Gay Rights


George W. Bush (r), (Incumbent, Will not Run in ’08)

G. Bush has tried to bill himself as gay right “tolerant,” but his actions and words tell a totally different story.

“I was struck with his lack of familiarity with the issues, as well as by his desire to learn,” claims former Congressman Steve Gunderson. Bush endorsed a constitutional amendment in 2004 that would have prevented same-sex marriages.

In the past, Bush has refused to hire openly gay persons to his Administration, blocked hate-crime legislation- which would categorize violence against gays as hate-crime- and even forced Dick Cheney to step back in his support for gay marriages.

The Bottom Line__

What he says: Gay right “tolerant”

What his actions say: Gay right intolerant

Hillary Clinton (d), (Candidate, ’08)

H. Clinton has been on the record as in support of gay-rights; this endorsement partially contributes to the highly left wing image many right wing activists have tried to push on her. She has said she believes gays deserve domestic partnership benefits.

Clinton’s spokeswoman, Jennifer Hanley, said in 2006, “Senator Clinton supports full equality for people in committed relationships, including health insurance, life insurance and pensions, and hospital visitation – and believes we have to keep working to reach those goals.” However, by “full equality,” Clinton later clarified, she did not mean she was in support of gay marriage.

That last assertion has brought the criticism of a plethora of pro-gay rights activist groups. The executive director of the Empire State Pride Agenda gay rights group called Clinton a “complete disappointment” in 2006.

Interestingly, during President William Clinton’s administration, H. Clinton supported the Defense of Marriage Act, which would have prevented federal recognition of same-sex marriage.

The Bottom Line__

What she says: Gay rights are important, pro-gay rights

What her actions say: Opposed to same-sex marriage

John McCain (r), (Candidate, ’08)

J. McCain has often billed himself as a “straight-shooter” who speaks what he believes and who doesn’t hide behind party platforms. His view on gay rights certainly seemed a testament to that when in 2004, he took a strikingly different view from the traditional Republican one, declaring that bans on gay rights were “Un-Republican.”

Where Bush had advocated many bans on gay rights, McCain had strongly opposed each of them, leading to an interesting divide among Republicans themselves.

In October 2006 though, he made what appears to be a critical blunder- changing views at the onset of an upcoming campaign to seemingly entice more right-wing voters. In a interview in Iowa, McCain asserted, “I think that gay marriage should be allowed if there‘s a ceremony kind of thing, if you want to call it that. I don‘t have any problem with that… I do not believe that gay marriages should be legal.”

“Ceremony kind of thing” ≠ marriage?

The Bottom Line__

What he says: Bans on gay rights are “un-Republican,” highly unethical

What his actions say: No gay marriage

Barack Obama (d), (Candidate, ’08)

During his days as senator of Illinois, B. Obama had been in support of most gay rights bills, sponsoring legislation banning discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation.

However, he recently made it clear that he feels “America is not yet ready for same-sex marriage.” Despite his support of most gay rights bills, he, like H. Clinton, does not support gay marriage.

According to a gay rights activist group, “Obama doesn’t understand that regardless of one’s gender expression or sexual orientation, we want equal status to be institutionalized within our marriages as well.”

The Bottom Line__

What he says: Gay rights are important

What his actions say: No gay marriage

Rudy Giuliani (r), (Candidate, ’08)

R. Giuliani is a pro-gay rights activist, even marching in gay rights parades during his New York mayor days, and living in the house of two gay friends following his divorce.

He received some criticism for clashing with gay groups in New York at times; his friend Howard Koeppel explains this as such: “Rudy is a Republican in a gay environment. The Republican Party has earned a reputation for being antigay, and that reputation has rubbed off on him.”

Some gay rights groups accused Giuliani of shifting towards more traditional right wing views in 2006 by supporting vocally anti-gay leaders Sen. Rick Santorum, and U.S. representative Jim Nussle. Whether Giuliani will parlay these appearances into actual actions or words remains to be seen.

The Bottom Line__

What he says: Pro-gay rights, doesn’t formally support gay marriage, but has opposed bans of it

What his actions say: Pro-gay rights, perhaps shifting towards a more moderate view

John Edwards (d), (Candidate, ’08)

Although a Democrat, J. Edwards claims a “personal opposition” to gay marriage. He has opposed the Federal Marriage Amendment, however, which would make same-sex marriages illegal.

“While I personally do not support gay marriage, I recognize that different states will address this in different ways, and I will oppose any effort to pass an amendment to the United States Constitution in response to the Massachusetts decision,” he said during the 2004 Presidential election.

The Bottom Line__

What he says: Personally opposed to gay marriage, does not support bans on it

What his actions say: Personally opposed to gay marriage, does not support bans on it

Mitt Romney (r), (Candidate, ’08)

M. Romney came under severe fire for stirring up the same-sex marriage debate at the end of term as governor of Massachusetts- the only state allowing same sex marriage. Casual viewers and analysts alike have seen this as a blatant attempt to endear himself to right-wing traditionalists, and as a desperate endeavor to separate himself from traditional “Massachusetts politics.”

As many people argue, Romney is attempting to become the so-called “conservative McCain,” taking the right-wing view on many of the issues McCain has so irksomely gone left-wing on. Thus, Romney’s stance on gay rights has been particularly heavily anti-gay; he opposes not only gay marriage, but also civil unions.

The Bottom Line__

What he says: Firmly anti-gay

What his actions say: Firmly anti-gay

2 Responses to “Gay Rights”

  1. Gay rights is such a muddle. Personally I am aligned more along Rudy’s line of thought that I am principally in favor of allowing civil unions, but am opposed to gay marriage.

  2. And what about representative Ron Paul from Texas? – You may have forgot him, but he has not forgotten you…

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