Your Gay Primary Guide – Vote Tomorrow! June 9th!
Tomorrow is the Democratic Primary for the 2009 gubernatorial race in Virginia! If you are a politics junkie like I am, you have been reading polls and monitoring each candidate’s cash on hand for weeks now. As far as the polls go, it looks like Creigh Deeds has picked up most of the undecided voters in the past 2 weeks and jumped up about 12 points in the polls to hold a clear lead while Terry McAuliffe is stagnant holding down second place. Brian Moran is in a close third.
But who are these guys beyond their poll numbers? And where do they stand on LGBT issues? All three gentlemen are way ahead of the Republican nominee, Bob McDonnell, but there are subtle differences between the Democratic candidates that are noteworthy.
Brian Moran – BEST on LGBT issues
Brian Moran was born in Natick, MA in 1959 and made his way south for his law degree which he earned from Catholic University in DC. He worked as a prosecutor for Arlington County and continued practicing under his own name in Alexandria. He served in the VA House of Delegates from 1996-2008 representing NoVa’s 46th district. His track record while in the VA House is what sets him above the other 2 men in the race on LGBT issues.
While in the VA House, Moran voted along with Equality Virginia’s recommendations 100% of the time. He has never voted against LGBT rights and was one of the most outspoken campaigners against the Marshall-Newman Amendment in 2006, which banned gay marriage in the state’s constitution. Moran is the only candidate who has openly pledged to repeal the Marshall-Newman Amendment while in office and approaches the issue of marriage equality head on despite the potential hit he takes in the polls because of it.
Moran received a primary endorsement from the Virginia Partisans Gay and Lesbian Democratic Club, who do not usually endorse a candidate until the general election. Charley Conrad, the Partisans’ President said,
“Whoever wins the Democratic primary will have our endorsement in the general election. But in the primary, it’s clear that Brian Moran stands head and shoulders above the competition in terms of support for equality and LGBT rights.”
Terry McAuliffe – No proven track record, but strong on LGBT issues
Terry McAuliffe was born in Syracuse, NY in 1957, made his way south to DC for undergrad at Catholic University and then received his JD from Georgetown. McAuliffe has been involved with the Democratic Party since 1980 when he served as the national finance director for the Carter Campaign. He was elected chair of the Democraic National Committee in 2001 and served for 4 years. He raised $578 million and brought the Democrtic Party out of debt for the first time in its history. McCauliffe most recently served as Hillary Clinton’s campaign chair.
McAuliffe has never held an elected office in Virginia, and so it is hard to compare him to Moran and Deeds who have voting records on LGBT issues. However, McAuliffe has made it clear that equality and protection under the law are priorities. In an interview with the Washington Blade he said,
“I have been very aggressively out there making sure that the members of the GLBT [community] were included in all of our political activities, so I’ve had a long history of being out there supporting the GLBT community.”
It’s true. He created the Office of Gay Outreach within the DNC, sent democratic officials to Pride events all across the country, and made sure their was a gay presence at targeted races around the country. While McAuliffe doesn’t have a voting record to prove his support like Moran, his positions and track record working in politics shows he is a clear supporter of LGBT rights. He says he personally voted against the Marshall-Newman Amendment but has not pledged to repeal it like Moran.
Creigh Deeds – A reformed anti-gay marriage politician
Creigh Deeds is the only Democratic candidate who was actually born and raised in Virginia. He was born in Richmond in 1958 and only left Virginia for his JD at Wake Forrest. He has held elected office in VA since winning his first election in 1987 for Commonwealth’s Attorney from Bath County. In fact, the only election Deeds has ever lost was for Attorney General in 2005 against Bob McDonnell.
Deeds spent many years in the VA General Assembly and has only one huge mark against him when it comes to LGBT issues. In 2006, Deeds voted in favor of the Marshall-Newman Amendment. He is the only candidate in the primary with a voting record AGAINST LGBT equality, however he has publicly said that vote was a mistake. Deeds did vote for pro-gay initiatives such as the hospital visitation legislation in 2007 and medical registry legislation in 2008.
When asked why LGBT Virginians should support him he said he’s running on issues that benefit all Virginians.
“I think that every Virginian ought to be interested in the things I’m talking about. I don’t care where they live or who they are.”
Deeds is the most moderate of the three Democratic hopefuls, so it’s no surprise he is ahead in the polls.
Moran is best on LGBT issues with McAuliffe a close second. Deeds is the shakiest supporter but a supporter nonetheless.
All three candidates are talking about LGBT issues and meeting with LGBT groups, which is a first for a Virginia primary. All three have also pledged to renew the executive order Mark Warner first issued barring job discrimination based on sexual orientation in the state workforce.
Regardless of who your candidate is, GO VOTE TOMORROW! The polls are open from 6am to 7pm. You can find where your voting place is here.
GayRVA.com is not endorsing any candidate. This post is meant to simply inform our readers about where the candiates stand on LGBT issues. We will cover the Republican nominee when it comes time to vote in the general election.
Mayme Donohue is a Richmond native and Master’s Candidate in Political Management at George Washington University. She’s a rockstar and you can catch more of her thoughts and musings on gay politics and lesbian gossip at Maymes.
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