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Now that polls consistently show Senator John McCain (R-AZ) and former Mayor of New York City, Rudy Giuliani, as the leading candidates for the Republican 2008 Presidential nomination the bar has been raised for all candidates with regard for GBLT issues.  Senator McCain courageously stood up to his party's right wing zealots and helped defeat their Federal Defense of Marriage Act.  

My current understanding is that Former Mayor Rudy Giuliani has long supported the GLBT communities, supports nondiscrimination statements and EOE laws, anti-hate crime legislation, and has made many comments supportive of the GLBT.  I am not sure if he has oppossed Family Protection Acts banning same-sex marraige and civil unions, or supports civil unions.  

Can we expect all of our Democratic candidates to do the same? We should not let the GOP Presidential Candidates take the mantle of leadersship and support of the GLBT issues in 2008.  The  Democrat party has a long and noble tradition leading the long march for full  equality and civil liberties for all Americans.  

We are the party of strongest support for the First, Ninth, Tenth, and Fourteenth Amendments.  So I call upon all of our 2008 Democratic candidates to make their positions clear now, so we can avoid the potential election disaster of getting ourselves locked into a 2008 candidate whom will try to run to the right of McCain and Giuliani on these issues.

As part of an article I am writing on "Which 2008 Presidential Candidates Are Most Supportive Of The GLBT Communites," I am creating a summary matrix of all the candidates from both parties indicating their support or opposition to our most important issues.

Here are the key issues I believe all 2008 Presidential Candidates should take positions on.

  • Denounce State Level Laws Banning Same-Sex Marraige, Civil Unions, Domestic Partnership, and Powers Of Attorney

    These laws enable hospital visitation, insurance , inheritances, and the many other benefits taken for granted by opposite sex married couples.  Especially, those law being advocated in their own states.

  • Strong Support For Nondiscrimination Statements in Employment, State and Federal Government Employment and ohter Laws

    Former Governor Mark Warner (VA) just signed an Executive Order for the State of Virginia providing a strong nondiscrimination statements and making it illegal for the State Government to discriminate on the basis of "sexual orientation."  

    Bravo Governor Warner. For the purpose of my upcoming article my draft matrix is assuming that all the other Democratic candidates are at least up to this level.  Only Newt Gingrich, and Mitt Romney have stood up to oppose the GBLT communities.  

  • Let States Offer Civil Unions To All And Let Churches Offer Marriages

    John Kerry supports civil unions and believes this should be left up to the state.  As a Catholic, he feels he cannot support  same sex marriage.  My opinion at this time, is that this could be acceptable as a transitional state to full and total implementation of the 14th amendment.

    I believe Al Gore, also supports civil unions. I am not sure with regard to Hillary Clinton, Rudy Giuliani, John Edwards, Wesley Clark.  My current information indicates that Newt Gingrich, Mitt Romney, and Mark Warner either oppose or do not support them.  Feedback and corrections are of course welcome.  I am, of course, sending the questionairre below to all candidates and advocacy groups to gain accurate info before publishing my article.    

    My opinion at this point is that we do need to leave this to the states to resolve.  But since so many people in some states, have such strong feelings that marriage has special religious meaning of even status as a sacrament, the only constitutional and practical way forward is to get the government out of the religious business entirely, and only provide a legally defined civil union or domestic partnership agreement to all citizens.  

    Alternatively, if states defines marriage as it's mechanism to provide the legal protections, insurance, inheretenes, etc. then it must be available to all without exception.  

    So a solution that is both politically expedient as well as consistent with the constitution is for the state to get out of the religion business and offer everyone only civil union or domestic partnerships.   And let the Churches handle Marraige.

    But we cannot allow the Federal Government to continue to offer married couple more than 1500 preferential benefits and privileges and simultaneously prevent members of the GBLT community equal access.  (See Baculum King's comments in Harvey Milk's Dairy last week.)  

  • Support For 2004 Democratic Election Platform

    I believe all 2008 Democratic Candidates should support at least our party's 2004 Presidential election platform.  

    GLAAD's 2004 Web site on the 2004 Party Platforms provides an overview summary of the party's 2004 positions, as well as a link to the 2004 DEMOCRATIC PARTY PLATFORM


    A STRONG AMERICAN COMMUNITY
    Our commitment to civil rights is ironclad. We will restore vigorous federal enforcement of our civil rights laws for all our people, from fair housing to equal employment opportunity, from Title IX to the Americans with Disabilities Act. We support affirmative action to redress discrimination and to achieve the diversity from which all Americans benefit. We believe a day's work is worth a day's pay, and at a time when women still earn 77 cents for every dollar earned by men, we need stronger equal pay laws and stronger enforcement of them.

    We will enact the bipartisan legislation barring workplace discrimination based on sexual orientation. We are committed to equal treatment of all service members and believe all patriotic Americans should be allowed to serve our country without discrimination, persecution, or violence.

    We support the appointment of judges who will uphold our laws and constitutional rights, not their own narrow agendas.
    We support full inclusion of gay and lesbian families in the life of our nation and seek equal responsibilities, benefits, and protections for these families. In our country, marriage has been defined at the state level for 200 years, and we believe it should continue to be defined there. We repudiate President Bush's divisive effort to politicize the Constitution by pursuing a "Federal Marriage Amendment." Our goal is to bring Americans together, not drive them apart.

    My current draft of my Questions For The 2008 US Presidential Election Candidates is listed in the footnotes, as are the First, Ninth, Tenth, and Fourteenth Amendments, and the results of my GLBT Support Poll from yesterday.

    Any helpful information and comments would be much appreciated. After review and feedback, I will send the following questionnaire to all candidates.

