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Oregon House Speaker wins Victory Fund endorsement

‘As the first lesbian Speaker of the House I know firsthand how important it is for our community to be at the table when decisions are made”

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Oregon Speaker of the House Tina Kotek (Photo Credit: Kotek campaign provided)

WASHINGTON – Oregon Speaker of the House Tina Kotek, who had announced her run for the governor’s seat to replace incumbent Democratic Governor Kate Brown on September 1st, has won joint endorsement from Basic Rights Oregon, LGBTQ Victory Fund and LPAC.

Brown, who is openly bisexual has been steadily working for LGBTQ equality for three decades, is term limited and cannot run in 2022. Speaker Kotek, if elected, would be the first out lesbian elected governor in the U.S. and just the third out LGBTQ person to be elected governor in American history.

When she announced her candidacy, she said, “I am running for Governor because I know that, together, we can reckon with the legacies of injustice and inequality to build a great future for Oregon.” She also noted, “Oregonians are living through a devastating pandemic, the intensifying impacts of climate change, and the economic disruptions that leave too many behind. We must get past the politics of division and focus on making real, meaningful progress for families across our state.” 

Nancy Haque, Executive Director of Basic Rights Oregon released a statement Wednesday noting; “Tina Kotek is a trailblazer. In 2006, she was the first openly lesbian legislator elected into Oregon House. Six years later, she became the first LGBTQ2SIA+ Speaker of the House, a title she has longer than any other in our state’s history. Her leadership goes beyond identity, she fights for a better Oregon for all of us.”

“From voting with us on the Oregon Equality Act and Domestic Partnerships in her first session to supporting life-changing legislation like Paid Family Leave, Suicide Prevention for all Oregon Youth, and most recently the LGBTQ Trans Panic Ban, Tina Kotek has spent nearly 15 years fighting to make our state a better place to live. She’s a strong supporter of equity in our state and stands with us in our values around both racial and economic justice for all. I can’t imagine any other candidate for Governor who has the experience and track record to continue to move our state forward, for all Oregonians,” Haque added.

While there is already a list of Republican candidates for governor in 2022 — including southern Oregon entrepreneur Jessica Gomez and Salem oncologist Bud Pierce, the latter of whom won the Republican primary in 2016 before losing to Kate Brown — Kotek was the first major Democratic hopeful to confirm her candidacy, Medford, Oregon ABC News affiliate KDRV 12 reported.

“A victory for Tina would shatter a lavender ceiling and be a milestone moment in LGBTQ political history, yet she is running not to make history, but because there are few people as prepared and qualified to serve as Oregon’s governor,” said Mayor Annise Parker, President & CEO of LGBTQ Victory Fund. “Under Tina’s leadership, Oregon has led in passing legislation to improve roads and education, raise the minimum wage and ensure all residents are treated fairly and equally. As governor, Tina will make Oregon a role model for the nation.”

“Speaker Kotek embodies the extraordinary candidates that LPAC endorses for public office,” said Lisa Turner, Executive Director of LPAC. “As Speaker she has led the charge in passing progressive legislation that has improved the lives of Oregonians. Her governing experience and political leadership will allow her to hit the ground running, and we’re excited to see her make history as the first openly lesbian governor in the United States.”

Speaker Kotek also released a statement about the joint endorsement:

“As the first lesbian Speaker of the House in the country, I know firsthand how important it is for our community to be at the table when decisions are made. We have made significant  progress toward full equality for the LGBTQ+ community, and there is still more to do. I look forward to continuing to work as Oregon’s next Governor to ensure our state remains a leader in the struggle for equality. I am deeply grateful to the Basic Rights Oregon Equality PAC, the LGBTQ Victory Fund, and LPAC for their support and confidence in my campaign.” 

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Politics

California Rep. Eric Swalwell on death threats from Tucker Carlson fans

“He does this because he knows that his followers will be inspired & radicalized & then aim their vitriol at whoever he is attacking”

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Los Angeles Blade file screenshot Fox News

WASHINGTON – Appearing on MSNBC’s Deadline: White House, on Friday, U.S. Representative Eric Swalwell, (D) who represents California 15th which covers most of eastern Alameda County and part of central Contra Costa County, detailed the death and other threats he receives from fans of Fox News host Tucker Carlson.

We receive hundreds of threats. What was specific about this was the caller identified he had just been watching Tucker Carlson. Now, we get a lot of threats that come in as Tucker Carlson attacks me, but this person identified he had just heard from Tucker Carlson. He was now calling my office and then of course dropped a number of racist, sexist, homophobic epithets in the call, and then threatened to kill my entire family,” Swalwell said. “And what is so frustrating about this, Nicole, is that I have personally, eyeball to eyeball, asked Tucker Carlson not to lie about me on his show because of this effect.”

