Blog

Our Club took its name from the Stonewall Inn where nearly half century ago, long hassled members of the LGBT community resisted the continual harassment by the New York City Police. Dedicating the Inn as a National Monument is a symbolic reminder of how far we have come as a community in that length of time, to a point where our National Government finally recognizes our worth as human beings. But we also are reminded that in not every corner of our Nation, and certainly in many parts of the world, we are still being denigrated and murdered. We thank our President and the National Park Service for the dedication, but we pledge that as a Club, we at Barbara Gittings Delaware Stonewall will continue the fight to attain full rights for all oppressed persons.

 

Dear Editor:

One day after providing a front page photo op by attending a vigil in the CAMP Rehoboth Courtyard in solidarity with the Orlando LGBT Community, Republican State Senator Ernesto Lopez, who represents the Lewes/Rehoboth Beach area, refused to support a proposed State Constitutional Amendment which would have added an equal protection clause to the Delaware Constitution which barred discrimination to a number of protected classes, including the LGBT community.

Senator Lopez’s decision to side with all but one Republican meant that the Amendment was one vote short of the two/thirds needed for passage so sponsor Senator Karen Peterson withdrew the Amendment. Lopez argued that since current law provides protection a Constitutional Amendment was unnecessary. However, current law could be overturned by a simple majority of votes by the Legislature, while a change to the Constitution would involve a much more difficult effort to undo.

Lopez criticized the vote as being too soon after the tragedy at Orlando, asking for a cooling down period to reflect. The tragedy in Orlando proves that the time for reflection has long passed and the time for action is now. Orlando proved once again that the LGBT community is a target for hate and that we need equal protection laws now.

Although he ran twice as a friend to the LGBT community, Lopez also voted against Marriage Equality and Gender Equality when those bills were considered by the Legislature.   Is he a true friend?

Lopez’s vote with the majority of Republicans shows why it is so important for groups such as the Barbara Gittings Delaware Stonewall Democrats to exist. With your support we will continue to fight for you, without you our efforts become less effective.

Peter Schott,

Acting President, Barbara Gittings Stonewall Democrats
and its Board

While the Barbara Gittings Delaware Stonewall Democrats have applauded the actions of Delaware Insurance Commissioner Karen Weldin Stewart in issuing a Bulletin to health insurance companies stating that those insurers are expected to cover medical expenses for insured individuals seeking treatment for gender transition services, BGDSD is concerned that this action is inadequate

Governor Markell signed into law Gender Identity protections on June 19, 2013. A Statute creates standards and rules. An administrative agency is empowered with advertising and adopting Regulations which set out a process of monitoring and enforcing a statute. Regulations have the force of law. Instead of promulgating a regulation, Commissioner Karen Weldon Stewart issued a Bulletin. A Bulletin is merely a statement of what the administrative agency believes the law requires. It is not enforceable. It does not create a method for insurers to report compliance with the law. In reality it will not help Delaware policy holders seeking medical treatment.

A possibly even greater concern is the Department of Insurance regulates only health insurance policies issued in Delaware. The DOI does not regulate individuals whose employers are self-insured. As an example, the State of Delaware is self-insured. Even a well-meaning Bulletin does not govern, and the DOI cannot require, that the State of Delaware provide coverage for its employees (including teachers and law enforcement officers who are covered by the State Plan). The only vehicle for providing such coverage for state employees is adding that coverage to the state plan. Such an addition must be made by the State Benefits Committee. Commissioner Stewart is a voting member of that committee.

The BGDSD asks Commissioner Stewart why she has not proposed that state employees be covered if she truly believes that transgender Delawareans should have insurance that pays for transition-related medical care?

Stonewall is pleased to announce that we will be honoring John Brady at our June 25 summer fundraiser. John is the only openly gay elected official in Sussex County, the most conservative of all of Delaware’s counties. As the current Clerk of the Peace he is responsible for conducted same sex marriages and has always been in the forefront on that issue. The previous Clerk vehemently opposed and threatened not to conduct those marriages, even after the law was passed. Please help Stonewall continue the fight towards equality by supporting our efforts.

Purchase tickets or become an event sponsor!

