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You're standing in front of your Family and Friends prepared to make your dreams of a lifetime come true. It's at that moment that you are grateful that you have a professional guiding your ceremony. The Supreme Court has finally ruled upon this issue. Now is the time to plan your perfect LGBT Wedding. I have been performing Commitment Ceremonies since the beginning, and I am so pleased this has opened up for everyone to marry the one they Love. Contact Reverend Jacqui Weiks, Your LGBT Wedding Officiant
We are an open and affirming, multi-racial and multi-cultural, assessable to all, peace and justice oriented body of faith. We go into the community and God's disciples. Grounded by the teachings of Jesus the Christ, we uplift Christ's goodness, create spiritual community, and care for God's people and God's world. Dynamic hope, incredible compassion, extravagant hospitality, and radical love are our core values.
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The Democratic Party Candidates on LGBT Issues
With primary season well underway, many members of the LGBT community are concerned–and rightly so–about the threat posed by anti-LGBT candidates and policies. With Donald Trump and Ted Cruz both threatening to roll back equality measures and LGBT rights across the country if elected, and anti-LGBT policy continuing to inform Republican attitudes and legislation, the 2016 election has major stakes for the LGBT community. When considering presidential candidates, where do they stand on LGBT issues?
But while most LGBT voters are in agreement about the threat posed by the Republican frontrunners, there is also a stark divide when it comes to the Democratic party, with LGBT voters attempting to elect the presidential candidate they feel will protect and advance LGBT rights after taking office. While most polls still show Hillary Clinton leading, the gap between the candidates is narrowing.
If elected, Trump or Cruz would roll back #LGBTrights across the country. Click To Tweet
Do LGBT Voters “Feel the Bern”?
The Bernie Sanders campaign has fought something of an uphill battle leading up to this summer’s Democratic National Convention. The candidate, supported by the more progressive segments of the party, has not received as much media attention as his primary rival, but his supporters are undeterred, taking to social media to drive voter support for Sanders. In the LGBT community, however, Sanders has remained relatively unknown despite his pro-LGBT voting record:
- Non-Discrimination – As a U.S. Senator, Sanders supported 2013’s Employment Nondiscrimination Act, which prohibits discrimination based on gender or sexual identity, and is a co-sponsor of the Student Non-Discrimination Act, which enhances protections for LGBT students.
- Marriage Equality – Sanders was also way ahead of the curve when it came to marriage equality, actively fighting against expansions to the Defense of Marriage Act and opposing constitutional amendments to define marriage as a union between a man and a woman. As early as 2011, he was calling for Barack Obama to shift his stance on gay marriage.
- Service Support – Additionally, Sanders opposed “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell,” famously calling out a fellow Representative for disrespecting LGBT service members and demanding that the congressman apologize to members of the military.
Since the beginning of his campaign, prevailing wisdom says Sanders would struggle in a general election. He identifies a democratic socialist, and the right has spent the past decade demonizing socialism. Still, for many LGBT voters, Sanders’ record proves that he will support the efforts Democratic Party on LGBT issues.
Bernie Sanders has been a strong, steady supporter of #LGBTrights in America. Click To Tweet
LGBT Voters’ Uneasy Support of Hillary Clinton
While Hillary Clinton gained a major endorsement from the Human Rights Campaign, the organization’s support of a candidate who, only a few years earlier, did not support policies like marriage equality for same-sex couples, struck a sour note with many in the LGBT community. Clinton’s seemingly tone-deaf comments on Nancy Reagan’s impact on AIDS awareness just a few months later only added to this sense of disconnect between the candidate and the LGBT community. Still, Clinton’s recent record of supporting LGBT rights has given her wide support from many in the community:
- Equality Efforts – To many, Hillary Clinton’s evolution on gay marriage doesn’t seem that far out of line with the rest of her party: after all, President Obama wasn’t originally in favor of marriage equality, either. Since the Supreme Court’s decision, Clinton has lauded the efforts to gain equality and frequently allied herself with progressives on this issue.
- Human Rights – Clinton has also gained widespread support from LGBT voters for taking bold stances on LGBT issues. In a 2011 address to the United Nations, Clinton succinctly stated: “Gay rights are human rights.”
- Political Plans – Additionally, Clinton is the only Democratic candidate to present a comprehensive plan for full LGBT equality, including prohibiting discrimination, ending conversion therapy for minors, and increasing efforts to prevent violence against the transgender community. For many, these actionable plans demonstrate not only Clinton’s focus on LGBT rights, but also the political background to turn these ideas into reality.
The race for the nomination is still close–probably closer than Clinton, who has long been the presumptive nominee, ever expected it to be. In many ways, this is a positive thing: voters need to push the Democratic party on LGBT issues and progressive issues, and having a close election with a rigorous conversation allows for these discussions to take place.
Clinton is the only candidate to present a comprehensive plan for full #LGBTequality. Click To Tweet
Pushing the Democratic Party on LGBT Issues
No matter which candidate is the nominee, the campaigns’ focus on LGBT issues shows the importance of LGBT voters and their concerns. To many within the community, the the election of Ted Cruz or Donald Trump would be catastrophic for LGBT rights and freedoms. While LGBT voters are still divided over Clinton and Sanders, no one wants to lose sight of the ultimate goal and the very real stakes of this election.
We’d love to hear from you this election season! Are you “with her,” as the Clinton campaign says, or are you “feeling the Bern”? Are there LGBT issues you don’t feel that either candidate is addressing? Let us know!