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Response to Live and Learn (Reply #8)

Tue Oct 6, 2015, 06:33 AM

11. Yep, I'll just leave these here so everyone can see for themselves who's always been an ally:

32 Years Before Marriage Equality, Bernie Sanders Fought For Gay Rights



But these are only very recent developments. Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton may be champions of same-sex marriage now, but you don’t have to go far back to find a time when they weren’t. And hey, we’re happy to have their evolved support.

Not only did Sanders vote against the Defense of Marriage Act in 1996 which defined marriage as between one man and one woman, signed into law by then-president Bill Clinton — an unpopular position then — a look back at Sanders’ political career shows consistent support of the gay rights movement. Even when it was more than just unpopular, it was downright controversial.

“In our democratic society, it is the responsibility of government to safeguard civil liberties and civil rights — especially the freedom of speech and expression,” Sanders wrote later in a memo. “In a free society, we must all be committed to the mutual respect of each others lifestyle.”

...

“It is my very strong view that a society which proclaims human freedom as its goal, as the United States does, must work unceasingly to end discrimination against all people. I am happy to say that this past year, in Burlington, we have made some important progress by adopting an ordinance which prohibits discrimination in housing. This law will give legal protection not only to welfare recipients, and families with children, the elderly and the handicapped — but to the gay community as well.”

http://www.queerty.com/32-years-before-marriage-equality-bernie-sanders-fought-for-gay-rights-20150719


On LGBT Rights, Bernie Leads and Hillary Follows

Of course, Clinton has since evolved on LGBT rights, as many have. That's wonderful. But the problem is, she only came out in support of marriage equality after it was not politically risky to do so. In fact, by 2013 - the year Clinton announced her full support for marriage equality - Democratic support for same-sex marriage was the norm, not the exception.

On such an important moral issue that affects my life and the lives of thousands of other Americans, making decisions in this manner is rather despicable. Additionally, Clinton's habit of doing what polls deem politically popular is the reason why so many voters find her inauthentic. Now, if Clinton were the only option for the Democratic presidential nomination, I would understand why we should support her despite these flaws.

But she isn't the only option.

Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders, the longest-serving Independent in the history of Congress, is also running for the nomination. And unlike Clinton, his record on LGBT rights is historically excellent.

Sanders voted against DOMA, one of the few members of Congress to do so, at a time when such a stance was not politically popular. Four years after DOMA passed, Sanders helped champion Vermont's decision in 2000 to become the first state to legalize same-sex civil unions. This set a national precedent for LGBT equality achieved via legislative means. In 2009, when Vermont became the first state to allow marriage equality through legislative action rather than a court ruling, Sanders expressed his support once again. Truly, Sanders has been a real leader on LGBT rights, even if this leadership isn't recognized in the way that Clinton's current support is.

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/scott-novak/on-lgbt-rights-bernie-lea_b_7662682.html


Bernie Sanders Was for Full Gay Equality 40 Years Ago

Today’s Supreme Court decision was a monumental moment in American history, as it guaranteed the right for gays and lesbians to get married and established full marriage equality.

Many politicians offered their words of support, including President Obama and Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton.

Yet it is important to remember that Obama and Clinton both opposed marriage equality as late as early 2012. It is a testament to the work of thousands of activists over decades that the political class was pulled towards supporting equality.

There is however one prominent politician who did not wait so long to call for full gay equality: Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-VT)

In a letter he published in the early 1970’s, when he was a candidate for governor of Vermont from the Liberty Union Party, Sanders invoked freedom to call for the abolition of all laws related to homosexuality:


http://www.alternet.org/civil-liberties/bernie-sanders-was-full-gay-equality-40-years-ago



Sanders: I was ahead of the curve on gay rights

Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) said Saturday he has been waiting for the nation to catch up to his support for same-sex marriage.

Sanders’ remarks come a day after Friday’s landmark 5-4 Supreme Court ruling legalizing same-sex marriage nationwide.

He argued he was well ahead of the historic decision, unlike Hillary Clinton, his main rival for the 2016 Democratic presidential nomination.

...

Sanders at the time served in the House of Representatives, which voted 342-67 in favor of DOMA. The Senate voted 85-14 in favor, before former President Bill Clinton signed it into law.

“That was an anti-gay marriage piece of legislation,” he added of the law that defined marriage at the federal level as the coupling of one man and one woman.

Sanders on Saturday praised Americans for creating greater opportunities for same-sex couples. Friday’s Supreme Court ruling, he charged, was not possible without national pressure for gay rights.

“No one here should think for one second this starts with the Supreme Court,” Sanders said.

