January 12, 2017 at 7:00 pm EDT | by Chris Johnson
Keith Ellison unveils LGBT plan in bid to become DNC chair
Keith Ellison, gay news, Washington Blade

Rep. Keith Ellison (D-Mich.) speaks at the Democratic National Convention in Philadelphia on July 25, 2016. (Washington Blade file photo by Michael Key)

A front-runner in the race to become the next chair of the Democratic National Committee has unveiled an 11-point plan for greater inclusion of LGBT people in the Democratic Party.

Rep. Keith Ellison’s (D-Minn.) plan — obtained exclusively by the Washington Blade — consists of growing the newly created DNC LGBT advisory board, promoting strong LGBT delegate goals for the 2020 national convention and ensuring gender non-conforming people can participate in the DNC and convention.

In the aftermath of the closing of the National Stonewall Democrats, Ellison’s plan calls for convening LGBT leaders to discuss the absence of a national LGBT Democratic group and whether the DNC LGBT Outreach Desk can handle its responsibilities.

Ellison, who supported Bernie Sanders during last year’s primary, also said he plans to designate an outreach and organizing staff lead for each Democratic constituency community, including the LGBT desk. The LGBT engagement director for the DNC was Sean Meloy, but he’s now deputy national outreach director for “Keith for DNC.”

“The LGBTQ community is an extraordinarily important part of the Democratic Party,” Ellison said. “But instead of just saying that, I want to make sure we reflect that by working as a party to engage our friends and family members in this community. That’s precisely why I’m prioritizing these LGBTQ-focused proposals — to let my LGBTQ friends know that as DNC Chair, the DNC will be on their side and that we will fight for them every single day — especially with Donald Trump in the White House.”

Ellison as of now is the only candidate running for DNC chair who has unveiled a specific plan for LGBT goals as chair of the DNC. In an interview with the Blade, Buckley said as DNC chair he’d ensure pro-LGBT components of the 2016 Democratic platform make clear “elected Democrats down to the municipal level understand that we are the party of non-discrimination and the welcoming party.”

Others seeking the position of DNC chair are New Hampshire Democratic Party Chair Ray Buckley; outgoing Labor Secretary Tom Perez; Sally Boynton Brown, executive director of the Idaho Democratic Party; Jaime Harrison, chair of the South Carolina Democratic Party; and Pete Buttigieg, mayor of South Bend, Ind. Both Buckley and Buttigieg are gay.

The election for chair is scheduled to take place at the DNC’s winter meeting in Atlanta, scheduled for Feb. 23-26.

Here are each of the 11 items in Ellison’s LGBT plan for the Democratic Party:

• Convene LGBT leaders and the LGBT Caucus to discuss a solution to the absence of a national LGBT Democratic group and capacity of the DNC LGBT Outreach Desk handling some of those responsibilities.

• Add young, diverse LGBTQ people to the Democratic National Committee and create a pipeline for people from across the LGBTQ spectrum to better engage at all levels of the party.

• Maintain and grow the DNC LGBT Advisory Board – a 50 state grassroots group that helps represent the full diversity of the LGBT community that was initiated in 2016 and allows LGBT leaders across the country to directly connect with the DNC.

• Grow partnerships from DNC 2016 to ensure LGBT-owned businesses have access to DNC supply opportunities.

• Protect and promote the setting of strong LGBT delegate goals by states for the 2020 Convention.

• Ensure gender non-conforming people can fully participate on the Committee and as 2020 Convention delegates as current structure requires a male or female identity.

• Maintain database of LGBT Democratic officials and engage them regularly. Promote LGBT Democratic candidates in partnership with the DLCC, DCCC, and DSCC campaign arms using social media, press, and LGBT party events.

• Support grassroots engagement and training of LGBT Democrats around the country, especially in states where Republicans are actively attacking LGBTQ people. Restore regional meetings in which DNC LGBT Caucus members, Advisory board members, and LGBT actors can be trained and discuss issues.

• Ensure state party LGBT Caucuses are active and engaging with the leaders and staff that showcased their talents during the presidential campaign.

• Designate an outreach and organizing staff lead for each constituency community, including the LGBT desk, and ensure they are kept in the pipeline for future work in the party.

