Frustrated Gay Voters Split on Supporting Dems

Obama's spotty record could lose the party crucial votes

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President Obama's term thus far has been a mixed bag for the LGBT community. Encouraging gestures, like Obama's recent message for the It Gets Better Project, have alternated with significant disappointments, like the administration's decision to prolong "don't ask, don't tell." Now, with the midterm elections a week away, the Associated Press reports that many frustrated LGBT voters are wrestling with the question of whether to support Democratic candidates at all.

  • The New Swing Voters  "Across the country, activists say gay voters are angry... and some are choosing to sit out this election or look for other candidates," writes Tammy Webber of The Associated Press. "In places like Cook County, Ill., where the gay population represents about 7 percent of voters, that could mean the difference between victory and defeat in some races." Webber quotes Robin McGehee, director of the advocacy group GetEQUAL, who says of the feeling in the LGBT community: "Either we're important enough to fight for our equality or we're worth losing ... Right now we're being treated like we're worth losing."

  • Voting Our Anger Is the Wrong Move, warns Alvin McEwen at The Huffington Post. "Any lgbt thinking of sitting this election out should think long and hard about whether it is a wise thing to do for the community," McEwen writes. "While I'm not happy with the progress of the Obama Administration on the BIG issues... the lgbt community has had a wonderful year. Prop 8 was overturned, the Florida anti-gay adoption law is gone, the exposure of George Rekers opened so many's eyes to religious right junk science, the nation rallied around our youth when those awful suicides took place, and this week will mark one year since lgbt-inclusive hate crimes legislation was signed into law." McEwen adds that "if we don't vote because we haven't gotten what we wanted, then we deserve whatever we get."

  • 'Change Comes Slowly,' points out blogger u235. "You need to have patience and keep supporting those you have committed to your cause. You can't always be the priority, especially when so many are without food and shelter," the author writes. "Voting for a non-supporting party (aka the Repubs) gets you what? A vote against gay marriage? Sure, sounds like a winner right there. What about for the Green Party? They sure carry a lot of clout. Really, why bother voting at all?"

This article is from the archive of our partner The Wire.