Meet The Man Who Wants To Issue Your Same-sex Marriage License
Scott Bailey loves taking his boat out on the water, just celebrated his third anniversary with his partner and is the kind of guy you would love to grab a beer with. He’s also been actively campaigning since January for the clerk of the Richmond circuit court democratic primary election on June 10.
“The clerk’s office can be a huge part of community involvement—right now it’s not—which concerns me,” Bailey said. “I think its important as a LGBT person that if you want laws to change, if we want to better our community, we have to do it instead of depending on everyone else to do it.”
The clerk’s office is an administrative position within the city of Richmond responsible for more than 800 statutory duties pertaining to ensuring all court processes and records are done and maintained correctly. This includes everything from archiving official records to signing marriage licenses.
“Most people are under the impression that the court system is a bad place to go, and in some instances it is, but this is also where people go to get their marriage licenses—those are some of the happiest days of your lives—there’s also things you can do to help people who have paid their debts to society to help restore their voter rights,” he said.
Bailey also said of the issues surrounding the position and his platform, he wants to focus most on enhancing the court’s use of technology in order to make processes and procedures smoother and user-friendlier. He added that efficiency plays a huge role in this position and whoever wins the election needs a vision of where they want to go.
After his decision to run for the position in Jan., Bailey said he has devoted the majority of his free time to the campaign and canvases nearly 200 houses on an average weekend.
“People have been so kind, it’s been very humbling. I’ve been invited to BBQs and cookouts while I’m canvasing, it’s been a lot of fun. It’s been very eye-opening about our community,” he said. “On my brochures and website I have the equality sign not because I’m gay, but because I believe in equal rights for everyone; every citizen within Richmond city should be treated fairly and equally.”
This is Bailey’s first run for political office and he said the biggest challenge is not running as a candidate but instead getting people to get out and vote. He added that Richmond has a notoriously low voter turnout rate so every vote counts in this election.
“If anything I really hope this encourages others to realize they have the opportunity to become more involved and run for office,” he said. “Its not just from the LGBT side, it’s also from the African-American side, or from the convicted felon side, any of these people should be able to run for office. We can ask people to change laws but there’s a point when you need to say ‘what can I do?’”
Bailey also emphasized that much of what he hopes to accomplish if elected pertains to better serving Richmond tax-payers by reaching out and letting citizens know what their rights and available options are.
“I have a lot of transgender friends, for example, who want their names changed but they don’t want to go into a system where they look like a freak walking in because people don’t know how to react,” he said.
Bailey has had his own name changed since he married his partner and argued that the process should not have to be overcomplicated or explanatory.
“This position serves everyone no matter race, sexuality or party affiliation. You have to work with both sides—all sides. I have republicans who will be voting for me for the first time because they know why I’m running; I have gay friends who are republican. My entire premise is, how can we improve the rights for everyone?”
(Image of Scott (Left) and his partner Bill Bailey)
Randolph Macon Professor Dave Brat has made headlines for his unprecedented win in the bid for VA’s 7th congressional District seat, but while Eric Cantor’s stance on marriage equality was well known, Brat’s is still up for debate. In the “Protecting Values” section of his campaign’s website, Brat promises to “protect the rights of the [...]June 11, 2014
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