aTypical Joe: a gay New Yorker living in the rural South
Monday, July 17, 2006
And I don’t know what I’m going to do. It’s a difficult decision for those of us who are gay. This, from Georgia Equality, was in my email. It doesnt settle the issue for me.
I wanted to take just a minute of your time to clarify the position announced by Georgia Equality asking that voters “skip” the Governor’s race on Tuesday and instead, focus on other races on the ballot.
We have heard from some of our members that there is merit in supporting the “lesser of two evils” or that we should encourage lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender Georgians to vote for the candidate who is best on other issues such as education, taxes and crime.
As Americans, we will never achieve equality - and I mean be afforded the same rights and privileges as our neighbors - by “settling” for one candidate over another. It is true that Cathy Cox does support some of the issues that are important to us as does Mark Taylor. But neither feels that we deserve the same equal treatment as every other American. For example, there is no consensus on making sure state employees can’t be fired just because of their sexual identity or providing domestic partner benefits to same-sex state employees including school teachers.
To paraphrase Governor Perdue, it’s ok for us to live and work in Georgia, we just aren’t entitled to the same equal rights and the recognition of our families as is everyone else.
The vision of Georgia Equality is a simple but powerful one and clearly explains our position:
Georgia Equality is a leading organization dedicated to full equality and the empowerment of all lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender persons, as well as their friends and families through political and educational advocacy.
By withholding our votes in Tuesday’s primary only in the Governor’s race, we will send a clear and powerful message that we are not willing to “settle” as second-class Georgians. We will let the winner of the Democratic Primary know that if they intend to defeat the Republican nominee in November, which will more than likely be a very close race; our voices will need to be heard. We will be able to use the sheer magic of numbers in terms of votes - votes that the nominee will need and that we won’t hand over easily.
I realize that this election in particular has been an emotional one for many of us who aligned with a candidate very early in the race. But we owe it to ourselves and the generations to follow to stand-up and be counted. If we don’t, we will continue to “settle” for leaders who will discount us as Americans and continue to take our dollars and votes for granted.
Do you believe it is ok to be fired based on your sexual identity? Is it alright with you for LGBT government employees to be denied the same benefits as employees who are in opposite gender relationships? Is it ok by you to not have a say-so in the medical treatment of your partner, inheritance of joint property or to even be denied control over the disposition of your deceased partner’s body?
Make your vote count. Skip the race for Governor on Tuesday but be sure and support our friends in other races so that we can send a clear signal that we are not going to “settle” anymore.
PS. Your ballot is not counted as “one” vote. Instead, each individual race where you cast a vote is counted as “one” vote. If you skip the Governor’s race and vote in other races, the overall totals will indicate votes were cast in other races but not for Governor.
Stephen J. Dubner reads the Times today
And I like what he’s reading:
There are two interesting pieces on the New York Times OpEd page today: one calling for elderly drivers to have to renew their licenses, the other arguing that if your Social Security number is hijacked by an identity thief, the best solution would be to simply get a new SSN—a solution that, as of now, is pretty much impossible.
The return of the military draft
Voting as crapshoot
My gut said, “oh, no!” But given that I think the lottery is a tax on the poor maybe this would encourage them to vote. And at better odds:
A proposal to award $1 million in every general election to one lucky resident, chosen by lottery, simply for voting - no matter for whom - has qualified for the November ballot.
Mark Osterloh, a political gadfly who is behind the initiative, the Arizona Voter Reward Act, is promoting it with the slogan, “Who Wants to Be a Millionaire? Vote!Ã¢â‚¬Â� He collected 185,902 signatures of registered voters, far more than the 122,612 required, and last week the secretary of state certified the measure for the ballot this fall.
If the general election in 2004 is a guide, when more than 2 million people voted, the 1-in-2-million odds of winning the election lottery would be far better than the Powerball jackpot (currently about 1 in 146,107,962) but not nearly as great as dying from a lightning strike (1 in 55,928).
Curtis Gans, director of the Center for the Study of the American Electorate in Washington, said the idea of a voter lottery had come up in other states, but he could not recall any moving forward with it. And he’s glad.
“People should not go vote because they might win a lottery,” Mr. Gans said. “We need to rekindle the religion of civic duty, and that is a hard job, but we should not make voting crassly commercial.Ã¢â‚¬Â�
Editorial writers, bloggers and others have panned the idea as bribery and say it may draw people simply trying to cash in without studying candidates or issues.
I’d like to read the study on how many of us study candidates and issues! Read on for the discussion of is it legal?