Part I of this series presented Attorney General Candidate Aisha Braveboy’s response to the controversy over Planned Parenthood of Metro Washington (PPMW) Action Fund puzzling 100% rating. The questionnaire asked a question about support for marriage equality legislation–opposed by Del. Braveboy in the General Assembly.
While the Part III analyzes the problematic response by Del. Braveboy and PPMW, this part publishes PPMW’s statement on the matter:
PPMWAF Public Statement on Delegate Aisha Braveboy’s Candidate Questionnaire
Washington, D.C. – The Planned Parenthood of Metropolitan Washington, DC Action Fund (PPMWAF) would like to take the opportunity to address the discussion around Delegate Aisha Braveboy’s questionnaire and 100% score, which was posted on www.ppmwaf.com. We received Del. Aisha Braveboy’s questionnaire, noted that it included a “Yes” response for all questions asked, and accordingly, scored the questionnaire at 100%. After the score was posted, PPMWAF was made aware that there appeared to be some inconsistency between Del. Braveboy’s “Yes” answer for Question 8b, and her previous votes and statements regarding same-sex marriage in Maryland. Specifically, Del. Braveboy cast some older votes in 2008-2009 against LGBT domestic partner rights, trans* rights and marriage equality, sponsored and voted for an amendment in 2011 prohibiting same-sex marriage legislation (SB 116) from taking effect unless a constitutional amendment prohibiting same-sex marriage failed at the ballot box in the 2012 general election, and voted against the 2012 same-sex marriage legislation (HB 438) that ultimately became law after it triumphed at the ballot box as Question 6.
Our questionnaire’s Question 8b asked, “Did you vote or would you have voted yes on Question 6, the Civil Marriage Protection Act, which legalized same-sex marriage in Maryland in 2012?” The question confined its analysis to Question 6, and intended to get at a candidate’s support for same-sex marriage. PPMWAF asked Del. Braveboy to add some context and explanation to her Yes answer, and here is the explanation she provided:
[see Del. Braveboy’s response in previous post]
Braveboy also answered “Yes” to Question 8c, in support of trans* rights, and she voted for the relevant legislation, SB 212, this year, as well as for HB 235 in 2011.
Del. Braveboy’s opponent, Brian Frosh, also got a 100% score, marking “Yes” for Questions 8b and 8c. Further, he has demonstrated a firm commitment to LGBT rights, including support for domestic partner hospital visitation rights in 2008. In 2011, he voted for marriage equality legislation (SB 116) and again in 2012 for the legislation that ultimately became law (HB 438). He also cast two supportive votes in 2011 for gender identity discrimination legislation (HB 235), and cosponsored SB 212 this year and helped lead the charge to pass the bill. Frosh has been endorsed by Equality Maryland this year, who lauded his commitment to LGBT issues and noted that “he worked with Senate leaders and advocates to shepherd the bill through the Senate,” and that “his leadership was instrumental in achieving the 8-3 vote for the bill in the Judicial Proceedings Committee which he chairs.”
PPMWAF has a deep commitment to civil rights and reproductive justice, and included in that is our commitment to LGBT rights, including same-sex marriage and trans* equality and non-discrimination. That is precisely why we chose to include this question in our questionnaire, because we believe that all of our patients, including those who identify as LGBT or Queer, must be free from discrimination and have equal rights in order to be able to best make their reproductive health decisions. PPMWAF opposes any vote that leaves an integral civil rights decision in the hands of voters. PPMWAF also welcomes a legislator’s evolution in views, and applauds when, after previously expressing ambivalence or opposition on an important issue, a legislator comes to share our values. However, we at PPMWAF hold in highest esteem when a legislator has long-held and steadfast progressive beliefs and values, and demonstrates them in action by leading the charge on progressive legislation.
Here is a PDF copy of the press statement: 5-15 MD Braveboy questionnaire press statement