Maryland (USA) : A candidate in the running for the post of Maryland governor has staged what appears to be the first same-sex kiss by any candidate in a campaign ad – and aired it on one of President Donald Trump’s favourite stations.
“I’m running for governor to deliver progressive results and to stand up to Donald Trump,” Maryland state senator Rich Madaleno says in his new campaign ad.
The senator then lists off several things he’s done to “already infuriate” the president – including defending Planned Parenthood, helping ban assault weapons in Maryland, and supporting public schools over voucher programmes – before turning and planting a kiss on his husband.
“Take that, Trump,” he says.
(Click on the link above to watch it!)
Mr Madaleno has represented Montgomery County in the state General Assembly for 16 years – the same amount of time he’s been married to his husband, Mark Hodge. The two live in the town of Kensington with their two children, Jackson and Katie.
Mr Madaleno was the first openly gay person elected to the Maryland House and Senate, and helped pass a bill legalising same-sex marriage across the state in 2012. Maryland was one of the first states to extend the right to marry to same-sex couples after a public vote on the bill in 2013.
The senator is running in a crowded Democratic primary, competing for the chance to stand against Republican Governor Larry Hogan. On 26 June, democratic party voters will decide which of the seven candidates will be the party’s nominee.
In recent polling, Mr Madaleno is the third choice, at least 10 points behind the two Democratic frontrunners, Ben Jealous and Rushern Baker.
Though Mr Trump said on the campaign trail that he would be a “friend” to the LGBTQ community, his administration has rolled back LGBTQ rights on several fronts.
His Justice Department has rescinded backed Obama-era protections for transgender students and submitted a brief to the Supreme Court arguing for a bakery’s right to discriminate against same-sex couples. Mr Trump himself has pushed to reinstate a ban on transgender people serving in the military.
“At a time when the White House and other anti-LGBTQ politicians are attempting to erase our visibility and roll back our rights, Rich Madaleno is boldly stating he’s proud of his family and will fight for all Marylanders if elected,” said Annise Parker, president of the LGBTQ Victory Fund, in a statement.