By: Jackie Smith
Webster’s dictionary defines the term “Momentum” as
a. The force or energy exhibited by a moving body.
b. The driving force or advancing strength of a development or course of events.
Since the first rock was thrown at Stonewall 50 years ago our community has been a relentless, driving force of a course of events that have led to greater equality. It has taken both the individual courage to come out and collective action to bring about changes. Each time one of us acts in small or large ways, each represent a moment that contributes to our moment(um).
Per CNN, “there are 11 million LGBTQ voters estimated nationwide. An additional 57 million “Equality Voters” have been identified. They are friends, family members and other allies who prioritize LGBTQ-inclusive policies when deciding which candidates to support.” Collectively, Equality Voters accounted for 29% of the electorate, making it one of the most substantial voting blocs in the election. This is moment(um).
Elections are about the opportunity to build power and make change.
I like to remind people in 2004, as San Francisco’s mayor Gavin Newsom pushed the city to issue marriage licenses to gay couples. It was a rebellious gesture at the time. Eleven years later, in June 2015, a majority of the Supreme Court justices ruled that gay marriage was a basic right too long denied.
Recent polls have shown that almost 65% of U.S. adults say same-sex marriages should be recognized by the law as valid – the highest percentage to date. This is moment(um).
The 2018 mid-term election has been called the Rainbow Wave. LGBTQ+ political candidates were on the ballots in 47 seven states, and over 150 of them were elected into office. The total number of elected LGBTQ+ officials in the US has reached almost 600. This is moment(um).
Gavin Newsom is now Governor of California and remains a leader of significant importance to the LGBTQ community. We elected our first LGBTQ+ statewide office holder and have an eight member LGBTQ Caucus in the State legislature. When elected to Assembly District 6, I will become the ninth member of the LGBTQ Caucus. This is moment(um).
The 2020 election includes our first openly gay candidate, Pete Buttigieg. His winning performance in the Iowa caucuses is a milestone moment for the LGBTQ community and all of America. This is moment(um).
Be a part of this moment(um) and VOTE.
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