    Thanks,

    Lolligolli

    :-)

    UPDATE FRI FEB 24 1015PM EST Sorry to throw off the previous number list for Warner. I'll correct it. Questions For The 2008 US Presidential Election Candidates


    1. Do you consider yourself to be a supporter of the basic civil liberties and human rights of the GLBT and related communities?    (Yes +1, No -1)

    2. Have you made public statements you consider to generally supportive of the GLBT communities or have you made statements opposed the open participation in society of members of these communities?  (Favor +1, Oppose -1)

    3. Do you support the inclusion of  the terms "sexual orientation,""sexual identification,""sexual affectation,""and sexual expression" in the legally binding nondiscrimination statements for employment?   These clauses make it illegal to discriminate in corporate, state, or federal employment on the basis of race, sex, color, national origin, religion, age, sexual orientation,  sexual identification, or political affiliation, or against otherwise qualified persons with disabilities."    (Yes +1 for each, No - 1)

    4. Do you support legislation against hate crimes against members of these communities. (Yes, +1, No -1)

    5. Do you support any legislation opposing or restriction any members of these communities from any legal rights or participation in organization, health insurance, civil unions, same-sex marriage or other legal transactions? (Score -1 for each)

    6. Do you (or have you) oppose legislation banning same-sex marraige, civil unions, powers of attorney, domestic partnership, and other benefits remedies for the GLBT communites at either the federal or state levels? (Yes +1, No -1)

    7. Either:  A. Do you support at least civil unions for same-sex or other members of the GLBT community?  OR B. Do you support same-sex marriage?
        (yes to +1 to either, no neither -2)

    8. Do you believe that the 14 the amendment should include members of the GLBT and other communities when it says the constitution protects the civil rights of "all Americans?"  (Yes +1, No -1)

    9. As President will you promise to eliminate any and all legislation that appears to preferential or discriminatory benefits to some classes of people over other based on gender?  (Yes +1, No -1)

    10. Do you support the Constitutional Right of Privacy guarenteed buy the 9th and 10 amendments? (Yes +1, No -1)

    11. Do you have any others comments, questions, or feedback for either the intervewer (Lolligolli) or the GLBT communities?

    Relevant Constitutional Amendments


    Amendment I
    Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the government for a redress of grievances.

    Amendment IX
    The enumeration in the Constitution, of certain rights, shall not be construed to deny or disparage others retained by the people.

    Amendment X
    The powers not delegated to the United States by the Constitution, nor prohibited by it to the states, are reserved to the states respectively, or to the people.

    Amendment XIV
    Section 1. All persons born or naturalized in the United States, and subject to the jurisdiction thereof, are citizens of the United States and of the state wherein they reside. No state shall make or enforce any law which shall abridge the privileges or immunities of citizens of the United States; nor shall any state deprive any person of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law; nor deny to any person within its jurisdiction the equal protection of the laws.

    Results Of Yesterday's Poll


    Vote In Poll Here

    In an ascending order my support for the GBLT communities is best described as:
    Strong opposition  to Bill of Rights and hostility (More restrictions such as ban on gay marriage or civil unions are needed)   1 vote - 1 %
    Mild opposition   1 vote - 1 %
    I think gender issues shouldn't be discussed in public: (Don't ask, don't tell)   0 votes - 0 %
    The US has it as well balanced is possible or desirable for now   1 vote - 1 %
    I generally support diversity and the GBLT and wish folks would discriminate less and be kinder to all people.   4 votes - 5 %
    I support the inclusion of the terms sexual orientation and identification in nondiscrimination clauses for employment.   3 votes - 4 %
    In addition to nondiscrimination statements, I support anti-hate crimes legislation.   5 votes - 7 %
    Although I may support nondiscrimination for employment I oppose same-sex marriage and civil unions.   2 votes - 2 %
    The 14 Amendments protects the full equality and civil rights of all Americans with no exceptions for the GLBT and related communities.   54 votes - 76 %
    Other   0 votes - 0 %

    71 Total Votes

  • Originally posted to Lolligolli on Thu Feb 23, 2006 at 09:42 PM PST.

    Poll

    With regard to GLBT issues in the 2008 elections I believe the Democratic Party should:

    17%5 votes
    0%0 votes
    10%3 votes
    10%3 votes
    32%9 votes
    7%2 votes
    10%3 votes
    10%3 votes

    | 28 votes | Vote | Results

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    Comment Preferences

    •  Thanks to everyone who gave me feedback on this (none)
      questionairre.  I hope you see some progress.  I haven't sent it out yet, cause I would like a greater sense from you all that it is in the best form it can be.  

      Also, I still do not have enough information or confidece that I know all the candidates positions well enought to publish a summary matrix.

      Some specific questions.  Does anyone know if Giuliani has supported civil unions and/or opposed that Family Protections Acts?  Some have said that he has but I don't see a written statement yet.

      And what are John Edwards, Wesley Clarks, and Hillary Clinton's position.  I have found a couple of articles reporting John Edward's generally supporting the GLBT communities and supporting nondiscrimination statemenents and laws but not apparently taking a position on civil unions or SSM?

      Several have written the Russ Feingold has good positions on all of this.  I intend to be checking his and everyone else's website tonight, however if any of you are supporters and know the positions better than I, please feel welcome to make any statements or even data dumps in my diary here.

      I am not one of these sensitive to long comments.  Please feel free to copy your candidates complete statements on these issues and paste them in here if you like.

      Also if someone can help me track down more positions on McCain.  

