Kerry Hasn't Changed

You remember John Kerry, don't you? The poll-watching, tip toeing to get around controversial stands, aloof Massachusetts senator who Democrats put their best bets for beating the weakest incumbent president in history, and sure enough, lost. Kerry always searched for the popular, rather than principled positions, and took it. That of course means flip flopping here, there and everywhere, but hey, if that gets you elected president, why not? Oh wait, never mind... Now John Kerry is back. Some speculations say he will run for president again in 2008. Seems that way. Becasue he is putting his finger up in the national wind again to test it. This time, he is taking on his own Massachusetts Democratic Party. The MA Dem Party is expected to approve a platform in their upcoming convention that will include support for full civil marriage rights for same-sex couples. Oh, it might be kind of important here, same-sex marriage in Massachusetts have been legal for a year now. There is enough support for that provision in the platform that it is expected to pass easily. The state's senior senator, Ted Kennedy, has voiced support for equal marriage rights for same-sex couples. But Kerry has decided that what cost him the presidency was not his unclear positions (and I emphasize positions) on Iraq and a host of other issues and his inability to speak to voters at their level, but that Democrats did not become biggotted against gays. That, apparently, is what he thinks is needed in order for Democrats to win elections. Instead of standing up for everyone's equal rights under the law, he has decided that Democrats must not take a stand for the rights of LGBT people. Yes, he says he supports civil unions - something that gives all the state rights of a marriage to a same-sex civil-unioned couple. Nonetheless, civil unions are only a step toward full marriage recognition. The right to file for a marriage certificate is itself a right that is being denied - in addition to over 1000 federal rights (which would of course be denied to married gay couples as well, since the federal government does not recognize marriages other than those between a man and a woman). But what is more important is that civil unions are a step towards full equality, not an end in itself. We as a society have determined a long time ago that a system seperate but equal simply cannot exist. Full social recognition through law is an important step towards LGBT Americans achieving social justice for themselves. Supporting full marriage rights and recognition for them is a stand that Democrats are taking in many states. Massachusetts is one of those states. John Kerry should be proud of his state's and his party's tradition of supporting and uplifting all Americans to have equal rights, responsibilities and opportunities, not give aid and comfort to a Extremist right-wing movement that seeks to strip some Americans of their inalienable rights and make them into second class citizens.

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