Q: Thereís got to be something.
A: All I can say is, keep those contributions coming, youíll have the president that you want.
Q: Iíll take that as a ďno.Ē
A: Thatís a ďno.Ē
A: Why do you think that is?
A: This is really a question of whether you really believe in equality. When you understand what real equality is, you understand that people who love each other must have the opportunity to be able to express that in a way that is meaningful, and that the state should not be intervening against people, the state should be there on behalf of people, to make sure that that love has a chance to be facilitated.
Q: So what youíre saying is that Senator Obama and Senator Edwards, who sat here just moments ago both espousing equality--are you saying that they donít truly oppose same sex marriage, that theyíre just playing politics?
A: Iím saying that I stand for real equality and that this is really part of an American tradition because when you look at the founding documents, to me this is a foundational principle of who we are as a country.
A: Four years ago, when there were raids in California, I, as a member of Congress, objected to that. And, of course, itís a matter between doctors and patients. And if doctors want to prescribe medical marijuana to relieve pain, compassion requires that the government support that. And so, as president of the US, I would make sure that our Justice Department was mindful that we should be taking a compassionate approach. I want to go one step further, because this whole issue of drugs in our society is misplaced. I mean, drugs have infected this society, but I think we need to look at it more as a medical and a health issue than as a criminal justice issue.
A: First of all, the answer to your question is yes. This is a very serious health issue. And through our education system, a president must help the country, and help our children, in particular, learn the kind of conduct that promotes health. And that also means sex education. Now, some parents may not want that, and they should have the right to opt out. But the truth of the matter is that we need to have sex education. We also need a president who is ready to embrace people with AIDS in a real, meaningful way that says that, look, we want you to receive all the care that you need by having a not-for-profit health care system.
Other candidates are talking about maintaining this for-profit health care system, and anyone who has ever had a loved one who has needed medical care and couldnít get it because they didnít have the money understands the urgency of having someone not just in the race but in the White House whoís ready to rally the American people in the cause of not-for-profit health care, Medicare for all. And Iím doing that.
When youíre talking about standing for peopleís rights to be who they are without fear of being attacked for being gay, youíre talking about something that is really essentially American. And so Iím at the center of all of those discussions.
My candidacy for president is not only transforming the race, but it will transform this nation when you have a president who cannot be bought or bossed, who has the willingness to stand up and speak out when others would be silent, who can challenge war, who can challenge corruption. Because my heart is clean, because I have the ability to see and pierce that veil of falsehood which covers so much of our country today.
The above quotations are from 2007 Democratic primary debate sponsored by the Human Rights Campaign (HRC, a gay-rights group) and the LOGO Network (a gay-oriented cable TV channel), Aug. 9, 2007.
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