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Looking Out: Equality Maryland - and Heather Mizeur - urge turnout for Brown

Equality Maryland is urging Marylanders to turn out to vote for Democrat Lt. Gov. Anthony Brown as the state's next governor, over Republican rival Larry Hogan. His former Democratic opponent, Heather Mizeur, is urging the same.
Equality Maryland is urging Marylanders to turn out to vote for Democrat Lt. Gov. Anthony Brown as the state's next governor, over Republican rival Larry Hogan. His former Democratic opponent, Heather Mizeur, is urging the same.(Photo by Karl Merton Ferron)

Election day in Maryland is this Tuesday, and the state's largest lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender advocacy group is urging LGBT voters not to be complacent.

"Our work for LGBT equality is not done and we must continue to elect candidates who will help Equality Maryland and the LGBT communities we work for achieve fairness and equality," the group said this week.

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Essentially, the message is that Maryland may have passed same-sex marriage and transgender protections in employment and public accommodations in recent years, but there are other ways in which the law treats LGBT citizens of Maryland differently than straight citizens, and candidates with an expressed belief in equality deserve the LGBT vote.

To that end, the organization's PAC has issued a full slate of endorsements, from the governor's race -- for Lt. Gov. Anthony Brown, a Democrat, over Republican contender Larry Hogan -- down through local delegate races.

All of the candidates endorsed are Democrats, in fact, and Equality Maryland's get-out-the-vote message might have a bit of added urgency this year for the fact that, although Democrats outnumber Republicans by more than 2-1 in Maryland, the Brown vs. Hogan race is unexpectedly close.

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If you're interested in Equality Maryland's endorsements, you can find the full list here.

But you may not be. The group ruffled more than a few feathers in the community with its endorsement of Brown in the Democratic primary over Del. Heather Mizeur, a progressive lesbian lawmaker from Montgomery County.

In recent weeks, there has apparently even been some grassroots support for a write-in campaign supporting Mizeur over Brown and Hogan.

In case you missed it earlier this week, though, Mizeur doesn't much like that plan.

In a letter published in The Baltimore Sun, Mizeur urged her supporters to vote for Brown as the better option, even if she sees both camps as having run negative campaigns that turned many voters off.

"My campaign was never about making a statement -- it was about making a difference," Mizeur wrote. "Writing my name on the ballot is a purely symbolic gesture. I will not be the next governor of Maryland. What is worse, such actions might prevent the best option we now have from winning this race."

For those voters who want to show their support for Mizeur anyway, she suggested they wear orange to the polls.

"Just please don't write in my name," she wrote. "There is too much at stake. Our time will come at some future election."
Elsewhere in the world of LGBT-related news:

- Hillary Clinton, at a Brown campaign rally at the University of Maryland, College Park, wasn't afraid to touch on Brown's support for same-sex marriage, according to the Washington Blade.

- The Washington Post had a strong story this week on the "precarious position" that transgender military members find themselves in these days, when "Don't Ask, Don't Tell" is a thing of the past but members with otherwise unblemished records can still be discharged for being transgender.

- Tim Cook, Apple's chief executive, publicly came out of the closet this week in an essay published by Bloomberg Businessweek. "While I have never denied my sexuality, I haven't publicly acknowledged it either, until now," he wrote. "So let me be clear: I'm proud to be gay, and I consider being gay among the greatest gifts God has given me." You can read the full essay here.

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