|Feingold Announces Support For Gay Marriage
||[Apr. 4th, 2006|06:05 pm]
Standing up for the U.S. Standing up for US.
I love this man. I love him so much I want to give him a never ending hug.
Sen. Russ Feingold (D-WI) has come out in favor of marriage equality for gay and lesbian couples.
In a meeting with constituents in Kenosha County in his home state, Feingold was asked if he supported a proposed amendment to the Wisconsin constitution to bar same-sex marriage and civil unions.
The measure was cleared last month and will be put to voters in November.
“The proposed ban on civil unions and marriage is a mean-spirited attempt to divide Wisconsin and I indicated that it should be defeated,” Feingold replied to the questioner.
“It discriminates against thousands of people in our communities – our co-workers, our neighbors, our friends, and our family members. It would single out members of a particular group and forever deny them rights and protections granted to all other Wisconsin citizens. It would also outlaw civil unions and jeopardize many legal protections for all unmarried couples, whether of the same or the opposite sex. We shouldn’t enshrine this prejudice in our state’s Constitution.”
Feingold later went on to express his support for the right of gays and lesbians to marry.
"Gay and lesbian couples should be able to marry and have access to the same rights, privileges and benefits that straight couples currently enjoy,” Feingold said.
“Denying people this basic American right is the kind of discrimination that has no place in our laws, especially in a progressive state like Wisconsin. The time has come to end this discrimination and the politics of divisiveness that has become part of this issue.”
Feingold holds listening sessions in each of Wisconsin’s 72 counties every year.
His position was hailed Tuesday by LGBT rights groups.
"Senator Feingold's public support for marriage fairness is the type of leadership this country so desperately needs and deserves," said Human Rights Campaign President Joe Solmonese.
Senator Feingold is taking a common-sense step toward fairness. He understands that America is at its' best when all members of our society are treated equally."
The National Gay and Lesbian Task Force called the position "principled".
"Senator Feingold's announcement today is more than an important step forward in the struggle for equal rights. At long last, progressive and fair-minded Americans have a leader taking the ethically and morally correct stand for marriage equality — no equivocation, waffling or hairsplitting," said NGLTF executive director Matt Foreman.
Gay Democrats embraced the Senator's remarks.
"Americans are quickly moving towards full support for marriage equality, and we are seeing a new generation of Democrats emerge whose leadership will help turn that support into law," said Jo Wyrick, of National Stonewall Democrats. (Emphasis mine.)
Now this is why I love Russ; not only for his stance on this particular issue, but also because it shows how Sen. Feingold is unafraid to take a stance on a very divisive issue. I'm so proud of my senator.
x-posted to my journal.