Actress Jane Lynch, sports icon Billie Jean King, and other high-profile lesbians are joining to support and endorse LPAC, a super PAC focused on lesbian and women’s rights co-founded by Chicago Cubs co-owner Laura Ricketts and other lesbian politicos.
“This year we have seen politicians repeatedly support policies that harm women,” said Lynch, best-known for her role on the hit TV series Glee. “It is important to me to elect leaders who care about issues that impact women and their families. That’s why I support LPAC.”
LPAC says they are bipartisan and a “values-based committee” wanting to “positively influence policies that impact women by electing candidates who champion issues that impact lesbians and their families.” But their focus is not solely on lesbians — or on women. “LPAC will support candidates who champion a range of issues that impact lesbians and their families, Democrat or Republican, male or female, gay or straight,” the group states.
“I support LPAC because courageous elected officials who support women’s rights, fairness, and equality for all of us deserve our unconditional support,” said Laura Ricketts, LPAC advisory board member and director and part owner of the Chicago Cubs. Ricketts is the daughter of uber-conservative founder of TD Ameritrade, J. Joseph Ricketts, who recently made headlines for being involved in a PAC that entertained enacting a report titled, ”The Defeat of Barack Hussein Obama: the Ricketts Plan to End His Spending for Good.”
LPAC initially hopes to raise $1 million, but feels any amount raised and invested in important races is a win. Additionally LPAC says they will be:
- Ending discriminatory treatment of lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) individuals and their families;
- Supporting sexual and reproductive freedom and women’s access to quality healthcare; and,
- Furthering social, racial, and economic justice for all Americans.
“LPAC stands apart because it is the first political action committee directly focused on issues that impact lesbians and their families,” the LPAC website states. “LPAC is not working, however, outside of the political efforts being moved by women’s and LGBT political organizations. We are in continuous contact with these groups in order to be most strategic and effective with our resources.”
The LPAC advisory board includes such notables as Margaret Traub of home furnishings manufacturer Adesso, and Urvashi Vaid, former executive director of the National Gay and Lesbian Task Force and Director of the Engaging Tradition Project at the Center for Gender and Sexuality Law at Columbia Law School.
The Huffington Post adds:
While there are already women’s and LGBT groups — such as EMILY’s List and the Gay and Lesbian Victory Fund — LPAC bills itself as the first super PAC to specifically target lesbians, who are generally a small subset of these two communities.
“Women’s voices get lost a lot and get overshadowed in almost all settings,” said Sarah Schmidt, LPAC’s spokeswoman, in an interview with The Huffington Post. “So I think there’s a real opportunity here to engage women who haven’t been engaged before — for lesbians, in particular, to speak for ourselves about the issues that are important to us and to define those issues in our own words. It’s a chance to really have a seat at the table when these critical issues are being discussed and the policy is being developed. We want to be there. We want to be in the middle of the conversation.”
Schmidt said the super PAC hasn’t determined which candidates it will endorse. Some, she said, seem like obvious choices, including Rep. Tammy Baldwin (D-Wis.), the only lesbian in the House who would become the first openly gay person in the Senate if elected.
When asked if she believed any Republicans would be included in this group, Schmidt said she was doubtful.
“Part of the reason why we’re mobilizing right now is because of what’s been going on in the political conversation and what we’ve been hearing coming from the Republican Party around these issues that’s been so disheartening,” Schmidt said. “We would really hope that we can find some Republican candidates to support. I’m not sure that’s going to happen this cycle.
LPAC is on Facebook.
We invite you to sign up for our new mailing list, and subscribe to The New Civil Rights Movement via email or RSS.