Hundreds of LGBT Candidates Will Appear on Midterm Ballots across Trump’s America

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Ballot box before a Rainbow Flag

Some 400 LGBTQ candidates will appear up and down the nation’s ballots this fall, according to The New York Times. That, says the piece, is a record number reported by those who tabulate such trends and could be the leading edge of “a rainbow wave.”

This could mean everything — or serve as a repudiation — of the LGBTQ community in an era when increasingly, Americans whose sexuality is outside the mainstream have been marginalized or mocked outright.

Most of the candidates running for office this fall will be listed on the ballot as Democrats. And while their sexual orientations may become factors in their electability, none is running as a one-issue aspirant. What they do have in common is that almost to a person, they are firmly in the anti-Trump camp and positioning themselves as a way for frustrated voters to stop the president’s agenda in its tracks.

As reported in the Times, close to half of the candidates are vying for statewide offices, which the article says is “a priority for activists who say many of the most important civil rights battles are happening close to home. In 2017, more than 120 bills described as ‘anti-LGBT’ were introduced across 30 states, including adoption laws and so-called bathroom bills, according to the Human Rights Campaign. By January, 12 of them had become law.”

Common themes and prongs of attack are shaping up as the candidates hone on their messages to the voting public. At least part of that is a candidate’s willingness to wear his or her difference in sexual orientation in plain view. But, with that established, many are able to take issue with a number of the administration’s policy initiatives, and are able to point to the coarsening of political discourse and the creeping sense that civil rights are being eroded for anyone who is not rich, straight, white, Protestant and Republican.

It’s an encouraging sign that so many anti-Trump candidates are pushing back, the article suggests. And — as it points out — no longer are LGBTQ candidates running in so-called “safe enclaves” where being gay, lesbian, bisexual or transgender is a non-issue.

“Today,” the piece concludes, “LGBT candidates might tout a law enforcement background to appeal to the political center or campaign with their spouses and children to underscore an interest in policy issues important to parents.”

Last modified: August 7, 2018