Peters Energizes LGBT Donors

By |2013-09-19T09:00:00-04:00September 19th, 2013|Michigan, News|

Dale Morgan, left, and Norm Silk, right, opened their home Sept. 15 for a fundraiser to benefit Gary Peters campaign for the U.S. Senate. Morgan and Silk, owners of Blossoms Flowers in Birmingham, had completely renovated this famous Dorothy H. Turkel House 1955 designed by renowned architect Frank Lloyd Wright. Peters, center, spoke about his commitment to LGBT rights and the tough race he expects to fill the Senate seat being vacated by Michigans longtime Democratic U.S. Sen. Carl Levin. BTL photo: Andrew Potter

DETROIT – Over 100 LGBT donors and their allies gathered to pledge their support for Gary Peters’ U.S. Senate campaign. The Sept. 15 event was held at the home of Norm Silk and Dale Morgan, and is the only known house in the city limits of Detroit designed by America’s most famous architect, Frank Lloyd Wright.
Peters is running in 2014 for the open U.S. Senate seat created by the retirement of U.S. Sen. Carl Levin, who has had the seat for the past 36 years. Peters described Levin as a mentor and a model for a principled, dedicated and thoughtful public servant.
“He will be missed, but the best way to honor his 36 year legacy is to keep this seat Democratic,” said Peters who currently represents the 14th congressional district in the U.S. House of Representatives.
Peters expects his Republican opponent will be Terry Lynn Land, Michigan’s current Secretary of State. Most analysts expect this race for one of the few open U.S. Senate seats to be heavily contested and extremely expensive, with large amounts of national money pouring into both sides.
Peters explained that the political fight will be intense for control of the U.S. Senate. Republicans control the U.S. House of Representatives, but the Democrats now have a six seat majority in the U.S. Senate.
“I don’t work in a particularly pleasant place right now,” said Peters of the U.S. House of Representatives. “It is fairly dysfunctional. We have these Tea Party folks who are just the tail of the Republican Party – but a fairly fat tail. They stymie all efforts for progress and are driven by ideology. For example, we voted last week for the 41st time – the 41st time! – to repeal Obamacare.
“Fortunately the Senate has a Democratic majority, so they don’t have to take up all these extreme Tea Party measures coming out of the House. But the Senate majority is only 6 seats, so this race of mine will be highly contested. The Koch Brothers and other major Republican funders are pouring millions of dollars into this race, so it will be a challenge – a huge challenge,” said Peters.
Peters talked about his support for issues such as environmental justice, women’s rights, and he discussed the folly of the Republican controlled gerrymandering that has created polarized and sometimes bizarrely shaped congressional districts in Michigan. He reminded the attentive crowd that he has been a reliable supporter of LGBT rights for many years, including marriage rights, and was the first ever Michigan congressperson to join the House LGBT Caucus.
Peters co-sponsored legislation to repeal the Defense of Marriage Act and was a leader in the effort that successfully repealed the military’s discriminatory Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell policy in 2010.
Peters got a loud cheer from the crowd when he said he is preparing legislation to reinstate the military records of those who were dismissed from the military under DADT. “It is important to me that anything other than an honorable discharge be removed from their military record,” said Peters.

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