You might be wondering why John Edwards has been getting more coverage on this blog than any other candidate. I regularly check the websites of all presidential candidates, both Democrat and Republican. I've signed up to receive almost everyones e-mails, and, up to now, John Edwards is the only candidate that headlines his LGBT support. I don't imagine that too many of us in the Caucus have decided who we're supporting in the primary, but Edwards is obviously proud to have LGBT backers, and that means a lot to me. I assume that the other Democrats are receiving endorsements from our community as well, but they aren't publicizing them, and I find that a little troubling.
Just this week, Edwards announced yet another impresive list of LGBT endorsers:
Also, on the same day that he posted the list above, John Edwards was in Austin. While visiting our state he announced that several prominent Texas Democrats have gotten behind him. Most importantly to us, State Representative Garnet Coleman, the featured speaker at our last meeting, has formally endorsed John Edwards for president. That really impresses me.
Kevin Jennings, New York LGBT Community Activist
Jeffrey Davis, New York LGBT Community Activist, Managing Director of Lehman Brothers
Gregory G. Simoncini, Commissioner of Illinois Human Rights Commission, former Board Member of National Gay and Lesbian Victory Fund, former Board Member of Lambda Legal
Stephen Handwerk, Board Member of National Stonewall Democrats and Co-Chair of Louisiana Stonewall Democrats.
Jeff Anderson, former Co-Chair of John Kerry for President National LGBT Finance Committee
Jeff Soukup, Board Member of Gay and Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation, former President and COO, PlanetOut Inc., and former Co-Chair National Gay and Lesbian Victory Fund
Pam Cooke, Board Member of National Stonewall Democrats
Here's what Coleman had to say:
"We need a Democrat in the White House in 2008 to fix the damage done by the Bush Administration and put our country back on track," said state Representative Garnet Coleman. "John Edwards is the best Democrat to take back the White House and restore America to its place of leadership."
Here's the complete list of Texas endorsers:
Current Elected Officials
Dallas Mayor Laura Miller - Dallas
State Senator Kirk Watson - Austin
State House Democratic Leader Jim Dunnam - Waco
State Representative Trey Martinez-Fischer, Vice Chair of the Mexican American Legislative Caucus - San Antonio
State Representative Garnet Coleman, Immediate Past Chair of the Texas Legislative Black Caucus & Chair of the Texas Legislative Study Group - Houston
State Representative Joe Farias - San Antonio
State Representative Stephen Frost - New Boston
State Representative Mark Homer - Paris
State Representative Paula Pierson - Arlington
State Representative Craig Eiland - Galveston
Former Elected Officials:
Former U.S. Representative Max Sandlin - Marshall
State Senator Babe Schwartz - Galveston
Other Prominent Texans for John Edwards:
Charles Soechting - Former Texas Democratic Party Chairman - San Marcos
Hank Gilbert - 2006 Commissioner of Agriculture Democratic Nominee - Tyler
Jim Marston - Director, Environmental Defense Texas * - Austin
Enrique Moreno - El Paso
Frank Herrera - Former Chair, Mexican American Legal Defense and Education Fund * - San Antonio
Mikal Watts - Possible 2008 Democratic Candidate for U.S. Senate - San Antonio
Liz Carpenter - Austin
Karen Dulaney Smith, Austin Independent School District Board of Trustees - Austin*
* For Identification Purposes Only
Edwards doesn't support gay marriage, something that the HGLBTPC has clearly indicated is a litmus test for supporting candidates. In fact, none of the presidential candidates support gay marriage. That having been said, I trust the Caucus will be staying out of the presidential election.
When did the HGLBT PC state that gay marriage is a litmus test for supporting a candidate? There are other very important issues that impact the rights of our GLBT community...hate crimes, ENDA, repeal of "Don't ask, Don't tell"... The Caucus will serve our community well by evaluating the candidates on all issues not just one.
The Houston GLBT Political Caucus doesn't use gay marriage as a litmus test. In certain races, we've endorsed candidates who don't support marriage equality, but of course, we've done that reluctantly.
Also, the Houston GLBT Political Caucus has no official position and will have no 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.
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