      Thanks
      :-)

    •  Equality (none)
      I want to premise this by saying that I support gay marriage. I believe everyone has the right to choose who they love and have the same security for their family. Here's my caveat. I don't believe this should be one of THE campaign issues we focus on. I believe we should focus on issues that effect most Americans as opposed to making gay marriage a platform. I think we need to focus on issues like health care, wages, and fair trade. These things are things that effect not just a small community but all of us. Once we get the WH or the majority there will be time to make certain that our gay bretren and sisters have the equality they deserve.
      •  Typical waffling dem (4.00)
        Oooh, no reason for you to have civil rights that everyone else in the country has, when everyone and everything else is SOOOOOOO much more important.

        Sure, we support you -- that is, we will pick your pocket for each and every election -- but don't expect us to stand up to the hate mongers, who will strip your partners of the retirement benefits you worked decades to earn, who will take away your ability to adopt the half-million foster children in this country who need homes, who will deprive you of your livelihood for who you love.

        Because we'll never do shit for our base, but just chase after those ever elusive "swing" votes, who heavens to murgatrood, might be offended if we stood up for your civil rights.

        •  Gay marriage (none)
          It isn't about going after swing voters. It's about focusing on issues that will affect the majority of the country. In order to win an election you have to appeal to voters self interest. You don't do this by focusing on an issue that affects a very small portion of the population. You focus on issues that effect everyone. Then when you get in the majority or control the house you can focus on wedge issues. Take a step back and try to look at this from an unemotional standpoint.
          •  Let me suggest (none)
            that there are NO wrong times to stand up and speak out on equal rights for all Americans under law, and that there are NO right times to put equal rights on the back burner.

            In order to win elections, you have to stand up for what you believe in.  And if equal rights under the law isn't something Democrats strongly believe in for all people - regardless of the popularity of that stand in a particular area - then I may be voting the wrong party.  But I don't think I am.  I think Democrats are the party of equal justice under law.

            Secondly, as Republicans have demonstrated and George Lakoff has shown, you do NOT win elections by "appealing to the voters' self interest."  Voters vote their values (and I don't mean it the way MSM does) and their identity.  When you go down somewhere and try to lecture people about what's best in their own interest, they are prone to think two things primarily: (1) You think they're stupid and you know better than them what's good for them, and (2) You think that voters and selfish morons who believe in nothing but instant self gratification.

            If you want to win, you have to appeal to deeply held values.  Most if not all of these values are progressive in America.  Equal justice under law is such a value, and the Democratic party must remain in the lead to be the standard-bearer on this front.  We have to talk to voters in terms of these values and explain why we believe.

            When you talk about how we shouldn't focus on issues of equal justice under law (because THAT'S what marriage equality is), it's like telling African Americans in the 1960s that their rights would have to wait until it's politically popular.  THAT is not acceptable.

            I am amazed how you can talk all in abstract about a "wedge issue."  Please stop and consider that you are talking about my life.  And the lives of a lot of hard-working, tax-paying, law-abiding Americans whose rights are being denied every day because we fall in love with someone of our own gender.  Win elections?  Nobody wants that more that I do.  But (1) I don't think you win elections by not talking about your values and beliefs simply because one aspect of it might be unpopular, and (2) I don't want to win if winning means supporting bigotry and denying rights to Americans.  That's not a win.

        •  By the way (none)
          Not a single waffle there.

          I said quite clearly i don't see this as a platform issue. Just because you don't agree doesn't make that fact "waffling".

    •  One of the candidates (none)
      Warner has gone on record as not supporting gay marriage or civil unions. It's one of the reasons he is not my first choice. While I may not think this needs to be a platform issue I do think that I want a candidate that recognizes that this is an issue of fairness and respect for minorities.
      •  I heard this too. This was one of the things that (none)
        motivated me to start this research project.  I don't think it would be wise for the Democratic party to backtrack like this when we have other candidates who are much stronger.

        Where did you read this?  I've hesitated to say anything like this out of concern for spreading misinformation.  

        And I want our party to arrive at whatever decision we do in the most postive and constructive way.  Which is why I've done this.

        Let's get the hard and painful things over as soon as possible.

        But if the GOP nominates a candidates with stronger support for the GLBT communities than Warner, which Giuliani and even McCain both seem to be I do not see anyway we could win.  

        The GLBT communities are getting angry and frustrated by this and it will not be fair to blame this for voting for their best interest.

        Also, theire families, friends, and supportors in the minority and woman's movements who have appreciated their support on our issues.  So you could be talking about a sizable chunk of voters here.

        With current polls showing both McCain and Giuliani beating all of our Democratic front runnier by 7% to 25% we need to added substantial voters not lose them.

        Edwards is the one whom is strongest now against McCain and Giuliani (7%).

        Hillary losses by about 10% to 20% depending on the poll.

        Kerry comes in between. I don't know whether defections of the GLBT communities is part of the explanation.  Which is why I am trying to find all the candidates exact positions so we can get a better analysis of it.  

        Thanks for your comment.

        :-)

        •  Warner (none)
          I'm from Va. Our state has passed legislation banning civil unions and will have a constitutional amendment on the ballot in 2006.

          Here's an article on Warner and the issue

          http://www.washingtonblade.com/...

          In his defense he argued vehemently thyat gay people should have the right to enter into contracts and said that he saw this being challenged in court. For the record, i hope it does. The premise that my marriage is affected by anyone elses personal relationship is ludicrous.

    •  feingold (none)
      Here is the guy I support.

      http://www.usatoday.com/...

      He calls the "gay marriage amendment issue" exactly what it is 1) a political ploy 2) discrimination.

      Gosh I love this guy. Pleassssssse can we pick him for our candidate. No more wishy washy afraid to call crap crap centrists.

      •  I like love Feingold's position on other issues. (none)
        Where is he on civil unions, opposition to the anti-marraige laws, nondiscrimination in employments etc. ?

