LPAC….no, that isn’t short hand for llama pack or some weird subset of L-Space. Rather, LPAC is the new super PAC being formed by Billie Jean King, Jane Lynch and others to support candidates- male or female, gay or straight, Democrat or Republican- who support pro-lesbian causes. Those whom the PAC support must back ending discrimination of LGBT Americans as well as increase reproductive rights and access to quality healthcare. They must also be dedicated to social, racial and economic justice.
According to the Huffington Post “Group members said they have pledges of $200,000 and hope to raise at least $1 million for the 2012 elections. High-profile supporters include King, Lynch, Chicago Cubs co-owner Laura Ricketts and LGBT leader Urvashi Vaid.”
King stated that “Members of the LGBT community are inspirational leaders and role models in every aspect of American life — from education to entertainment, from sports to science. The formation of LPAC provides lesbians and the entire LGBT community a new, stronger voice and a real and respected seat at the table when politicians make policy that impacts our lives.”
Sarah Schmidt, LPAC’s spokeswoman, stated “Women’s voices get lost a lot and get overshadowed in almost all settings. 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.”
There are numerous LGBT rights groups out there as well as many Women’s Rights groups, but very few which target specifically women, such as the National Center for Lesbian Rights.
So far, the PAC has not announced any endorsements, but some are going to be rather obvious like Tammy Baldwin in Wisconsin. Baldwin is trying to become the first openly lesbian or gay person in the Senate. She is the first and only openly lesbian in the House.
Schmidt is doubtful that there will be many or any Republicans endorsed, at least for now. She stated “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. 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 also hopes to build a network of women who will still be involved after the election. Schmidt stated that “We hope that that engagement with one another really helps us to have a more powerful voice in the conversation around these issues as we move forward. I think that makes this PAC a little bit different than many.”