Tag Archives: marriage-equality

10 Ballot measures to Watch in Tonight’s U.S. election

Tonight President Barack Obama will be re-elected, Democrats will keep the Senate and for no apparent reason the Republicans will keep the House of Representatives for another 2 years. More awesomely, Wisconsin is going to elect America’s first openly gay Senator, Tammy Baldwin. As a politics nerd, I always like to watch a number of ballot measures (mostly because it lets me repeatedly use the plural “referenda” as much as humanly possible) because they can have as large/damaging/excellent effect as the Presidential ticket, and they can be really interesting/weird. Here are 10 measures to watch tonight:

Marriage Equality:

Maine, Maryland, Washington State and Minnesota all have same-sex marriage ballot initiatives  The first 3 have affirmative ones and Minnesota’s is to take away rights from same-sex couples by banning SSM. Tonight could be the first time same-sex marriage is approved by a popular vote. It is terrible that human rights are being put to a vote but these 4 states give me hope. Check out The Advocate for live coverage of all LGBTQ issues on election day.

Cannabis Legalization:

Colorado, Oregon and Washington all have ballot measures to legalize marijuana. All 3 states already have medicinal marijuana. These ballot measures have been polling positively in Washington State and Colorado, but surprisingly not in Oregon. The pro-legalization side in Colorado is called “The Colorado Campaign to Regulate Marijuana Like Alcohol” which is exactly how legalization advocates should make their case.

Death Penalty/3 Strikes Law in California: 

2 awesome ballot measures in California are 34 and 36. 34 would get rid of the death penalty in the state of California ( I don’t think this will pass but I’m still hopeful) and 36 will get rid of California’s “three strikes” law which has lead to California’s overcrowded prisons and has been devastating for those in California living in poverty. This is the kind of regressive legislation you could see Stephen Harper’s government putting forward and I’m glad it seems to be heading for repeal.

The Plutocrat and the Bridge:

Proposal 6 in Michigan could have a profound affect on Canadian-American relations. Proposal 6 would amend Michigan’s constitution, so that if the state ever wants to build a “new international bridge or tunnel,” the whole state–and each affected municipality–would have to first hold a referendum. The Ambassador Bridge (between Detroit and Windsor) is 85 years old and is owned by one man, Manuel  Moroun. Mr. Moroun is a billionaire trucking magnate and he doesn’t want a competing bridge.  Michigan’s Republican governor Rick Snyder (as well as Canada’s government) have come out strong against this ballot measure. It is bad for trade between Canada and the United States and is the perfect example of the new politics of plutocracy that seems to have taken over parts of the United States in the new post-Citizens United world.

President Obama Evolves on Marriage-Equality. Thankfully, Nobody Pressed “B.”

Mitt Romney reacts–if you wonder why he doesn’t try and slam President Obama for changing his position, it’s probably because he doesn’t believe in evolution and he would lose any “flip flopping” debate.

Someone needs to re-mix President Obama’s statement on marriage-equality like Will.I.Am did in 2008. Maybe Stephen Sondheim and Andrew Lloyd Webber could collaborate?

Newark Mayor Cory Booker on Marriage Equality

Via The Daily Dish.

Introducing the Liberal Queer Caucus

The Liberal Party has a lot of work to do this weekend as Liberals from across the country schlep to Ottawa for our biennial convention. This morning we are all reminded of what exactly is at stake as it appears that Stephen Harper is engaging dog-whistle politics over marriage-equality.

A few weeks ago a newly-formed group, the Liberal Queer Caucus, caught my eye. The Liberal Party is the party of same-sex marriage but we have been pushed aside, in perception, as the progressive party of LGBTQ rights by the NDP.

I contacted the LQC’s Director of Communications, Christopher Ide, with some question about the Liberal Queer Caucus and he promptly responded:

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The Liberal Queer Caucus (LQC) is a newly formed grassroots group made up of Liberal supporters who self‐identify as belonging to the LGBTQ community. Long‐term, we are committed to:

1. representing the interests and values of queers to the Liberal Party of Canada (LPC);
2. encouraging the fair participation of queers at all levels within the LPC; and,
3. communicating Liberal values to queer Canadians.

More immediately, we’re dedicated to identifying and connecting with queer Liberals interested in working with the LQC to execute our mandate. We’d like to grow the caucus to include members from every region, coast to coast. The Liberal Biennial Convention will be a great opportunity for LQC to do just that.

In the spirit or renewal and as newly elected members to the executive of the Toronto‐Danforth Federal Liberal Association, Brad Lister and I began brainstorming around ways in which our riding association could reconnect with the queer community. Brad enlisted the help of several queers from various ridings: Penny‐Lane Beames, Kelly Foote, Phillipe Murphy‐Rheaume, and Jerry Jarosinski to name a few. After two successful friend‐raisers in December, LQC supporters made their wishes quite clear: the movement needed to grow beyond the Toronto‐
Danforth riding. Liberal supporters nationwide are now joining the cause.

Since our launch, the LQC has hosted three well supported socials and a fourth is scheduled to take place during the Biennial Convention on Saturday January 14th from 8:00PM to 10:00PM (and onward) at the Lookout Bar in Ottawa (41 York Street, Byward Market).

Post convention, the LQC is hosting a participatory Coffee House at The 519 Church Street Community Centre in Toronto (519 Church Street) on Sunday January 29th from 2:30PM to 4:30PM. Not another talking heads meeting, queers will begin working to fulfil our short‐term and long‐term commitments. Participants will be able to create and manage their own agenda in parallel working sessions. Potential working sessions may include: articulating the Liberal Party’s past and present support for the LGBTQ community, communicating the Conservatives’ antiqueer agenda, developing internal (e.g., fair representation of queers in the House of Commons and Senate) and external policy positions, LQC governance and infrastructure, etc.

More personally, I was a disaffected Liberal who had let my membership lapse years ago. To help rebuild a party whose values I share, I renewed my membership not long after the 2011 federal election. The queer caucus has provided me with an opportunity to actively engage with the party, like‐minded queers and queer allies. Together, we will create an inspired caucus that will deliver extraordinary results with regularity.

Sincerely,
Christopher Ide
Director of Communications
Liberal Queer Caucus
liberalqueercaucus@gmail.com | @queercaucus (twitter)