Mike Amodeo-- a young, progressive attorney-- is the forward-thinking candidate in this race, who has what it will take to realize the future of WNY and the Democratic Party. Mike’s opponent, former Erie County Legislator Chuck Swanick, could not be more of a contrast. Chuck Swanick emerged early on in this race as the choice of the Conservative Party, and an opponent of LGBTQ equality. Mr. Swanick has been endorsed by the National Organization for Marriage (NOM), an anti-equality hate group, famously designated as such by the Southern Poverty Law Center-- and he has since received considerable campaign funding from NOM.
“Mike Amodeo stands for the progress of our community, and I am proud to support him in this election to become our party’s nominee for State Senate,” said Bryan Ball, president of SDWNY. “Mike Amodeo understands the needs of the LGBTQ community, and will support the Marriage Equality Act and become a needed voice in the fight for the passage of the Gender Expression Non-Discrimination Act (GENDA) in Albany. I am proud our Erie County Democratic Party has endorsed his candidacy, and opposes the hate of Chuck Swanick. Mr. Swanick and his supporters attempt to claim his position on Marriage Equality is irrelevant because Marriage Equality is now law. This could not be more wrong. While in his arrogance Mr. Swanick may try and cast the issue of marriage as resolved, the reality-- as I have told him to his face-- the LGBTQ community faces is that the struggle for our families to achieve full equality and civil protections under the law is far from over. Even with our victory here in NY, any same-gender marriage granted by our state remains invalid in the eyes of the federal government, and denies our families the vitally needed rights and protections of full legal and tax equality, Social Security and immigration. And in our state senate where a Republican senator recently began carrying a bill to repeal the Marriage Equality Act--a senator funded by the hate group NOM should have no place, and should never be supported by any part of our great Democratic Party. I am proud that our party is standing against the hateful values of Chuck Swanick, and for the of the people values of Mike Amodeo.”
SDWNY strongly encourages Stonewall Democrats and all pro-equality allies to do all we can to ensure Mike Amodeo is our party’s nominee for the general election. In every election, the candidate put forth by our great party should support the equal rights of all people he or she seeks to represent-- and in no other year or office is this more important than for the State Senate in 2012; especially when the incumbent Republican Sen. Mark Grisanti has set such a high standard for ensuring all women and men be treated equally under the law, with his vote in favor of Marriage Equality.
At our endorsement meeting, many Stonewall members stressed the importance of being involved in this Democratic Primary. In no way, should any attempt be made by our community to allow anti-LGBT candidates support in Democratic primaries. The importance of considering all LGBTQ issues was also stressed-- considering a candidate's support of Marriage Equality equally as important as a candidate's support of transgender civil rights.
I encourage all Stonewall Democrats to be involved in this primary, and stand for GENDA, for Marriage and for the values of the Democratic Party to elect Mike Amodeo.