MassEquality passed along this great news — Joe Kennedy III, who is running for the seat Barney Frank is vacating, announced in Bay Windows (Boston’s LGBT newspaper) supporting full LGBT equality – including a trans-inclusive ENDA as well as SNDA, SSIA, UAFA, ECDF, DOMA repeal, and a national strategy for HIV/AIDS prevention and treatment.
Here is the full text:
We have more to do
On May 17, 2004, wedding bells around the Commonwealth rang out a message of love and justice, as Massachusetts first celebrated marriage equality. I have never been more proud to say I was from the Bay State, which was once again leading our nation to a first in civil rights, equality and liberty. The pride I felt that day is something I’ve carried with me in my own run for office. In my view, marriage equality isn’t simply a “settled issue.” It is a landmark to be celebrated and defended, a reflection of the values that define this country and the future we imagine for the next generation. That day eight years ago marked an important step in a long campaign for the LGBT community and its allies; but we have more steps ahead on the road to full equality.
I am running for Congress in the 4th District of Massachusetts because I believe this country was founded on a simple principle: that each of us deserves to be treated equally and fairly by our government and our fellow citizens. Under the leadership of President Obama, we have made some important strides, including the repeal of “Don’t Ask Don’t Tell,” and the enactment of the Matthew Shepard and James Byrd, Jr. Hate Crimes Prevention Act. Despite those achievements, today’s America too often falls short of this country’s full promise. Whether they are a jobless veteran, a recent graduate burdened by student debt, a senior overwhelmed by the rising cost of health care, or a family stuck with an underwater mortgage, people across the 4th District and around the country feel like they are not getting a fair shake.
People aren’t looking for special treatment—they’re looking for this country to make true on that basic promise that each of us gets a fair shot —no matter our background, our family, our income, our gender, our race, our sexual orientation or anything else. But we’ll never have a level playing field as long as we have laws on the books that enshrine discrimination. That’s why I support the Respect for Marriage Act, which would repeal DOMA. It is also why I cheered the First Circuit’s recent decision in the Gill case, which found DOMA unconstitutional because it denies same-sex married couples the same federal benefits available to opposite-sex married couples, and why I support the Uniting American Families Act, which would lower unfair hurdles to sponsoring a same-sex partner for permanent residency in the United States.But the fight for equal rights for the LGBT community goes beyond marriage equality. As equal-marriage becomes law in more and more states, we need to look beyond legal equality and toward lived equality. We need a plan to stop the devastating effects of bullying in our schools. I support both the Safe Schools Improvement Act and the Student Non-Discrimination Act, which are needed steps toward that goal. I also believe every child should have access to a loving home, regardless of the sexual orientation, gender identity, or marital status of the prospective parents. That’s why I support the Every Child Deserves a Family Act.
I believe that no one should have to experience discrimination in the workplace because of who they are and how they identify themselves, so I support a transgender-inclusive Employment Non-Discrimination Act (ENDA). Ending discrimination in the workplace will help us ensure that every worker has the chance to make the most of their own talent and hard work.
I also believe that we have the resources and knowledge to end the HIV/AIDS epidemic in this country—a disease whose impact I came to fully appreciate when it claimed the life of a close family friend in the late 1990s. Today, as was the case 30 years ago when the epidemic first began, HIV/AIDS disproportionately impacts gay and bisexual men and transgender women, and most particularly LGBT people of color. That is why I support implementation of President Obama’s National HIV/AIDS Strategy as well as increased federal funding for HIV education, outreach, and prevention.
For more than thirty years, the Fourth District of Massachusetts has been represented by Barney Frank, who is retiring at the end of the year. No one can ever fill Congressman Frank’s shoes. His tenure has been marked by a steadfast commitment to expanding rights and championing equality – perhaps no one has done more in Washington and here at home to advance these issues and causes. Having met with many members of the LGBT community, I know that as they look to support a candidate for the Fourth Congressional District, they are looking for more than a reliable vote. They are looking for a leader.
I would be honored to be that leader in Congress, and I ask for your support.