John Edwards Reaching For The Gay Vote

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Presidential candidate John Edwards and his gay friends sent out a love letter yesterday. In the letter, the Democrat’s campaign highlights Edwards’ viability in the forthcoming election and celebrate his localized political eye:

While members of the LGBT community are by no means single-issue voters, you may be asking yourself what all of this has to do with the LGBT community and our agenda. As most of us now realize, almost all of the victories for our community have been at the state and local level. These victories are largely due to the hard work, persistence and talent of LGBT statewide organizations and their allies. Because these activists devoted their lives to educating their neighbors and elected representatives, we have marriage in Massachusetts, civil unions in New Jersey, Vermont, California, New Hampshire and Connecticut, and laws providing workplace equality, safe schools, protection from hate crimes and domestic partnership registries in dozens of states and local municipalities.

As members of the LGBT community, we are supporting John Edwards for President because if we want to continue to see this kind of progress in the states and to see the bills that we all have worked so hard to get enacted, we need to maintain the majorities Democrats hold in statehouses and build new ones. And there is only one candidate with a 50-state plan who can ensure that we capitalize on the opportunities we have across the nation. That candidate is John Edwards.

Read the rest, after the jump…

Via Bloggernista:
Dear Friends:

The 2008 Presidential elections offer our country and our community a chance to make history, by fundamentally restructuring American politics from the White House to the statehouse. That is why we are supporting Senator John Edwards for President and hope that you will consider joining us.

As the Democratic presidential nominee, John Edwards would represent nothing less than the chance to alter the conventional foundations of American politics. Edwards demonstrates strong leadership, not only on the critical issues facing the LGBT community, but also by offering bold ideas like guaranteeing universal health care to every man, woman and child in this nation, ending poverty in this country during our lifetime, and stopping global warming while creating hundreds of thousands of quality American jobs in a new energy economy. As the Democratic Party’s presidential nominee Edwards will run a 50-state campaign- helping to strengthen Democratic officials, not only in traditionally “blue” states, but also in “battleground” and “red” states.

Edwards’ “policy ideas are shaping the Democratic presidential race.” The Economist- July 19, 2007

Edwards’ bold leadership on the critical issues, both on those unique to our community and those that transcend all communities, has set the policy agenda for this election, making it safe for others to follow. Edwards was the first candidate to offer a truly universal health care plan, the first candidate to offer a comprehensive global warming proposal, and the first to offer a comprehensive HIV/AIDS strategy. Early on, Edwards accepted responsibility and apologized for his vote to invade Iraq, and he has consistently called upon Congress to stand up to President Bush to force an end to the war.

I am the candidate running for president on the Democratic side who’s actually won an election in a red state running against the Jesse Helms political machine. John Edwards- “Meet the Press” October 7, 2007

Edwards is the Democrat with the best chance to regain the White House against all of the top Republican candidates and offers the best chance to help Democrats get elected in some of the toughest races in the country because of his appeal in traditionally “red” areas. According to Doug Shoen, former pollster for President Bill Clinton, Edwards is “the strongest individual match up” against Republicans in the general. Edwards puts into play states where Democrats running for president have not competed in years. For example, his strength in places like Kentucky, Missouri and Oklahoma, will help Democrats competing in tight races, including for control of governorships and legislatures, control of which may mean more to LGBT Americans than most.

While members of the LGBT community are by no means single-issue voters, you may be asking yourself what all of this has to do with the LGBT community and our agenda. As most of us now realize, almost all of the victories for our community have been at the state and local level. These victories are largely due to the hard work, persistence and talent of LGBT statewide organizations and their allies. Because these activists devoted their lives to educating their neighbors and elected representatives, we have marriage in Massachusetts, civil unions in New Jersey, Vermont, California, New Hampshire and Connecticut, and laws providing workplace equality, safe schools, protection from hate crimes and domestic partnership registries in dozens of states and local municipalities.

As members of the LGBT community, we are supporting John Edwards for President because if we want to continue to see this kind of progress in the states and to see the bills that we all have worked so hard to get enacted, we need to maintain the majorities Democrats hold in statehouses and build new ones. And there is only one candidate with a 50-state plan who can ensure that we capitalize on the opportunities we have across the nation. That candidate is John Edwards.

Eric Stern, Former National Stonewall Democrats Executive Director
David Mixner, Former Bill Clinton for President Adviser
Dan Hinkley, Nevada Stonewall Democratic Caucus President
John A. Pérez, Democratic National Committee Member
Linda Elliott, Human Rights Committee Board of Directors Member
David Tseng, Kerry-Edwards 2004 National LGBT Advisory Committee Co-Chair
Skip Paul, Corporate Executive
Jenny Durkan, Washington LGBT Community Leader
Scott Benson, Majority Leader Minneapolis City Council
Kenda Kirby, former Executive Director of North Carolina Human Rights Initiative
Ian Palmquist, Equality North Carolina, Executive Director
Eric Marcus, Author and Gay Activist
Scott Wiener, Human Rights Campaign Board of Directors Member
Ken Keechl, Broward County Commissioner; Former Dolphin Democrats President
Ron Ginsburg, LGBT Community Activist
Gregory G. Simoncini, Commissioner of Illinois Human Rights Commission
Jeff Gardner, Vice Chair of Garden State Equality
James Duff, TV Producer
Robert D. Horvath, Mautner Project Board of Directors Member
Patrick J. Lyden, LGBT Community Activist; Homeland Security Advisor
Kevin Jennings, New York LGBT Community Activist
Stephen Handwerk, Board Member of National Stonewall Democrats
Jeff Anderson, Former Co-Chair of John Kerry for President National LGBT Finance Committee
Jeff Soukup, Former President and COO, PlanetOut Inc.
Andy Szekeres, Former Colorado Stonewall Co Chair
Sean Kosofsky, Michigan LGBT Community Leader
Mark Periello, Former Human Rights Campaign staff member
Kyle Bailey, Board member of National Stonewall Democrats
Hans Johnson, President of Progressive Victory
Todd Elmer, Former Clinton Administration Commerce Department Official
Les Krambeal, Board member of National Stonewall Democrats
Leslie Giblett, Washington LGBT Community Leader
Alexis Pontikis, Washington LGBT Community Leader
Gregg Gallo, National Stonewall Board Members
David Mariner, Former Out for Howard Dean Co-Chair
*Organizations listed for identification purposes only