        :-)

        •  Feingold (none)
          He's been rather reticent about stating anything on civil union and gay marriage. He instead has denounced it as a political ploy(which I believe it is). He did work agressively to defeat a measure to make marriage between a man and a woman a federal amendment.
          •  Well this is better than some. (none)
            Do you agree that is potentially important to have an accurate overview on all the positions so people can accurately and fairly discuss this?

            I think Lolli deserves more credit than she's getting for bravely wading into these controversial and dangerous waters with such postive intent and care to treat all the  candidates fairly by giving them the maximum possible chance to express their possitions and giving them a respectful heads up on where many intend to take this issue.

            Whether we like it our not, this is a number one human and civil rights issue for a lot of people.

            The frequent comment I am hearing a lot off are the would you have told Martin Luther King Jr. to back off an sit in the back of the bus, so we might win the state of Georgia with George Wallace.

            While this might be a sort of provocative way of putting of it, I think it illustrates well the fact that many forms of discrimination we still see here are no different in any way from racism, sexism, and religious or ethic intolerance.

            I hope all advocates of these groups will remain in solidarity with their friends and past supporters of the GLBT communities.  

            In fact, I call on all to make supportive statements.  

            Helping to bring justice back to the White House, one indictment at a time.

            by HoundDog on Thu Feb 23, 2006 at 11:10:19 PM PST

            [ Parent ]

      •  I pulled these quotes from Feingold up from the (none)
        USA Links. So here we have the evidence of Sen. Russ Feingold oppossing a constitutional amendment that would ban SSM and civil unions so he appear to get at least as many point as John McCain.  This is excellent because Feingold is my favorite,  but I have now committed publically not to support any Democratic Candidate whom does not score at least as many points as McCain.  

        Hurray for Russ.  Gore and Kerry are higher.  And we are awaiting word on Edwards, Clinton, and Clark
        ***

        But gay rights supporters are fighting back, framing the issue as America's next civil rights battle.

        "A constitutional amendment regarding same sex marriage would write discrimination into the governing document of our nation," said Sen. Russ Feingold, D-Wis.

        Feingold also called the amendment movement a "divisive political exercise in an election year, plain and simple."

        "I object to the use of the constitutional amendment process for political purposes and I am sorry to say that I believe that is what I believe is going on here," Feingold said.

        In November, the Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court ruled 4-3 that gay couples have a constitutional right to marry.

        Thousands of gay weddings have been performed in San Francisco since Feb. 12, when the city began issuing marriage licenses to same-sex couples.

        Last week, President Bush last week called on Congress to quickly pass an amendment prohibiting gay marriages.

        Sen. John Kerry, D-Mass., who effectively wrapped up the Democratic presidential nomination on Tuesday, says he is against gay marriage but would oppose amending the U.S. Constitution to bar it.


        Helping to bring justice back to the White House, one indictment at a time.

        by HoundDog on Fri Feb 24, 2006 at 03:02:05 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

    •  Good ideas, but... (none)
      I am not sure how practical your ideas are.  The thing about having the states either offer civil unions for all just is not going to happen.  The states and the federal government ARE in the business of MARRIAGE and marital benefits, rights and responsibilities.  They are not all of a sudden going to pull back.  Nor will the religious nuts be pleased in such an idea.

      The way to advance the cause of liberty and freedom for ALL is not to appease injustice and extremism - with words or any other means.  The way to put freedom on the march is to stand up to those who would deny it.  And there is NO wrong time to talk about full equality under the law for every American.  And it's time that Democratic leaders:

      AT THE MINIMUM, said they oppose bigotry and discrimination in all its forms, and that equal rights under the law is not a matter of convenience, it is a matter of conscience.  In practical terms, this means outlawing discrimination at the workplace, in immigration, and in family benefits.  This means acknowledging that a law signed by President Clinton was discriminatory: the Defense of Marriage Act (it's a misnomer too, but that's another discussion).

      PREFERABLY, stood up and said it's time to extend to all Americans the protections, responsibilities and privilages of our laws.  That is, they should be proud to go in front of a microphone and say they support marriage equality.

      I know the latter is unlikely to happen in 2008, and I'm not an absolutist.  The goal is full and equal marriage (civil marriage).  But today's America demands the minimum standards of non-discrimination and equal treatment under law.  And Democratic candidates should not be shying away from this.

      •  Hi Deaniac83. I agree with your statement that (none)
        full and complete equality and full civil rights is the goal.  I want this now. Did I not make this clear in my diary?

        The whole point of this diary and my last 3 or so, is to raise this issues and hold the candidates feet to the fire.

        We face the sad reality that although in my poll last night 80% of respondents here believe in equality and full civil rights for ALL people as stated in the 14th amendments, when the rubber meets the road, they back off really fast.

        Notice in my poll tonight, 25 of responsdents are voting to "tone down" the party's 2004 platform which already was watered down with the current vaque statement so as not to offend right wing bigots.  

        Only 12% are willing to go as far as you do here.

        My concern is that despite whatever our personal feeling our it would be a great mistake to think the Democratic party can backtrack on this and the GLBT will not notice.

        If Giuliani is the alternative an the democratic candidate opposes both civil unions and SSM, and does not strongly oppose anti gay marraige legislation many states are passing the GLBT voters and all their friends and supportos will vote for Giuliani.

        I think this would be sad and tragic since we already have much stronger candidate available.

        But you would be amazed at how many "progressive" advocates secretly think they can get away with this, lock the party's nomination into a candidate to the right of McCain and Giuliani on this issue and thereby pick up socially conservative GOP voters.

        Thinking then that the GLBT voters, and their many supportors in other communities that had to fight for their 14th amendment rights like women, people of color, enthic and religious minorities will betray them and vote for any Democratic presidential candidate over any Republican candidate.

        I just think as a matter of realism, the Dems couldn't possible win such an election.  And any attempt to do so would destroy our party or at least set it back 20 to 30 years like what happened when we rejected the George Wallace racists.  

