Windy City Media Group Frontpage News


home search facebook twitter join
Gay News Sponsor



Democrats take control of the U.S. Senate
by Lisa Keen, Keen News Service

This article shared 597 times since Thu Jan 7, 2021
facebook twitter pin it google +1 reddit email

A look at the numbers in the Jan. 5 U.S. Senate races in Georgia indicate that Democrats have won control of the Senate—a development with enormous favorable consequences for the LGBT community and the nation.

As of the evening of Jan. 6, the Georgia secretary of state's website indicated 100 percent of votes had been counted. The numbers show Democrat Rev. Raphael Warnock defeated incumbent Republican Kelly Loeffler by more than 62,000 votes, and Democrat Jon Ossoff defeated incumbent Republican David Perdue by more than 24,000 votes. Both Warnock's margin of victory (1.4 percent) and Ossoff's (0.56 percent) are above the point for an automatic recount (0.5 percent).

The new session of the U.S. Senate will, therefore, include 50 Democrats and 50 Republicans, leaving any tie vote to Democrat Kamala Harris, who will be sworn in as vice president Jan. 20.

With control of the White House, the House of Representatives and the Senate, real change can happen," said Tim Boyd, owner and publisher of the Georgia Voice newspaper. "This is a great day for Georgia and the nation."

Lambda Legal Executive Director Kevin Jennings said, "We hope that today's outcome ushers in a new day when the legislative and executive branches can work together to make life easier, safer and more fair for people—whether it comes to access to healthcare, racial justice, or equality for LGBTQ people and everyone living with HIV."

There was a lot riding on the outcome of Georgia's two U.S. Senate races that took place Jan. 5. For the LGBT community, it was the difference between securing federal laws prohibiting discrimination based on sexual orientation and gender identity and watching existing laws ignored, challenged, or misinterpreted to enable such discrimination. Among the first orders of business will likely be passage of the Equality Act, which has not been allowed a vote in the Republican-controlled Senate even after it has passed the U.S. House three times.

For the incoming administration of President-elect Joe Biden, a Democratic majority in the Senate means expeditious confirmation of cabinet members, such as openly gay Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg. It means control over members of the federal judiciary, including any vacancies on the U.S. Supreme Court. And it means the ability to follow through on a campaign promise to sign the Equality Act in his first 100 days in office. It means an opportunity to direct federal resources on defeating the COVID pandemic. And it means the ability to curtail divisive rhetoric coming from the White House and try to mend the wounds of outrageous partisanship.

Both Democratic candidates in Georgia have said they will support passage of the Equality Act, a comprehensive bill in Congress that seeks to prohibit discrimination based on sexual orientation and gender identity in a number of arenas, including employment, housing, education, public spaces and services, and federally funded programs.

Ossoff campaigned in at least one LGBT establishment—My Sister's Room, a lesbian bar in Atlanta. According to the Atlanta Journal Constitution, Ossoff told a group of about 50 people gathered at the bar on Dec. 23 that he would "defend our LGBTQ brothers and sisters with everything I've got."

Warnock appointed more than two dozen openly LGBT leaders to a special "LGBTQ+ Advisory Council" for his runoff race against Loeffler. One of those council members, Georgia's newly elected lesbian state Senator Kim Jackson, noted that both Warnock and Ossoff have a number of openly LGBT people on their campaign staffs.

"I don't believe that there's any such thing as equal rights for some. And so my journey on embracing, fully, members of the LGBTQ+ community and the issues that you bring to the table [is] part of my continuing trek to try to be a better leader and a better person," Warnock told an Atlanta LGBT news organization in October.

Warnock made clear that he believes "all of us have to be full-throated in opposition to bigotry."

"You can't simply be committed to not saying things that are homophobic or transphobic," Warnock told Project Q Atlanta. "In the same way that we ask white people to be anti-racist and not just acknowledging it, we have to be full-throated in standing up against bigotry."

Both Republicans have, in different ways, expressed a hostility to equal rights for LGBT people.

Loeffler, who was appointed to the seat last January when the incumbent resigned due to illness, introduced a bill last year that seeks to ban federal education funding to any school that allows transgender girls to compete in girls' sports.

Loeffler co-owns a Women's National Basketball Association (WNBA) team called the Atlanta Dream but vigorously opposed the association's decision to dedicate its current season to Black Lives Matter, a movement co-founded by two self-identified queer women. In a letter to the WNBA commissioner, she said, "I adamantly oppose the Black Lives Matter political movement," adding that she thinks "to subscribe to a particular political agenda undermines the potential of the sport and sends a message of exclusion." A number of WNBA athletes were seen wearing T-shirts that say "Vote Warnock."

