At The Ballot Box: The 2012 Election - Round-Up

At The Ballot Box: The 2012 Election - Round-Up
Sunnivie Brydum

As the nation doubles down on political rhetoric in the final two months before the general election, many activists are taking not to the streets, but to their email listservs. Our inbox is chock-full of requests for donations, calls-to-action and news alerts.

With marriage equality on the ballot in four states this November — Maine, Washington, Maryland, and Minnesota — it's sure to be a big year for queer families hoping the government might finally recognize them. We're cautiously optimistic that at least one — maybe even two or three — of these states will make history this year as the first time LGBT equality has been affirmed at the ballot box. Each of the prior 32 times LGBT equality has come to a popular vote, gay, lesbian, and queer people come up short.

But with more out candidates than almost ever before, perhaps this can finally be our year. The Gay and Lesbian Victory Fund, a political action committee which works to elect out LGBT candidates, has thus far endorsed more than 100 out LGBT people in electoral races across the country. See the full list here.

The bipartisan Lesbian Super PAC has been a busy bunch of power-dykes. Simply named LPAC, the group is dedicated to increasing lesbian participation in politics, and "ending discriminatory treatment of LGBT individuals and their families; protecting access to reproductive freedom and quality healthcare; and furthering social, racial and economic justice for all," according to LPAC's website.

In August, the newly-formed group announced its first round of 2012 political endorsements. LPAC is throwing its burgeoning financial muscle most actively behind Wisconsin's Tammy Baldwin, who, if elected, would become the nation's first out LGBT Senator.

Baldwin is in a tight race with former governor Tommy Thompson, and the homophobic campaign attacks have already begun. On September 7, an official from the Thompson campaign emailed video of Baldwin dancing on stage at a Pride festival. The video was preceded with text sarcastically asserting "Clearly, there's no one better positioned to talk about 'heartland values' than Tammy."

The Thompson campaign said the email was not officially associated with Thompson, but the campaign official who sent the message did so from his campaign email account, and included his office contact information on his signature.

Needless to say, it's going to be a bumpy ride to November. Stay tuned, ladies.

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