Equality Pennsylvania has released its voting guide for November 2013, and out of the eight endorsed candidates in Philadelphia and Southeast PA, two identify as LGBT: New Hope mayoral candidate Donna Deely and Abington Township Commissioner incumbent Lori Schreiber. Below you’ll find Equality PA’s list of hopefuls who “will be excellent advocates for equality.”
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.
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.
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.
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.
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
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
There are a lot of misconceptions about what it takes to have your vote counted at the polls this year. We’ve addressed a few of them here just in time for tomorrow’s election (Nov. 6).
The first, you will be asked for proper identification, but you do not actually need to show that ID to be able to vote in Pennsylvania. This will likely be the last election in Pennsylvania in which IDs are not technically required. If you are asked, it’s up to you to decide whether you’d like to show your ID or not. If for any reason you are told that you cannot vote without the ID, this is incorrect. You should call 866-OUR-VOTE if you face any problems because of voter IDS, or any other opposition to your vote at the polls.
It is also not true that if you vote a straight ticket – either Republican or Democrat – that your presidential vote won’t count. A good rule of thumb is to preview the ballot before you actually head to the polls so you know exactly who you’ll be voting for – and what issues will be discussed. Click here for a rundown of offices and ballot questions.
With Election Day (Nov. 6) right around the corner – and with a presidential election year that could be the closest in more than a decade - The League of Young Voters and The Bus Federation have launched TheBallot.Org, a site that allows voters to find, create and distribute political facts via social media. The site also lets voters search who’s running in races based on location – this includes national, state and local races.
And the mobile version, released this week, lets voters create and take their ballot selections into the polls via smartphones. New information is being added daily – right down to the county level in all 50 states (and Washington D.C.).
“TheBallot.org- the first social voting tool – has more data and users than ever before,” says Scott Duncombe, technology director at The Bus Federation. “Find out who’s running in your district, city, and state, who your neighbors and friends are supporting – and why.”