Philly, These Three Questions Could Be on Your May Ballot

Philadelphia City Council  | Photo Credit: City Council's Flickr page

Philadelphia City Council | Photo Credit: City Council’s Flickr page

The Philadelphia City Council passed legislation this week that would put three questions on the ballot in the May 19th primary. These are the pesky little queries that you may or may not have heard a damn thing about in past years until the moment you stepped into the voting booth on Election Day.

Here are the questions Council approved this week in separate measures. They all seek to amend the city charter:

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Equality PA Releases Endorsements 2014 Primary Election

vote gayEquality PA just released its list of endorsed candidates for the 2014 primary election, taking place on May 20th. Thirty-three lawmakers made the list, which is comprised of pro-gay candidates, many of whom identify as LGBT. Equality PA declined to endorse a gubernatorial or lieutenant governor hopeful, because “there are so many candidates in those races who support LGBT equality,” says Executive Director Ted Martin. There is, however, one clear exception. Martin writes:

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State LGBT Groups Get Behind Philly Lt. Governor Candidate Mike Stack

mike stack lt gov

A host of state LGBT organizations this week have endorsed Philadelphia State Senator Mike Stack‘s run for Lieutenant Governor. Among them is Philly’s Liberty City Democrats (LCDC), Pittsburgh’s Steel City Stonewall Democrats, and the Gertrude Stein Political Club of Greater Philadelphia (GSPC), which released a statement saying Stack, “has a strong organization, strong ties to our community, and has been instrumental to moving bits of progressive legislation through a government largely controlled by people who demonize our community.”

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Big LGBT Wins Last Night

As President Obama delivered his acceptance speech late last night (well, technically this morning), championing equality for everyone – including the LGBT community – there were other important wins by those who have also been either openly gay or openly progressive about everything from marriage equality to workplace protection and repealing DOMA.

Here in Pennsylvania, Brian Sims become the state’s first openly gay legislator. He’ll be in Harrisburg starting early next year. We knew this was coming since he faced no opposition after winning the primary against longtime Democrat Babette Josephs.

The attack ads against Kathleen Kane didn’t seem to work either. She’ll become Pennsylvania’s first female (and democratic) attorney general. Bob Casey also won a second senate term, beating the Tea Party’s Tom Smith who spent millions on ads blasting the incumbent.

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When I Enter the Voting Booth, I Won’t Be Alone

WXPN's Robert Drake

As a member of media, I try my best (publicly at least) to remain impartial in regards to politics. Those who know me, know me. So, as we count down the hours to America’s next Election Day – all I can say is that when I enter that voting booth today, I won’t be alone.

With me is the love of my partner that I have had for several years, a love that is as pure and sincere as two people can have, regardless of sexual orientation. With me is the hope that someday we can be recognized as a couple just as easily as my straight friends.

With me is the thankfulness that my partner and several of my close friends – all with various pre-existing health conditions – may finally have a chance to receive healthcare without incurring a massive debt.

With me is the personal passion that so many of my friends have when it comes to simply accepting another without judgement – and the hope that our leaders, and our country, will follow suit in the years ahead. 

Finally, with me are the hundreds of friends that I’ve lost in the past three decades to AIDS – from casual friends to a lover. Those men never got the chance to see how far America has grown in understanding and acceptance – I keep them in my thoughts every time I cast a vote.

Be sure to vote. If not for you, for those you love.

Robert Drake works at WXPN and regularly DJs at events around town, including Bottoms Up at the Bike Stop every Friday and the monthly Sex Dwarf at Fluid Nightclub.

Where to Watch the Election Results

Join the HRC at the Field House during Equality Watch 2012. Donate $10 and get a Vote Obama t-shirt and a free drink.

Who will win – Mitt Romney or Barack Obama? While we can’t possibly forecast the results, we can tell you where to go to watch the the drama unfold. Here’s a list of bars, restaurants and venues around town that will be broadcasting the results on Election Night – and hosting a few very special events.

The Blockley: The West Philly club is hosting a Sandy relief event with a free drink to each person who donates 10 cans of food. Also look for voting games and other election hijinks.

Devil’s Alley: Try the Obama Mama or Romney Runner at this Rittenhouse Square restaurant/bar.

Doobies: One of our favorite neighborhood watering holes is featuring full television coverage, dollar dogs and an extended happy hour.

Field House: The HRC is hosting the Equality Watch 2012 election night party upstairs with drink specials through the night. Donate $10 to the HRC and you’ll get a Vote Obama t-shirt and free drink.

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Don’t Let Romney Turn Back Time

Cher and Kathy Griffin say: Don't let Romney turn back time on LGBT and women's rights

Don’t let Mitt Romney turn back time. That’s the message that comedian Kathy Griffin and music superstar Cher are sending to voters this Election Day. “I’m looking at you, gays,” says Griffin – as the duo invite voters to consider how a Romney win could impact not only the LGBT community, but also women’s rights, health and the economy – you know – issues like fair pay.

And all the talk about what’s “legitimate” rape in this country? “Sick stuff,” says Cher.

“This is not the election to be complacent,” adds Griffin. They both remind us about the importance of casting a vote on the right side of history – and why we should be encouraging our friends and loved ones to do the same. Sure, we may all be pretty tired of all the campaign ads and robo-calls (we have a voice mail system flooded with them), but when it comes down to what these two say about the future of America, we couldn’t agree more.

Click here to watch the duo talk politics.

And click here for the hilarious out takes.

Liberty City’s Endorsements

The Liberty City LGBT Democratic Club has announced its endorsements for today’s election. Here are the picks:

President of the United States
President Barack Obama

United States Senate
Senator Bob Casey

Congressman Robert Brady- 1st District
George Badey- 7th District
Kathy Boockvar- 8th District

Auditor General
Representative Eugene DePasquale

Pennsylvania State Senate
Senator Larry Farnese, 1st District
Senator Daylin Leach- 17th District

Pennsylvania State House
Kelly Devine- 150th District (Montgomery County)
Will Sylianteng- 151st District (Montgomery County)
Steve McCarter – 154th District (Philadelphia & Montgomery County)
Representative Mike O’Brien – 175th District
Brian Sims – 182nd District
Jordan Harris – 186th District
Representative Jim Roebuck – 188th District
Representative Vanessa Lowry-Brown – 190th District
Representative Cherelle Parker – 200th District
Representative Mark Cohen – 202nd District

Click here to find out where to vote.

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