Ken Buck on Civil Rights
Buck said the campaign mistakes he made four years ago, including the controversial remark comparing gays to alcoholics, was a mistake he would not repeat again. "I was unprepared for the question, and I answered it in a shorthanded way, and I shouldn't have answered it," said Buck. "I'm a better candidate than I was four years ago. I will not implode, though I don't agree with the premise I did implode."
Thank you for your response. Ken may have mis-spoke, but his desire is to serve the people of Colorado period. As the prosecuting attorney for Weld County, Ken was the only DA in the country to try a hate crime that involved a transgender individual and win. Too often comments are misunderstood and taken out of context, but the hope is that you will realize Ken's commitment to Colorado and its citizens.
Asked by the host to elaborate on a statement he made in an earlier debate about gays in the military, Buck said he believes sexual orientation is a choice. Buck went on to say, "I think that birth has an influence over it, like alcoholism and some other things, but I think that basically you have a choice."
Bennet jumped on Buck's remark. "I absolutely believe he's outside the mainstream of views on this," Bennet said.
After the debate, a Buck spokesman said Buck did not mean to imply with his alcoholism comparison that Buck believes homosexuality is a disease. Buck told The Denver Post after the debate that he "wasn't talking about being gay as a disease" but also said of his remark that "there's no doubt there will probably be a commercial on something like that" from Democrats.
BUCK: I do.
Q: Based on what?
BUCK: Based on what?
Q: Yeah, why do you believe that?
BUCK: Well, I guess, you can choose who your partner is.
Q: You don't think it's something that's determined at birth?
BUCK: I think that birth has an influence over like alcoholism and some other things, but I think that basically you, you have a choice.
Q: [to Bennet]: Does that put him outside the mainstream of views on this?
BENNET: I absolutely believe he's outside the mainstream of views on this.
Buck said, "I do not support the repeal of don't-ask-don't-tell. I think it is a policy that makes a lot of sense." The don't-ask-don't-tell policy itself was instituted during the Clinton years and prohibits inquiries into the sexual orientation of military members. The current policy states that a person who makes their sexuality known is subject to discharge under the Uniform Code of Military Justice.
The Colorado Independent, in a story titled "Coloradans mostly agree with Bennet not Buck on don't-ask-don't-tell," reported that the majority of Coloradans supported lifting the ban. However, Buck's opinion appears to be more in line with the majority of generals and service-members.
The commenter suggests the ad was the work of wealthy Colorado gay-rights activist Tim Gill who, the theory goes, is supporting Buck because last year Buck chose to prosecute the murder of transgender Greeley resident Angie Zapata as a hate crime. The prosecution was a victory for the Zapata family and the gay community that rallied around the trial
The Christian Coalition voter guide [is] one of the most powerful tools Christians have ever had to impact our society during elections. This simple tool has helped educate tens of millions of citizens across this nation as to where candidates for public office stand on key faith and family issues.
The CC survey summarizes candidate stances on the following topic: "Federal Marriage Amendment to prevent same sex marriage"
Faith2Action.org is "the nation's largest network of pro-family groups." They provide election resources for each state, including Voter Guides and Congressional Scorecards excerpted here. The F2A survey summarizes candidate stances on the following topic: 'Marriage: Do you support same-sex marriage?'
Project VoteSmart infers summary responses from campaign statements and news reports The PVS survey summarizes candidate stances on the following topic: 'Marriage: Do you support same-sex marriage?'
Heritage Action Summary: The Maloney Amendment would ratify President Obama's 2014 executive order barring federal contractors from what it describes as "discrimination" on the basis of "sexual orientation and gender identity" in their private employment policies. In practice, it would have required federal contractors to grant biologically male employees who identify as women unfettered access to women's lockers, showers, and bathrooms.
Heritage Foundation recommendation to vote NO: (5/25/2016): Congress should not be elevating sexual orientation and gender identity as a protected class garnering special legal privileges, which is the intent of the Maloney Amendment. The Maloney Amendment constitutes bad policy that unnecessarily regulates businesses. It risks undoing longstanding protections in civil rights law and makes clear that the president's orders are not exempt from them.
ACLU recommendation to vote YES: (5/11/2016): We see today claims to a right to discriminate--by refusing to provide services to LGBT people--based on religious objections. Claiming a right to discriminate in the name of religion is not new. In the 1960s, we saw objections to laws requiring integration in restaurants because of sincerely held beliefs that God wanted the races to be separate. We saw religiously affiliated universities refuse to admit students who engaged in interracial dating. In those cases, we recognized that requiring integration was not about violating religious liberty; it was about ensuring fairness. It's no different today.
Religious freedom in America means that we all have a right to our religious beliefs, but this does not give us the right to use our religion to impose those beliefs on others.
Legislative outcome: Amendment passed by the House 223-195-15 4/26/16; overall bill H.R.5055 failed 112-305-16 on 5/26/2016
Congressional Summary: The First Amendment Defense Act (FADA) prohibits the federal government from taking discriminatory action against a person on the basis that such person believes or acts in accordance with a religious belief or moral conviction that:
Political Argument Opposed: [ACLU, July 20, 2015]: The House of Representatives & leading anti-LGBT organizations are pushing a bill--disingenuously titled the First Amendment Defense Act--that would open the door to unprecedented taxpayer-funded discrimination against LGBT people, single mothers, and unmarried couples. This bill would
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