        I think that was the right thing to do.  But would be unwise and unneccary to repeat now.  We are just getting some of those state into play now.

        But whatever we are going to do here, I believe it is better to do it sooner than later.

        But thank you for making your views strongly known.  Please keep it up.  Our party needs to think about this before driving off of a cliff of no return which regardless of what you and I think or do, seems possible.

        I hope we make smart choices now fully aware of the consequences.

        :-)

        •  You're right (none)
          I wasn't saying you didn't say that, I was only expressing my opinion, and also saying that civil unions for all is not practical.

          And you're right about LGBT voters and social progressives are not going to sit on their behinds and accept the Democratic candidate being less progressive on matters of equal rights under law than his or her GOP counterpart.  Speaking for myself, at the best case, I will leave the top of the ballot blank if that were the case.

          As for the poll, let's put it into perspective and see that only 21 people voted as of the time of this writing.  That's not really enough to gage the temperature of the Kos community.

    •  Platform planks can define clear goals (none)
      without demanding immediate legislation. This is an issue that would keep me from working for a candidate, if not from voting for one. Enough is enough. No one left behind, there is no justification.
    •  As one of the T people (4.00)
      I think you should include a question on whether or not they support adding gender identity/expression to the protected catagories in non-discrimination clauses.  Your other questions look pretty good.  My litmus test for politicians is that at the very least they don't make human rights for everyone, no matter who you are, any worse, and I would much prefer someone who strongly supports extending them to everyone.

      "I'm going to dance the dream, and make the dream come true." -Kate Bush (-8.75, -9.18)

      by ellisande on Thu Feb 23, 2006 at 10:58:09 PM PST

      •  I agree 100% To lump gender idenfication, (none)
        affectation, and expression under sexual orientation as if they have anything at all to do with each other is getting tiresome.

        I'm getting tired of the luddite views on this they are making no attempt at all to keep up with modern science, medicine, and psychology.  

        And I agree we that we need to strongly opposse any efforts to let the Democratic party backslide on this.

        We can debate elections strategies and compromises on specific issues on a state by state basis, but the position of our platform and party needs to be full and unqualified support for the Constitution of the US.

        And is their anyone who who want to stand up and deny that when the 14th amendment say "all people" that this includes but is not limited to all people without any exception for race, gender, religion, ethnic group, sexual oriention, identification, expression, affectation or anything else.

        Rather than adding everthing why don't we agree that ALL PEOPLE means what it says, and let anyone or any groups that want to argue for excluding people stand up and say who and why.

        This forcing of each new group to try to justify their inclusion is wrong.

        And I will be angry beyond description if non-landowner, woman, people of color, minority religious and ethnic groups and all the others that we fought with and by to acheive their full equality and freedoms betray those in the GLBT communities now.

        If our party intends to do this I want to know now, so I can stop working on any other issue and concentrate on this.

        Support for full equality and civil rights for all Americans is a core value of the Democratic Party.  It would be unwise to the point of ......

        words too provocative to say here, to abanden that now in some delusional fantasy that we could win more elections by nominating candidate who win the support of  the GOP right wing hatemongers.

        Hey folks, these are called hard core Republicans. There is no way we are going to win these votes.  If that is your main goal then you should vote Republican, IMO.

        Cheers

        Helping to bring justice back to the White House, one indictment at a time.

        by HoundDog on Thu Feb 23, 2006 at 11:25:25 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

      •  Thanks for making this known amberglow. (none)
        This backpedeling by Democratic leaders is outragious and will have dramatic consequencies.

        Where are all the community advocates?  Why are they not uprating Lolli's daily column on this and making their positions known.  

        I see this as a lemming like suicide march of the democratic party right off a cliff.

        Keep up the good work amberglow

        Thanks,

        :-)

        Helping to bring justice back to the White House, one indictment at a time.

        by HoundDog on Thu Feb 23, 2006 at 11:33:38 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

    •  Rudy the Ghoul (none)
      may pander to  gay voters at election time, but once in power, it won't be long before you join the potheads in his camps. The guy makes GW ush look like a civil libertarian.

      A Senator YOU can afford
      $1 contributions only.
      Masel for Senate
      1214 E. Mifflin St.
      Madison, WI 53703

      by ben masel on Thu Feb 23, 2006 at 11:10:56 PM PST

      •  Can you help lead us to quotable evidence of this? (none)
        Based on comments above I've decided to give Lolli all the help I can on this matrix.

        I do accept her premise that the positions of McCain and Giuliani, represent a valid stake in the ground against which we can focus this debate.

        Thanks

        Helping to bring justice back to the White House, one indictment at a time.

        by HoundDog on Thu Feb 23, 2006 at 11:36:00 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  Not today... (none)
          Too much on my plate. Meanwhile, for evidence of Giuliani's broad fascist leanings, google up Robert Lederman

          A Senator YOU can afford
          $1 contributions only.
          Masel for Senate
          1214 E. Mifflin St.
          Madison, WI 53703

          by ben masel on Fri Feb 24, 2006 at 10:36:20 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  Tbanks, I've already found lots of article about (none)
            his making life difficult for NY Aids programs and needle exchanges.  So his PR machine may be stronger than his actual action and beliefs.

            Helping to bring justice back to the White House, one indictment at a time.

            by HoundDog on Fri Feb 24, 2006 at 02:32:01 PM PST

            [ Parent ]

    •  Hillary Score High, mybe as high as Gore! (none)
      LInks to Hillary Clinton speaking to Independent GLBT politicians and supporters.

      video of 2000 Speach of GLBT politicians

       where she support community, denounces discrimination, supports hate crime legislation, and support full legal rights for GLBT partnerships (I think it is equivelent to domestic partnerships.)

