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Bill Richardson on Gay and Lesbian Issues

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Bill Richardson

Bill Richardson

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Bill Richardson's Background:

Bill Richardson is the Governor of New Mexico since 2002. As Governor, he as been a big supporter of gay and lesbian rights and added sexual orientation and gender identity to New Mexico's list of civil rights law. He was a member of congress for 14 years representing New Mexico. He was U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations in 1997, which he left in order to become Secretary of Energy during the Clinton administration.

Bill Richardson Out of the Race:

Bill Richardson dropped out of the race for president after poor results in both Iowa and New Hampshire.

Employment Non-Discrimination:

Bill Richardson supports the trans-inclusive Employment Non-Discrimination Act (ENDA).

Hate Crimes:

Bill Richardson supports hate crimes laws that are inclusive of sexual orientation.

Gay Marriage:

Bill Richardson is against gay marriage, but he does not think the Constitution should be amended to define marriage as between a man and a woman.

Civil Unions:

Bill Richardson support civil unions and domestic partnerships. He supports federal recognition of civil unions.

Gay and Lesbian Adoption:

Bill Richardson supports gay and lesbian couples adopting children. When he was a guest on the Michelangelo Signorile Show on Sirus Out Q radio he said, “I think that gay relationships are human decency, they’re love, they promote families. I’m for gay adoption. I think it’s very healthy because there are millions of kids in this country that have no homes.”

Don't Ask, Don't Tell:

Bill Richardson supports getting rid of the military's "Don't Ask, Don't Tell" policy. "I voted against it as a congressman," he said. "A president has to show leadership. And this country should not be asking a person who is giving up their life for this country and the military should not be giving lecture on sexual orientation."

More about Bill Richardson:

Melissa Etheridge & Bill Richardson

During the Logo Democratic forum in August 2007, Melissa Etheridge, one of the moderators asked Bill Richardson if homosexuality is a choice. Richardson said, "It's a choice." Melissa then tried to see if he understood the question, by asking if he believes gays are born that way. Richardson fumbled along saying he's not a scientist, but he sees gays and lesbians as people.

Richardson spent much of the next few days trying to explain to the gay community he misunderstood the question. "I just simply made a mistake. I misunderstood the question," he said in an interview with Queerty.com the next day. "I thought it was a tricky science question, where you put politics into science. I think the word Melissa used was 'biological'. Since I use choice so much, I'm so committed to choice, 'a woman's right to choose,' I thought that was the appropriate answer. Also, I had flown all night from New Hampshire. I was a little tired, but there's no excuse. I made a mistake. I think my record stands for itself."

Sources: Visible Vote 08, SF Reporter, Richardsonforpresident.com, National Gay and Lesbian Task Force, Free New Mexican

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