• Ensure LGBT caucuses of the College Democrats and Young Democrats are fully brought into the fold and regularly engaged in regional trainings, forums, and LGBT-focused party activities.

Chris Johnson is Chief Political & White House Reporter for the Washington Blade. Johnson attends the daily White House press briefings and is a member of the White House Correspondents' Association. Follow Chris

  • Jake GG

    I would like to see the gay/bi blood ban addressed. It’s not the most pressing issue facing the LGBTQ community, but it is hard to sit by whenever a natural disaster, or a shooting like the one in the Orlando gay club happen and to not be able to donate. Given that this could be fixed by the FDA with a decision at the administrative level, it is a change that could be very winnable even in a Trump administration. And it would save lives.

    • le-DeplorableFroggy

      Are you crazy?? No dying ‘straight’ would want an LGBTQ blood trans for fear of having their DNA affected with ‘altering’ strands… except, an LGBTQ parader.

  • Luis Duran

    LMAO. Ellison is a practicing Muslim. The ideology he follows commands death for homosexuals. Don’t believe him. “War is deceit.” – Mohammed

    • John Carl O’Neil

      Not all Muslims are fundamentalists. Homosexuality has been a big part of Muslim culture since the Middle Ages. The Ottoman legalized homosexuality in the 1860s, long before America and most of Europe. And some Muslim nations have voted on legalizing gay marriage. Polling shows that American Muslims are more supportive of gay marriage than American evangelical Christians

      • Mark Hatchett

        Keep on believing that nonsense as you watch gay men being tossed of buildings.

        • The “nonsense” comes from the Pew Research Center, which is a more believable source than knee-jerk racists.

          http://reason.com/blog/2016/06/13/in-america-muslims-are-more-likely-to-su

          • Mark Hatchett

            Breaking Not Fake News: muslim is not a race so jerk your own effing knee.

          • Whether or not I use the word “racism” or “bigotry” or “Islamophobia,” the Pew Research Center’s polls have more credibility than your hate-filled fantasies.

          • Mark Hatchett

            You’re a dumb one for sure.

          • Oh, sweetheart. You’re the one who can’t tell the difference between fake news and data analysis from a think tank. Calling me “dumb” doesn’t make you capable of critical thought, and it certainly doesn’t give you the ability to construct truth from your sad, angry id.

          • Ted Sevel

            Weren’t they the same organization whose polls predicted the Clintons would win by 54%?

            Those who hate the truth, hate even more those who dare tell it.

          • No one thought Clinton would win by 54%. But they were off by a whopping three points at the end.

          • le-DeplorableFroggy

            “54%”… Yeah-sure, with all the illegals, dead, and ‘repeats’ included.

          • Abigail Smith

            The polls said Hillary would win in a landslide. The polls said she’d get 300 electoral votes. The polls aren’t worth much.

          • Polls have margins of error. When final results end up within that margin of error, as they did in every case in November, it means the poll is worth a great deal. Reliance on them to predict an election is problematic, because polls are not clairvoyant, but using them to understand a broad public opinion is valid, which is why they are used so extensively, even by people who publicly disparage scientists in order to curry the favor of the ignorant and uneducated.

          • Abigail Smith

            I believe that methodological errors are quite prevalent in
            polls, and just as in weak scientific studies in fields such as medicine, the
            results are only as valid as the approach leading to those results. If you have over 100 million people voting,
            and you base your results on polling less than 1%, which I don’t believe any
            poll ever reaches, you are hard pressed to make reasonable conclusions about
            the other 99%. Your sample is likely
            biased by some demographic factors that isn’t being accounted for. But I believe it is undeniable that the polls
            were resoundingly incorrect this election period. The polls are specifically designed to
            predict election results, or otherwise they would have no discernable
            purpose. I think there was one major
            poll that said Trump would win, but otherwise the all favored Clinton, and we
            can say now that they were all wrong, and therefore they were de facto
            flawed. Margin of error is what you put
            in place when your study methods are too weak to be accurate. I give myself a 99% margin of error,
            personally.

