May 4, 2012 at 11:01 am EDT | by Lou Chibbaro Jr.
Locals turn out to support Del. Senate candidate
Andy Staton, Delaware, gay news, gay politics dc

Andy Staton is running for the Delaware State Senate from the Rehoboth Beach area.

More than 50 D.C. area residents, many with ties to the popular gay resort town of Rehoboth Beach, Del., attended a fundraiser in Northwest Washington on Monday for Delaware State Senate candidate Andy Staton.

Staton, who owns a Rehoboth Beach real estate firm, is running in the Sept. 11 Democratic primary for a seat in a newly created district that includes the towns of Rehoboth, Lewes, Dewey Beach, and Milton. The towns are located on or near the Southern Delaware coast. If elected, Staton would become the first openly gay member of the Delaware Legislature.

Staton told the gathering his skills and knowledge gained from being the owner of a small business will help him promote as a lawmaker “smart” growth and economic development and the creation of jobs in the Southern Delaware region he would represent.

He said he also would be an advocate for LGBT rights and play a lead role in safeguarding the state’s recently passed civil unions law and an advocate for a same-sex marriage law.

“I’ll say it again. If I’m elected I will sponsor a marriage bill,” he said. “I think it’s important that we have full marriage equality in the State of Delaware. Civil unions as an alternative just aren’t enough. So I intend to do that next year.”

Staton faces two Democratic opponents in the September primary, one of whom has called for the repeal of the civil unions law.

The D.C. fundraiser was sponsored by the Gay and Lesbian Victory Fund, a national group that supports the election of openly LGBT candidates on the local, state and national level. The group has endorsed Staton.

Lou Chibbaro Jr. has reported on the LGBT civil rights movement and the LGBT community for more than 30 years, beginning as a freelance writer and later as a staff reporter and currently as Senior News Reporter for the Washington Blade. He has chronicled LGBT-related developments as they have touched on a wide range of social, religious, and governmental institutions, including the White House, Congress, the U.S. Supreme Court, the military, local and national law enforcement agencies and the Catholic Church. Chibbaro has reported on LGBT issues and LGBT participation in local and national elections since 1976. He has covered the AIDS epidemic since it first surfaced in the early 1980s. Follow Lou

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