Elections are happening in 2017 in Virginia and New Jersey. In Virginia, voters head to the polls next Tuesday, and contentious primaries for Lieutenant Governor are dominating the headlines. In a three-way race on both sides, one of the three Democrats called for President Trump’s impeachment last week, and now, one of the three Republicans is gay-bashing to attack his opponent.
Someone needs to tell him it’s 2017, not 1959.
Bearing Drift reports State Senator Bryce Reeves sent out an attack mailer on one of his opponents, Republican frontrunner and State Senator Jill Vogel. In the mailer, he says “you can’t vote for Jill Vogel,” listing the following reason:
“Voted to approve the first openly gay judge in Virginia and only Republican to vote for special rights for gay and transgenders”
That’s right. Reeves is advocating to oppose a judge simply based on his sexual preference. And by “special rights,” he means Vogel voted to ensure the Commonwealth cannot discriminate against someone based on sexual orientation and gender identity.
Virginia is a center or now center-left in its voting patterns. Right now, Democrats hold all five statewide offices. Reeves has virtually eliminated himself from any chance of winning statewide, especially with growing younger populations in Northern Virginia.
But this is about more than that.
Reeves doesn’t represent the future of the Republican Party. Yes, Republicans will always stand for religious liberty and protect religious people with moral standards. However, Republicans are not the party of discrimination, and if Republicans want a future in Virginia and nationwide, they will denounce statements like Reeves’. The good news that many Republicans are pulling their endorsement of Reeves.
What would Reeves say to the thousands of gay Republicans out there? Would he tell them they can never dream of being on the Supreme Court? That they could never be qualified to serve on a local bench?
The truth is that Reeves is out of touch with the base of Republican Party. Remember, Donald Trump embracing the rainbow flag at his rallies and has consistently backed LGBT rights. It’s tough to understand who Reeves is winning with this message.
The only silver lining is that when Vogel wins the GOP nomination, her opponents will have no credibility attacking her on LGBT issues. She’s sticking to her guns, and it will pay dividends in Northern Virginia in November.