Tuesday, September 18, 2012

NV-Sen/NV-03: Heller's & Heck's "Bad Romance"

Earlier this month, many Southern Nevadans had themselves a "fabulous gay old time" at Las Vegas Pride. Yet while many political candidates came by to court local LGBTQ voters. However, there were some notable absences. Perhaps most notably, Dean Heller and Joe Heck (and their "Team Nevada Shadow GOP") were MIA at Pride.

Hmmm, I wonder why. Could it be?

1. Heller has opposed marriage equality and even domestic partnership benefits for same-sex couples —but no longer wants to talk about it. In 2006, Heller said on his campaign website that he “supports traditional marriage between one man and one woman and will work to defend Nevada values in Congress.” This year, he reaffirmed his belief that “marriage is between one man and one woman” and said he “would not support changing that.” But, he told the Las Vegas Review-Journal, “I don’t want it to be the issue in the campaign. I truly don’t want this to be the issue.” He also voted for a 2007 amendment restricting the District of Columbia government from using any federal funding to provide domestic partnership benefits.

2. Heller voted against Hate Crimes protections for LGBT Americans. In both 2007 and 2009,he voted against adding sexual orientation and gender identity to the federal hate crimes laws.

3. Heller thinks it should be legal to fire someone just for being gay. He voted against the Employment Non-Discrimination Act in 2007, which would have banned employment discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation.

4. Heller opposed letting LGBT servicemembers serve openly. He voted against Don’t Ask Don’t Tell repeal twice in 2010. In 2009 he told the Las Vegas Review-Journal he supported continuing the discriminatory policy.

5. Heller has been a total zero on LGBT equality. Over the course of the 110th and 111th Congresses, the Human Rights Campaign rated him as voting against the interests of the LGBT community 100 percent of the time.

Notice Heller's downright flippant attitude toward Nevada's LGBTQ families.

Now contrast this with Shelley Berkley and her steadfast commitment to securing equality for all Nevada families.

As we've discussed before, Mitt Romney is leading Dean Heller, Joe Heck, and the rest of the G-O-TEA in embracing teabaggers' bigotry and doubling down on endorsing wrongful discrimination. They're doing this because they still think they need to shore up their "TEA" fueled base. Yet while they're doing this, they're alienating the rest of our increasingly diverse and multicultural state. And with the newest CBS/New York Times poll showing a strong national majority favoring marriage equality, it's quite likely that Nevada voters are trending quickly towards embracing equality as well.

Joe Heck may still be calling marriage equality "a distraction" while he & Dean Heller dutifully stand by the G-O-TEA agenda of belittling and even endangering (!!!) LGBTQ Nevadans, but they increasingly look anachronistic and incredibly out of touch. Just contrast Heck's cold and downright rude remarks with John Oceguera's heartfelt support for marriage equality and full civil rights for LGBTQ Nevadans.

This is a bigger problem for Nevada Republicans than Dean Heller, Joe Heck, and their slick campaign consultants want to admit. And this is the real reason why Heller and Heck refuse to talk about it. But as long as they keep trying to hold down Nevada's LGBTQ families, a growing and strengthening number of Nevada voters may ultimately decide to just hang up on them.

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