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Jill Stein’s Been Fighting Civil-Unions-Only Dems Since 2002

In 2002 Jill Stein became the first gubernatorial candidate in Massachusetts history to endorse same-sex marriage. Stein pushed the other six candidates, all Democrats, to abandon their “civil-unions" position.

Stein’s stance and robust support from gay rights advocates and gay-friendly newspapers encouraged several other Democratic candidates to take the risk to support gay marriage, too.

Then, in 2004 the Massachusetts Supreme Court ruled marriage discrimination was unconstitutional according to the state constitution. What did the 85% Democratic state legislature do? It rallied to AMEND the state constitution so marriage discrimination would be constitutional. After all, their very own John Kerry was running for president as a civil-unions-only candidate. Might be awkward for him coming from a full out pro-gay state. Party cronyism over principles, after all.

Stein was leader of the Green Party in Massachusetts and pushed hard for marriage equality. She accused the civil-unions-only posturing Dems of reducing gay and lesbian couples to second-class citizenship.

When Kerry lost the presidency, the legislature’s anti-gay constitution-amending thankfully lost its momentum. After all, why gratuitously offend the gay constituency since Kerry had already lost? Pragmatic situational faux-ethics?

Of course Jill Stein has welcomed Obama’s recent statement in support of same-sex marriages.

“The long overdue statement by President Obama that he endorses same-sex marriage is indeed a milestone.  In 2008, President Barack Obama went all over America saying that the civil unions were enough, and he saw nothing wrong in discrimination against same-sex couples.  Whether it is called “evolution” or a political calculation,  the change in the President’s position is a tribute to all the activists who have worked so hard for marriage equality.  The steadily growing public support for marriage equality is convincing increasing numbers of politicians to rethink their positions.”

“I’m proud that I don’t have to change my position to match the polls. I have supported marriage equality since at least 2002, when I ran for governor.  And I’m going to continue to work to eliminate this insidious form of discrimination. President Obama is still enforcing the Defense of Marriage Act - and that has to stop. And the President is saying that its acceptable for individual states to discriminate. I believe that when it comes to basic rights, it’s improper for a President to treat them as local options. The federal government is charged with defending the human rights of all people, no matter which state they live in.”

When Stein was compaigning in North Carolina she continually referenced her opposition to the anti-gay referendum on the upcoming ballot. Obama’s campaign talk while he was in North Carolina carefully omitted the anti-gay referendum. Stein's response to Obama's evasiveness:

“When it comes to human rights, it’s not acceptable to look the other way for political convenience. I’m glad that the Green Party and my campaign are able to speak up when the President is silent.”

Stein declared while campaigning in recent marriage equality Washington state:

“Now that seven states will have stopped discrimination against same-sex couples,  it’s clear that equal marriage rights are here to stay. But it’s simply not acceptable that those married in one state are denied respect and equality when they cross state lines.  We've been here before in the case of interracial marriages, and we decided the issue in favor of universal recognition of marriages regardless of where they were performed.  We need to do the same with same-sex marriages.”

And this in North Carolina:

"When equal marriage rights came to Massachusetts, some people panicked, and said that it would destroy traditional marriage. I can definitively say now that all those fears proved to be unfounded. Marriage equality has enriched the lives of thousands of gay and lesbian couples and helped them realize their dreams. It hasn't hurt anyone. We are all better off for it. Discrimination against caring people is what we should be worrying about."

Obama communicated in his supposedly “watershed” stance that he still considers the marriage equality issue a matter of “states rights”. So what do we trust and where do we actually stand npw from this supposed breakthrough amidst the usual Obama fog of general vs. specific, talking the talk vs. walking the walk “truthiness”?

Stein celebrates the fact that Obama is not “looking away” from the gay marriage issue. But she, like so many of us sadder but wiser citizens, knows all too well the difference between opportunistic political pandering and honest commitment with follow through. Stein:

“... President Obama is still enforcing the Defense of Marriage Act - and that has to stop. And the President is saying that its acceptable for individual states to discriminate. I believe that when it comes to basic rights, it’s improper for a President to treat them as local options. The federal government is charged with defending the human rights of all people, no matter which state they live in.”

Dr. Stein on DOMA during her campaign visit to North Carolina:

“It’s also time for the President to stop enforcing the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA) and bring a challenge to its constitutionality before the courts. DOMA is denying equality of federal benefits to legally married couples based on nothing more than their sex.  The Obama Administration has admitted that DOMA is unconstitutional, but they are not acting as if they take that conclusion seriously. On a matter that does such harm to people, words without action are not enough.”

Words without action are not enough! Otherwise we are back to playing Lucy and the Football on this issue, too, with our campaign-mode President.

Dr. Stein is touring the nation promoting a Green New Deal, which includes: creating 25 million green jobs, ending unemployment, slowing climate change, bringing the troops home, downsizing the military, eliminating insurance waste through Medicare for All, having the rich pay their fair share, free public education (with money saved from new non-profiteering national health care), and forgiving student-loan debt (Stein: “an oppressive burden on an entire generation”).

Is Obama promoting any of these or is he using the gay rights focus to distract the citizens and media from the ever-escalating horrors of crony capitalism and US rogue militarism?

What is Jill Stein doing going on the record with such a clear, strong, sane, humane, pro-citizen social vision? No smoke and mirrors??? That is not the American political way.

I am sure such an agenda will set off the faux-progressive pragmatists insisting we REMAIN in the swampy quicksand of “lesser evilism.” I am sure the CORPORATE media will continue to ignore this DANGEROUS pro-citizen Dr. Stein who is promoting what someone named Abraham Lincoln once proposed, “a government of the people, by the people, for the people.”

As for Obama, I'll wait for him to actually walk the walk to a higher moral ground where Dr. Stein has been firmly standing since 2002 and before.

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tom allen's picture
Submitted by tom allen on

Had to read that headline twice. "Jill Stein's Been Fighting Civil Unions"? What the --? Ohhhhh. Never mind.