Perdue has rated a zero on the Human Rights Campaign's Congressional scorecard on LGBT issues for every session he has been in Congress.

The Human Rights Campaign said it sent 12 staffers to Georgia to help support the two Democratic candidates in the run-off. It also organized phone banks, making more than 105,000 calls.

"By electing Jon Ossoff and Rev. Raphael Warnock, we can pass the Equality Act, address the epidemic of violence against the transgender community, and work to ensure no person faces discrimination because of who they are or whom they love," said HRC's website.

The statewide LGBT group Georgia Equality was also heavily involved, with phone-banking and texting to more than 600,000 voters.

"If we don't have both chambers of the Congress…. the rights of the LGBT community around the country will continue to be put on hold and de-prioritized — regardless of how supportive the president may be," said Jeff Graham, executive director of Georgia Equality. He was speaking last week to an online forum sponsored by Project Q Atlanta, an LGBT news organization.

On Nov. 3, Perdue beat Ossoff by 88,000 votes (or 0.2 percent of all votes). Because Perdue's number represented less than 50 percent of the vote, the race was slated automatically for this runoff. Warnock beat Loeffler by more than 343,000 votes; however, because there was a third-party candidate in that race, Warnock's winning total represented only 33 percent of the vote, forcing him into this runoff as well.

© 2021 Keen News Service. All rights reserved.

This article shared 597 times since Thu Jan 7, 2021
facebook twitter pin it google +1 reddit email

Windy City Media Group does not approve or necessarily agree with the views posted below.
Please do not post letters to the editor here. Please also be civil in your dialogue.
If you need to be mean, just know that the longer you stay on this page, the more you help us.


Gay News

COVID Pritzker announces state coronavirus website 2021-01-25
- Illinois Gov. JB Pritzker announced a new portal on to provide residents with easily accessible information about the COVID-19 vaccine. will provide eligible residents with nearby vaccination sites ...

Gay News

Biden's repeal of trans military ban impacts over 15,500 adults in the military 2021-01-25
--From a Williams Institute press release - A summary of current data on transgender military service in U.S. Today, President Biden signed an executive order ending the ban on transgender military service. The directive instructs the Department of Defense to reinstate the 2016 ...

Gay News

LGBTQA+ organizations praise Biden's lift of trans military ban 2021-01-25
- After President Joe Biden signed an executive order on Jan. 25 lifting former President Donald Trump's ban on transgender individuals being in the military, several LGBTQA+ groups and individuals issued press releases praising the move: —LGBTQ ...

Gay News

Biden's relief plan grows assistance for 3M LGBT adults experiencing food insecurity 2021-01-24
- Today, President Biden signed executive orders to address the economic effects of the COVID-19 crisis. The orders include plans to expand the federal nutrition assistance program, pause federal debt payments for veterans, establish a $15 an ...

Gay News

NATIONAL Bidens, NYC businesses, notable deaths, anti-Trump suit 2021-01-24
- President Joe Biden and his team recently named openly gay man Jeff Marootian as special assistant to the president on Climate and Science Agency Personnel, according to Instinct Magazine, citing The Washington Blade. Marootian is one ...

Gay News

WORLD Honduran Congress, deportation, Canadian support, athlete comes out 2021-01-24
- On Jan. 21, members of the Honduran Congress voted to amend the constitution, making it much harder to reverse existing hard-line bans on abortion and same-sex marriage, as lawmakers double down on socially conservative priorities, Openly ...

Gay News

LGBTQ+ Americans greet the Biden-Harris era with hope, hesitancy 2021-01-22
Kate Sosin, - To many, the moment marks a new dawn, the end of deeply distressing four years. Others are simply exhausted. A lot of kids spend their teenage years worrying about dates and dances. Eli Bundy has spent ...

Gay News

Pritzker: Illinois moving into Phase 1B of COVID vaccination plan 2021-01-22
- Building on the state's progress in administering the COVID-19 vaccine, Illinois Gov. JB Pritzker announced the state will move into the early stages of Phase 1B of the COVID-19 Vaccine Administration Plan beginning Monday, Jan. 25. ...