      Go Hillary!

      With Gore, Kerry, Clinton, Feingold, and probably Edwards so strong why would we even talk about candidates substantially short of this?  It wouldn't make sense to me.

      Helping to bring justice back to the White House, one indictment at a time.

      by HoundDog on Fri Feb 24, 2006 at 03:20:57 AM PST

    •  McCAin strongly opposes gay marriage, and Rudy has (none)
      problems with GLBT communities for his lack of support if not out and out opposition for the AID programs and needle exchanges.  Rudy my have better PR than policies.

      The Cases For and Against McCain
      by Matt Singer


      As hesitant as I am to turn a serious eye toward the 2008 election, the recent flurry of discussion regarding John McCain has picqued my interest. In particular, I found Ari Berman's recent look at "The Real McCain" to be an interesting jumping off point for why progressives should excited and anxious about the nascent McCain candidacy.

      To begin with, Berman absolutely hits the nail on the head when he portrays McCain as inimical to progressives on the vast majority of issues. On foreign policy, he was the true neoconservative in the Republican primary in 2000. His roots in neoconservative thought are deep. His pro-life credentials are as shored up as they could possibly be. When it comes to tax policy, his only real strength from a progressive viewpoint is that he'll back off on tax cuts when it comes to budget deficits. Unfortunately, his preferred method of cutting the deficit is the two-pronged approach of targeting pork (good) and gutting America's safety net (bad).

      He has endorsed intelligent design. On immigration, he is only marginally better than the mainstream in his party. He is opposed completely to same-sex marriage. And the only real bright light in his foreign policy is his staunch opposition to torture (that said, I think the proposal he and Hillary share of supporting increased troops in Iraq is too late and unrealistic, but still much stronger than the Bush Administration's simply continue-the-course approach).

      To be sure, a McCain Presidency could provide a few Nixon-in-China moments. He is notably better than his party on global warming and, as a result, on some issues like CAFE standards. He doesn't just oppose pork in word but in deed.

      And, of course, he is his party's firmest voice for good government and campaign finance reform.

      Additionally, he is one of the few people in his party who has repeatedly expressed a willingness to truly take on the powerful corrupt leadership of the GOP. This is eminently clear in Berman's profile. Even though it is quite obvious that McCain's conservativism should not be in doubt, Berman does find a handful of voices willing to say he needs to shore up his conservative positions:

      But right-wing Republicans like Norquist still hold McCain's occasional moderation and rebel style in deep suspicion.

      What should be clear is that what Norquist finds threatening isn't McCain's occasional moderation. After all, most of the so-called hard right entourage that runs around D.C. with Norquist (both the indicted and unindicted ones) are less conservative than they are interested in an agenda of perpetual Republican control and perpetual fattening of their own pockets.

      Norquist isn't threatened by McCain's independence. He is threatened by his boy scout status.

      This is where the McCain conundrum begins. Because while he is an imperfect candidate, he does have that great advantage. And, while many people think he is unlikely to be able to emerge from the primary, consider his main opponent (at least in the polls these days): Rudy Giuliani.

      Rudy Giuliani may be "America's Mayor" but I think the evangelicals will be hard-pressed to find him the same way. After all, Giuliani is pretty moderate on social issues. What's more, he actually tried to keep an affair going in government property for a while. There's simply too much to really get the social conservative vote to stick with Giuliani and it's not like he can really outhawk McCain.

      As for George Allen, let's just say that in a Rudy v. McCain rock star v. rock star contest, I'm not quite sure anyone is going to pay much attention to the unimpressive Senator from Virginia.

      Helping to bring justice back to the White House, one indictment at a time.

      by HoundDog on Fri Feb 24, 2006 at 03:48:05 AM PST

    •  Phrasing (none)
      Erm, I appreciate what you're trying to achieve, but if it isn't too late I'd suggest that a lot of those questons need seriously rewording. Leading questions will produce leading answers, and it'd be rather clear to anyone answering the above questions what the "correct" answers are supposed to be. So:

      "Do you consider yourself to be a supporter of the basic civil liberties and human rights of the GLBT and related communities?"

      Could produce either the answer, "Yes - everyone should be equal in every way and same-sex couples should have everything available to them that straight couples do," or, "Yes - I am not in favour of the kicking to death of gay people."

      Likewise,

      "Have you made public statements you consider to generally support the GLBT communities or statements and opposed the open participation in society of members of these communities?"

      Could produce, "Yes, I've called for complete equality in every way," or, "Well, I've said they shouldn't be kicked to death."

      And: "Do you believe that the 14 the amendment should include members of the GLBT and other communities when it says the constitution protects the civil rights of "all Americans?""

      "Yes - as I've said, I don't think anybody should be kicked to death."

      ... And so on.

      Basically, it would be nice if you could, well, make the questions somewhat more precise, and make it less obvious exactly how recipients would have to answer to earn their brownie points.

    •  Govt. out (none)
      I agree strongly with your idea about getting the government out of the marriage business altogether. Civil unions confer certain legal rights and responsibilities to a couple and thats it. If you want a religious sanction for your union, then go to the church of your choice and get it.
      This will seem like a radical proposal to many, but so has every other important social change in our history. I think the more people look at and consider this option the more they will realize it is a way to satisfy everyone. Fundamentalists will not be required to recognise "sacriligious" marriages, and gay folks will get the equal treatment they deserve.
      I am not a religious person at all, and a simple civil union would be sufficient for me, as it would for many people I know, straight and gay.
      The Fundys won't like it because they will feel it marginalizes religion, which to some extent, I guess it does, but I believe the idea has much merit and if it is brought up by a major canmdidate and enters the public debate, I think the obvious benifits of the idea will start winning people over.
      •  even if that happened, (none)
        There are over 1000 Federal laws and regulations that mention "spouse", "family" etc, all throughout every division and bureau, affecting people at all stages of their lives, and afterward.

