October 15, 2020 at 7:20 pm EDT | by Lou Chibbaro Jr.
Gay Council candidate receives higher score in revised GLAA ratings
Alexander Padro, gay news, Washington Blade
D.C. Council candidate Alexander Padro says he never received GLAA’s initial questionnaire.

The Gay and Lesbian Activists Alliance raised its rating on LGBTQ issues for gay at-large D.C. Council candidate Alexander Padro, who’s running as an independent, from a +2 to a +7 out of a possible top score of +10 after evaluating Padro’s candidate questionnaire that GLAA sends to all Council candidates.

Padro, who currently serves as an Advisory Neighborhood Commissioner in the Shaw neighborhood, was among four D.C. Council candidates who said they never received the questionnaire from GLAA. GLAA responded by extending its deadline for submitting the questionnaire to Oct. 12 from any candidate claiming not to have received it.

GLAA has a longstanding policy of awarding a “0” rating to candidates that do not return the questionnaire if the LGBTQ group is unaware of the candidate’s record on LGBTQ issues. It rates candidates on a scale of -10, the lowest possible score, to +10 based on responses to the questionnaire along with their record on LGBTQ issues.

The other three Council candidates who said they initially didn’t receive the questionnaire also received a boost in their ratings after submitting their respective questionnaire responses. They include at-large independent candidate Franklin Garcia, who received a rating increase from “0” to +8; and at-large independent candidate Chander Jayaraman, who received an increase from “0” to +5.

Ward 2 D.C. Council candidate Martin Miguel Fernandez, who’s running as an independent, received a rating increase from 0 to +7.

In a statement accompanying its ratings, GLAA said Padro has a strong record on LGBTQ-related issues and provided “detailed, substantive responses” to the questionnaire. It says Padro agrees with GLAA on most issues but he lost points for his support for full legalization of sex work in the city. GLAA says it supports decriminalization rather than a complete legalization of sex work, which it says “creates more barriers and marginalization” for those involved in sex work.

The GLAA statement says Garcia, who currently serves as the D.C. shadow representative to Congress, agrees with GLAA on all issues, provided detailed, substantive responses to the questionnaire, and has a record of support on LGBTQ issues.

The statement says Jayaraman agrees with GLAA on all issues but offered “little substance” in his questionnaire responses. It says he also lost points on the sex worker issue because he “falsely and extensively conflates decriminalization of sex work with human trafficking, despite the fact that such views are entirely unsubstantiated by research.”

GLAA says Fernandez, the Ward 2 candidate, agrees with GLAA on all issues and also offered detailed, substantive responses to the questionnaire. The GLAA statement says he has a limited record on LGBTQ issues but appears to have a “solid grasp of our policy positions and the reasoning behind the positions.”

Padro is one of three out gay candidates running in the Nov. 3 election for D.C. Council seats. The others include Ward 2 independent candidate Randy Downs, who received a +10 GLAA rating, and Libertarian Party at-large candidate Joe Bishop-Henchman, who received a +2.5 GLAA rating.

Another three out gay candidates are running for seats on the D.C. State Board of Education. They include at-large candidates Mysiki Valentine and Ravi K. Perry and Ward 2 candidate Allister Chang. At least 43 LGBTQ candidates are running for Advisory Neighborhood Commission seats in districts throughout the city. GLAA limits its ratings to Council candidates.

GLAA said it was planning to publish its rating scores and accompanying statements on its website, glaa.org

The Blade will provide full details on D.C.’s LGBTQ candidates and the candidates they are running against in an upcoming election preview story.

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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