Tag Archives: LGBT

“It’s supposed to be a rainbow, not a strip of litmus paper.”

My letter to the editor (with Steve Pippin) in the June 27 Frederick News Post responds to a local resident’s letter advising that people shouldn’t attend Frederick Pride

…if you vote for the wrong sorts of candidates, if you keep your views to yourself rather than being outspoken about LGBT issues, or if you fall short of his standards of correct belief on gender politics, “classism,” and many other issues.

Here’s another point of view. Pride is for everyone of goodwill. It’s OK to come to see friends, or be entertained, or meet new neighbors, or just listen and learn. It’s OK to dress as you like, not in some obligatory uniform. It’s OK to march to the beat of a different drummer, whether or not it puts you in the majority. You should feel welcome whether or not you agree with this or that political party, movement, or candidate. You’ll see Democrats, Republicans, libertarians, Greens, and others at Frederick Pride. They’re all welcome, and so are you, if you bring goodwill.

It’s supposed to be a rainbow, not a strip of litmus paper.

Steven Pippin and Walter Olson

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Does the 2020 census “erase” LGBT people?

Rep. Jamie Raskin (D-Md.), who represents my district, tweets, “Disgraceful move by Trump admin to suppress the existence of #LGBT community. To all LGBT Americans: we hear and see you. #CantEraseUs ”

Rep. Raskin, along with many other members of Congress, is following the lead of the Human Rights Campaign and allies, which have launched a publicity campaign with claims like “The Trump Administration is erasing ‘sexual orientation’ & ‘gender identity’ from the 2020 census — but they #CantEraseUs.”

But as The Hill observes, “The Census has never included questions about sexual orientation and gender identity in its surveys.” Some activists had been hoping to change that but Gary Gates, a leading expert in LGBT demographics, says the planning process was not nearly far enough along to consider adding the questions to the 2020 survey. The Census Bureau is overseen by an Obama appointee and no one has offered evidence that incoming Trump people have sought a change in census policy. (h/t columnist Guy Benson on these last two points).

There are undoubtedly pluses to gathering personal data in new categories, but for all who care about 1) privacy and 2) the danger of future misuse of information, there are also minuses, perhaps especially worth noting on this topic. David Boaz in 2010 questioned the trend toward more intrusive and comprehensive census data collection.

Separately, I have noticed that “erase” and its variants now serve as an unfailing warning of “dubious assertions lie ahead.”

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From the grass roots, again

They said it couldn’t be done. Crucial outside backers refused support until very late in the game, saying Maryland was a fundamentally un-winnable state. The opposition hit the airwaves with the same tired, rote scare campaign that had worked so often for them before. But we knew it *could* be done — from the electric energy among our volunteers, to the way our message resonated in communities where we hardly dared hope it would, as voters decided the time had come to cross expected political lines and move the state forward.

Two years ago today, all of that happened when our state passed Question 6 and recognized same-sex marriage. And as this year’s election once again shows, Maryland remains a state of open minds and hopeful surprises.

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In miniature, July 12

  • Peroutka fallout continues [Jonathan Hutson/Huffington Post, earlier]
  • Hogan is making sense: Hobby Lobby controversy “doesn’t really have anything to do with being Maryland governor,” especially since, under the Supreme Court’s ruling in City of Bourne v. Flores, the Religious Freedom Restoration Act in question doesn’t apply to actions of state and local governments;
  • Sociologist David Jernigan, Bloomberg’s guy on alcohol marketing issues at the liberty-unfriendly Johns Hopkins School of Public Health: “I am an advocate. I am an interested scientist. I actually am fairly skeptical of pure objectivity in science…my research questions have always been driven by what the policy opportunities are in the moment or what policy opportunities I can promote by doing research that will support people being able to make change.” [audio on Johns Hopkins site] Two other questions: were JHSPH the ones who dreamed up the “sexual assault” rationale for the new grain alcohol ban? [Tim Mak, Daily Beast] And given how many college officials have backed the relatively liberty-friendly Amethyst Initiative (rethink the 21 drinking age), how does Jernigan’s project get away with “we speak for college officials” ventriloquism?
  • Try a California-style jungle primary? It could hardly be worse than what we’ve got [Blair Lee]
  • Socially conservative Latino church leaders serve as pawns in Prince George’s Democratic infighting [Kim Propeack, Seventh State]
  • State-certified arts and entertainment district in Easton? Some nice benefits but oh, the paperwork [Josh Bollinger, Star-Democrat via Maryland Reporter]
  • See you at Tawes.