        Who defines those terms then? I don't think straight people would be happy to learn of all they've lost because they lost federal recognition of marriage. A civil union won't make someone your spouse or husband or wife, so you lose SS, pension, family healthcare, insurance, inheritance, assets, eligibility for tons of programs, part of unemployment, etc....

      •  Exactly (none)
        I see no other practicle way out.  Any thing less than civil unions is insulting and demeaning to the GLBT.  Many find even this insulting and demeaning and only full marrraige will do.

        I think the Supreme Court will eventially agree that 14th amendment requires full equality for all people.

        But if the fundy's see this as violating their religious definition of marraige then they themselve must agree that the only way they an maintain their religious defintion protected by the First Amendmendment if to remove it from the Government legal system and defintion and put it in the churches where it belongs.

        Cheers, and thank.
        :-)

        PS  Hey, what does a girl have to do to get a reccomendation out of you guys.  I've now put in about 50 hours over a week redrafting this through 4 diaries.  And I have six reccomendations.

        80 % of 80 respondent yesterday said they agreed with my position but only 4 gave me a rec.  What gives?  Do I need to shower?  LOL  What did I do?

    •  Initial Profile of Warner (Clipped From (none)
      my comments in Get Er Done Pro Warner Diary.

      Where does Mark Warner Stand on 14th Amendment? (none / 1)

      I see many strong points for Mark Warner and goodness know, we need to encourage the strongest possible field of candidates.

      To his credit, as his last act as former Governer of VA Mark Warner signed into a law a strong nondiscrimination statement forbiding the VA governments employment discrimination based on sexual orientation to along with the traditional race, gender, ethnicity etc.  While some skeptics did ask, suggested that he waited to the last weeks to do this as a political ploy and that if he had really believed in this he would have done it as his first act.  

      But my feeling is live and learn.  Or "get er done."  Larry the Cable guy is my favorite comic.  Half my family heritage is form Alabama-Florida Panhandle.  

      At least Warner got himself on the minimum viable playing field.  And there still time for even more improvement in the direction of goodness and greater electability.  :-0 :-)  

      This will win Mark Warner significant points within the GLBT communities once they hear about it.    But you all should know here to my discovering this in a google search some folks had him on the same list of opponents of the GLBT with Newt Gingrich and Mitt Romney.  

      Many are still portraying Warner as behind Rudy Giuliani on the point total in the below questionairre below.  However, now that HoundDog is helping me, he has found more information questioning Rudy Giuliani purportedly strong support for the communities.  HoundDog says Rudy may be only posturing for PR reasons because while he was mayor, local GLBT groups (who have long memories) report the city under his direction made it extra difficult for those in the medicial community trying to support HIV victoms and needle exchange program.

      So HoundDog want me to delay publication of the first draft of the matrix until all of our candidates get to not only personally verify the accuracy of their own position but also get to take potshots at the claims of McCain, Giuliani, and Bush whom we are including as a refence point.

      Hint, Hint, Hint,  But heads up.  A strong emerging rhetorical theme I do think is fair will be that no Democratic Candidate should expect to succeed in the nomination if he/she tries to run to the right of Bush, McCain, and Giuliani.  

      I am writing an article on where the 2008 presidential candidates stand on the various issues that the GLBT care about.

      I wish to insure I represent all candidates in the most fair and favorable light as my goal is win as many elections in 2006, 2008, and beyond as we can.

      My preference would be if strong Warner supporters here could review the below questionairre and give me any feedback and information as possible I would greatly appreciate it.

      Please understand that this is an early draft, so in addition to merely responding to how you candidate may answer, I am also open to changing the questions, the proposed point system, and any and all aspects of its presentation.

      Or adding questions that you think more accurately, wisely, or favorably present you candidates position.

      For example, my understanding is that Mark Warner opposes both civil unions, and same-sex marraige.  One supporter reassurred me that he is not opposed to the GLBT but merely doesn't wish to give future right wing GOP candidates ammunition against him in red states.  

      If someone here wanted to help me word a guestion presenting this position as a possible strength I would be open.

      But I do also feel as a fellow loyal democrat I owe you a sisterly heads up to potential trouble ahead.

      McCain stood up couragiously to his own parties right win zealots to prevent the Federal Protection of Marraige amendment.

      I do not know if Warner has made public statements opposing similar legislation in VA but if he doesn't this could be a big problem for him.

      Also, if he appears to be ready to backslide on the 2004 democratic platform the "uniter not a divider" and "future and past" themes will blow up in his face in a way that is destructive not only for himself but also for our party.

      I hope you comparison to Dean does not become more poignant than you intend.  I too switched over to Dean out of yearning for a candidate whom could generate real passion.

      Although it was vastly unfair, I had to realistic acknowlege that Dean's excited and innocent but boisterous hockey yeeehaass heard around the world allowed the right to position him as a not-ready-for-prime-time-player.

      Please do not let this happen to your candidate here.

      I will haopily offer any help and advice I might be able to provide to help you candidates evolve to the most robust and hopefully survivable set of positions that are also consistent with his own views as well as political advisors who are trying to help him thread this very difficult needle.  

      And whatever stand Warner does take, I want to try to insure that it is accurately portrayed in the right context to all of the various communities.

      I hope you realize that this is not always easy and that not all writers go to as much trouble as I am going through here to try to give the candidates the most possible respect and chance to get their positions reported accurately.

