Citing his support for GLBT equality, the national gay rights group Human Rights Campaign on Wednesday endorsed Democratic U.S. senator John Kerry of Massachusetts for president.
"From voting against the Defense of Marriage Act to actively opposing 'don't ask, don't tell,' John Kerry is a true leader for our community," said HRC president Cheryl Jacques. "Just six months into his first Senate term in 1985, he introduced a gay civil rights bill. His aggressive support for our community continued unabated for the years that followed, demonstrated time and again by perfect HRC ratings on GLBT issues in Congress."
Although Kerry does not support same-sex marriage, HRC said he was one of only 14 senators to cast a vote against the 1996 federal Defense of Marriage Act, which was signed into law by then-president Bill Clinton. Kerry is a cosponsor of the Employment Non-Discrimination Act, which would prohibit workplace discrimination based on sexual orientation, and voted for the bill in 1996.
"I want to thank HRC for its endorsement," said Kerry. "We have worked together on so many battles, and we still have many challenges ahead of us. I know that America finds its strength in the diversity of this great country. I have worked for more than 20 years to make sure that LGBT Americans are treated with dignity in our society and equality in our laws. That fight is not over, and I will be there for the fights in the future."
Added Jacques: "While we disagree with Senator Kerry on the issue of marriage for same-sex couples, he is firmly opposed to the Federal Marriage Amendment, which would deny our community equality for generations. His opposition stands in stark contrast to President Bush, who has not only endorsed the amendment but is one of its chief advocates."