Taxes. Could you imagine a Jew or Catholic voting for a candidate who was opposed to Catholics marrying Jews, or interracial marriage? Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney says marriage is for one man and one woman, not you, and goes on to say that if elected, he will use his office to keep the Defense of Marriage Act in force, denying you more than 1,000 basic rights, including tax rights. Taxes are an LGBT issue. Romney will deny you your tax rights, and Obama will fight to get you the same tax relief heterosexual married couples already have.
Jobs. Can you imagine an African-American voting for a candidate who would not defend him/her from employment discrimination? Well, Romney states that nondiscrimination is a state’s right, and refuses to endorse the Employment Nondiscrimination Act, which would stop discrimination against the LGBT community. Jobs are an LGBT issue and Romney, by refusing to publicly speak up, is anti-LGBT nondiscrimination.
Economy. When LGBT health, youth and senior organizations receive federal funding to supply needed services to our community, those organizations spend dollars in our community to provide everything from medicine to shelters. That is millions of dollars of LGBT economic empowerment. Romney has offered no economic program for the LGBT community. Economics is an LGBT issue.
Women’s health. Most of this campaign has been devoted to women’s health issues, and recent studies indicate that lesbian women are more at risk for breast cancer than heterosexual women. One way to combat breast cancer is through mammograms. Romney will cut funding to the largest provider of mammograms in the nation, Planned Parenthood. He has not even spoken word one on LGBT health issues. Women’s health is an LGBT issue. Romney, by his silence, is against your health.
Family and childcare. Family values have been an issue in this race. As he sought to become governor of Massachusetts, a state that legalized marriage equality, Romney promised to treat the LGBT community equally. However, Romney refused to allow birth certificates for children of LGBT couples to list both parents. Family and childcare is an LGBT issue. Romney’s action was heartless and insensitive to children. Voting rights. While the Obama administration has championed a host of trans issues, Romney hasn’t even uttered the word “transgender.” But he does have a record. He supported the new Republican-sponsored voter-registration laws that sprung up in 29 states, many of which would make it almost impossible for a transperson to vote. Voting rights is an LGBT issue.
Public safety. The first job of any president is to secure the safety of all Americans. Romney has opposed the inclusion of sexual orientation and gender identity in hate-crimes laws. Romney does not care about your safety. Public safety is an LGBT issue.
Bullying. While the presidential challenger speaks out against bullying, he has not endorsed a single piece of legislation anywhere in the nation that deals with bullying. And, as a student, he personally bullied a fellow student who was believed to be gay. What did he do? While the other boy was held down by Romney’s friends, Romney pulled out scissors and cut his hair. Was it a spur-of-the-moment act, as he has said? How many people walk around with a pair of scissors?
President Obama has done more for LGBT equality than any other president in our nation’s history, and than all of the other presidents combined. If you’re voting for jobs, vote for the candidate who will not discriminate against you or your community. If you are voting for tax equality, there is only one candidate. If you are voting for public security, there is only one candidate. If you want to vote with your head held high and with pride, there’s only one vote: President Barack Obama.
Mark Segal, PGN publisher, is the nation’s most-award-winning commentator in LGBT media. He can be reached at [email protected].