          • Abigail Smith

            The polls were proven invalid retrospectively by the results
            they were designed to predict. The
            intended purpose of a political poll is to predict an outcome, and in that
            regard the methodologies employed failed.
            If we don’t disparage bad science, then we aren’t practicing science at
            all. The whole point of science is to
            invalidate bad conclusions and bad methods so that “bad science” doesn’t blend
            in unnoticed with actual science. For
            example, the scientific discussion of climate change has been suppressed in
            light of a political view of “climate change” that touts that there is no
            question and no viable theory that mankind is not the proximate cause of “climate
            change”. Of course, any good scientist
            would recognize that the term “climate change” itself is meaningless, as
            everything in the physical universe changes constantly and invariably regardless.

          • le-DeplorableFroggy

            BTW, ‘radical islam’ is but a fabrication of the GlobalNuts, to destroy Islam and terrorize-murder Christians.

            ● Confessions of a British Spy and British Enmity against Islam.pdf
            ● Globalists Created Wahhabi Terrorism to Destroy Islam and Justify a Global State – (serendipity dot li/wot/livingstone.htm)
            ● ISIS, CIA, Saudi & Israel Connections with Wayne Madsen – (youtube dot com/watch?v=MN4p9rSfGVs)

          • Mark Hatchett

            There is no radical islam there is only islam. ISIS is authentic islam as practiced throughout the centuries.

          • Ted Sevel

            Yes indeed. In reality the “radical” Muslims are those who call themselves Muslims but genuinely reject it’s commands of hate and violence. Those Muslims who bomb, behead, burn are highly devout.

          • Ted Sevel

            Islam is Islam like a turd is a turd. You can paint it a pretty color, spray perfume, sprinkle glitter on it, put it in a pretty box, wrap it with lovely paper and a beautiful bow and present it as a thing of beauty. However its underlying characteristics remain and cannot be changed.

      • Luis Duran

        You might as well believe in Santa and the tooth fairy. I guess there us nothing wrong with believing in myths/fairy tails but in this case you believe in one that is equally deadly as it is absurd.

        • I don’t “believe” anything here, except that when a large number of people were asked questions, 42% of American Muslims responded that they supported same-sex marriage and 29% Evangelical Christians did. This is not dangerous information; it’s a simple data point. But based on your comments, it’s clear you think that anything that doesn’t confirm your fears and biases is a lie. And that’s why you spend so much time calling people who point out the errors in your logic idiots. Any critical engagement with new or different information would cause too much cognitive dissonance for you to bear. Sad.

          • Ted Sevel

            The head of the Islamic State has advanced degrees in Islamic Studies, including a Ph.D. How do you and other Islamic apologists know his religion more than he does?

          • What specifically does this question have to do with whether or not Pew asked people questions and recorded their answers correctly? Don’t bother. The answer is “nothing.”

          • Ted Sevel

            Do you believe that Islam is a “religion of peace” and the Islamic State is not Islamic?

          • Again: What specifically does this question have to do with whether or not Pew asked people questions and recorded their answers correctly? Don’t bother. The answer is “nothing.”

          • Ted Sevel

            You already answered it by touting some fantasy poll. Your answer to the first question is yes and answer to 2nd is no. Both answers are wrong.

          • I actually laughed out loud. Which is impressive! “Yes” cannot be the answer to your first questions because you asked “How.” And the second question is utterly irrelevant to issue at hand: whether or not Pew collected its data in a rigorous and ethical fashion. You still haven’t addressed how the poll is a fantasy; it’s clear that you’re calling it a fantasy because you don’t like what it says. If you do bother to respond again, I doubt you’ll have anything other than “You’re an idiot! You love terrorism! WAHHHHH!” Like most Trump supporters, you’ve rejected the Enlightenment completely, so logic and argument will never be used, just fear, anger, and feelings.

          • Ted Sevel

            I’m glad you got a laugh however my first question began with “Do” and not “How”. But now that you mentioned how”, I will ask how can Islam be the “religion of peace” when so much hated and violence is committed in its name in a daily basis? You are enlightened. Please enlighten someone who wants to be enlightened by your superior intelligence.

          • I mostly laughed out loud at how you’ve refused to engage with the entire reason I commented on this thread — that the poll in question isn’t a fantasy — and keep moving the goalposts to further your troll mission. As for how a religion of peace can have evil followers, well, duh. Every religion and every ideology has been used an excuse to do extensive harm. No one has to have a superior intellect to figure out that Christianity has been the excuse for more acts of evil, more genocides, than any other religion. People do awful things and make up excuses. The main issue is radicalism. If you actually want to learn about the issue, as opposed to insult and fight with strangers, there are numerous books out there on radicalism that would provide you with some insight.

