R E S P O N S E S
C L I N T O N
D O L E
I remain dedicated to ending discrimination and to protecting the civil
rights of every citizen in our
society. I am proud that my Administration has more openly gay and lesbian
individuals serving in
appointed positions than in any previous administration, and their impact,
both in expertise and in
efforts to advocate for the concerns of gays and lesbians is significant.
We have also opened the doors
for qualified gays and lesbians to receive top security clearances.
I am the first President to ever to endorse a gay and lesbian civil rights bill, the Employment Non-Discrimination Act. I don't think it's right for employers to discriminate based on sexual orientation. Men and women in 41 states may now be fired from their jobs solely because of their sexual orientation, even though it has no bearing on their job performance. Those who face this kind of job discrimination have no legal recourse, in either our state or federal courts. That is wrong.
We have truly accomplished a great deal during my Administration. We have also learned a lot about what we can do -- and how to get it done. My Administration has taken more steps than any previous in bringing the gay and lesbian communities to the table. I pledge to you that I will continue striving for greater education and compassion, working not simply to tolerate our differences, but to celebrate them.
I remain opposed to same sex marriage. I believe marriage is an institution for the union of a man and a woman. I also strongly believe that issues relating to gays and lesbians should not be used to tear our communities apart. Even on the most difficult social issues we face, we must work together to find common ground. Every American deserves no less.
|Throughout my career, I have been committed to the values of tolerance, equal rights, and equal opportunity for every American. However, I do not support federal legislation that would create special rights for the gay community. I do not believe the state should sanction same-sex marriages. I am a co-sponsor of the Defense of Marriage Act that reaffirmed this stance.|
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