The Maricopa County Democratic Party is failing the LGBT caucus and the LGBT community of Arizona, yet again.

I first wrote about them failing my community in 2013, when they went as far as sponsoring an event that included an anti-gay candidate for Phoenix City Council. They were calling the event a celebration of our community. The problem is, Stewart, the candidate they were plastering all over the event, is no part of my community at all. I called on the Maricopa County Democratic Party to the denounce him as a candidate because Stewart had expressed time and again how opposed to same-sex marriage he is. The Maricopa County Democratic Party failed us back then. Thankfully voters of the south Phoenix Council District made it clear that they do not support bigoted candidates. Stewart lost. 

I also called on all of the caucus  chairs – a group of people elected by the party, to pledge a commitment to the issue of same-sex marriage. But the caucus chairs, each of them, failed to do that. 

Some said it’s already written in the party platform so it would be redundant. Others claimed that it wasn’t their policy of the party to-or-not-to endorse anyone during the primary. 

But the reality is it is the responsibility of the Maricopa County Democratic Party to set the standards of values that their candidates have. And they’re failing to do that. Its time that they stand by those values and stand up for to those against them.

It’s time that the Maricopa County Democrat Party stand for something. Above all else, it’s time for them for to denounce José Suarez, an anti-gay candidate for Arizona State Legislature in the Yuma district. 

If the party is going to explicitly support marriage equality in their party platform, then they need to explicitly support candidates who are for marriage equality and denounce those who aren’t. 

They need to demonstrate a stark contrast between the county party and denounce José Suarez, because from where I’m sitting it’s hard to see the difference between those who say they support same-sex marriage and a party who supports candidates like Suarez. 

In a recent debate, this candidate said that “family is between a man and woman.” That’s not right. That’s anti-gay. And I expect the Maricopa County Democratic Party to stand up to him for saying this. 

They need to take a play from Charlene Fernandez’s play book. Fernandez, who is running against Suarez, has stood up to his his anti-gay anti-woman message. She doesn’t tolerate anti-gay bullies. She stands up to them. It’s time the Maricopa County Democrat Party follow suit.  

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