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Pro-Equality Candidate Running for US Senate in NC

NOTE FROM PAM: This is great news. For a good look at all of the announced candidates seeking to unseat Richard “Bank Run” Burr (North Carolina Secretary of State Elaine Marshall, former State Senator Cal Cunningham, Chapel Hill Mayor Kevin Foy, and attorney Kenneth Lewis, who is profiled by Jake below), see Senate Guru's post on the race. (In the “it's a small world department,” I was Kevin Foy's co-worker back in 1989-1990ish at the Forest History Society in Durham). We need to see where all of these candidates stand on LGBT issues; as we all know, now-U.S. Senator Kay Hagan dodged the LGBT media and our issues during her race.

Kenneth Lewis is the first candidate to declare on the democratic side of the 2010 senate race here in NC.

I've learned about his campaign largely from & so I wanted to share a clip from their story:

Can he win?

The Lewis for Senate campaign is about more than having a compelling personal story or a long history of community service. Kenneth has a realistic idea of the energy and time it takes to run a statewide campaign. He has experience raising money and proved he can raise money by pulling in $109,000 in 21 days. Instead of waiting to see who else might jump in, he stepped up to lead early and he committed to a strong, viable campaign by taking the step to hire Joe Trippi, a pioneer in internet fundraising and messaging.”

Kenneth also answered some of my lgbt equality questions about DADT, ENDA, and marriage equality.

Follow me below the fold to see his answers.

In answering user submitted questions I'm not sure that the full text of the questions were relayed.  They are certainly paraphrased in the response.

Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell?

I’m a firm believer that we should not discriminate against people. That’s part of my core belief structure. We have men and women of all sexual orientations serving in the military. The idea that we would remove an officer or anyone because of his or her sexual orientation is abhorrent to me.

Employee Non-Discrimination Act?

I have not read the Employee Non-Discrimination Act, but I will repeat that I do not believe we should discriminate against people because of their sexual orientation.

Civil Marriage?

I understand people and their religious beliefs and I respect that very much and I would not want to do anything that infringes upon someone exercising their religion, but with respect to government actions and as a society of people who have a variety of faiths and non-faiths, I do not believe we should discriminate.

My follow up on BlueNC was this:


It looks like we have a pro-equality candidate on our hands that I could be proud to support. If I read him correctly he is for repealing DADT, he would likely support ENDA once he reads it (& I fully hope & expect he will take the time to either read it, or at least familiarize himself with it since he is answering questions about it publicly), and he supports civil marriage equality.

On that last part about marriage equality I would have preferred him to be more specific. He said he doesn't support discrimination which is a hard answer to read because it is the answer everyone gives.

1) Anti-Marriage Equality people can say “I'm anti-discrimination” and what they mean is they are that because they say gay people should equally be allowed to enter into a heterosexual marriage as everyone else.

2) Civil Unions separate but equal people can say “I'm anti-discrimination” because they emphasize the word “equal” in separate but equal.

3) Marriage Equality supporters can say “I'm anti-discrimination” because they truly are, even if they do add in a stipulation that they wouldn't support any law requiring churches to perform marriages or ceremonies they disagree with.

My hope is he meant option 3, and reading into his other answers on being firmly anti-discrimination I feel like that is the best way to read that, but I can't be sure. I hope he will clarify at some point in the future.


He may not be fully informed on lgbt equality issues, but in the core of his answers it sounds like he “gets it”… it sounds like he understands that discrimination is unacceptable regardless of the minority being targeted, and I think that very underlying principle answers my questions in far more depth than the words that were written.  I'm glad he took the time to answer my questions there.   I usually have to corner democratic candidates at public event Q&A's to ask them lgbt equality questions.  It has certainly become a tradition of mine to not let any democrat run for US Senate in my state without answering such questions… as Kay Hagan can personally testify to.

Lastly I'll add a few links.  What good is a diary if it doesn't have a few actionable items?

Click here to donate.  As with all campaigns early donations count for the most when the campaign is trying to get off the ground.  And solid fund raising may be this guys initial claim to fame in democratic circles in NC, so maybe we can help out with that.

Click here to sign up for his e-mail contact list & stay informed about the campaign.

Click here if you are potentially interested in volunteering.

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