LGBT Voting Guide for Philly and Burbs

lgbt voting guide

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.”

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This is What Marriage Equality Looks Like

The Seattle Times compiled clips from some of the first same-sex marriages taking place in Washington State this month ever since voters legalized marriage equality at the polls. Whether it’s two guys with ZZ Top beards, young women wearing their white wedding dresses or senior citizens who have waited a lifetime to say “I do,” this is what marriage equality looks like in America.

Check it out:

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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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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

Congress
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.

Voting Tips

Photo by Think Stock

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.

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Absentee Ballots Missing Marriage Question

Several absentee voters are saying that the marriage equality question is missing from their ballots in Maryland. NBC’s Washington affiliate reports that voters have complained about page six not being included in the forms, which were sent to absentee voters. If the form is missing, these voters are unable to have their say about the marriage equality question being posed in Maryland and three other states this election season.

Officials from the Maryland State Board of Elections say they are investigating the complaints – which could impact voters in two of the biggest counties in the state.

“We’re looking into this matter and taking it seriously,” says a spokesperson for Marylanders for Equality. “Every registered voter must have the same opportunity to participate in the electoral process. We’re confident the board of elections will get to the bottom of this quickly and resolve it.”

Click here to find out more.

What Should Brian Sims Wear for Halloween?

Sims (pictured right) at the Philadelphia Gay Men's Chorus Masquerade Ball this past weekend (courtesy of Sims)

Zombie Superman? Ben Franklin? A vampire? Or should he go Gangnam Style? PA’s soon-to-be first openly gay legislator Brian Sims wants you to help decide what he should wear for Halloween this month. “I hate fundraising. Period,” says Sims. “Campaigns should be about issues, policy and leadership, but unfortunately campaigns cost a lot of money. I spent a lot in my race, even went in to debt, and soon have to start fundraising for my next election.”

So he’s accepting votes with campaign contributions. Each $10 contribution counts as a vote. Folks can vote more than once, until this poll closes at 3 p.m. on October 26.

“The winning costume will be annouced that afternoon,” says Sims. ”If I’m going to have to fundraise – I’m at least going to have some fun with it.”

Click here to cast your vote.

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