April 11, 2006

Supporting a GLBT Freindly Politician

Author Wayne Besen has a column up on his site about U. S. Senator Russ Feingold, who is the first potentially viable presidential candidate to come out in favor of legalizing same-sex marriage.

Besen writes that this is somewhat of a watershed moment in GLBT politics and feels that because of his support, Feingold deserves the strong support of the GLBT community. He compares Feingold to other political "friends":

As the right wing beat the stuffing out of our beleaguered families, our "friends" whispered from the sidelines, "don't take it personally, we still love you." And, of course, they do love us, which is the problem. We are adored like the terminally uncool, but loyal, buddy who unfailingly helps move our furniture or fixes our computers, but never asks us why we haven't invited him to swanky A-List parties.

Since Feingold has invited the GLBT community to the party, Besen feels that they should make every effort to attend.

I agree with this to some extent. When I begin considering who will receive my vote in the 2008 Democratic primary election, their position on GLBT equality will obviously be an important factor, but not the only one. Besen does not make the "one issue" case for Feingold either, pointing out the Senator's strong stance on campaign finance reform and his measure to censure President Bush and hold him accountable for illegally wiretapping Americans as other strong points on his political resume.

I just want to caution the GLBT community and their allies to not fall into the trap the religious right has sucked millions of voters into. They have convinced people that it is wrong to vote for someone who wants to keep abortion legal or doesn't want prayer in schools. These are important issues, but do they really rank up there with decisions like whether or not to invade another nation?

When it comes down to it, there are issues that have more far-reaching impact that same-sex marriage. However, if your favorite candidates agree on everything else and disagree on that issue, it would be a good tie-breaker.

Feingold might very well be worthy of supporting for president. Let's just make sure we consider his and any other candidate's entire political platform and not be overly influenced by any single issue no matter how passionately we care about it.

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