LGBT Election Issues; by Ed Reggi

In 2004, the State of Missouri, as well as many other states, amended their Constitutions to codify marriage as only valid between a man and a woman. Those antigay ballot measures, just like those of today, are strategically in place to influence election outcomes. Recently, President Obama made history when he announced his support for same sex couples to have the freedom to marry. A political risk or a strategic move? Traditional and social media went into an election frenzy: “Whose vote will he lose or gain? What about this community and that community?” To date, six federal courts have ruled that discrimination in marriage violates the U.S. Constitution – moving us closer to consideration by the Supreme Court. The court of public opinion has been influenced by these events. Today, polling shows that more Americans than ever before have a close gay or lesbian friend or family member. CNN is reporting that 54 percent of Americans support marriage equality, including a large number of independents and people of color. The conversation about marriage equality has both a personal side and a political side. The question remains, in 2012, “How do they intertwine?”

Ed Reggi (digital producer / actor / activist) was born in the Big Apple and spent his youth sneaking into the NBC Studios in his Brooklyn neighborhood. Reggi earned his BFA at Fontbonne University in 1994. In 2008, upon hearing of the passing of Proposition 8, Ed began using his background in theatre to organize the first “Show Me No Hate” rally on the steps of the Historic Old Court House. Since that day, he has been organizing protests and rallies in the Show Me State. Today, Ed works as the Digital Strategist and Managing Producer for the Nine Network of Public Media, the local PBS affiliate in St. Louis. When Ed is not counter-protesting Fred Phelps, he is a fierce advocate and public speaker for Marriage Equality.