- Dan ParkerChair, Indiana Democratic Party
Tell Indiana Democrats: We Need a Pro-Equality Senator
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.
- Chair, Indiana Democratic Party
In the coming days, the Indiana Democratic Party will be deciding on a nominee to replace Evan Bayh for the U.S. Senate seat this Fall. I urge you and the Indiana Democratic Party to support a nominee who has a solid track record on civil rights issues.
One nominee gaining considerable attention, current U.S. Rep. Brad Ellsworth, has a rather poor record when it comes to supporting issues important to lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) population. In addition to publicly giving his support to a federal marriage amendment, Rep. Ellsworth has earned a meager 30 percent rating from the Human Rights Campaign (HRC), the nation's largest LGBT rights organization. Indeed, Indiana's other U.S. Senator, Republican Richard Lugar, gets a 60 percent rating from HRC -- double the rating of Rep. Ellsworth.
Given the importance of this U.S. Senate seat in terms of setting the national political agenda, I urge you and the Indiana Democratic Party to support a candidate that places significant weight on issues of civil rights. Those representing the Democratic Party on a statewide level, and with national party support, should be expected to advance equal rights for all.
Thank you for your time.
Michael Jones started this petition with a single signature, and now has 119 supporters. Start a petition today to change something you care about.