More than 1,500 New Yorkers gathered today in Manhattan to mourn the death of a 32 year-old gay man, who was shot down on Friday just blocks away from the historic Stonewall Inn in an apparent act of anti-gay bias.
Primary Battles in Four States Yield Mixed Results for LGBT Issues
Four states held primary elections on Tuesday - each of which had some connection to LGBT issues.
In Colorado, incumbent Democratic Senator Michael Bennet defeated challenger Andrew Romanoff in his primary. Romanoff had proudly touted his support for gay rights during the campaign, and claimed to be the more progressive candidate. But Bennet is also considered a strong supporter of the LGBT community. He has called for the repeal of DOMA, and says he personally supports marriage for gay couples. Bennet, who had President Obama supporting him, walked away with the victory.
The Gay and Lesbian Victory Fund reports that Colorado State Senator Lucia Guzman won her Democratic primary, and is now considered well-positioned to hold on to her seat. Guzman is an ordained minister and an out lesbian, who was appointed to Colorado's Senate in May to fill a vacancy. Openly-gay US Representative Jared Polis faced no opposition in his race, he will face Republican Stephen Bailey in November.
In Connecticut, former World Wrestling Entertainment executive Linda McMahon defeated her Republican rivals, and will face Connecticut Attorney General Richard Blumenthal in the race to replace retiring US Senator Chris Dodd. On "The View" earlier this year, she described herself as "more socially moderate" and said "I think marriage is between a man and a woman, but I think it's a states issue."
Also in Connecticut, Kevin Lembo won the Democratic primary for State Comptroller. The Victory Fund says he's now the favorite to win the general election, and could become one of just a handful of openly LGBT candidates elected to statewide office in the country. Out lesbian State Representative Beth Bye was uncontested in her race to move to the State Senate.
And according to the Victory Fund, out lesbian Joan Garner won her primary for Fulton County Commission, and will be uncontested in November, meaning she'll become the commission’s first openly LGBT member.
Lastly, in Minnesota, Republican gubernatorial candidate Tom Emmer was victorious, despite a campaign contribution controversy which resulted in boycotts against two major retailers. Minnesota-based Target and Best Buy had donated $150,000 and $100,000 respectively to a PAC supporting Emmer. Emmer highlights his opposition to marriage for gay couples on his website, and Rachel Maddow reports he donated to a Christian Rock ministry which has made outrageous claims about the gay community. Emmer will face Democratic former US Senator Mark Dayton in November.
And out-gay Republican State Senator Paul Koering lost his bid to retain his seat. Despite being the incumbent, Koering was not supported by his party, which backed challenger Paul Gazelka instead. The St. Cloud Times reports gay issues have played a factor in the loss, as Gazelka made an issue of his opposition to LGBT rights, and Koering made local (and national) headlines in June when he was seen on a date with a gay adult-film actor.