While all eyes are on the Prop. 8 trial, there is an election coming up on the other side of the country: the race to replace Senator Ted Kennedy in Massachusetts. The election is next Tuesday, January 19th. It would be a travesty if Kennedy is replaced by an arch homophobe. But, that’s a possibility. Recent polls shows conflicting results in the race between Democrat Martha Coakley and GOPer Scott Brown. In very blue Massachusetts, it shouldn’t be close. Please donate via ActBlue to Coakley’s campaign.
Attorney General Coakley is a strong ally of the LGBT community. Last July, she filed a lawsuit against DOMA. On the other hand, Brown is one of the leading anti-gay politicians in his state. He’s out of synch with other GOP leaders in his state. From today’s Boston Globe:
The divergent views of the three prominent GOP candidates running statewide in Massachusetts – [Charles] Baker; Christy Mihos, who is also running for governor; and state Senator Scott Brown, who is running for US Senate – are a reflection of how Republicans continue to wrestle with gay rights, and with how to balance social issues with economic ones in their political campaigns.
Baker and Mihos both support gay marriage, while Brown, who opposes it, helped efforts under former governor Mitt Romney, an outspoken opponent, to put a ban on the state ballot. Brown also won his state Senate seat in 2004 in a campaign that aired his opposition to same-sex marriage, and he has since accepted campaign contributions from activists and groups that have fought gay marriage.
Scott Brown isn’t a GOP moderate on gay issues like Susan Collins and Olympia Snowe. He would fit right in with the likes of Jim DeMint, David Vitter, Jon Kyl and Mitch McConnell. He’s not a moderate. He trashed gay couples who want children, saying it was “not normal” and got into a public fight with a bunch of teenagers over gay marriage.
Also, if Coakley loses, Democrats lose their 60 vote majority in the Senate. That will make it tough to pass any more progressive legislation this year (and even with the 60 vote majority, Dems were pretty bad). And, we still have the repeal of Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell and ENDA on the agenda (we hope they’re on the agenda anyway.) Not to mention, as I wrote about on the main blog this morning, if lose the 60 votes, then the conference committee on the health care bill will be forced to accept the Senate version of the bill, no changes, no improvements. That means the meager pro-gay provisions we had in the bill will be gone. Good thing our groups and our gay members of Congress were relying on a “conference strategy” rather than simply ensuring that the House and Senate bill both had the pro-gay language.