Monday, July 16, 2007

Elizabeth Edwards Continues Gay Rights Stump

Elizabeth Edwards continued her gay rights stump -- perhaps on behalf of her husband, Democratic Presidential candidate John Edwards -- this past weekend as she again reiterated her support for marriage for same-sex couples at the Human Rights Campaign annual gala in San Francisco. Edwards also used the dinner as an opportunity to blast President George W. Bush's opposition of the federal hate crimes bill in the context of a Sacramento man who died earlier this month after a group of men attacked him because they thought he was gay.

"This president talks a lot about good and evil and the need to seek out evil doers," she said. "He doesn't seem to recognize the evil in hate crimes. The right to live without the fear of being murdered for whom we love is not a special right."

The U.S. Senate is slated to debate the Local Law Enforcement Hate Crimes Prevention Act of 2007 later this week to the almost universal praise among local, regional and national LGBT organizations. Edwards, for her part, came out in support of marriage for same-sex couples last month in San Francisco at a pre-Pride breakfast. Her husband reportedly expressed surprise at his wife's position. He opposes marriage for same-sex couples but both Edwardses maintain their overall support for LGBT people. Is Edwards' appearance in San Francisco another example of political courtship with a potentially influential voting block? Of course! Politics remains a cynical entity as candidates continue to criss-cross the country in search of support and lucrative donors in what has already become the most expensive Presidential campaign in American history. Activists should thank Edwards for her appearance in San Francisco and her pro-LGBT overtures in recent weeks. The proof of this new found support, however, remains in the campaign's actions in the months leading up to Iowa and New Hampshire. Candidates continue to make blanket statements, issue good sound bites and talk a good talk on their stump. Voters, on the other hand, need to demand specifics from those who seek to sucede the current administration.

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