Prizm News / September 21, 2018 / By Bob Vitale
A voting party is planned in Columbus for Oct. 11, National Coming Out Day. Other events are in the works across Ohio to turn out LGBTQ voters.
By Bob Vitale
You’re about to be enlisted in a statewide effort to make sure LGBTQ people and those who care about equality know what’s at stake in the Nov. 6 elections.
And you can help make sure they register to vote by Oct. 9 and then cast their ballots by Election Day.
LGBTQ organizations throughout Ohio plan to use social media, celebrities and celebrations this fall to hype up participation in elections for a new governor and attorney general, a U.S. senator, 16 U.S. House members, 17 state senators, 99 state representatives, and scores of judges, county commissioners and other government officers.
The celebrities and celebration come on Thursday, Oct. 11—National Coming Out Day—when an outdoor party is planned in the parking lot outside the Franklin County early voting center. Its goal is to draw equality-minded voters to the polls on the second day of early voting in Ohio.
“The Come Out to Vote Coalition was formed by a group of LGBTQ+ community leaders and organizations and is solely focused on getting the LGBTQ+ community and equality minded voters across the state to realize the importance of getting out to vote—and that their voices, and votes, do indeed matter,” said Michael Smithson, co-chair of the Human Rights Campaign’s Columbus steering committee and chair of the Come Out to Vote group.
“The LGBTQ+ community are fighting for their rights every day,” he said. “So, now more than ever, we want the community to realize that we have so much at stake and our voices and votes will truly make a difference in the midterm elections. We are focused on getting people out to early vote on Oct. 11, National Coming Out Day, and are excited to host a party at the Board of Elections that day to celebrate those who ‘come out’ to vote.”
More than a dozen groups, including HRC, Equality Ohio, Stonewall Columbus, PFLAG, BRAVO, Kaleidoscope Youth Center, Equitas Health and Prizm, are behind the effort. Get-out-the-vote events also are in the works in Cleveland, Cincinnati, Toledo, Akron and other Ohio cities.
The Columbus party, dubbed “Come Out to Vote!” is scheduled for 3 p.m.-6 p.m. outside the Franklin County Board of Elections center at 1700 Morse Road (43229). County residents who arrive before 5 p.m. will be able to go inside the center and cast their ballot; early, in-person voting runs from Oct. 10-Nov. 5.
Come Out to Vote will feature a performances by LGBTQ singer, songwriter and Cleveland native Anne E. DeChant, whose new album, “Lost in Kentucky” features a song about those who try to stir anti-LGBTQ sentiment for political gain.
“What Do You Care” features a verse that goes:
The boys in the Statehouse are stirring the pot
They make you believe I’m something I’m not
And boy don’t it hurt when they do
They lie about me for their personal gain
To take your mind off the minimum wage
And write off hard-working people like you
Other entertainment includes gay Christian singer-songwriter Trey Pearson, trans hip-hop singer-songwriter Jo’el Monroe, the Columbus Gay Men’s Chorus, performers from Evolution Theatre, drag performers and DJ Brad Henry.