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The 2008 election is perhaps the most important election since the great depression. And for no class of people are the stakes higher than for Lesbian, Gay Bisexual and Transgender voters.

For us, not only is the direction of our country at stake with respect to economic and foreign policy, but this election will also impact the legal rights of our community. This is true at both the state and federal level. From marriage rights and family recognition to immigration rights, and from healthcare to military service, all these issues will be dealt with over the next four years.

To secure our full equality we need to do more than vote - we need to be active participants in the electoral process. We encourage all of you, in the final two weeks of this campaign, to get actively involved. Volunteer on the campaign of an equality-minded candidate, or volunteer with a political organization that is actively supporting equality candidates.

It is important that voters vote down the ballot. Yes, who is elected president or governor is important, but who our judges are and what ballot measures pass and fail can also have a dramatic impact on our life. King County Charter Change Amendment 2, for example, adds sexual orientation, gender identity and expression to the anti-discrimination section of the county's charter.

This year a wide range of organizations have joined together to create a voter's guide that is meant to help educate voters as they make informed decisions. You can access this voter's guide at www.equalrightswashington.org and also learn about volunteer opportunities to work in support of full equality through electoral activity.

Above all else, speak to your friends and family and make sure they vote! Let us not forget that four years ago the gubernatorial election was decided by only 129 votes. With so many outstanding candidates on the ballot this year who support Gay rights and with so many candidates who oppose Gay rights, there is no excuse for not voting. Our rights depend on your vote.

Connie Watts, Executive Director,
Equal Rights Washington

Marsha Botzer, Chair,
Washington Transgender Equality Project

Louise Chernin, Executive Director,
Greater Seattle Business Association

George Bakan, Publisher,
Seattle Gay News

Joshua A. Friedes, Advocacy Director,
Equal Rights Washington


Many readers may have seen the endorsement e-mail for one of the candidates running in the North End for the State House of Representatives, Scott White, signed by a group of Queer politicos. Their argument is based on his support for Gay marriage rights and his having drafted some Gay-friendly legislation as a legislative staffer.

I am getting so tired of these narrow-focus appeals in our community. We are not only Queer, but we also rely on the environment for our health and well-being, send our kids to school, use transportation facilities, etc. Let's drop 20th century narrowcast politicking and deal with 21st century multifaceted realities!

The other candidate, Gerry Pollet, has an unsurpassed track record on environmental issues, for example, having been a main player in the fight to clean up the Hanford nuke wastes that are leaching into our Columbia River.

And, by the way, his website makes plain what I already knew about him. A part of a long entry notes that "separate is not equal. Marriage recognized by the State is necessary to afford the same dignity and legal rights to all couples regardless of their sexual orientation." (See http://www.gerrypolletforstaterep.org.)

So the two candidates are indistinguishable on the issue being pushed by these "LGBT Leaders" (that's what the subject line calls them).

But please note that White has taken support money from the big bad Builders Association which is tearing down Gov. Gregoire, and is called by State Democratic leaders the major opponent of worker, consumer and environmental protections - what kind of character does White have, anyway?

I urge voters in the 46th to take a good look at Gerry Pollet's candidacy. You'll see he is well worth your support.

Phil Bereano


Things I've done in the past were somewhat memorable considering today I could almost belong to a religious order.

My friends and I were so Gay we could have been icons of the homosexual world. Walking into a Gay bar much of our conversation was about the people we knew and their intimate sexual exploits in the community and with whom they had their trysts and what they did.

Newcomers were given ratings for attractiveness, sensuality, and over all physical appearance. If one of the group wanted to meet someone new we would congregate around the individual for a short time leaving one of us to try to make the catch. Luckily if we were successful detailed information about the new adventure was shared a short time thereafter on the telephone to our close friends sharing NEWS about whether the person was a dud or a stud.

Today very few of these people are still living with whom we associated on a regular basis. During our hey days we were wilder than March hairs living life to the fullest creating our own circus of enchantment in the world we occupied dedicated to being Gay totally without excuses to anyone.

Buzz Flowers Callaway


For Republicans to somehow claim that the valiant efforts of the organization ACORN in registering more than a million people to vote is voter fraud, when their party engaged in the most egregious voter fraud in US history in Florida in 2000 and my state of Ohio in 2004, is the epitome of hypocrisy.

We all remember the hanging chads, pregnant chads, and the long list of abuses in the Florida elections of 2000. While Al Gore got the popular vote, and most likely the electoral vote, Republicans held the key positions and abused their power as only a right-winger can do to steal the election.

Then came the incompetent, war-mongering, anti-environmental Bush that made America hated the world over. He ignored the warning of September 11 a month prior, and read a book to school children in Florida as our nation was under attack. It was an attack that he could have prevented.

Instead, he turned what was a free democracy into a fascist police state with the Patriot Act that terrorizes innocent Americans with wiretaps and more than a million people on the Terrorist Watch List. We are embroiled in two wars without end, killing our young people and murdering hundreds of thousands of people with no purpose.

Our economy is in collapse, and climate change is raging out of control, threatening the lives of billions of people this century, as well as the majority of species on our planet. Our very life support system is being destroyed, while our commander in chief fuels the fire of climate destruction.

We need change. Please vote for Barack Obama for president, and don't get fooled by the right-wing propaganda. Then we can begin to repair and mend our troubled country instead of enduring four more years of chaos, war, economic collapse and destruction.

Chad Kister