A recent exchange between myself and EaBoClipper was sadly cut short because his diary scrolled off the rolls. What we had initiated was a good old fashioned Compare & Contrast on the LGBT policies of the two major senatorial candidates, Kerry (D) and Ogonowski (R). Because of the scrolling snafu, EaBo never had a proper chance to hold up his end of the conversation. I re-initiate it here so that he and others can chime in. To get us started, I’ve written what I know about the LGBT positions of K & O.
UPDATE: Items likely to require a vote in the next session of Congress are highlighted in orange.
Ogonowski (R) (info source)Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell – Opposes. ”We need to do away with it. They just want to serve their country, and they’re true patriots. Who cares if their sexual orientation is different from mine?”
Marriage Equality – Opposes. Supports civil unions.
Defense of Marriage Act – ?
Federal Marriage Amendment – ?
Employment Non-Discrimination Act – ?
Staffing Policy – ?
Local Law Enforcement Enhancement Act (“Matthew Shepard Act”) – ?
Early Treatment for HIV Act – ?
Adoption – ?
Permanent Partners Immigration Act (aka Uniting American Families Act) – ?
The HIV Non-Discrimination in Travel and Immigration Act – ?
Kerry (D) (info source, except marriage equality)Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell – Opposes. Testified in front of a Senate committee in 1993 against DADT and continues to oppose it.
Marriage Equality – Supports Locally. Believes that marriage equality is established law in Massachusetts and should remain so. Worked last spring with Gov. Patrick and state legislators to help defeat the discriminatory anti-equality marriage amendment.
Defense of Marriage Act – Opposed. In 1996, Sen. Kerry was one of only 14 senators, and the only up for re-election, to cast a vote against this discriminatory act.
Federal Marriage Amendment – Opposed.
Employment Non-Discrimination Act – Co-sponsor . Has been voting for it since 1996.
Staffing Policy – Kerry has a policy prohibiting discrimination against LGBT people in his Senate office.
Local Law Enforcement Enhancement Act (“Matthew Shepard Act”)- Co-sponsor.
Early Treatment for HIV Act – Co-sponsor. Also supports full funding for science-based HIV prevention programs and the Ryan White CARE Act
Adoption – Supports giving appropriate authorities the full authority to make decisions on adoption based on the best interest of the child, without bans based solely on sexual orientation.
Permanent Partners Immigration Act (aka Uniting American Families Act) – Co-sponsor.
The HIV Non-Discrimination in Travel and Immigration Act – Supports. Instrumental in getting it passed this week.
I give Ogonowski props for using the term “sexual orientation”, which recognizes that sexuality is indeed an orientation, not a preference. I also appreciate his recognition that gay people are just as patriotic and dedicated to the country as heterosexuals, and should thus be serving openly in the military. I am disappointed at his civil unions stance because as marriage is legal in MA, he essentially is advocating for a regressive policy. However, I recognize that among Republicans, the LGBT-related positions he has taken thus far are on the liberal side, and I respect him for his courage in taking them. I would very much like to hear his positions on the other items listed (or others he might propose) so that we might have a more comprehensive comparison with John Kerry.
My initial image of Ogonowski was that he was anti-gay. After learning the little bit I could glean on his LGBT positions from the net, I am happy to admit that I may very well have been mistaken. What remains to be seen, however, is whether Mr. Ogonowski plans to be a proactive advocate for LGBT concerns like Senator Kerry has been. I hope that Senator Kerry and Mr. Ogonowski will join us here, and speak on their own behalf.