Thursday, March 15, 2007

Gay Democrats Respond to 'Morality' Statements

Source: National Stonewall Democrats
Date: March 15, 2007

WASHINGTON -- Today, the National Stonewall Democrats issued the following statement in response to remarks made by Senators Hillary Clinton (D-NY) and Barack Obama (D-IL) when each was asked to clarify if a same-sex sexual orientation made someone immoral. Both Senators have refused to answer the question which followed comments made by Marine General Peter Pace, Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, to the editorial board of the Chicago Tribune in which he called American service personnel immoral:

"Most Democrats understand, and should understand, that morality isn't derived from sexual orientation or gender identity. Morality is how you treat your neighbor, support your community and sacrifice for your family and country. When I tuck my daughter into bed at night, those are the values I teach her. We expect Democratic candidates and elected officials to reaffirm those same values, to speak up when families or individuals are scapegoated or maligned for political gain, and to proactively argue the benefits of treating all Americans equally under the law without regard to their sexual orientation or gender identity.

"Morality is also embodied in action. Our Democratic presidential candidates support employment non-discrimination legislation, the extension of health care benefits to our families, and oppose constitutional amendments that attack lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people for political gain. Those are moral actions and positions that each candidate should be proud to campaign on.

"National Stonewall Democrats looks forward to further working with our Democratic candidates so that, in the future, they can speak with moral clarity and continue to positively partner with our community."

-- Jo Wyrick, Executive Director, National Stonewall Democrats

In comments reported this week by the Chicago Tribune, General Peter Pace unfavorably compared homosexuality to adultery, saying he believed both were immoral. "I do not believe the United States is well served by a policy that says it is okay to be immoral in any way," Pace said. ""I believe homosexual acts between two individuals are immoral and that we should not condone immoral acts."

Senators Clinton and Obama were each asked, in response to the comments made by General Pace, if sexual orientation was an immoral trait. Each Senator, so far, has declined to answer the question.

Congressman Marty Meehan (D-MA) has recently introduced the Military Readiness Enhancement Act, which would revoke the current policy on gay personnel. The removal of "Don't Ask, Don't Tell, Don't Pursue" policy is supported by leading Democrats and is the official position of the Democratic Party as espoused in the 2004 platform of the Democratic National Convention.

National Stonewall Democrats is the only national organization of gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender Democrats, with more than 90 local chapters across the nation. NSD is committed to working through the Democratic Party to advance the rights of all people regardless of sexual orientation or gender identity.

CONTACT: John Marble of National Stonewall Democrats, 202-436-5966


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