Entries from: David Cicilline

Out Congressman reelected in Rhode Island

cicilline221Rep. David Cicilline, D-R.I., has won a second term in the U.S. House representing Rhode Island’s 1st Congressional District.  He faced a tough challenge from GOP nominee Sean Doherty in his first reelection bid.

“We’re thrilled that David will return to Capitol Hill, where his voice will be vital in a growing caucus of openly LGBT lawmakers,” said Chuck Wolfe, president and CEO of the Victory Fund.

Cicilline is one of four openly gay and lesbian members of the House currently.

Cicilline wins Democratic primary, vies for second term

Cicilline winRep. David Cicilline, D-R.I., one of just four openly gay members of Congress, won his Democratic primary tonight against Anthony Gemma, an opponent he also defeated in 2010 when he was first elected to the House.  He will face Brendan Doherty this November, a Republican who opposes allowing gay couples to legally marry.

“We’re pleased that Rhode Island Democrats have once again chosen David Cicilline to represent them in Congress.  Now voters will face a clear choice this November between a persistent champion for LGBT equality, and an opponent who supports the Defense of Marriage Act, which makes life harder for so many American families,” said Chuck Wolfe, president and CEO of the Gay & Lesbian Victory Fund.

This is Cicilline’s first bid for reelection after a challenging freshman term in which he apologized to voters for painting a too-rosy picture of the financial condition of the city of Providence, where he served two terms as mayor.  New ads in the campaign feature former Congressman Patrick Kennedy vouching for Cicilline’s dedication to working families across the state.

Mark Takano kicks off race to double LGBT representation in Congress

Mark TakanoYesterday Mark Takano came out strong in his primary race and will face Republican John Tavaglione in November to represent California’s 41st Congressional District. Takano would become the first openly LGBT person of color elected to Congress.

“We’re proud of Mark’s win in last night’s primary,” said Chuck Wolfe, president and CEO of the Victory Fund. “His victory in November will help us achieve the largest Congressional LGBT Caucus in history and ensure LGBT Americans are heard on Capitol Hill.”

Takano’s primary is the first of eight LGBT candidates for Congress endorsed by the Victory Fund.

There are currently four openly LGBT members of Congress, including Tammy Baldwin (D-Wisc.), David Cicilline (D-R.I.), Barney Frank (D-Mass.) and Jared Polis (D-Colo.). Last fall, Frank announced he would not seek reelection and Baldwin launched a bid for a seat in the U.S. Senate.

In addition to Takano, the out non-incumbent candidates for the U.S. House endorsed by Victory are:

  • Sean Patrick Maloney (D-N.Y.), who would become New York’s first openly gay Member of Congress.
  • Mark Pocan (D-Wisc.), who is vying for the seat currently represented by Congresswomen Tammy Baldwin.
  • Kyrsten Sinema (D-Ariz.), who would become the first-ever openly bisexual member of Congress.
  • Richard Tisei (R-Mass.), who would become the only out Republican in Congress.

R.I. governor endorses Cicilline for Congress

David CicillineRep. David Cicilline, D-R.I., one of just four openly gay or lesbian members of Congress, has won the endorsement of Gov. Lincoln Chaffee, a former Republican who is now an Independent.  Cicilline is seeking reelection to a second term in the U.S. House of Representatives.

Chaffee’s office issued the following statement:

“Congressman Cicilline is hardworking and honest and has a proven track record of supporting the social policies and programs that I voted for as a U.S. Senator. Returning Congressman Cicilline to Washington will help to ensure that my former political party, which has abandoned fiscal responsibility and is focused too closely on social issues, does not solidify its power.”

Out members of Congress want benefits restored for discharged troops

tammyThe four openly gay and lesbian members of Congress are calling on the Pentagon to restore the benefits earned by military personnel who were discharged under the “Don’t ask, don’t tell” policy.  U.S. Reps. Barney Frank, D-Mass., Tammy Baldwin, D-Wis., Jared Polis, D-Colo., and David Cicilline, D-R.I., have signed onto a letter to top Pentagon officials from the office of Rep. Gwen Moore, D-Wis.

According to a release tonight from Baldwin’s office:

Congressman Frank said, “While we cannot completely undo the injustice that has been done to gay and lesbian service members, we can at least diminish the harm they suffered by preserving the benefits they earned.”

Congresswoman Baldwin said, “It’s time to right a grievous wrong and fully recognize the military service of gay and lesbian Americans discharged under “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell.”  One way of recognizing their service is to allow them the benefits they rightly earned.  We cannot undo the injustice these former servicemembers have already suffered, but we can begin to serve them as honorably as they served our country.”

Congressman Polis said, “All the men and women who wear the uniform of this country deserve not only our deepest respect, but also our unwavering support regardless of whether they are straight or gay.  Repealing DADT was an incredible victory for our nation and strengthens our armed forces, but the fight is not yet entirely over. As we fully implement the repeal of DADT, we must take action to ensure fair treatment for the many soldiers who, despite bravely serving our country, were discharged under this policy. They have earned it.”

Congressman Cicilline said, “While the discriminatory DADT policy has been repealed, there are still soldiers who may suffer from lack of benefits due to a former dishonorable discharge.  The brave men and women defending our country abroad put their lives on the line so that we at home do not have to. These courageous servicemen and women deserve the benefits they rightly earned.”

Photo:  Michelle Stocker/The Capital Times