Saturday, October 23, 2010

Voting for LGBT Civil Rights

I'm not one to post about politics usually, in fact I hate them. But since coming out as transgender, I've taken a little more interest, mostly in Civil Rights for everybody, including everyone in the LGBT mix.

I received my ballot this week and was confronted with a slew of names and no real good information about civil rights support so I started on a trek to find out. I emailed all of the candidates to find out what their opinions on civil rights were. I will try to keep this up to date in case anyone else is interested (in the Seattle/WA area).

I realize many people won't agree with this because there other issues at stake besides Civil rights but this is what's important to me.

The List:

US Senate

Patty Murray (Democrat) - Contacted, She confirmed her support for LGBT Civil Rights.

Dino Rossi (Republican) - Contacted, No Response yet.

US Reps

Jay Inslee (Democrat) - Contacted, He confirmed his support for LGBT Civil Rights.

James Watkins (Republican) - Contacted, No Response yet.

WA State Senate

Rodney Tom (Democrat) - Contacted, No Response yet.

Gregg Bennett (Republican) - Contacted, No Response yet.

WA State Reps

Ross Hunter (Democrat) - Contacted, No Response yet.

Diane Tebelius (Republican) - Contacted, No Response yet.

Deb Eddy (Democrat) - Contacted. Positive Response:
YES, I support LGBT rights. I have been a cosponsor for all domestic
partnership legislation in the past couple of sessions. SeaMec, the Seattle
group that interviews candidates on a whole range of issues, including
transgender rights, gave me a very favorable ranking back in '06, the first
time I ran for office.

Phillip L. Wilson (Republican) - Contacted, No Response yet.

Prosecuting Attny

Dan Satterberg (Republican) - Contacted, No response yet.

State Supreme Court

Jim Johnson - Contacted, No Response yet.

Barbara Madsen - Unable to find contact info, did find info that she may be against Gay Marriage:

Richard B. Sanders - Contacted, Negative Response:

The Court only addresses the specific legal issues that comes before it.

The State Supreme Court ruled that the Legislature could ban same-sex marriages, and he agreed on that opinion.

Charlie Wiggins - Contacted, Netural/Positive Response:

Thank you for your interest in this election and for your inquiry.
There are a host of issues that arise from your question. Rather than try
to lay them out, I'd ask you to read the interview with me that appeared in
the Seattle Gay News back at the end of July, which I attach.
The one thing I would add to this mix is that I've given further
consideration to the issue of same-sex marriage after the decision of the
federal court in the California Proposition 8 case. The federal judge
listened to all of the evidence and concluded that none of the studies
supported the ban on same-sex marriage. So I cannot tell you how I would
rule the next time this issue arises because I have an open mind on the
subject. I also would refer you to the article in the Stranger about my opponent,
which I also attach. I hope this is helpful and I appreciate your inquiry.

Court of Appeals

C. Kenneth Grosse - Unable to find contact info

Michael Spearman - Unable to find contact info

District Court

Janet E. Garrow - Contacted, Negative Response?:

Thanks for your interest. I cannot use my work computer for campaign-related questions.

Frank V. LaSalata - Contacted, No response yet.

Linda Jacke - Contacted, Generic/Negative Response:

I have taken an oath to uphold the law and in all my decisions in my
court, I will do that.

Peter L. Nault - Contacted, No response yet

David A. Steiner - Contacted, No response yet.

John L. O'Brien - Contacted, I think positive response:

Thank you for your inquiry. My goal is to treat everyone that appears
before the same regardless of their race, color, creed, national origin, sex
or sexual preference.

Michael Finkle - Contacted, Response: Positive:

What I can tell you is that I have received the highest possible rating, "Exceptionally Well Qualified", from Q-Law. Q-Law is a bar association comprised of attorneys who are members of the LGBT community. I have been endorsed by three openly gay judges, and three of the volunteers working on my campaign are members of the LGBT community. Over the past 6 months I have received at least half a dozen petitions seeking name changes by people who were undergoing or who had completed gender transformation. I have granted them all.

Donna Tucker - Contacted, No response yet.

Larry Mitchel - Contacted, Positive Response:

Thank you for writing. I believe that all citizens, regardless of sexual orientation, are entitled to the rights provided for in the state and federal constitution. It is the right thing, both from a legal and moral standpoint. Everyone is entitled to equal justice under the law; I have made that the guiding principle in my current position and that will continue to be my goal if I am elected judge. QLAw, the gay/lesbian/transgender bar association in Washington has given me a well qualified rating. Thank you again for your inquiry and I appreciate the thoughtful consideration you are giving to your vote before you cast it.


gp said...

You can pretty much assume that every republican on the ballot is against equal rights for the lgbt community, against anti-bullying laws, against workers' rights, against reproduction rights for women, etc., etc.

Natasha said...

Much like gp, I tend to assume an anti-me bias in Republicans and somewhat more sympathy from Democrats. Here in AZ, even if I don't like the Dem in my district, I hold my nose and vote because the Republicans here are that much worse. We're definitely living in a lesser of two evil era.

Really good work, though, Debra.


Debra said...

Yeah I realize the republicans probably wont even answer let alone be FOR LGBT Rights but I don't want to assume and I gave everyone equal chances.

Jennifer Tam said...

At least most Repubs are openly anti LGBT, whereas the deems pretend to be pro civil rights and then sing a different tune once the ballots are cast.

I know I can't count on the politicians or the police to protect me, so I vote for the politicians who will let me carry my .45 and do the job myself if necessary.

But when there's a libertarian on the ballot they usually get my vote because they respect all of my human rights, not just half of them.

That's my .02 anyway :)

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