Dear Readers,

In this issue of the LGBT News you will find the ratings from LAHR PAC, a separate organization from the LAHR that I lead, and an integral part of LAHR’s participation in our community.

Many of the candidates running for office this year have much to offer in their allyship to the LGBTQ community, but I urge you to remember that it is now stylish for politicians to be “pro-LGBTQ”. For LGBTQ issues to be so politically en vogue is a tremendous victory that has been hard fought. We must exert constant vigilance that the fashionableness of supporting LGBTQ ideals does not mean our leaders can take our support for granted.

When an issue such as LGBTQ becomes stylish it also becomes politically divisive, and it opens the door for serious opposition and paves the way for politicians such as Donald Trump and State Senator Tom Casperson (the man who introduced then anti-trans bathroom bill here in Michigan) to come to power. Those men and people like them do not belong in, or even deserve, leadership. One way you can stop men like them is by showing up at the ballot box.

Regardless of where you stand politically, you must vote. Your vote must also be confident and informed. Voting is a way to show love for yourself, your neighbors, and future generations.

I will, however, point out a pattern. Notice in the ratings that the Republicans running for office are far more likely to ignore or score poorly on the LAHR PAC questionnaire. The support for LGBTQ people and issues is overwhelmingly coming from the Democratic Party, lead locally by candidates such as Sam Singh (Michigan House of Reps, District 69), Mark Grebner (Ingham County, District 8),and Brian McGrain (Ingham County, District 10). These three received the highest rating LAHR PAC gives.

All elections are high stakes. All elections are critical. But I believe that this year is more high stakes than others due to our current political climate. I urge you to take LAHR PAC’s ratings seriously, and I urge you to take your vote seriously. Pay attention to your local elections – they are the elections that will impact your life more immediately than the presidency ever will. So show up to vote in the primary Tuesday, August 2nd (or get your absentee ballot, which is easy to do through your clerk’s office).

Lastly, I would like to point out that in light of Melissa Gilbert’s withdrawal, Michigan’s 8th Congressional District has not been left stranded without Democratic opposition. Just last week Suzanna Shkreli announced her candidacy on behalf of the Dems. She will not be included on the August 2nd ballot and you will still see Melissa Gilbert’s name. But you should expect to see a lot more of Shkreli in the coming months, and consider voting for her in November. Considering Mike Bishop’s record, she’s most likely going to be a better option. LAHR PAC has contacted her campaign and hoping to let you know how she rates soon. Reach out to us at any time.

In love and solidarity,
Alysa Hodgson