Steve Pougnet has a chance to make history. Soon, he could be standing next to his husband and their children while he is sworn in as a United States Congressman.
Pougnet is currently the openly gay mayor of Palm Springs and the only thing between him and Congress is … Chaz Bono’s stepmom. Yes, Mary Bono Mack, who took over Sonny Bono’s Congressional seat in 1998 is Pougnet’s Republican opponent. Mary isn’t exactly a Tea Party Republican, but she has been a reliable conservative soldier in Congress. Since her district contains a significant LGBT population, she has moderate voting record on gay issues. The Human Rights Campaign gave her a score of 55 (out of 100) on LGBT issues in the last congressional session. Her gay record is in contrast to her husband Connie Mack, who is a Florida Congressman and one of the most reliably anti-gay voices in Congress.
Conventional wisdom, historical evidence and current mainstream media narrative all indicate that this is going to be a tough November for Democrats. The Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee (DCCC) is on the defensive in most districts, but the California 45th is one of a handful of districts that bode a serious Democratic threat to a Republican seat. It is going to be a difficult task to unseat a Republican incumbent, but Pougnet seems up to the task.
The possibility of having a gay married father in Congress is very exciting. Pougnet is a living embodiment of many of the things we are fighting for. He has no problem talking about the importance of marriage equality and as the father of young twins, he will be a fantastic high level responder the next time Mike Huckabee or anyone else demeans the ability of gay and lesbian people to be good parents.
In an election season that doesn’t have a lot of races to get excited about, this is an important opportunity to elect a good man to Congress. Help Steve Pougnet become the fourth openly gay member of the House of Representatives by visiting www.electpougnet.com.
Photo credit: Steve Pougnet