Thursday, June 28, 2007

Annise Parker and Sue Lovell Join the Clinton Campaign

Houston may proudly count itself among the few American cities that have openly gay leaders in their municipal governments. City Controller Annise Parker and City Council Member Sue lovell have offered Houstonians great leadership, and those of us in the caucus can proudly say "we knew them when." Both are past presidents of our organization, and today both have placed themselves in Hillary Clinton's corner, as she competes for to be first women President of the United States.

In a press release commemorating the stonewall riots, Clinton announced yesterday the formation of a 65 member LGBT campaign steering committee. All members of the committee have individually endorsed Clinton, and Parker and Lovell are included in the list. They're in good company too, as the committee is comprised of many of our nation's most prominent LGBT elected officials and community activists. You can view the complete list here.

The list of supporters on the steering committee demonstrates the history of friendship that Hillary Clinton has had with this community and the depth of her support among LGBT leaders. It includes people like former U.S. Assistant Attorney General Eldie Acheson, who went to college with Hillary Clinton, and Neel Lattimore who worked for her as First Lady as well as film/TV writer and producer Greg Berlanti who met her last week and signed on as a supporter immediately. The list also includes prominent LGBT activists who have been leaders on issues important to the community, including three retired members of the military who have worked to overturn the Don't Ask, Don't Tell policy, advocates in the fight against HIV/AIDS, and the attorney who argued and won the landmark Supreme Court case, Lawrence v. Texas.

Last week I posted that John Edwards had announced a second list of LGBT backers and the endorsement of Garnet Coleman. Yesterday, Edwards campaigned in Houston with Coleman and Chris Bell, another caucus candidate. As Pride month comes to a close, nearly all of the democratic presidential candidates have released some sort of statement demonstrating their LGBT support. You can read Barack Obama's statement here and Bill Richardson's statement here. In this race, the Democrats are embracing our community like they never have before. Elizabeth Edwards even campaigned at the San Francisco Pride parade, becoming the most prominent candidate or spouse to ever participate in the festivities. As far as I can tell, none of the Republicans have mentioned us, except to affirm their belief in heterosexual marriage.

Of course, the Houston GLBT Political Caucus has no official position and will have official position on the presidential race. We're exclusively focused on cultivating equality in Houston and across the state Texas, but this blog was created to be forum for our community to discuss politics at all levels. When local leaders from our community, like Annise Parker, Sue Lovell, or Garnet Coleman, make an endorsement, I think that we should talk about it here.

Now that we're in the summer lull, before the city races get going full throttle, I'd love to get a discussion going about all this. What do y'all think about the race so far?

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