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John Edwards

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John Edwards

John Edwards

© William Thomas Cain/Getty Images

Background:

John Edwards was a Senator in North Carolina from 1999-2005. He ran on the 2004 Democratic ticket as vice presidential candidate with John Kerry. After Edwards and Kerry lost the election to George W. Bush and Dick Cheney, Edwards formed the One America Committee and was appointed director of the Center on Poverty, Work and Opportunity at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill School of Law.

Edwards Endorses Obama:

John Edwards dropped out of the presidential race and in May 2008 he announced he is endorsing Barack Obama.

Employment Non-Discrimination:

Edwards supports a federal bill that would outlaw job discrimination based on sexual orientation or gender identity. John Edwards say, "Workers should be judged by the quality of their performance, not their sexual orientation or gender identity." He co-sponsored the Employment Non-Discrimination Act.

Hate Crimes:

Edwards supports expanding federal Hate Crimes Law to include sexual orientation. John Edwards says, "Everyone is entitled to live in dignity without fear of violence." While in office, John Edwards co-sponsored legislation to give law enforcement agencies the tools they need to investigate and prosecute hate crimes.

Same-Sex Marriage:

Edwards opposes same-sex marriage, but he does not think the Constitution should be amended to define marriage as between a man and a woman. He supports civil unions.

On 2/24/04 Edwards said in response to President Bush's proposed Constitutional amendment, "I am against the president's constitutional amendment on gay marriage...I don't personally support gay marriage myself. My position has always been that it's for the states to decide."

Edwards supports the repeal of the Defense of Marriage Act

Family Medical Leave:

Edwards is undecided on extending Family Medical Leave Act to same-sex couples.

Same-Sex Immigration:

Edwards is undecided on legislation that would allow American citizens to sponsor their same-sex partners for immigration into the country.

Gay and Lesbian Adoption:

Edwards supports giving same-sex couples the same rights to adopt children as heterosexual couples. He also says both members of a same-sex couple should be able to form a legal relationship with their children.

Don't Ask, Don't Tell:

Edwards supports the rights of gays, lesbians and bisexuals to serve openly in the United States Military. He says, "The military ought to treat all service members equally and in a way that promotes national security, without regard to sexual orientation."

Edwards Comments:

  • On Don't Ask, Don't Tell: "As the recent discharge of Arabic language specialists demonstrates, the current policy does not serve our national interests and should be changed."
  • On Hate Crimes: "I am an original cosponsor of the Local Law Enforcement Enhancement Act, which adds protections based on sexual orientation to hate crimes legislation."
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