For Immediate Release: March 29, 2012
Philadelphia, PA – Liberty City LGBT Democratic Club, the premiere lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender political organization in Pennsylvania, endorsed challengers Brian Sims in the 182nd State Legislative District and Fatimah Muhammad in the 188th State Legislative District at their annual primary endorsement meeting held at the Gershman Y on Tuesday.
"Both Brian Sims and Fatimah Muhammad are out members of the LGBTQ community, but it's not just who they are, but what they've done and pledged to do for the LGBTQ community that won over members. Brian recently served as Board Chairperson of Equality PA, the statewide LGBTQ advocacy organization, and Fatimah was co-founder of Elements, the LGBTQ womyn of color organization,” said Liberty City Co-chairs Lee Carson and Sherrie Cohen.
LibertyCity voted to endorse Sims and Muhammad in order to provide long overdue LGBTQ representation in Harrisburg. Pennsylvania is alone among the 11 states comprising the Northeast region (Connecticut, Massachusetts, New Jersey, Rhode Island, Vermont, Maine, Delaware, Maryland, New Hampshire, New York, Pennsylvania), in providing NO statewide protection against discrimination for LGBT people and NO statewide recognition of our relationships.
This is true even though polls over the past decade show that roughly 70% of Pennsylvanians support an anti-discrimination law protecting LGBT people and recent polling shows that 65% of Pennsylvanians think same sex couples should have all the legal rights of marriage.
Pennsylvaniais also one of only two states in the region (with Delaware) to never have elected an openly LGBT representative to its legislature. Many of our neighboring states have numerous out representatives; Maryland, for example, now has eight out state legislators and Massachusetts has seven.
Liberty City hopes that the addition of out and proud LGBT voices to the many strong allies of our community who are representatives in Harrisburg will help jumpstart our community’s desperately needed civil rights legislation that for too long has stalled. The organization is prepared to work hard to turn out voters for both candidates in the April 24th Primary Election.
In the other races, former Bucks County Congressman Patrick Murphy was endorsed for Pennsylvania Attorney General, President Obama received the endorsement for reelection as president, and Eugene DePasquale received the endorsement for Pennsylvania Auditor General.
Others running for open seats who won Liberty City's endorsement include Steve McCarter for State Representative in the 154th district and Jordan Harris in the 186th. Challengers Malik Boyd (198th) and Andrew Kleeman (195th) also won the group's support.
Incumbent State Senator Larry Farnese (1st District) was endorsed again after continuing to be a champion for the LGBT community. Incumbent State Representatives Mike O’Brien (175th), Vanessa Lowery-Brown (190th), Cherelle Parker (200th) and Mark Cohen (202nd) also received the group's support.
The co-chairs were pleased with the process. "Even in the middle of some passionate debate supporting opposing candidates, the level of civility and discourse was great to see, as always at Liberty City. We know that not all members supported every candidate that was endorsed, but that speaks strongly about the openness of the process and the diversity of opinions represented by this organization,” Carson and Cohen said in a joint statement.
The club will now begin to implement an aggressive "get-out-the-vote" operation on behalf of all Liberty City endorsed candidates.
Here is the complete slate of Liberty City endorsements for the primary election on April 24th:
- President – Barack Obama
- Attorney General – Patrick Murphy
- Auditor General – Eugene DePasquale
- State Senate (1) – Larry Farnese
- State House (154) – Steve McCarter
- State House (175)-Mike O’Brien
- State House (182) – Brian Sims
- State House (186) – Jordan Harris
- State House (188) – Fatimah Muhammad
- State House (190) – Vanessa Lowery -Brown
- State House (195) – Andrew Kleeman
- State House (198) – Malik Boyd
- State House (200) – Cherelle Parker
- State House (202) – Mark Cohen
Liberty City is a progressive, membership-based, political action committee serving the greater Philadelphia region that works within the Democratic Party to achieve and sustain economic and social equality for lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender persons. www.libertycity.org