          • Ted Sevel

            “Radicalism” in Islam means those committing the radical acts are true and devout followers of their religion. Mohammed said “I have been made victorious through terror.” The Orlando nightclub mass murder’s actions were certainly radical but his actions were those of a devout Muslim. Of course you and others would rather be dead than to admit Islamic teachings and texts command death for gays. That would shatter your multicultural rose colored glasses. Go back to your poll and congratulate yourself for being so tolerant to those who hate you.

          • That’s not a definition of radicalism that anyone who studies radicalism would use. But I’m sure you don’t care what experts do or learn or conclude, and you clearly aren’t interested in learning anything new or different. It’s pretty clear that justifying your feelings of fear and hate are more important than careful, rational data collection and analysis. I get it: it’s certainly easier to say all Muslims want to murder you than it is to contemplate how to exist in a world in which some do and most don’t and it’s not always obvious who thinks what. It’s easy, but it’s also lazy and unethical. And it certainly explains why you insist on forcing a conversation on how all Muslims are murderers when I have only commented here to point out that a poll exists and was done using rigorous methods.

          • Ted Sevel

            If/when you go out and protest your chat should be – HEY HEY, HO HO HOMOPHOBIA HAS GO TO GO except when its committed by members of the Muslim community.

          • Ted Sevel

            I saw your fellow snowflakes cause damage and destruction on Friday in downtown DC. Funny how it goes, you all are supposed to be the ones that champion “diversity” and “acceptance” but often react with violence and hate if someone dares to disagree with you. Yet at the same time you staunchly defend a radical, hateful ideology that calls for your death and stands against everything you believe in. I’ll never forget after the Orlando massacre, (committed by a devout, pious Muslim) a gay man was being interviewed and he was distraught over Trumps proposed ban on Muslims from countries that are hotbeds of Islamic terrorism. Talk about lunacy!

          • You have an extremely active fantasy life. Nowhere in these comments have I indicated any of the things you claim I think or support. I just wrote that there was a poll that was done and suggested you read some books so that you could learn about the things you seem to be so concerned about. This is pretty clear if you are capable of reading, which I assume you are since you’re capable of writing, even if what you wrote about me has no basis in reality. I assume it’s your blind rage that is preventing you from exercising rational thought. It must be really hard to have no control over your emotions. I pity you.

          • Ted Sevel

            Well if you can provide a link to a poll, thin I will provide a link that explains mainstream Islam teachings towards homosexuality, https://www.thereligionofpeace.com/pages/quran/homosexuality.aspx

          • My first comment, days ago, was a link to the poll.

            http://reason.com/blog/2016/06/13/in-america-muslims-are-more-likely-to-su

            And your link is irrelevant to the ONLY thing I’ve been arguing here: That the Pew Research poll is not a fantasy, but something that actually exists, in which Pew employees made a bunch of phone calls and asked questions and recorded answers and then reported the data.

            I don’t know why you’re so desperate to get into an argument about theology. Theology has nothing to with whether data is collected and presented well — unless your religion forbids the rigorous collection of data. But come to think of it, forbidding the rigorous collection of data is a central tenet of Trumpism!

      • Abigail Smith

        How many Muslim nations have legal gay marriage, though? Not one. How many predominately Christian nations have legal gay marriage? Many.

    • Mark Hatchett

      You are correct.

    • le-DeplorableFroggy

      ” ‘ War is deceit ‘ – Mohammed”… NONSENSE. That’s israHell’s terrorist mossad (the trainers of ISIS) motto.

    • manage man

      war is deceit and i agree, and hope that he will deceive the repukes and the trumpster comrades everywhere.

      • Ted Sevel

        You are so fortunate to be of superior intellect. Give thanks to allah on a daily basis that he has blessed with such intelligence.

  • Rodger

    muscums do not integrate anywhere. moderate muscums will encourage radical muscums to kill you. the only good muscums are dead muscums!

  • Abigail Smith

    So are all Muslims now pro-LGBTQ? Do the Muslims who elected Ellison support special rights for LGBTQ persons? How about equal rights for women?

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