Delegates to the National Democratic Convention

Working with the National Democratic Committee, the Delaware Democratic Committee and with the Clinton and Sanders campaign, BGDS was successful in selecting four individuals from the LGBT community as delegates to the National Democratic Convention. This is the largest group we have ever sent and exceeded the minimal goal we had set. The following individuals were elected:

Courtney McGregor

Mitch Crane

Erik Raser-Schramm

Lisa Goodman (a super delegate)

Update on Summer Fundraiser

Our 13th annual summer fundraiser, at Mariachi’s Restaurant in Rehoboth Beach is scheduled for June 25 beginning at 2pm. Most of the State’s elected officials and candidates will be present. The money we raise from this event is used to elect LGBT-supportive candidates, so please sign up to buy a ticket or become a sponsor. Sponsorship benefits are listed on our website.

We are pleased to announce that one of our honorees this year is Anthony “Roddy” Flynn, a Delawarean who is Executive Director of the very important LGBT Equality Caucus of the US Congress. Roddy is sure to update us on some of the National issues which his Caucus is pushing.

Since its inception on February 1, 2003, with passage of its by-laws and election of a Board, Barbara Gittings Delaware Stonewall Democrats has been committed to its goals of electing equality-friendly legislators, working with the Democratic Party to assure that members of the LGBT community are included at all levels, and seeking passage of legislative measures which would enhance the rights of our community.

We quickly were recognized as a political force in Delaware as the Party Chair gave us a seat at the table at the Party’s Executive Committee, and elected officials sought our support.

Our summer fund-raisers, beginning with the first one where we were able to get Congressman Barney Frank to attend, have been must-attend events in which every elected Delaware Democratic State and National office holder has attended. About 90% of the money raised at this event goes to electing those committed to our mission. Over the years we were able to play a significant role in turning a reticent Legislature into one which voted for hospital visitation rights, non-discrimination, civil unions and finally marriage equality, as well as granting us gender identity rights.

But, our work is not done. We have work to do on anti-bullying and we need to make sure none of the rights we fought for are taken away as we know there are some who are still fighting us.

This work cannot be done without your help, so I am urging you to support our 13th annual summer event to be held at Mariachi’s Restaurant at 14 Wilmington Avenue in Rehoboth Beach, on June 25, beginning at 2 PM. As this is an election year, we are expecting most of the candidates to be present, and as time goes by we will let you know who we will be honoring.

Please become a sponsor or just buy a ticket.

To become an event sponsor visit http://delawarestonewall.org/event-sponsorship/

To just buy tickets visit http://delawarestonewall.org/events/purchase-tickets/

Peter Schott
Acting President

The Delaware Insurance office has issued a bulletin instructing health insurance companies operating in Delaware that they must cover transgender surgical procedures. Delaware is the 15th State to do this. Barbara Gittings Delaware Stonewall Democrats applauds this decision and will fight efforts by members of the State legislature to overturn this directive.

For full details, please read the following: http://www.delawareonline.com/story/news/health/2016/03/23/state-end-transgender-health-insurance-discrimination/82076266/

Ever since its inception in 2003, Barbara Gittings Delaware Stonewall Democrats has been in the forefront of endorsing pro-equality Democrats. It is because of our efforts that we were able to move forward with legislation which gave us non-discrimination, marriage equality and transgender rights.

Keeping that goal in mind we are proud to announce our first endorsement of the 2016 election cycle, Joe Daigle, candidate for State Representative in the 7th District (Lancashire, Graylyn Crest North, the Ardens, Windybush, Claymont, and Gwinhurst)

Read More

Peter Schott, Acting President

I am very honored to have been appointed as Acting President of Barbara Gittings  Delaware Stonewall Democrats, as our current President, Joe Daigle, steps down to pursue a seat in the Delaware House of Representatives for the 7th District.

As a founder of the organization, I can say I am very proud of how far we have come in thirteen years, but I am concerned about the future of the organization, and so I approach this task with some trepidation.  We cannot rest on our laurels and must continue to move forward to assure that the rights of the LGBT community not be diminished or compromised.

Read More

  • 1
  • 2

Delaware Stonewall PAC is a non-partisan political organization whose purpose is the promotion of the rights of LGBT Delawareans.

SUPPORT THE DELAWARE STONEWALL PAC