Midterm elections are taking place today (6 November) in the US and many are thrilled with the several LGBTI candidates running for office.
However, not everyone is happy with this ‘rainbow wave’ that could change the political scenario.
Some of these crucial candidates’ opponents and their supporters have whipped up prejudice against them with anti-LGBTI flyers.
A Republican on his gay opponent ‘and the man he calls his “husband”‘
As the Pittsburgh Current reported in early November, Republican Daryl Metcalfe currently serving Butler County, Pennsylvania, highlighted in a series of flyers that his Democratic opponent, Daniel Smith Jr. is gay.
Smith Jr. is indeed an out gay man. Looking at the mailers sent to voters seems that Smith Jr.’s sexual orientation is the only argument Metcalfe’s supporters have.
‘Smith Jr. endorsed by liberal gay activist groups and unions,’ the flyer reads in bold.
Moreover, Metcalfe belittled Smith Jr.’s marriage.
A picture of Smith Jr. with his husband and Pennsylvania governor Tom Wolf at Pittsburgh PrideFest is on another mailer, as reported by The Daily Beast.
The caption reads: ‘Smith Jr. and the man he calls his “husband.”‘
Metcalfe, endorsed by the National Rifle Association (NRA), has a track record of opposing LGBTI equality.
He was against Philadelphia’s program to market the city to LGBTI tourists.
Furthermore, after the Supreme Court in 2013 ruled the Defense of Marriage Act unconstitutional, openly gay state representative Brian Sims tried to make a speech in the Pennsylvania House supporting the decision. Metcalfe was one of several representatives who blocked Sims from speaking. He labeled Sims’s speech as ‘open rebellion against what the word of God has said’.
Several other episodes of LGBTI discrimination
This is only the latest incident targeting an LGBTI candidate.
The Conservative Republicans of Harris County sent out some mailers in Houston. They asked voters to ‘remember when the Democrats wanted to allow men to enter into women’s public bathrooms’.
The line is a reference to the Houston Equal Rights Ordinance (HERO), an LGBTI nondiscrimination measure that has been repealed.
The mailer also features a picture of a drag queen next to a crying baby captioned ‘Help me!’ It warned that ‘Democrats Support A Drag Queen Story Hour (For Kids)’.
Houston Public Library hosts a monthly Drag Queen Storytime event. According to the organizers, ‘these vibrant Queens will help to instill a sense of love and acceptance in our children while encouraging them to be true to themselves’.
Trans candidates are constantly misgendered
Trans candidates have to deal with the frustration of being misgendered by their opponents.
Amelia Marquez might become the first transgender person elected into Montana’s House of Representatives.
In an interview with the Missoulian Independent, her opponent Rodney Garcia repeatedly referred to Marquez by her birth name.
When the reporters reminded him of her legal name, he said he deadnamed her out of ‘respect and courtesy’.
He then added: ‘I just got a door hanger on my door and it says [Amelia] too, but I go by her given name.’
A pro-Garcia mailer also accused Marquez of supporting the statement ‘Men should be allowed to use the women’s restrooms.’
‘Get ready to win’
Trans Democratic representative for Virginia Danica Roem reminded trans candidates in the midterm elections of her journey.
‘2017: The Republican Party of Virginia paid for two transphobic mailers against me. I then won by 8%,’ she wrote.
‘2018: RPV launched another transphobic web attack against me. And then we expanded Medicaid,’ she continued.
She then said: ‘To candidate putting up with this garbage: get ready to win.’