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  • « Another victim in the war on terror | Main | Joe Biden's Don't Ask, Don't Tell »

    July 30, 2007

    Ask the Dems: Joe Biden

    Posted by: Chris

    Biden Time to put on our thinking caps and come up with the toughest gay-related question we can think to ask another Democratic presidential candidate.  The idea behind the exercise is to consider the weaknesses of each contender and the areas that ought to be probed at the upcoming Aug. 9 forum sponsored by the Human Rights Campaign and Logo.

    Next up: Joe Biden. The Delaware senator has a strong if not stellar record of supporting gay rights. His scores on the HRC congressional report cards over the years have run from 86 ('99-'00), 100 ('01-'02), 63 ('03-'04), and 78 ('05-'06). He's been marked down mostly for failing to sign on as a sponsor for gay rights legislation, even though his voting record is good.

    Even today, Biden comes off as commitment-phobic. HRC gives him full credit on its presidential candidate "report card" for supporting the Uniting American Families Act, which extends immigration rights to gay Americans wanting to sponsor a foreign partner for citizenship, and the Early Treatment of HIV Act, which extends Medicaid coverage to those who are HIV-positive but don't have an AIDS diagnosis. And yet Biden has never signed on a co-sponsor for UAFA or its predecessor or ETHA.

    Asked specifically in the HRC questionnaire whether the federal government should recognize marriages and civil unions entered into by gay couples, or extend federal marriage rights to gay couples in long-term relationships, Biden dodged, saying only in general terms that, "he believes that legal recognition should not be denied to same-sex couples."

    And unlike his primary opponents, Biden dodged even on the question of gay marriage, saying only that he backs civil unions.

    The question:

    Senator Biden, you've avoided express commitments and delayed or avoided co-sponsorship on some gay rights legislation pending in Congress. And you've not said to what extent gay couples who are married or in civil unions should receive federal recognition. Are you prepared now to make firm, clear commitments and if so, why has it taken you so long?

    Previous questions:

    Dennis Kucinich

    For a complete summary of gay issues in the presidential race, go to: http://www.gaynewswatch.com/whitehouse08

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    Comments

    1. Amicus on Aug 3, 2007 8:08:29 PM:

      "The question:

      Senator Biden, ..."

      The Answer:

      "First, .

      Chris, we're among friends, here, tonight, right? I'm going to level with you. I'm Roman Catholic and I like my job. Maybe that means I can't be a frontrunner on the issues in the way you'd like, but when the votes have come up, as part of our effort to legislate wisely on these matters, I've been there.

      And since we're among friends - this is an informal forum, not an inquisition, I'd like to challenge your community back.

      We've made progress on great social issues, during the long time that I've been in the Senate, on issues like condom use and birth control in general, we've done it as attitudes have changed and new consensus has emerged.

      Some people have been at the forefront of these issues.

      What is your community doing to change or influence the dialog within the faith communities, to make the job of progressive politicians easier?"

    1. Travel Guy on Jan 6, 2008 10:10:18 PM:

      I'm confused Amicus?

    The comments to this entry are closed.

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