21 May Lembo Addresses Gay & Lesbian Victory Fund:
“The decisions we make in government must match our values, and the people we elect must represent the diversity of our communities.”
WASHINGTON D.C. – Kevin Lembo, the State Comptroller of Connecticut, and the first openly-gay official elected statewide in Connecticut, addressed the Gay & Lesbian Victory Fund National Champagne Brunch in Washington D.C this afternoon.
Lembo told the stories of his early activism during the height of the AIDS pandemic and when a judge denied him the right to adopt his children:
When I saw people around me dying of AIDS, I became an activist who used every tool I could to try and save their lives. Our government was treating gay men as disposable – and we were doing everything possible to get someone – anyone – to listen and take action.
When a judge told my partner, Charles, and I that we were unsuitable to adopt our kids because we were gay and unmarried, we fought back. We appealed all the way to the appellate division of the New York State Supreme Court. In 1994, we won the right to adopt our kids. Because of that case, more single people and gay couples across the state were able to grow their own families through adoption.
[…] For me, those fights for our basic rights – fights that are deeply personal – serve as a daily reminder that our politics and our policies come with a deeply human cost. They can knock people down – or lift them up.
Lembo was elected Connecticut State Comptroller in 2010. He won re-election in 2014, receiving more than half a million votes.
When I first ran for Comptroller seven years ago, it was because I was tired of banging my head against the wall trying to make change from the outside. I believe the decisions we make in government must match our values, and the people we elect must represent the diversity of our communities. […] People are demanding that their government actually see them, listen, come to understand their struggles and dreams, and act to help make those dreams a reality.
The Victory Fund was founded in 1991. It supports openly gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender candidates and officials across the United States.