EDWARDS’ HIV PLAN: Democrat John Edwards on Monday, Sept. 24, became the first presidential candidate of either party to announce a plan for combating HIV/AIDS.
The plan, revealed at a Kaiser Family Foundation forum in Washington, D.C., calls for providing Medicaid coverage in the early phases of the disease and directing preventive efforts on the African American and Latino communities. It also calls for spending $50 billion over five years to make drug treatments more affordable.
On the more controversial side, the plan calls for “age-appropriate sex education” to help prevent HIV infection in young people and clean syringes for “high-risk individuals.”
FACTCHECK ON SAM: Republican presidential hopeful Sam Brownback has been claiming for months that the acceptance of same-sex marriage in some other countries has resulted in a dramatic drop in heterosexual marriages and a dramatic rise in the number of children born out of wedlock. But a recent Washington Post “FactChecker” column says those claims are “questionable.” “Both the decline in marriage rates and the rise in numbers of children born out of wedlock long precede attempts to “‘redefine’ marriage by permitting civil unions and gay marriages,” said the Post.
FOCUS ON FRED: Republican presidential hopeful Fred Thompson is the latest victim of right-wing Focus on Family leader James Dobson. According to an Associated Press report this month, Dobson sent out an e-mail criticizing Thompson for his position against a federal constitutional amendment banning gay marriage and said the candidate is “not for me.”
ROSES AND GUNS: Republican presidential hopeful Rudy Giuliani has apparently revised his 12 commitments to the American people to include a new one that promises “preserving and protecting the Constitution of the United States the way it’s written.”
It wasn’t one of the 12 commitments he issued in June, but one he gave considerable attention to in an appearance this month before the National Rifle Association. His answer provides LGBT voters some useful information, too. He said he would protect the Constitution “based on what it means, not based on somebody’s social agenda or political biases or prejudices, left, right middle, in-between.”
He said “a judge is an interpreter of the law, not a creator of the law.” And he thinks the U.S. Supreme Court’s most conservative justices John Roberts Jr., Sam Alito and Antonin Scalia “are the kinds of judges I would seek to appoint.” He singled Scalia out for additional praise. Scalia has the worst voting record on gay-related cases of any justice currently on the Supreme Court.
ROMNEY RADIOS POSITION: Republican candidate Mitt Romney is playing up his opposition to same-sex marriage in Iowa this month, capitalizing on the recent decision there by a district court judge who said the state constitution requires the state to treat gay couples the same as heterosexual couples in marriage licensing.
In a radio ad, the Romney campaign boasts that the former governor of Massachusetts “stood up for traditional marriage” in the nation’s most liberal state and is opposing the Polk County, Iowa, decision, too.
Romney calls the Iowa court decision “just another example of an activist judge finding things in the constitution that aren’t there” and, saying that “not all Republican candidates for president agree,” reiterates his support for a federal constitutional ban.
This article appeared in the Dallas Voice print edition September 28, 2007