What are politicians really about? People who want power to do good, or to the further their own personal gain? Sometimes it is hard to know, isn’t it?
If you are a politician it takes a strong ego because people attack you either for their personal gain or maybe because they don’t like your politics. Wouldn’t it be nice if we stuck to the real issues in political campaigns?
Recently Rep. Michelle Lujan Grisham, currently a U.S. congresswoman running for governor, has been criticized for firing someone because she (allegedly) suddenly found out that individual was a transgender woman. The facts would be helpful here. The trans woman who was allegedly fired did not work for the congresswoman. She was an intern for the Congressional Hispanic Caucus Institute. The congressman who allegedly told Michelle that the woman was transgender said he never told anyone about her gender identity.
We are all very sensitive right now to discrimination, sexual assault and sexual harassment, and it is about damn time. As a longtime lobbyist for the LGBT community in New Mexico, I have been deeply involved in every piece of legislation in the New Mexico Legislature related to LGBT issues for the last 25 years. I have known Michelle Lujan Grisham for 32 years. I know few politicians who are and have been as committed to LGBT rights – except my spouse – as Michelle. She was supportive long before it was politically safe or convenient to be so. In the 1990s we worked together to discreetly insert language into a nursing home bill to allow a person with a “close personal relationship,” i.e. significant other, to make decisions for their “friend.” The sponsor didn’t like it or want it, but Michelle, then director of the Agency on Aging, told him he had to leave it in.
It is convenient and opportunistic for political opponents to capitalize on an issues like this. But let’s stick to the facts and history of this politician’s character. I know for a fact that Michelle Lujan Grisham would never judge someone in her employment – or anywhere else – based on sexual orientation, gender identity or any other characteristic that is not related to job performance or work ethic.
I and members of the LGBT community have rarely had a stronger ally than Michelle Lujan Grisham.