-equality legislation.”
“A divided Congress combined with the president’s opposition to pro-equality measures means long overdue comprehensive non-discrimination protections for all LGBTQ people likely won’t be enacted either,” Gruberg added.
LGBT midterms vote: Pushing for LGBT candidates
At the House, the LGBTQ Victory Fund has endorsed 12 congressional candidates on the ballot with four as openly gay incumbents.
These include: Reps. David Cicilline (RI), Mark Pocan (Wis.), Mark Takano (Calif.) and Sean Patrick Maloney (NY).
Other congressional candidates Sharice Davids in Kansas, Lauren Baer in Florida, Angie Craig in Minnesota, Rick Neal in Ohio, Gina Ortiz Jones in Texas, Chris Pappas in New Hampshire, Katie Hill in California, and Tracy Mitrano in New York.
Nate Silver of Five Thirty Eights has said that the Democratic takeover of the House is likely to happen with 86.4 percent.
For the positions of governor, there is Lupe Valdez in Texas, Jared Polis in Colorado, Kate Brown, the incumbent bisexual governor in Oregon; and Christine Hallquist in Vermont.