Noted community members endorse different candidates
Billie Jean King endorses Clinton while Eric Stern David Mixner support Edwards
Varying opinions: Billie Jean King says she’s down with Clinton while Mixner (left) and Stern say they’re backing Edwards.
WASHINGTON, D.C. — “What I learned when I first met Hillary, and what I know now, is that she is qualified to lead this country,” former tennis champion and lesbian icon Billie Jean King announced to the press the last week of March. “As a young woman, mother, advocate, First Lady and Senator she has continually shown us she is passionate about improving family issues, healthcare, equal pay and the challenges that people all across this nation face on a daily basis.
“Hillary and I both believe strongly in equal rights and opportunities for all people. She is a winner and I am standing beside her because she has the vision, the drive and the knowledge to lead this country.”
Named one of the “100 Most Important Americans of the 20th Century” by Life Magazine, King gained worldwide acclaim when she defeated Bobby Riggs in the famous Battle of the Sexes tennis match in 1973. Over the course of her hall of fame career, King won 39 Grand Slam titles and helped start the first professional tour for women’s tennis. She also founded the Women’s Tennis Association, the Women’s Sports Foundation and co-founded World TeamTennis.
A tireless advocate for equal rights and opportunities for all, King has received numerous honors for her efforts to fight AIDS, promote equality and recognition of gays and lesbians and for her work on a number of gender equity issues and causes.
King is well-respected and her endorsement is expected to impact the voting decisions of many of the nation’s lesbians.
Equally well-respected are gay Democratic party activists Eric Stern and David Mixner — who’ve thrown there support behind former North Carolina Sen. John Edwards.
Stern has served as both the executive director of the Stonewall Democrats and former director of LGBT outreach for the Democratic National Committee. “I initially was inspired to enter the field of activism and politics because of my desire to advocate for disdvantaged communities,” Stern wrote on the Edwards website. “John Edwards is the only presidential candidate who has a demonstrated committment to the social justice issues about which I care so deeply.”
Long time political strategist, advocate, and activist Mixner has played important roles in over 75 campaigns, including Bill Clinton’s first presidential campaign. Mixner is a former national co-chair of the Victory Fund. Both men say they’ll take an active role in the Edwards campaign.