Kyla Paterson

Although I don't disagree with many of the LGBTQ+ policies that you have laid out in this piece, I believe you have identified the wrong candidate to advocate for these policies. As Mayor of Burlington, Bernie Sanders transformed the city into, what was known as a Trans Mecca. Sanders advocated for the right of gay-rights organizers to hold the city's first pride parade despite oppositions from both community members and political leaders. Sanders signed an ordinance which gave legal protection to the gay community against housing discrimination. He also signed an ordinance declaring a "Gay Rights Day" in 1983! In 1995 Sanders strongly rebuked Representative Duke Cunningham when he took the floor to attack "homos in the military." Sanders vehemently defended homosexuals and ripped apart Cunningham for his egregiously insensitive comments. Similarly, the actions she has taken that you have noted have indeed been embraced by Senator Bernie Sanders. He supported the resignation of Al Franken. Sanders also supported marriage equality in the same year that Gillibrand came out in support of the policy. He opposed DOMA and the "Don't Ask, Don't Tell" policy dating back to it's inception. These last two pieces highlight the real difference between Sanders and Gillibrand. Gillibrand's staff had to defend her legacy on LBGT rights in 2009 by arguing she has always opposed DOMA and the "Don't Ask, Don't Tell" policy, but felt that there was no opportunity to repeal the legislation under George Bush. This is a clear indication she would not fight on behalf of LGBTQ+ rights when not 'politically feasible.' In contrast Bernie Sanders fought for LGBTQ+ since 1983, and even resisted openly bigoted arguments on the floor of the House of Representatives. While Sanders has engaged in political ACTION in the interest of the LGBTQ+ community, even while facing opposition, Gillibrand has only recently been DISCUSSING fighting on behalf of LGBTQ+ rights. The difference is evident, words as opposed to actions. The great late Reverend Martin Luther King Jr. once said he wished his children would "live in a nation where they will not be judged by the color of their skin, but by the content of their character." He comments reflect the idea that we should not judge individuals in society for their appearance or the way they were born, both arbitrary methods, but rather judge individuals based upon the actions which define their character. The difference in this case is beyond clear.
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