LGBT equality is on the line up and down the ballot this year. We've made remarkable progress in recent years, but electing the wrong people could easily reverse everything we have achieved together. As we approach Election Day, we'll be sharing our endorsements with you, so you know who stands on the side of full equality.
Endorsements for US Congress
CONGRESSIONAL DISTRICT 1
EqualityMaine is proud to endorse Chellie Pingree for re-election to Congress. In her first term she helped pass groundbreaking bills to advance equality: the Matthew Shepard hate crimes law and the repeal of "Don't Ask, Don't Tell." Since then she has continued to work for progress on our issues, as a member of the LGBT Equality Caucus and as a co-sponsor of the Equality Act. Simply put, Chellie has had our backs every step of the way.
CONGRESSIONAL DISTRICT 2
EqualityMaine is also proud to endorse Emily Cain for Congress. Emily has been a leader for our community for more than a decade. A longtime member of UMaine’s LGBT Allies Council, Emily co-sponsored the 2005 non-discrimination bill and the 2009 marriage equality bill. Then, as minority leader in the Maine House, Emily shut down attempts to pass anti-LGBT legislation by extremist politicians. Emily was there for our community before it was the easy thing to do, because she always knew it was the right thing to do. The choice is clear, Emily is who we need standing up for us.
EqualityMaine is endorsing Question 3, which would require background checks for all gun sales in our state. Hate violence has disproportionately impacted the LGBT community for many years, and a recent study showed that homicides of LGBT people actually increased 20 percent in the United States from 2014 to 2015.
This issue really came to the foreground for us in June, when LGBT people were intentionally targeted in the massacre at Pulse nightclub in Orlando. At that point it became clear: too many people have paid the price, and it’s time we take action.
Loopholes in our laws allow felons, domestic abusers, people with severe mental illness, and other dangerous people to purchase a firearm. While no law could prevent every crime, we believe that this initiative is a common sense approach to keep guns out of the hands of dangerous people who would inflict violence on the LGBT community. For more info, visit: http://responsiblemaine.org
EqualityMaine is endorsing Question 4, which would raise the minimum wage to $12 per hour by the year 2020.
The unfortunate reality is that biased attitudes and discrimination limit the economic opportunities available to many LGBT people; as a result, low-wage jobs and limited access to high-paying jobs contribute to disproportionate rates of poverty in our community.
The impact is staggering: recent studies have shown that LGBT couples raising children are twice as likely to live at the poverty line compared to non-LGBT parents, and transgender people are nearly four times as likely to have a household income under $10,000 per year compared to the population as a whole.
While our work to combat the bias and discrimination that perpetuate these disparities is ongoing, raising the minimum wage would make an immediate and significant difference for members of our community who are struggling. For more info, visit: http://fairwagemaine.com
Bookmark/Search this post with