Gay News

Equality Caucus applauds early pro-LGBTQ+ actions of Biden administration 2021-01-21
--From a press release - Washington, D.C. — The Congressional LGBTQ+ Equality Caucus is pleased to see important steps already taken by the Biden Administration to promote fairness and equality for the LGBTQ+ community and applauds the President and his team ...

Gay News

Governors, Lt. Governors encourage all to make a plan and get vaccinated 2021-01-21
--From a press release - CHICAGO — Today, Governor Pritzker and governors and lieutenant governors from Michigan, Indiana, Kentucky, Minnesota, Ohio, and Wisconsin joined together to encourage everyone to make a plan for how they can get the safe and effective ...

Gay News

Gov. Pritzker praises President Biden's plan to combat COVID-19 2021-01-21
--From a press release - Gov. Pritzker Statement on the Announcement of President Biden's Plan to Combat COVID-19 CHICAGO — Governor JB Pritzker issued the following statement following President Biden's announcement of the national plan to combat COVID-19. "One ye ...

Gay News

As Sen. Heather Steans resigns, Planned Parenthood of Illinois comments on her work 2021-01-21
--From a press release - Statement from Jennifer Welch, President and CEO of Planned Parenthood Illinois Action: "We will miss working with Senator Heather Steans, a fierce champion for reproductive rights in Illinois. As the lead Senate sponsor for HB40 and ...

Gay News

Alexi Giannoulias running for secretary of state in 2022 2021-01-21
- Alexi Giannoulias—a Democratic politician and financier who was Illinois state treasurer during 2007-11—has thrown his hat back into the political ring, as he plans to run for Illinois secretary of state in 2022. He would succeed ...

Gay News

Day 2 Executive Order prohibits discrimination against millions of LGBTQs 2021-01-21
--From a press release - Today, President Biden directed federal agencies to affirm that LGBTQ people are protected from discrimination under existing civil rights statutes. Biden is the first president to issue an Executive Order directly on LGBTQ rights on the ...

Gay News

AMA applauds Biden Day 1 actions on COVID-19, racial equity, climate, WHO 2021-01-21
--From a press release - CHICAGO — The American Medical Association (AMA) today applauded the Biden Administration's first-day actions that tackle the COVID-19 pandemic and climate change, re-engage with the World Health Organization (WHO), and ...


Copyright © 2021 Windy City Media Group. All rights reserved.
Reprint by permission only. PDFs for back issues are downloadable from
our online archives. Single copies of back issues in print form are
available for $4 per issue, older than one month for $6 if available,
by check to the mailing address listed below.

Return postage must accompany all manuscripts, drawings, and
photographs submitted if they are to be returned, and no
responsibility may be assumed for unsolicited materials.
All rights to letters, art and photos sent to Nightspots
(Chicago GLBT Nightlife News) and Windy City Times (a Chicago
Gay and Lesbian News and Feature Publication) will be treated
as unconditionally assigned for publication purposes and as such,
subject to editing and comment. The opinions expressed by the
columnists, cartoonists, letter writers, and commentators are
their own and do not necessarily reflect the position of Nightspots
(Chicago GLBT Nightlife News) and Windy City Times (a Chicago Gay,
Lesbian, Bisexual and Transegender News and Feature Publication).

The appearance of a name, image or photo of a person or group in
Nightspots (Chicago GLBT Nightlife News) and Windy City Times
(a Chicago Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual and Transgender News and Feature
Publication) does not indicate the sexual orientation of such
individuals or groups. While we encourage readers to support the
advertisers who make this newspaper possible, Nightspots (Chicago
GLBT Nightlife News) and Windy City Times (a Chicago Gay, Lesbian
News and Feature Publication) cannot accept responsibility for
any advertising claims or promotions.








About WCMG      Contact Us      Online Front  Page      Windy City  Times      Nightspots      OUT! Guide     
Identity      BLACKlines      En La Vida      Archives      Advanced Search     
Windy City Queercast      Queercast Archives     
Press  Releases      Join WCMG  Email List      Email Blast      Blogs     
Upcoming Events      Todays Events      Ongoing Events      Bar Guide      Community Groups      In Memoriam      Outguide Categories      Outguide Advertisers      Search Outguide      Travel      Dining Out      Privacy Policy     

Windy City Media Group publishes Windy City Times,
The Bi-Weekly Voice of the Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual and Trans Community.
5315 N. Clark St. #192, Chicago, IL 60640-2113 • PH (773) 871-7610 • FAX (773) 871-7609.