New York State Legislature:
Assembly District 149:
Assemblymember Sean Ryan
A long-time ally-member of SDWNY, Sean Ryan has already blazed a path all his own of tireless, unfaltering and constantly engaged advocacy for LGBTQ people. In Albany, Sean Ryan has been a leader on civil rights legislation. A co-sponsor of the Gender Expression Non-Discrimination Act, Sean Ryan has stood for the equal rights of all Western New Yorkers. He has been at the forefront of the fight for GENDA and transgender civil rights in NYS, and he and his staff have been tremendously involved with SDWNY and the greater LGBTQ advocacy community in advocating for the importance of gender identity and expression protections in his Assembly district and beyond.
In the world of government politics and advocacy, there are allies and there are friends. Sean Ryan is one of the best examples of a government leader who is an ally and a friend, an advocate who has been called to government based on real issues and the needs of the people. Sean Ryan has stood with not only the LGBTQ community in our civil rights movement for years; he has been a steadfast ally in similar progressive fights, there with us on the front lines. Stonewall Democrats are proud to stand with him, and work for his reelection to the state legislature.
State Senate District 63:
Senator Tim Kennedy
Two years ago, Tim Kennedy did what many believed impossible. A county legislator, he ran a pro-equality campaign in a Democratic primary against one of the most entrenched, anti-equality incumbent Senators in New York—and won. And when Tim Kennedy defeated his anti-equality Republican opponent, he went on to become the most vocal and pro-full LGBTQ equality Senator in WNY.
In his time in Albany, Tim Kennedy has made the LGBTQ and allied community of WNY proud, and delivered on each promise to support full equality—and beyond. Upon his election, Tim Kennedy quickly signed on to co-sponsor the Gender Expression Non-Discrimination Act, and has been a model advocate for gender identity and expression rights in NYS. His vote last year to help pass the Marriage Equality Act—and allow LGBTQ families in NYS the equal rights and protections of the state in a civil marriage—will go down in history as a courageous act, which helped New York be at the forefront of the national movement toward full marriage equality. With his leadership on LGBTQ equality issues, Sen. Kennedy will with his reelection go on to do even more good for social justice in our state.
State Senate District 60:
Mike Amodeo-- a young, progressive attorney-- is the progressive candidate in the race for the Democratic Primary in the district currently held by Republican Sen. Mark Grisanti. In this primary, the choice could not be clearer. Mike’s opponent, former Erie County Legislator 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. He understands the needs of the LGBTQ community, and will uphold the Marriage Equality Act, and become a needed voice in the fight for the passage of the Gender Expression Non-Discrimination Act. We are proud that our local Erie County Democratic Committee has endorsed his candidacy, and deeply disappointed the Senate Democratic Campaign Committee has compromised our party’s morals and supported Mr. Swanick. 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 the 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 a standard for ensuring all women and men be treated equally under the law, with his vote in favor of Marriage Equality. We encourage all Stonewall Democrats to be involved in this primary, and stand for GENDA, for Marriage and for the values of the Democratic Party and stand with Mike Amodeo.
*All candidates in races received endorsement questionnaires and follow up candidate inquiries. Visit www.sdwny.org to view endorsed and non-endorsed candidate questionnaires in their entirety. While responses by all candidates for endorsement are available online, the following candidates did not respond to repeated requests to be a part of our endorsement process: SD 60: Chuck Swanick; SD 63 Betty Jean Grant; AD 149: Joe Masica *