Dallas Voice (Dallas, Tex.), Vol. 28, No. 34, Ed. 1 Friday, January 6, 2012 Page: 14 of 40
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From Page 13
OPM, is actually three consolidated cases, two
brought by Gay & Lesbian Advocates & Defend-
ers (GLAD) and one by the state of Massachusetts.
While there are other challenges under way to
DOMA, this is the "big guns" challenge and the
one most likely to reach the U.S. Supreme Court
first. And while there-is no deadline by which the
panel must render its decision, it is likely to turn
out one by year's end.
Then, as with Proposition 8, the case could go
to the full circuit court on appeal or straight to the
Supreme Court. And, if the appeals court decision
is rendered before the November elections, it will
almost certainly provoke debate on the presiden-
tial campaign trail.
• Tammy Baldwin's historic Senate bid: U.S.
Rep. Tammy Baldwin is not the first openly gay
person to run for U.S. Senate, but she's the first
who has a real chance of winning.
The daily Capital Times is already referring to
her as the "likely" Democratic nominee to fill the
seat being vacated by Democrat Herb Kohl. She
doesn't have a challenger for the nomination. But
she will have a very tough battle against
whomever the Republicans put on the ballot.
That's because the battle will be for more than
just one seat in the powerful U.S. Senate, which
currently has a breakdown of 53 in the Demo-
cratic Caucus and 47 in the Republican. It will be
part of a multi-state slugfest between the parties
over control of the chamber, the Congress and the
• The fight for the Senate: Polls at the moment
indicate voters are inclined to vote for Democrats
over Republicans next November. But that senti-
ment is not providing a large margin — one or
two points — and it's too soon to guesS who the
voters will blame for what 11 months from now.
But some Senate races — in addition to Tammy
Baldwin's — could have big consequences for
In Virginia, a pro-gay former governor, Tim
Kaine, will likely be pitted against an anti-gay fcav
mer senator, George Allen. In Massachusetts, a
pro-gay challenger, Elizabeth Warren, will almost
certainly be the Democrat facing incumbent Scott
Brown, whose attitude toward the community
has been much less friendly.
And at least seven other states are expected to
have competitive races for the Senate.
• Counting the "Gay Caucus": U.S. Rep. Bar-
ney Frank, D-Mass., will be starting his 40th year
in Congress when the House reconvenes Jan. 17.
And it will be his last.
Frank announced last year that he is retiring at
the end of his term. When he does, the clique of
four openly gay members of Congress — Frank,
Baldwin and Reps. Jared Polis and David Cicilline
— will shrink by one. If Baldwin fails to win a
Senate seat, it could shrink by half.
But there are prospects for adding members.
Openly gay Wisconsin Democratic Assembly-
member Mark Paeon is running for Baldwin's
U.S. House seat. And there are three other openly
LGBT candidates for the U.S. House this Novem-
ber: Marko Liias from Seattle, Mark Takano from
U.S. Rep. Tammy Baldwin
Riverside, Calif., and Kyrsten Sinema from
So, the number of openly gay members of Con-
gress could go from four to as low as two (though
zero is, technically, possible) to as high as seven.
But no one will have the seniority and clout that
Frank has had — an d has used — to advance pro-
• On hold, and on defense, in Congress: Pro-
LGBT bills — such as efforts to repeal DOMA and
pass the Employment Non-Discrimination Act—
are not likely to See much action in 2012. But anti-
gay measures might.
Why? Because it's an election year and Repub-
licans still control the House. And supportive De-
mocrats will notbe inclined to push controversial
legislation during an election year, because it can
detract from the focus on jobs and the economy,
where most voters want focus right now.
Republicans, on the other hand, have often
used hostile measures aimed at gays during elec-
tion years as a way of putting Democrats on the
spot with voters generally and gays specifically.
• Ballot battles abound: There will be impor-
tant LGBT-related ballot measures before voters
in several states this year.
North Carolina and Minnesota will vote on
whether to ban same-sex marriage through
amendments to their state constitutions. Voters in
Maine will decide whether to strike down their
existing ban on same-sex marriage.
LGBT activists in Washington State are gather-
ing signatures to put a measure on that state's bal-
lot to gain marriage equality. A small group in
California has until May 15 to gather more than
800,000 signatures to put a measure on the ballot
there to repeal Proposition 8.
And the California Attorney General is ex-
pected to announce by Jan. 9 whether opponents
of a new bill to include information about LGBT
figures in history as part of the public school cur-
riculum can begin circulating petitions to get a re-
peal measure on the ballot there.
All of these have the potential to be big, expen-
sive and consequential battles.
• Fight for freedom of religion: The right-wing
Alliance Defense Fund and others have a con-
certed effort under way in the courts to under-
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Nash, Tammye. Dallas Voice (Dallas, Tex.), Vol. 28, No. 34, Ed. 1 Friday, January 6, 2012, newspaper, January 6, 2012; Dallas, Texas. (digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth239201/m1/14/: accessed July 26, 2017), University of North Texas Libraries, Digital Library, digital.library.unt.edu; crediting UNT Libraries Special Collections.