I’ve even in the last couple months sent a text message to him telling him when he lies about me on his show it results in death threats to me, my wife, and our family. And when he had people protesting outside his house just a couple years ago I went on Twitter despite not agreeing with almost anything he says and I said that that’s wrong to go to his house and terrify his wife in the way that that happened. But he does this because he knows that his followers will be inspired and radicalized and then aim their vitriol at whoever he is attacking that day,” the congressman added.

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Politics

Tucker Carlson: “Biden declared biological man is now a female admiral”

“And so you have to ask yourself, how long will it be before Joe Biden appoints his horse to the Supreme Court”

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LA Blade screenshot via Fox News

NEW YORK – In a diatribe delivered Thursday evening, Fox News and anti-LGBTQ celebrity Tucker Carlson called out the swearing in earlier this week of Admiral Dr. Rachel Levine as a commissioned officer in the uniform corps of the U.S. Public Health Service, (USPHS).

Levine, the U.S. Assistant Secretary for Health at the Department of Health and Human Services is now also in charge of the 6,000 uniformed personnel of the USPHS.

On his show last night Carlson said: “Behind the heavily guarded walls of the White House, everyone has gone crazy. Just this week the Biden administration declared that a biological man who wears a dress is now a female admiral.

“And then they sent that brave four-star female admiral out to deliver a speech that read like something out of a D-Day documentary.

“Come on. They’re daring you to sit there and not say this is ridiculous. But it is, sorry. It is ridiculous. Sorry, not playing along!

“But they don’t think it is. And so you have to ask yourself, how long will it be before Joe Biden appoints his horse to the Supreme Court?

“And when he inevitably does do that, you have to ask, how long will it be until CNN informs us, ‘This is a watershed moment for equine rights.’ Don’t you dare laugh. That would be a hate crime.”

Mediate has the video here.

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California Politics

Trans candidate endorsed for state senate by EQ California & Victory Fund

“A victory for Lisa will shatter a long-standing political barrier in California and will be a milestone moment for the state”

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Lisa Middleton (Blade file photo by Karen Ocamb)

PALM SPRINGS –  Equality California and LGBTQ Victory Fund jointly announced their endorsements of Palm Springs Mayor Pro Tem Lisa Middleton in her race for California Senate District 28 Thursday.

The endorsements demonstrate an early commitment from the LGBTQ political community to elect Middleton, who would be the first out transgender state legislator in California history. In 2017, Middleton became the first out transgender person elected to a non-judicial position in California, when she won her race for Palm Springs City Council.

Only eight out transgender people have ever been elected to state legislatures in the United States. All are currently serving.

“Lisa Middleton is an accomplished leader who has made her region more inclusive, just and equitable,” said Equality California Executive Director Tony Hoang. “That’s why Equality California is thrilled to announce our early support for Lisa’s campaign for Senate. The 28th District needs Lisa’s courage, innovative thinking and unique ability to build coalitions in Sacramento, where she will be a trailblazing champion for full, lived equality while delivering critical resources to her community. We’re with Lisa 100 percent and look forward to helping her make history once again as California’s first transgender state legislator.”

“A victory for Lisa will shatter a long-standing political barrier in California and will be a milestone moment for the state and the country,” said Annise Parker, President & CEO of LGBTQ Victory Fund. “Yet Lisa is not running for state senate to be a trailblazer. She is a passionate public servant who brings solutions-oriented optimism to challenges big and small – from filling potholes to healthcare access to climate change. Her constituents’ quality of life will always be the priority, but Lisa’s election will also inspire a new generation of trans leaders to follow in her footsteps.”

“I am deeply humbled and thrilled to receive the joint endorsements of Equality California and LGBTQ Victory Fund,” said Lisa Middleton. “Since launching my bid for State Senate, the profound, extensive support I’ve received from the LGBTQ community has been a tremendous honor and boost to my campaign. I remain committed to being a leader who helps to unify and proudly stands for respect, inclusion and opportunity and that my campaign can also show the transgender community that nothing is out of reach, and we can win at all levels of government. I look forward to hopefully partnering with both incredible organizations in Sacramento to continue being an unrelenting advocate for our community and fighting for full, lived equality.”

As Mayor Pro Tem and a member of the Palm Springs City Council, Middleton ensured PPE and vaccines were available to residents, led efforts on solar requirements for all new homes and worked to address inequities in the city – including the unique challenges LGBTQ+ seniors face.

Middleton’s primary will be held on June 7, 2022.

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