STILL LONELY OUT THERE FOR GAY REPUBLICANS
Glen Paul Freedman, co-chair of the board of directors of the Atlanta Pride Committee, is one Clinton supporter who, judging by his social media activity, perpetually seems just a few more #I’mWithHer hashtags away from winning a free toaster.
“I’m just really looking for somebody who can really be decisive, is very firm and incredibly knowledgeable to actually be the president of the United States,” he tells Georgia Voice. “For me it comes down to trust, who do I totally trust with our lives to be the president of the United States to make those important decisions and will listen to people.”
He cites that 2011 speech before the United Nations when asked about her support of LGBT issues, saying, “She didn’t have to do that, she wasn’t forced to do that, she was the only person who did it and she had the support of the president. I think that’s a telling moment and it shouldn’t be swept under the rug,” adding that he thinks Clinton has been more outspoken than Sanders about LGBT issues over the years.
A number of other local LGBT leaders, activists and political players appear to agree with Freedman, with the following confirming their support for Clinton:
Lesbian state Rep. Karla Drenner (D-Avondale Estates)
Stan Fong, Atlanta Pride Committee member and board member of the National
February 19, 2016
Over 400 Georgia Voice readers voted in our online poll, with Hillary Clinton beating Bernie Sanders by double digits. Queer Asian Pacific Islander Alliance
Leo Martinez, president of the board of Latino LinQ and community education coordinator for anti-domestic violence organization Caminar Latino
Marckeith DeJesus, openly gay candidate challenging state Rep. Mable Thomas in the House District 56 primary in May
Bob Gibeling, openly gay candidate in this year’s House District 54 race, treasurer of the LGBT Caucus of the Democratic Party of Georgia
Rafer Johnson, openly gay candidate in this year’s House District 62 race
Jim Taflinger, Chair of the LGBT Caucus of the Democratic Party of Georgia
Colton Griffin, First Vice Chair of the LGBT Caucus of the Democratic Party of Georgia, Stonewall Caucus Chair at Young Democrats of Georgia
Juliana Illari, board member of the Georgia Stonewall Democrats
Ken Britt, LGBT Caucus of the Democratic Party of Georgia
Tony Kearney, community advocate
Among those who either declined to publicly state their preferred candidate or failed to respond by press time were lesbian state Rep. Keisha Waites (D-Atlanta), lesbian former state Rep. Simone Bell (now with Lambda Legal), Human Rights Campaign national board member Ames Simmons, Micky Bee of the Transgender Law Center, transgender activist Raquel Willis, Lambda Legal director of community education and advocacy Holiday Simmons, Southerners On New Ground co-director Paulina Helm-Hernandez, lesbian House District 62 candidate Valerie Vie, openly gay House District 59 candidate Josh Noblitt, queer House District 58 candidate Park Cannon, Larry Pellegrini, board member of the Georgia Stonewall Democrats and Georgia Stonewall Democrats board chair Tim Cairl.
None of the Georgia LGBT community members we spoke to voiced support for Senator Sanders, and the Sanders campaign could not provide a list of prominent Georgia LGBT supporters.
A poll by Community Marketing & Insights ( CMI) released Feb. 15 appears to show LGBT voters slightly favoring Clinton over Sanders on the national level as well. The CMI poll of 563 LGBT citizens who plan to vote in the 2016 presidential elections showed Secretary Clinton getting 48 percent of the vote, Sen. Sanders getting 41 percent and the six remaining Republican candidates each getting less than 2 percent each.
When asked which of the Democratic party presidential candidates would be “the most supportive of LGBT civil rights,” the results were evenly split between Clinton and Sanders. When asked the same question about the Republican party presidential candidates, a whopping 73 percent indicated that none of them are supportive of LGBT civil rights, while 6 percent selected Ohio Gov. John Kasich, 4 percent selected Donald Trump and the remaining candidates received 2 percent or less.
Couple that with the Georgia Voice poll showing less than 6 percent of readers planning to vote Republican in the primary and a familiar picture emerges—it’s still lonely out there for gay Republicans. It’s not a surprising finding seeing as how several of the candidates—Texas Sen. Ted Cruz and Florida Sen. Marco Rubio in particular—are publicly embracing numerous anti-LGBT views in order to capture the evangelical vote.
Atlanta’s Jamie Ensley, national board chair for the Log Cabin Republicans, tells Georgia Voice that while the organization doesn’t make endorsements in federal or presidential primaries, he personally plans on supporting Trump. And Allen Fox of Georgia Republicans for the Future said his group also doesn’t endorse presidential candidates and that he had yet to make a decision on who he supports personally.