In a message posted to Facebook Saturday evening, the Indiana Young Democrats issued a statement of support for the Stonewall Democrats abstention from voting on Rep Brad Ellsworth's nomination to replace retiring Senator Evan Bayh on the fall ballot. While the group voted in favor of Ellsworth, they are obviously concerned about his record of opposing LGBT rights. (emphasis mine)
...[I] want to draw your attention to the actions of the Indiana Stonewall Democrats. ISD chose to abstain from voting on Brad Ellsworth to protest the Indiana Democratic Party's disinterest in advancing the cause of equal civil rights for the GLBT community, specifically noting Congressman Ellsworth's reluctance to speak publicly against Don't Ask, Don't Tell, his vote against the Hate Crimes bill and against a transgender-inclusive version of the Employee Non-Discrimination Act.
ISD's abstention was nothing short of courageous and I commend them for making a stand. We must hold President Obama and others in our party accountable for their promises to extend civil rights to all people, regardless of sexual orientation. I encourage you to send some supporting words to ISD. You can read ISD's full press release on the abstention here.
In a personal addendum to the message, IN Young Dems President Nick Carson went even further:
This is an email sent out by the Indiana Young Democrats. I am extremely grateful to the IYDs for sending out this letter of solidarity. It is only by standing together with others with a mind for justice and equality that can we move our party to more perfectly embrace our own platform. Until we do, we'll never have earned the right to be called the Peoples Party.
I said in February that nominating Ellsworth would cost Democrats progressive support. With the Indiana Young Democrats chapter basically admitting that they only voted for him for the sake of party unity, will Ellsworth realize that moderating his conservative stances is only hope of salvaging the election?
Ellsworth is already down fifteen points in the latest poll. His opponent, former Senator Dan Coats, has so many huge negatives (former lobbyist for evil industries, publicly said he didn't want to live in Indiana any longer, refused to file financial disclosures on time, no support among younger Republicans) that Osama bin Laden could run on a "Death to America!" platform and garner more support. Right now Ellsworth's campaign theme seems to be, "Hey, at least I'm not Dan Coats!"
Ellsworth obviously has a problem with his base. Right in the middle of Indiana's biggest popularity contest, he's pulled a Carrie "I believe in opposite marriage!" Prejean move and, just like her, it's going to cost him his crown.
(Crossposted from my home blog, Bilerico Project. Come visit me there to see why both the Washington Post and the Advocate named us one of the top 10 LGBT political blogs in the nation.)