Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Gays vs. Democratic Party | Washington D.C. | Advocate.com

Gays vs. Democratic Party | Washington D.C. | Advocate.com
In 2004, Andy Szekeres, then a 21-year-old budding Democratic strategist with several political campaigns already under his belt, was working as the Wisconsin LGBT field coordinator for John Kerry’s presidential campaign. Szekeres estimates that he and his team registered 26,000 new gay voters across the crucial swing state that year, and on Election Night, Kerry won the state by about 11,000 votes—less than 0.5% of the overall vote. Though the win can be attributed to the support of various constituencies, there’s no question that Wisconsin would have wound up red—not blue—if it hadn’t been for gay voters’ strong backing of the Democratic ticket.

Fast-forward five years to Maine, where social conservatives proposed and funded Question 1, a November ballot initiative that, like Proposition 8 in California, successfully repealed marriage equality in the state. Szekeres worked as finance director for No on 1/Protect Maine Equality, which opposed the initiative. But he says his experience with the Democratic Party was significantly different this time. While the national party had been more than happy to enlist the support of gay donors and campaign workers in its effort to get Kerry elected in 2004, it couldn’t be bothered to involve itself in the fight to maintain those voters’ and workers’ right to marry.

Much, much more follows this intro at the Advocate's website.

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