      But lets also be realistic.  Eventually, at best we are going to end up with some vastly oversimplified lists of good guys and bad guys, or perhaps if we are lucky a table like I am working on that has candidates in the rows and some number of collumns (the 9 I have here are already more than an editor will allow)that
      compare the candidates and sometimes some groups will give out "seals of approval" or at least a nod and a wink.

      One improvement I hope for and imagine that Mark Warner of all the candidates probably will benefit from, is a representation that has the theme that these are highly complicated issues, with lots of room for valid and legitimate approaches, and that special interests groups shouldn't jump to overly quick conclusions heaing one position out of context.

      Anyway, sorry this is too long already.  I should say discussion for responses if asked.  

      If folks here prefer, I will dissappear.  I have not desire to be distracting to an otherwise fun and upbeat diary.  

      My hope is that many here may see this as a potentially valuable opportunity.  Cheers,

      :-)

      Where Are 2008 Candidates On GLBT Issues? Civil Unions, Same-Sex Marraige, Party Platform? (Poll) by Lolligolli

      Also, see my other heads up column giving candidate heads up on the Litmus test Zinger trick questions some communities are proparing for the candididate and debates.  :-)

      by Lolligolli on Fri Feb 24, 2006 at 05:24:09 PM PDT
      [ Parent | Reply to This ]

      That's a big issue (none / 0)

      I'm not sure where he falls on that.  My guess is that, even if he wasn't perfect on this issue, he would at least have the guts to shoot straight.

      There wasn't time this morning for Q&A, so no one got to ask this question.  

      by Texas Populist on Fri Feb 24, 2006 at 05:39:45 PM PDT
      [ Parent | Reply to This |  none1: Unproductive2: Marginal3: Good4: Excellent ]

      I appreciate the straight shooter comment Texas (none / 0)

      Populist.  

      My Mom brought me up in the Southern Traditional of politeness and civility.

      I have been very anxious that my efforts to get a more accurate picture of what's going on here will blow up in my face, and costing me the few friends here that I've worked so hard to win.

      I know passions run deeply here not just on "both sides of the issues" but in so many different complicated ways that the idea of "sides" is already an undersimplification.

      So thanks so much.  Your complete lack of hostility and even polite respectful conversational and helpful tone sort of leaves me speechless and confused.  LOL

      (I'm only laughing at the inside joke of me being speechless.  Some of my friends probably pray that such a state would last for more than a few nano-seconds.)

      If it's any help to stimulate conversation I'll be happy to lay out the current best guess that will eventually go to press if not modified by supporter or critics.

      I thing Warner probably gets affirmative points for the first three questions.

      He signed into law a strong non-discrimination statement at least for sexual orientation.  

      Critics in the community point out that he didn't include identification, affectation, and expression, but in fairness I don't think the majority of even progressive politician even know the differences. From their point of view, this are all lumped into orientation, and they don't even realize how annoying this is to the majority hetereo-sexual, CD, and even to many in the TS, TG, A, Q, and other groups.  At this point I don't think it is useful to take off points for this.  (Please GLBT friends, give me at least a fighting chance here? :-) )

      Actually, I have to get a print of the questions before I can do this.  Whoops LOL

      I do not believe he has come out opposing the anti-same sex and civil union legilation in his home state VA.  So he falls behinds John McCain here.

      My understanding he that he opposes both civil unions, and SSM.

      And for Miscillaneous Comments So far I have this:

      And for his write in comment on number 10) His supportors at least have said that its not that he is against the GLBT communities, he just doesn't want to hand the right wing and issue he would get clobbered with in the red states.

      The biggest concern raised so that if were to become the democratic nominee and try to run to the right of McCain or pro choice Giuliani on these issues, our party would lose the GLBT votes, as well as family, friends, and those in the womens, civil rigtht, racial, ethnic, and religious minorities who would not want to betray the GLBT community that stood side by side in their battles to win full equality and equal righs.

      I am hoping Warner can still win an easy points but by coming out with the vaque full support for the 2004 Democratic Party Platform (See my column of yesterday) and the 14th Amendment witch is still abstract enough probably not to offend the red state voters he is targeting.

      But I hope we get some response.

      And thanks for not troll rating me.

      :-)    

      by Lolligolli on Fri Feb 24, 2006 at 07:20:05 PM PDT
      [ Parent | Reply to This ]

      * [new] Draft Summary of Mark Warner On Questionairre (none / 0)

      1. Yes +1

      2. Yes +1
      <.i> 3. Yes +1

      1. ?No?  0 until confirmation.

      2. ?Yes VA? 0 until confirmation.

      3. No -2

      4. N0 -1

      5. No -1

      6. Yes ? +1 Benefit of doubt so he doesn't go negative.

      Total Score = 0

      This does not put him in the Hostile to GBLT community like Gringrich and Romney

      But also does not get into the seal of approval regions like Gore, Kerry, and Hilary.

      I am still doing the research on Edwards, Clark, Feingold, Biden, Richardson, Bayh, and Daschle, and Allen and other GOP.

      But he also looks as if he will score below both McCain and Giuliani, who may get mildly supportive labels.  Remeber McCain fought down the Federal Family Protection Act, and I am adding a new question for fighting against restrictions.

      And feedaback is appreciated.

      Stay tuned, tentative Ranking will start to show up in upcoming diaries.

      Cheers,
      :-)

      by Lolligolli on Fri Feb 24, 2006 at 08:01:45 PM PDT
      [ Parent | Reply to This ]

      •  Post Questionairre Udate Modification for Warner (none)
        1. Yes +1
        2. Yes +1
        3. Yes +1
        4. ?NO? 0 until confirmed
        5. ?Yes VA 0 until connfirmed.
        6. No -1 VA
        7. No -2
        8. No -1
        9. No -1
        10. Yes ? -1 Benefit of doubt?

        Total For Former Governer Mark Warner (VA)  -1
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