On Wednesday, DC for Democracy hosted a pre-endorsement candidate forum for D.C.’s mayoral candidates. Here’s the final question posed to the candidates: “Transgender people face some of the worst discrimination in the District, despite legal protections. As Mayor, the question to you is: Will you appoint the first transgender member of the human rights board?” Here’s how Vince Gray, Mayor Adrian Fenty, and Leo Alexander chose to answer that question:
Vince Gray: “Yes. I think the District has made enormous strides, I was very proud to vote in favor of marriage equality in December; it became law on March 3rd in the District of Columbia and I think we had about 100 couples who were married in the District of Columbia. So I think we have a strong track record for observing human rights and equality here in the District of Columbia and that would simply be another way of demonstrating our committment.”
Mayor Adrian Fenty: “Yes also. Let me just go back to the last question for one point . . . ” [Proceeds to spend the rest of his time talking about the attorney general instead of transgender rights].
Leo Alexander: “I don’t think he answered the question . . . OK, are we allowed to do rebuttal now since he was able to come back? . . . As far as their representation on the board, absolutely I support that. They should have been on the board, a member from that community, transgender community. Mr. Gray also mentioned his support on marriage equality here in Washington, D.C. and help moving that through council and getting the Mayor’s signature. I understand that as being one of their proud achievements. My only issue with that is that I would have preferred a vote in the community. I think it’s one thing to keep talking about being denied a vote on capitol hill but then we’re turning right around and denying people in Washington D.C. an opportunity to vote on something as serious as this issue.”
So, we had one candidate voice his support for a transgender appointee, and then spend the rest of his time talking about achieving gay rights in the District. Then, we had the current mayor voice his support for a transgender appointee, then spend the rest of his time talking about completely unrelated shit, even though he is Mayor right now and apparently has not appointed a transgender person to the commission yet. Then, we had another candidate voice his support for a transgender appointee, and then spend the rest of his time talking about how he thinks gay rights should be subject to a popular vote. Way to go team.