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An endorsement no one should want

Among the various groups devoted to opposing same-sex marriage, the group associated with Robert Broadus called Protect Marriage Maryland stands out for its intense hostility toward gay people, its very explicit grounding of that hostility in religious doctrine, and its willingness to use invective seldom found in polite company any more. Its website refers to the rise of same-sex marriage as “rebellion against God,” and denounces “the folly of attempting to accommodate those who practice Sodomy,” which it calls a “sinful lifestyle” and “abomination.” During Del. Heather Mizeur’s unsuccessful bid for governor, it criticized her running mate, the Rev. Delman Coates, for “running for Lieutenant Governor on the ticket of an openly lesbian woman.”

Can you believe there are Maryland politicians who covet the endorsement of a group like this — who send back its questionnaire hoping to get its seal of approval? If they are candidates who present themselves as pro-business, what do they think of being endorsed by a group that calls for boycotts of a long list of major companies it deems too gay-friendly, including such major Maryland employers as PNC Bank, Marriott, and Home Depot?

Here’s a list of the PMM endorsees who made it onto the November ballot. (Many lost in the primary, including PMM’s only gubernatorial endorsee, Republican Charles Lollar.) Because PMM has not published (at least not where I can find them) the contents of the questionnaire, we are left to imagine what sorts of commitments and promises were needed to get the highest recommendation, “Very Strong,” from PMM. (The other levels of recommendation are “Strong” and “Good.”) To seek out PMM’s endorsement — thus making common electoral cause with those who denounce gays as an “abomination” — says much about a candidate’s judgment, and what it says is not good.

[all candidates Republican unless otherwise noted]


District 7 — Corrogan Vaughn


District 4 – Michael Hough, Very Strong
26 – Kelley Howells, Very Strong
28 — Allen Donnelly, Very Strong
29 – Steve Waugh, Very Strong
34 – Bob Cassilly, Very Strong


District 1C – Mike McKay, Very Strong
2A – Neil Parrott, Strong
3A – Victoria Wilkins, Very Strong
5 – Susan Krebs, Very Strong
5 – Justin Ready, Very Strong
6 – Jake Mohorovic (Dem), Strong
9A – Warren Miller, Strong
10 – William Newton, Very Strong
16 – John Andrews, Very Strong
21 – Kathy Butcher, Good
24 – Cy Okoro, Strong
29B – Deb Rey, Very Strong
29C – Tony O’Donnell, Strong
31B – Meagan Simonaire, Very Strong
32 – Mark Chang (Dem), Very Strong
33- Tony McConkey, Very Strong
42B – Susan Aumann, Very Strong
46 – Roger Bedingfield, Very Strong


PMM also endorses candidates for county council/commissioner, but its endorsement levels for that level of office include only “Strong” and “Good.” Here are the ones who made it onto the November ballot (all “Strong” and all Republican Party unless otherwise noted).

Anne Arundel 1 – Bill Heine
Anne Arundel 3 – Theresa Martin (Dem)
Anne Arundel 4 – Chike Anwanyu
Baltimore 2 – Rudy Stoler (“Good”)
Frederick At-Large – Bud Otis
Frederick 5 – Kirby Delauter
Prince George’s 6 – Kenn Blanchard (“Good”)
Washington At-Large – LeRoy Myers
Worcester 4 – Ted Elder


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