Saturday, September 25, 2010

Blue America Welcomes Ed Potosnak


This year there are several Democrats running for Congress who are openly gay and Blue America has had several inquiries about why we haven't endorsed them. A couple of gay organizations have done so and I think the DCCC is getting behind one or two as well. But Blue America isn't a gay organization that endorses based on someone's gender preference and we're certainly not the DCCC. We're looking for smart, honest progressive leaders and we don't care what color they are, what gender they are or how they look or who they sleep with. When we decided to endorse Ed Potosnak in New Jersey this week, the young high school science teacher running against Wall Street shill Leonard Lance, it was because of his stands on the issues important to working families and because of the strength of his character, not because he's an openly gay man. But he is.

Ed will be joining us at Crooks and Liars at 2pm (ET/11am on the West Coast) today for a wide-ranging blogger session, not especially about his sexual orientation. In fact, it was his hammering on the importance of education policy that first got our PAC interested in his candidacy. That said, we had several long conversations about what it means for a member of the LGBT community to run for Congress. Remember, out of 435 congressmembers and 100 senators, we only have three openly gay Members of Congress-- all Democrats-- plus a dozen or so closeted Republicans. Ed made it clear that he's grateful that the trail was blazed for him by Tammy Baldwin, Barney Frank and Jared Polis.
This is a critical time for the LGBT community and the fight for justice. The LGBT community needs more representatives in elected office. We have seen throughout history that we march closer to equality for everyone when the makeup of our government better reflects the diversity of our great nation. We know that the best representation of LGBT issues will come from those of us who understand the unique issues facing our community.

My election is a historic opportunity to elect the first openly gay Member of Congress to serve New Jersey and to add to growing LGBT voice in Congress. My election is extremely close and I am well positioned to unseat my Republican opponent, Congressman Leonard Lance. Mr. Lance has sided with the conservative leadership in Congress 91% of the time including voting against the repeal of Don’t Ask Don’t Tell and he does not support marriage equality. It's critical that we elect someone in his place who will vote to end discrimination and fight for equality and inclusion in all legislation considered by Congress. We cannot afford more no votes from Congressman Lance on the repeal of DOMA, the Domestic Partnership Benefits and Obligations Act, the Reuniting Families Act, on other pieces of legislation to establish equality, or AYES on votes to strip transgender inclusion from ENDA.

I am committed to fighting for equal and fair treatment for every American regardless of sexual orientation, gender, race, religion or creed. I strongly believe that the LGBT community must also fight for the equal treatment of women and minorities. We are partners in the march for equal rights. We recognize that strides have been made in our communities, but we still have a road ahead of us: a road that will be traveled more swiftly if we work together. When I go to Congress, I will help lead the fight to fulfill the real promise of the American dream, equality for all.

Please consider helping Ed get his message out by contributing what you can at the Blue America ActBlue page. In fact, the first 10 people who contribute at least $25 to Ed's campaign will get autographed copies of Russ Baker's Family of Secrets.

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