North Carolina Newspapers

    Page 10
October 2000
Election 2000: Sizing Up Presidential Candidates
From Brown to Nader, a Look at How Gay-Friendly (Or Unfriendly) They Are
BY JESSE Davidson
This November 7, Americans will go
to the polls and cast their vote for presi
dent. During this next four-year term,
the president will most likely seat sev
eral new Justices in the Supreme Court.
The influence of these Justices is impor
tant to the gay community because many
legal battles about gay marriages, adop
tion, and overall rights will pass through
the court. It is important to know each
candidate's stance on gay rights in order
to make a wise decision.
Presidential candidate Harry Brown
for the Libertarian Party is partial to gay
rights overall, but some of his views are
not completely gay inclusive. The Lib
ertarian Party believes in a small gov
ernment in which citizens have the right
to make decisions for themselves. On the
topic of gay marriages or domestic part
nerships, Brown feels that the govern
ment should treat same-sex marriages
as they treat opposite-sex marriages. He
also believes that government employ
ees should be able to choose whomever
they want for health benefits. Brown told
and interviewer at "PlanetOut," "Mar
riage is no business of the state whatso
ever. It is between two individuals ...
[The government] should allow any two
people who want to be married to be
married^ But in the final analysis, what I
would prefer to see is the state not pro
viding any legal benefits or detriments
to people based on marital status."
Brown personally believes that gay and
lesbian parents should be able to adopt
also objects to the current "Don't Ask,
Don't Tell" policy because he feels that
homosexuals should not be in the mili
tary at all. He opposes all hate crime and
END legislation. Buchanan does not
agree with any AIDS prevention or treat
ment funding because as he told the Los
Angeles Times in November 1986, "Ho
mosexuals have declared war on nature
and now nature is extracting an awful
Republican presidential candidate
George Bush has been dubbed by the
media a believer in "Compassionate
Conservatism." Since his acceptance of
the nomination as GOP presidential can
didate, he has not changed any of his anti
gay stances, though. Bush is against gay
marriages but has not stated an opinion
on domestic partnerships, even though
as Governor of Texas he did not grant
domestic partnership insurance benefits
to state employees. He opposes all gay
and lesbian adoption and supported a
Texas bill preventing homosexuals from
adopting. Bush supports the "Don't Ask,
''Bush ... does not
support Junding for
AIDS prevention and
" education other than
Don't Tell" policy, but believes that it
needs to be better executed. He opposes
children, but he does not want the gov- all hate crime legislation and is against
ernment to make any laws governing
this and thinks that the mother or pri
vate agency should make the decision.
Brown wants a much smaller military,
but believes that any homosexuals who
wish to serve should be allowed to serve
openly. He opposes all civil rights laws
including GLBT hate crime legislation.
He also opposes any employment non
discrimination (END) because he feels
that private companies should have the
right to hire and fire whomever they
Candidate Pat Buchanan, for the Re
form Party, strongly opposes gay rights.
He declares that homosexuality is an in-
END legislation because he thinks that
protection for homosexuals is unneces
sary and only creates "special rights."
He also does not support funding for
AIDS prevention and education other
than abstinence.
Current Vice President and Demo
cratic Presidential Candidate A1 Gore has
been consistent in supporting pro-gay
stances. He does not feel that same-sex
marriage should be legal, but he does
think that they should be given a "sepa
rate but equal" status. "Separate but
equal" would give same-sex couples the
same legal and economic benefits as op
posite-sex couples, but could hinder se-
fringement upon "traditional family curing immigration and other marriage
values." Buchanan is against same-sex rights. Gore supports gay and lesbian
marriages and adoption. He said on parenting but will do nothing about dis-
"Crossfire" in 1994, "I don't think two crimination in adoption agencies. He
homosexuals can really be parents." He will try to prevent gay and lesbian adop
tion from becoming illegal, though. He
thinks that the current military "Don't
Ask, Don't Tell" policy is insufficient and
wants to make it legal for homosexuals
to serve in the armed forces. "It is unac
ceptable that patriotic men and women
who serve their nation with distinction
are not only discharged, but suffer per
secution and even violence. They should
be allowed to serve their country with
out discrimination," he told the Associ
ated Press in September. Gore also
strongly supports END and hate crime
legislation as well as funding for AIDS
research and prevention and education.
The Green Party candidate, Ralph
Nader, strongly favors gay rights and
completely supports the Green Party
platform of giving legal rights to same-
sex partnerships equal to those of oppo
site-sex marriages. He also believes that
same-sex couples should have the same
adoption and child custody rights as op
posite-sex couples. Nader wants to slash
the military budget and use that money
on preventative measures such as diplo
macy while also making it legal for ho
mosexuals to serve openly. He strongly
endorses all civil rights legislation, such
as employment nondiscrimination for
gays, lesbians, bisexuals and
transgenders, as well as hate crime leg
islation. Nader also wants to make anti-
HIV drugs more readily available to
people by controlling either the produc
tion of the drugs or placing caps on how
much drug companies can charge. Cur
rently Ralph Nader is not on the ballot
in North Carolina, so in order to vote
for him in NC, it must be a write-in vote
if the state does not allow the Green Party
onto the ballot by November 2000.
The next four years are very impor
tant for GLBT issues. Many laws may be
passed which can either benefit or hinder
the rights of queer citizens in the United
States. The presidential outcome of this
election will control placement of sev
eral Supreme Court Justices on the bench
as well as lead the nation into the new
millennium. Be sure that you register to
vote and make it to the polls this No
vember 7. For more information about
the candidates please see:
http;/ /www.pIanetQut.cpm/
Jesse can be reached at
jwdavids @ einaiLnnc.edn.

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