I found an intriguing article today that quotes TBP contributor Matt Foreman and I have to admit, I hope Matt will expand on his remarks here at Bilerico. Who would you consider the most gay friendly based on what they have previously done to help our community?
"Rudy Giuliani is near the top of the list," said Matt Foreman, head of the National Gay and Lesbian Task Force, who was an activist in New York when Giuliani was mayor.
"The challenge for those of us in the gay rights movement is to look at two things: an elected official's accomplishment while in office and whether they affirm the humanity of gay people," said Foreman.
"On that score, Mayor Giuliani has a good record," he said, citing the city domestic partnership law, state hate crimes law, public support and appointments of gay judges.
The article relates a fascinating story about Giuliani when he was associate attorney general - the Justice Department's #3 official - in 1982. At the time, gays and lesbians were still routinely fired because they were considered "security risks." Giuliani, however, approved the hiring of a gay man previously let go by the Senate Intelligence Committee as an assistant US attorney.
A 1982 memo alerted associate attorney general Giuliani about the Vietnam War vet, a divorced father of two, top attorney and "admitted homosexual." He asked Justice Department legal counsel Theodore Olson for an opinion.
Olson sent back a memo citing 1960s lawsuits, a 1975 federal personnel code and a new policy on security clearances. He said Baldwin could not be denied a job, unless being gay affected his ability to do the job, and that Baldwin likely could win a lawsuit if he were not hired.
Olson gave Giuliani an out: Hiring a practicing homosexual would indicate a disrespect for Florida's anti-sodomy law, putting the Justice Department in an awkward spot.
But Baldwin got the job.
Olson, now a senior Giuliani campaign aide, called it the "right thing to do" and a "big step."
"Once we wrote that opinion, it was binding on the executive branch and it set a precedent," Olson said.
Marty Steinberg, the lawyer who helped Baldwin get the job, praises Giuliani and Olson.
"They did the right thing," he said, "and that was not an easy thing to do in that era."
Interestingly enough, it seems Matt agrees with me that Bill Richardson has done the most for us on the Democratic slate. To me, that's an easy pick. No one else on the ticket, to my knowledge, has passed any legislation or led any initiatives...
But what do you think? Who's done the most for gay rights among the current crop of Republicans and Democrats?