Rallying Around Murphy



Progressive LGBT advocates locked in perpetual finger-pointing over the ailing equality agenda disagree on almost everything right now — except for the exigency of saving one of the community’s strongest allies in Congress, Rep. Patrick Murphy of Pennsylvania, who led the charge on passing “don’t ask, don’t tell” repeal in the House.

A new video, expected to be released Thursday and produced by Dan Manatt, underscores the two-term congressman’s tough reelection bid with narration from queer bloggers, grassroots activists, and organizational leaders, who are usually all over the map on how to best achieve equality.

“I don't know a lot of politicians who have kept their promises,” says Robin McGehee of the direct action group GetEqual, which has protested such prominent Dems as House speaker Nancy Pelosi and Senate majority leader Harry Reid.

“Me neither. But Patrick's one of them,” adds Americablog.com’s John Aravosis, who has chastised entities including the White House and the Human Rights Campaign.

Enter HRC’s Joe Solmonese: “That's why we're joining together to get Patrick's back.”

“Contribute today to support Patrick's reelection,” adds Rick Jacobs of the Courage Campaign.

The former Army paratrooper and Iraq war veteran has been beating back an aggressive challenge from Republican Mike Fitzpatrick, a former congressman who Murphy edged out of office in 2006. The Log Cabin Republicans have endorsed Fitzpatrick, who has taken the position that Congress should not vote on "don't ask, don't tell" before the Pentagon's study is released in December.

The mood in Pennsylvania — which gave Obama 54% of its vote in 2008 — is sour after the stimulus package has failed to nudge unemployment down. The state’s jobless rate hovers around 9.2%, on par with the rest of the country. Just one month ago, polls showed Murphy down by 14 points.

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