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Democratic National Committee chairman Howard Dean, who has been embroiled in some controversy over his perceived lack of support for gay rights, on Saturday gave the keynote address to the gay political group National Stonewall Democrats conference in Pittsburgh.
"We live in a time when this community and your families are the targets of mean-spirited attacks by Republicans who put their own and their party's interests ahead of the national interest, when the president of the United States just this morning used his weekly radio address to endorse a constitutional amendment that would introduce legalized discrimination in our Constitution," Dean told the conference. "The Democrats will oppose that."
"We are with you, helping equip our state parties against the state ballot measures and standing up to the federal marriage amendment that Bill Frist and President Bush are so eager to embrace," Dean continued. "Unlike Republicans, who try to claim the mantle of family values, Democrats value all families.... I am proud to lead a party that has led the fight for hate-crimes legislation and fought for laws banning any discrimination based on race, ethnicity, and on sexual orientation.... And I am proud to lead a party that understands that using marriage as a wedge issue and scapegoating groups of Americans to win elections is morally wrong."
"Five months from this Wednesday, Americans head to the polls with one question in mind: Do we want more of the same Bush and Republican policies? Or do we want change?" Dean asked the crowd. "Here's what we offer in the Democratic Party: We offer honest leadership and open government. We offer real security and a strong defense.... We offer American jobs that stay in America and a health care system that works for everyone.... We offer an energy independence industry in America that creates jobs and reduces our dependence on foreign oil." (The Advocate)
Dean tells gay
Democrats: "We are with you"