WASHINGTON - JUNE 27 - The National Gay and Lesbian Task Force, Inc., today released the first comprehensive analysis of the top 19 candidates for the 2008 presidency on lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) issues. Democrats discussed in this report include Hillary Clinton, John Edwards and Barack Obama. Republicans include Rudy Giuliani, John McCain and Mitt Romney.
The report, The 2008 Presidential Candidates’ Positions on Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender Issues, and its accompanying chart are based on an analysis of the voting records and public statements of the candidates in eight key LGBT issue areas, including sexual orientation and gender identity nondiscrimination and hate crimes laws; HIV/AIDS prevention and treatment; lifting the military's ban on openly lesbian, gay and bisexual service members; and partnership recognition for same-sex couples.
According to the report, all Democratic candidates are supportive of the majority of LGBT issues, including transgender-inclusive nondiscrimination and hate crimes laws. Only two Democratic candidates support marriage equality for same-sex couples, however, yet all of them are in support of other partnership recognition rights, such as civil unions. Across the board, Republican candidates were in opposition to the majority of LGBT issues, with most publicly opposing lifting the military’s ban on openly lesbian, gay and bisexual service members. Ten of 11 Republican candidates also oppose any partnership recognition for same-sex couples, whether it be marriage equality, civil unions or domestic partnerships.
U.S. Rep. Dennis Kucinich is the only 2008 presidential candidate who has publicly supported all eight LGBT issues. Former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney is the only 2008 presidential candidate who has publicly opposed all eight LGBT issues.
Statement by Matt Foreman, Executive Director
National Gay and Lesbian Task Force
“The differences between the Democratic and Republican fields of candidates on lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender issues are shockingly stark and profoundly depressing. Over time, the majority of Americans have moved to support basic fairness for LGBT Americans, including nondiscrimination and hate crimes laws, repeal of ‘Don’t Ask Don’t’ Tell,’ and protections for our families. Sadly, the Republican field has gone in the opposite direction, still clearly pandering to the venom of the so-called ‘religious right.’ This only means that they will continue to use our lives as cultural wedge fodder whenever it’s deemed politically expedient.
“The public statements and voting records of the Democratic candidates show that they are clearly light years ahead of the Republicans on almost every issue important to the LGBT community. Nevertheless, the lack of courage on marriage equality is disturbing on both political and moral grounds. Politically, being for civil unions but against marriage doesn’t bring a single voter over from the other side. Morally, it’s hard to understand how a Democratic candidate can say to people they know individually and to one of the most loyal and generous voting blocs the party has, ‘Sorry, I just can’t go there — you understand, right?’ Actually, we don’t.”
Download the full report and chart