Thursday, February 28, 2008

LGBT Latinos for Obama

You might have seen the new ads that the Barack Obama campaign is running in some LGBT media. This particular version is a "generic" take on the ad that was provided exclusively to Towleroad by the Obama campaign yesterday. The ad will be slightly different for each targeted market to reflect specific information on how to vote for Obama in states like Ohio and Texas.

Earlier today the Obama campaign also released an "Open Letter from Barack Obama to the LGBT Community" which has been posted at Bilerico.

What follows is small compared to those two announcements but I hope that it contributes to the Obama campaign as we head into the rest of the primary season and on to the presidential election.

I am grateful to the friends who agreed to sign this statement in a short time's notice. It might be a small list for now but it includes some amazing activists and personalities from New York, Texas, Minnesota, DC, California and Massachusetts. I am also grateful to the wonderful and openly gay Latino actor Wilson Cruz for signing on (he has a MySpace blog post on the letter here). The letter will soon be cross-listed over at Gloria's blog.

It's an open letter so you are welcome to ad your name. See information at the bottom on how to do this.


Gloria Nieto & Andres Duque

Thursday, February 28, 2008

An Open Letter to the Latino LGBT community:

Like many of you out there, we are thrilled at the opportunity to bring meaningful and lasting change to the White House by exercising our right to vote during this historic presidential election.

As LGBT Latinos and Latinas who happen to be immigrants or descendants from immigrant families we are sick and tired of seeing our lives and values be misrepresented by those who seek to drive wedges in our communities as a means to split our vote and gain power through division.

We saw it when the right wing used same-sex marriage to rile up the conservative vote for President George W. Bush and we are seeing it again with immigration being blamed as the source for all the nation’s ills.

We know that these are the politics of fear and that those same politics only served to elect one of the worst presidents in US history.

This is why we believe that, in this presidential election, there is one clear choice.


On the LGBT community: Senator Obama continues to include us in his speeches without prompting or regardless of his audience. He has spoken of his desire to lead all Americans - and has specifically mentioned the LGBT community as being part of his vision of America - during the televised primary debates as well as during presentations in African-American churches as well as Latino gatherings in California.

Senator Obama has said that he supports gender inclusion in a federal bill that would ban discrimination against our communities (as has Senator Hillary Clinton), but, unlike Clinton, he has also said he would repeal ALL of the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA), signed into law by President Bill Clinton, which allows states to discriminate against same-sex couples by only recognizing partnerships between a man and a woman (Clinton has said that she would only repeal part of the bill).

On immigration: At a time when even “respected” news media such as CNN use immigration bashing in order to drive up ratings and the Republican presidential candidates try to outdo each other in anti-immigrant fervor, we have been moved by Senator Obama’s consistent overtures to immigrant communities, his rejection of using immigrants as a scapegoat and his efforts to shatter stereotypes that African-American communities won’t stand up for immigrants or that Latinos will not vote for a black presidential candidate.

Unfortunately we have been dismayed by the efforts of some Clinton campaign associates to play down the importance of the African-American vote for Obama in South Carolina and other states in which the Illinois Senator has carried the African-American vote by wide margins – and won the states; and by comments from Latino pollster Sergio Bendixen implying that Latinos will not vote for Obama because of his skin color.

Economic tensions do exist between different communities of color, particularly at a time when the economy seems to be heading into a recession which might disproportionally affect our communities. But we need a president that will do his or her best to address the issues that are driving down this economy and not a president that will take advantage of those tensions for political gain.

We believe that the right person for the job is Senator Obama.

He offers a true vision of hope. A vision that values every single person who lives in the United States and not just an elite few.

A vote for Senator Obama provides an opportunity to change our country’s values and embrace our strengths and diversity - and to turn back the onslaught of hate and discrimination we have seen over the last eight years.

For that reason, we would like to ask you to ad your signature to this letter and to simply say:

“We step forward to claim our voice as LGBT Latinos in support of Barack Obama for United States President.”

En comunidad,

(List in formation: If you would like to ad your name to this statement please send your name, city and state of residence to
  • Chris Aguilar Garcia, Los Angeles, CA
  • Noel Alicea, New York, NY
  • Miguel Ayala, Washington, DC
  • Tita Berger, Albuquerque, NM
  • Geo Bustamante, Associate Editor,, Miami, FL
  • W. Brandon Lacy Campos, Minneapolis, MN
  • Pedro Chavez, Los Angeles, CA
  • Wilson Cruz, Los Angeles, CA
  • Andres Duque, Queens, NY
  • Gael Guevara, New York, NY
  • Lorenzo Herrera y Lozano, Austin, TX
  • Jorge Irizarry, J.D., Bronx, NY
  • Wilfred Labiosa, Boston, MA
  • Roberto Martinez,Brooklyn, NY
  • Gloria Nieto, San Jose, CA
  • Juan Ortíz, Raleigh, NC
  • Patricia Marie Perea, Albuquerque, NM
  • Felicia A. Ramos, Chicago, IL
  • Martha Ramos Duffer, Psy.D., Austin, TX
  • Omar Robinson-Rodriquez, Atlanta, GA
  • Annette Marie Rodriguez, Albuquerque, NM
  • Sophia Simon-Ortiz, student Oberlin College, Oberlin, OH
  • Omar Torres, San Jose, CA
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