Presidential candidates square off on gay rights

BY admin

November 06 2003 12:00 AM ET

Gathering in Boston Tuesday night for a live debate on CNN, the Democratic presidential candidates squared off on a number of issues, including gay rights.

Gen. Wesley Clark said the military's "don't ask, don't tell" policy, which prohibits gays from serving openly, is imperfect and needs to be reviewed so that "every American who desires to serve can."

Sen. John Kerry said he is for partnership rights, civil unions, and hate-crimes legislation that extends to gays. But Rep. Dennis Kucinich went further, saying, "Gays, lesbians, bisexual, transgender people under my administration would have full participation, and they would also have the right to marry."

Howard Dean, who signed a civil unions bill while governor of Vermont, said the "single most important act in helping gays and lesbians get the same rights as everybody else is...people who are gay and lesbian standing up and being proud of who they are and saying so."

Former Illinois senator Carol Moseley Braun also expressed her support for extending equal rights to gay people: "When you start off life both black and female, it is not hard to understand the aspirations of the GLBT community."

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