We have an election coming up—less than a month away. While there's been conversation and coverage indicating that we don't have one responsible or reasonable candidate to vote for, this couldn't be farther from the truth. Even with less than a very careful look, these two major party candidates are not equals; there are major differences in their political stances and the way in which they comport themselves.
Let's look at some facts, beyond what is in the media presently. What's come to light recently we hope speaks for itself. It would be difficult to continue to believe, at this point in time, that each candidate is as rational, well-intentioned, and appropriate a presidential candidate as the other.
A few weeks ago the vice presidential debate took place. Since then the second presidential debate has also taken place. To prepare for them and to understand what the stances of the Republican and Democratic parties were, we went to the best possible source: their approved and published platforms.
Knowing what our candidates stand for, and who they stand up for, is crucial to voting intelligently, especially if you are interested in building a family and will need to use Assisted Reproductive Technology (ART). If you are an LGBT person and interested in a biological family, you need to be particularly aware of the ramifications of each candidate's political and religious stance.
Instead of hearsay, here's what the Republicans and Democrats had to say about and for themselves, on the simplest possible factual level, on their own approved websites. The following words were searched for: LGBT, gay, lesbian, and transgender.
The Republican Platform was 58 pages long. There was not one single hit. No mention of any of those terms.
The Democratic Platform was 51 pages long. Using the same searches, here are the results. The term LGBT was used 19 times. Gay and lesbian were each found 5 times. Transgender was found 7 times. The first use of the term LGBT was on page 2.
This is meaningful information. If you are a member of the LGBT community, wouldn't it be of concern to you if the candidate and party you are electing do not see you as important enough to even include in the political conversation?
Who you vote for is up to you. What you choose to focus on in this election is also up to you. Those decisions are private, of course. To make an informed decision, here are some essential things to remember:
- Vote intelligently, thoughtfully. Vote with your head, your heart, and your conscience. This is an important election so please, whatever you do, get out and vote but also investigate whom you're casting a ballot for.
- Consider what's important to you and who will faithfully represent you. While you may not like everything about a candidate, investigate their history and their positions. If they have changed positions, determine why they have done so.
- Comments that Mike Pence, Vice Presidential candidate, has made (as reported by LGBTQ Nation)
- Hilary Clinton is supported by the largest LGBT group in the US: The Human Rights Campaign.
- As Secretary of State, in 2012, Hilary Clinton spoke at the 20th anniversary celebration of the Gays and Lesbians in Foreign Affairs Agencies (GLIFAA) organization. And was given a standing ovation. LGBTQ Nation also applauded the speech and Hilary Clinton.
- Comments that Donald Trump has made
- An overview of the Family Leadership Summit that took place in 2013. At that time, Donald Trump had not officially declared his intention to run for president.
Let's listen to what they choose to say. And what they choose to leave out. Read their political platforms:
While many rights have been won, there is still much work to do. There is still far too much hatred and violence perpetuated against the LGBT community, many laws that still need to be created and then upheld. Let's make sure that we elect people who are concerned about the queer community. It's more than ok to vote in a way that supports, protects and celebrates you and your family.
It's what makes sense.