Though SAGA is not solely a political organization, we cannot afford to remain apolitical during this presidential primary given the politicization of LGBTQ+ identities throughout this country’s history. Without any political organizing at Occidental College explicitly promoting the election of a progressive candidate, the signed members of SAGA’s E-Board have decided to endorse Sen. Bernie Sanders for president.
Of all the candidates in the running, there is no candidate other than Sanders who we trust to defend LGBTQ+ rights and other progressive causes. Our support for Sanders is representative of LGBTQ+ voters throughout the country, who, per a Morning Consult poll, support Sanders over all other candidates.
While we recognize that Sen. Elizabeth Warren’s current platform of proposed policies for the promotion of LGBTQ+ rights is comprehensive, her support of the unjust Richard Nixon and Ronald Reagan administrations and status as a registered Republican during the HIV/AIDS crisis in the 1970s and 1980s is disqualifying. Meanwhile, Sanders was advocating for the abolishment of all discriminatory anti-gay legislation in Vermont and fighting for civil rights causes. Sanders’ support for the LGBTQ+ community represents that his longstanding commitment to social justice is not one based on political expediency, as it has been for many other candidates.
It is also critical to note that Sanders is the only anti-capitalist in the race; recognizing the abolishment of capitalism is necessary to achieving liberation for queer, poor, indigenous, black and brown communities.
This endorsement does not exonerate Sanders from his major shortfalls, namely on gun control and Israel, for which he deserves criticism. Rather, this endorsement declares that it is clear that his history of anti-oppression organizing places him above all the other candidates.
We hope that with this endorsement we can mobilize the LGBTQ+ community and our progressive allies on campus to join us in supporting Sanders and our efforts to volunteer and organize for his campaign.
Ina Morton (sophomore), QTPOC Liaison; Rory Hayes (junior), Co-President; Harrison Brennan Kallner (junior), Treasurer; Sandy Nguyen (junior), Co-President; Zachary Schuman (junior), Secretary/Historian; Alejandra Herrera (sophomore), Outreach Coordinator; Jack Tripp (junior) Trans Student Liaison