Democratic Candidates on LGBT Equality
Cross posted at Bloggernista
The Human Rights Campaign has released its questionaire on where the Democratic presidential candidates stand on LGBT issues. The questions focused on the following issues:
Federal recognition of state-level same sex unions;
Employment Non Discrimination Act;
Federal Hate Crimes Legislation;
Support for Marriage Equality;
Support for Civil Unions;
Extend Federal Benefits to Same-Sex Couples and their Children;
Extending Coverage of the Family and Medical Leave Act;
Extending Access to Survivor Benefits;
Equal Tax Treatment;
Domestic Partner Benefits for Same-Sex Employees;
Adoption/Foster Parent Issues;
Repeal of “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell”
Comprehensive Sex Education
For the first time ever, all of the announced Democratic candidates stated their support for extending federal benefits and equal tax treatment, currently only available to heterosexual married couples, to same-sex couples who are parties to a union legally recognized by their state. Additionally, the candidates expressed unanimous support for extending federal benefits for same-sex couples and their children.
This groundbreaking and unified position of all Democratic candidates would override Section 3 of the so-called “Defense of Marriage Act,” which provides that for federal purposes, “the word ‘marriage’ means only a legal union between one man and one woman as husband and wife, and the word ‘spouse’ refers only to a person of the opposite sex who is a husband or a wife.” 1 U.S.C. Section 7.
Dennis Kucinich is the only candidate to favor ending marriage as a special right for heterosexual. That’s not a surprise. What is interesting is that all of the candidates occupy similar policy space. The question now becomes what will the candidates do to stand out and capture the attention of LGBT voters? Being as good as the next person is no longer good enough. They are going to have to seriously court us and demonstrate why we should vote for them.
I am supporting Obama because I believe that he has the best chance of bringing people together in a way that will move forward our goal of LGBT equality, but I am definitely looking forward to seeing how the candidates will woo us with legislative flowers and political candy. We have been a rainbow colored ATM for far too long for the Democratic Party and now its our turn to get paid.
Read the full report here.