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to Section One | to Arts & Entertainment
posted Friday, November 2, 2012 - Volume 40 Issue 44
Taxes and jobs are LGBT issues, too
Section One
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Taxes and jobs are LGBT issues, too

This election is about much more than marriage rights

by Mark Segal - Special to the SGN

Taxes. Can you imagine a Jew or Catholic voting for a candidate who is opposed to Catholics marrying Jews? Or interracial marriage? Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney says marriage is for one man and one woman - not you - and goes on to say that if elected, he will use his office to keep the Defense of Marriage Act in force, denying you more than 1,000 basic rights, including tax benefits. Taxes are an LGBT issue. Romney will deny you your tax rights, and Obama will fight to get you the same tax relief heterosexual married couples already have.

Jobs. Can you imagine an African American voting for a man who refuses even to voice his opinion on the right not to face discrimination in employment? Well, Romney considers this a state issue and refuses to endorse the Employment Non-Discrimination Act (ENDA), which would bar discrimination against the LGBT community. Jobs are an LGBT issue and Romney, by refusing to publicly speak up, is anti-LGBT rights.

Economy. When LGBT health, youth and senior organizations receive federal funding to supply needed services to our community, those groups spend those dollars locally to provide everything from medicine to shelters. That is millions of dollars' worth of LGBT economic empowerment. Romney has offered no economic program for the LGBT community. Economics is an LGBT issue.

Women's health. Much of this campaign has been devoted to women's health issues, and recent studies indicate that Lesbian women are at higher risk for breast cancer than heterosexual women. The best way to combat breast cancer is through early detection. Romney will cut funding to the largest provider of breast health screenings in the nation, Planned Parenthood. He has not spoken word one on LGBT health issues. Women's health is an LGBT issue. Romney, by his silence, is against your health.

Family and child care. Family values have been an issue in this race. As governor of Massachusetts, a state that legalized marriage equality during his term, Romney promised to treat LGBT families with dignity. However, Romney refused to allow birth certificates for children of LGBT couples to list both parents. Family and child care are LGBT issues. Romney's action was heartless and insensitive to children.

Voting rights. While the Obama administration has championed a host of Trans issues, Romney hasn't even uttered the word 'Transgender.' But he does have a record. He's supported the new Republican-sponsored voting restrictions that have sprung up in 29 states, many of which would make it almost impossible for a Trans person to vote. The right to vote is an LGBT issue.

Public safety. The first job of any president is to secure the safety of all Americans. Romney has opposed the inclusion of sexual orientation and gender identity in hate-crimes laws. Romney does not care about your safety. Public safety is an LGBT issue.

Bullying. While Romney has rhetorically denounced bullying, he has not endorsed a single piece of legislation anywhere in the nation to combat the problem. And as a schoolboy he personally bullied a fellow student who was perceived to be Gay. What did Romney do? While his friends held the boy down, Romney pulled out a pair of scissors and cut his hair. Was it a spur-of-the-moment act, as he has since claimed? How many people walk around with scissors? Bullying is an LGBT issue.

President Obama has done more for LGBT equality than any other president in our nation's history - more, in fact, than all the other presidents combined. If you're voting for jobs, vote for the man who will not discriminate against you or your community. If you are voting for tax equality, there is only one candidate. If you are voting for public security, there is only one candidate. If you want to vote with your head held high and with pride, there's only one vote: President Barack Obama.

Mark Segal publishes the Philadelphia Gay News. He can be reached at mark@epgn.

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