For starters, I must give credit to the three district chairs who drafted the statement. They are CJ Carenza, Robert Donat, and Kenny Jones. I know CJ personally, and respect and admire the hard work he does as chair of the state LGBT caucus. Robert I only know from Facebook, but am impressed that he offered to pay for my entrance to the event after I publicly denounced it. Kenny I only know by name, but have heard many great things about the work he has done within the party.
It isn’t easy being in the position these three chairmen are in. As LGBT community members, I sense they have strong opinions about each and every candidate running for every single race, but especially on the candidate I truly detest and do not respect: Warren Stewart.
However, their opinions are stifled because of the role they play within the party. It is obvious to me that these three party chairs are passionate about the Democratic Party, and more importantly about LGBT issues.
So am I.
In the statement they say that they know that “the Maricopa County Executive Committee is and will continue to be supportive of the LGBT community, for marriage equality, and for civil rights…” and frankly I trust that they are correct in saying that.
Through the Facebook posts, the statement, blog posts, and comments back and forth, I feel like one thing has been lost in all of this, and it’s that we all agree that LGBT issues are important to us as collectively a party and individually as Democrats.
We are a diverse party. Although I continue to feel that candidates who are outside of the values that we uphold should be denounced, I understand and the respect the commitment that these three chairmen adhere to by taking no stand specifically on any candidate. There are party rules in place, rules I don’t agree with, but rules none-the-less. Their hands are tied they claim.
They say that they can’t denounce Warren Stewart. I respectfully disagree. And what they can’t do, and what I want them to do at this point, or any point, is truly neither here nor there. We are, as I said, a diverse party, and open to differences of opinions.
What is important, here, however, is that three chairs of the Maricopa County Democratic Party issued a statement standing by the LGBT community and promised to support us. I mean, I would certainly hope they would, seeing as how they are LGBT members themselves, but there is something missing to this whole puzzle. It’s the other fifteen district chairs.
Simply, I challenge other party chairs to sign on to this statement. I challenge them to do this to prove to those of us in the party, us activists and volunteers (who are hurt by this whole ordeal) that they are committed to us.
We are one party, and in solidarity we should stand. So, let us all sign on to it.
And although I am not a party chair, please consider my commitment to the LGBT community and the Democratic Party, as well as my name, included.