Stonewall Dems endorse Seren; say Danforth is misrepresenting her stance on LGBTQIA+ rights
During [Cleveland Heights mayoral candidate] Barbara Danforth’s interview, seeking the endorsement of the Cleveland Stonewall Democrats (CSD), she stated that she needed to confirm whether advocating for LGBTQIA+ rights would be popular with other constituent demographics in the community before being willing to take a stance as an advocate.
Her answers in CSD’s candidate questionnaire, and the answers she gave in her interview with us, came from a place of not just ignorance, but animosity and shallow respect toward the LGBTQIA+ residents of Cleveland Heights.
Danforth’s interview was so difficult that many of our volunteers wanted to stop it midway through, as she just wasn’t remotely open to education on LGBTQIA+ issues. She also argued with interviewers about the rights of trans and gender non-conforming people needing access to safe restrooms.
A statement is actively being supplied to Cleveland Heights community members, from Ms. Danforth’s mayoral campaign, that she claims to have supplied to the CSD as part of her interview process while [she was] under consideration for endorsement. This statement is nothing CSD members have ever seen, and is vastly different in content and tone from her questionnaire, interview, and post-interview addendum that attempted to walk back her remarks.
The CSD has never spoken publicly about candidate statements in our interviews, education sessions, or questionnaires before, but in this rare and unique instance, candidate Danforth is misrepresenting our organization and lying about her statements to us, so we are making an exception. By falsifying a statement after being rejected for endorsement, it shows just how little Ms. Danforth respects the LGBTQIA+ community.
The Cleveland Stonewall Democrats is an independent community volunteer LGBTQIA+ civil rights advocacy group serving Northeast Ohio for over 20 years. We strongly and passionately urge that Cleveland Heights residents vote for candidate Kahlil Seren. He is an ally with a long history of proactive vocal LGBTQIA+ support, which is why CSD has endorsed him for Cleveland Heights mayor, overwhelmingly.
If you care about civil liberties, there is no comparison between these two candidates. It is our hope that Cleveland Heights will continue to be a city full of diversity, and get a leader in the mayor's office who will work for equity and equality of all.
Dara Adkison, president of the board of Cleveland Stonewall Democrats, submitted this on behalf of the board.