When Senator Evan Bayh announced that he was going to retire at the end of his current term, it created a situation in Indiana where Democratic Party leaders now have to pick a nominee to replace him on the ballot this Fall. Shouldn't that nominee be at least somewhat committed to equal rights for LGBT Americans?
Right now one of the current front-runners is Brad Ellsworth, a member of the U.S. House of Representatives. But while Ellsworth has the experience in Washington, he also has a poor record on supporting the rights of LGBT citizens. He's earned only a 30 percent rating from the Human Rights Campaign (a full 30 points lower than Republican Indiana Senator Richard Lugar), and has taken rather radical anti-gay positions in the past -- including support for a federal constitutional amendment banning gay marriage. Ellsworth is also one of just a handful of U.S. House Democrats who has not signed on to co-sponsor the Employment Non-Discrimination Act (ENDA), nor has Ellsworth stated his position on "Don't Ask, Don't Tell."
Ellsworth may be a political fit for his Congressional District for now. But should his views be rewarded with a Party endorsement for a U.S. Senate seat? Shouldn't the Democratic Party have a threshold that says 30 percent support for gay rights is just too little?
Sign the petition below and let the Democratic Party Chair of Indiana, Dan Parker, know that unless Ellsworth is ready to represent all citizens, regardless of their sexual orientation, he just doesn't deserve a statewide endorsement.