“It starts at the grassroots level in all 50 states,” he said. “The American people want to end discrimination in all its forms.”


http://thehill.com/homenews/campaign/246370-sanders-i-was-ahead-of-the-curve-on-gay-rights


Bernie Sanders was decades ahead of the country on gay rights and ending the war on drugs

Most Americans now support legally allowing gay and lesbian relationships, same-sex marriage, and personal marijuana use after decades of shifting public opinion. But one Democratic candidate for president, Sen. Bernie Sanders of Vermont, was calling for many of these changes decades ago.

In a 1972 letter to a local newspaper — which was recently resurfaced by Chelsea Summers at the New Republic — Sanders wrote that he supported abolishing "all laws dealing with abortion, drugs, sexual behavior (adultery, homosexuality, etc.)" as part of his campaign for Vermont governor:

These stances were far removed from public opinion at the time, according to Gallup surveys on marijuana and gay and lesbian rights. In 1972, 81 percent of Americans said marijuana should be illegal — which suggests even more would favor the prohibition of more dangerous drugs like cocaine and heroin. In 1977, the earliest year of polling data, 43 percent of Americans said gay and lesbian relations between consenting adults should not be legal, while 43 percent said they should be legal.


...

But it took decades for the American public to come around to majority support on these issues: It wasn't until 2013 that a majority of Americans supported marijuana legalization, the early 2000s that most consistently responded in favor of legal gay and lesbian relations, and 2011 that a majority first reported backing same-sex marriage rights.

Sanders has carried many of these positions to this day. He was one of the few federal lawmakers to vote against the Defense of Marriage Act, the federal ban on same-sex marriages, in the 1990s. And while he told Time's Jay Newton-Small in March that he has no current stance on marijuana legalization (but backs medical marijuana), he characterized the war on drugs as costly and destructive.

http://www.vox.com/2015/7/7/8905905/sanders-drugs-gay-rights


Bernie Sanders' Views On Gay Marriage Show He's Been A Supporter For A Long Time

Now that he's officially announced he will seek the Democratic nomination for president and challenge Hillary Clinton, Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders will be talking about his positions on major issues on the campaign trail, and one very big issue he has championed for years is gay marriage. Sanders, unlike some of his potential Republican opponents, seems like he would not turn down an invitation to a gay wedding (and he might actually get invited to one).

In 1996, then-Representative Sanders voted against the Defense of Marriage Act, which barred recognition of gay marriage at the federal level (DOMA was ruled unconstitutional by the Supreme Court in 2013). Sanders' and his home state of Vermont were the first to legalize same-sex unions in 2000, at first recognizing them as civil unions. Gay marriage has been legal in Vermont since 2009, and as The New York Times reported, Vermont was the first state to pass legislation in support of same-sex marriage, rather than in reaction to a court ruling.

On Tuesday, as the Supreme Court took up the issue of gay marriage, Sanders issued a statement on his website reaffirming his support, saying gay Americans in every state should be allowed to marry.

Of course all citizens deserve equal rights. It’s time for the Supreme Court to catch up to the American people and legalize gay marriage.

http://www.bustle.com/articles/79951-bernie-sanders-views-on-gay-marriage-show-hes-been-a-supporter-for-a-long-time


Is Bernie Sanders the Most LGBT-Friendly Candidate?

Bernie Sanders, the longest-serving independent member of Congress, is officially seeking the Democratic nomination for president in 2016, the Vermont senator announced in an email to supporters this morning.

"People should not underestimate me," Sanders told the Associated Press in an interview that broke the news of his candidacy Wednesday night. "I've run outside of the two-party system, defeating Democrats and Republicans, taking on big-money candidates and, you know, I think the message that has resonated in Vermont is a message that can resonate all over this country."

The self-described "Democratic socialist" wants to challenge the business-as-usual trend of big money in politics that he says dominates the current candidates — including Hillary Clinton.

The thrust of Sanders's campaign thus far — like his political career as the mayor of Burlington, Vt., 16 years in the U.S. House of Representatives, and the past seven in the U.S. Senate — has focused on supporting working-class Americans through elevated taxes on the wealthy and correcting income inequality "which is now reaching obscene levels," he told the AP.

But Sanders has also been a steadfast and reliable supporter of LGBT equality, supporting the Employment Non-Discrimination Act when it passed the Senate in 2013 and even calling on President Obama to evolve already and support marriage equality in 2011. He's a cosponsor of the federal LGBT-inclusive Student Non-Discrimination Act and has consistently voted against bills seeking to amend the Constitution to ban same-sex marriage, while cosponsoring a bill that would repeal the remaining portions of the so-called Defense of Marriage Act. Sanders has a perfect score of 100 percent on the Human Rights Campaign's latest Congressional Equality Index.

http://www.advocate.com/politics/election/2015/04/30/bernie-sanders-most-lgbt-friendly-candidate


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LineLineReply Yep, I'll just leave these here so everyone can see for themselves who's always been an ally:
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