150 Reasons to Have Pride in 2010

BY Advocate Contributors

May 10 2010 5:00 AM ET

1 PIXEL GIF | ADVOCATE.COMBECAUSE THERE ARE MORE OF US IN ELECTED OFFICE THAN EVER BEFORE
I’m proud that the number of openly LGBT elected officials serving in America is at an all-time high and that this year the Gay and Lesbian Victory Fund is on track to endorse its largest slate of out candidates ever. These courageous individuals give voice to our community in the halls of power, speak authentically about our lives, and fight hardest for laws and policies that make our country more fair and more free. Last year Houston became the largest U.S. city to elect an openly gay mayor. Today, Annise Parker is serving 2.2 million Houstonians honestly, openly, and with a quiet dignity that has the power to change hearts and minds about what LGBT Americans have to offer their country. In March, Parker issued one of the country’s most comprehensive LGBT nondiscrimination policies governing public employees—a move that drew howls of protest from the very antigay groups that fought to keep her from winning. Their bigotry was as predictable as Parker’s determination. Still, with more than half a million elective offices in the United States, gay people are vastly underrepresented in government. Fewer than 500 of those posts are filled with openly LGBT officeholders—a 10-fold increase since the Victory Fund was founded in 1991, but not nearly enough. We’re committed to winning more of those offices so that more out elected officials gain the same voice, the same vote, and the same power that all Americans enjoy. —Chuck Wolfe, Gay and Lesbian Victory Fund president and chief executive officer 

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