“LGBT Americans are entitled to equal respect and dignity under our laws. Discrimination is morally wrong. All Americans should have the same freedoms and the same responsibilities.”
— John Edwards
John Edwards has been a consistent supporter of the LGBT community, unlike most of the other candidates. And, as we know, Elizabeth Edwards is an even bigger supporter.
Edwards supports the same rights, benefits, and responsibilities for LGBT couples and supports the repeal of the Defense of Marriage Act which was enacted under Pres. Bill Clinton. Elizabeth Edwards goes even further, supporting Marriage Equality.
Edwards also opposes workplace discrimination against the LGBT community and, while still in the Senate, co-sponsored the Employment Non-Discrimination Act.
Edwards supports the rights and privileges of the LGBT community to serve in the Armed Forces and opposes the “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” policies of the Pres. Bill Clinton Administration.
Edwards also believes that same-sex couples should enjoy the same adoption and family privileges as opposite-sex couples.
Edwards supports additional Hate Crimes legislation and while in the Senate, co-sponsored legislation providing law enforcement with tools to investigate and prosecute hate crimes based on perceived and actual sexual orientation and/or gender identity.
Finally, Edwards supports full funding for research and treatment of HIV/AIDS. Edwards was the first Presidential candidate to propose a comprehensive program regarding HIV/AIDS.
More below the flip…
The following are Edwards’ positions on the major issues challenging the LGBT community:
Equal Rights for Same-Sex Couples
Edwards believes that all couples in committed, long-term relationships should have the same rights, benefits, and responsibilities, whether they are straight couples or same-sex couples. He supports civil unions to guarantee gay and lesbian couples the same rights as straight couples, including inheritance rights, hospital visitation rights, equal pension and health care benefits, and all of the 1,100 other legal protections government affords married couples. Edwards supports the full repeal of the Defense of Marriage Act. He also believes same-sex families should be treated in the same manner as other families by our immigration laws. Edwards believes the right president could lead the country toward consensus around equal rights and benefits for all couples in committed, long-term relationships and he opposes divisive Constitutional amendments to ban same-sex marriages.
Workers should be judged by the quality of their performance, not their sexual orientation or gender identity. While in the Senate, Edwards cosponsored the Employment Non-Discrimination Act. He also believes that stronger enforcement is necessary to prevent employment discrimination by federal agencies.
Edwards opposes the current “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” policy on gays and lesbians serving in our military. The military ought to treat all service members equally and in a way that promotes national security, without regard to their sexual orientation.
Edwards believes that gay and lesbian parents should be able to adopt children just like any other parents. There are over 120,000 children waiting for homes in our nation’s foster care system. Adoption placements should be decided by judges and adoption agencies based upon the best interests of the children. Both members of a same-sex couple raising children together should be able to form a legal relationship with their children.
Everyone is entitled to live in dignity without fear of violence. We should strengthen the ability of law enforcement to investigate and prosecute hate crimes based on race, gender, religion, national origin, sexual orientation, disability or gender identity. While in the Senate, Edwards cosponsored legislation to give law enforcement agencies the tools they need to investigate and prosecute hate crimes.
HIV and AIDS
The loss from HIV/AIDS is almost beyond understanding. Edwards believes we have a moral imperative to do much more, and do it much better. He is the first presidential candidate — Democratic or Republican — to propose a comprehensive strategy this year to stop the HIV/AIDS epidemic at home and around the world, building on his plan for true universal health care with specific proposals to expand Medicaid to cover HIV-positive individuals before they reach later stages of disabilities and AIDS and increase support for the Ryan White CARE Act and HOPWA programs. He will also fight the disease in the African-American and Latino communities where the harm is now greatest and employ science-based prevention strategies — including comprehensive, age-appropriate sex education and harm-reduction programs that provide high-risk individuals with access to clean syringes.