ALL the News about
Mormons, Mormonism
and the LDS Church
Mormon News: All the News about Mormons, Mormonism and the LDS Church
Posted 18 Dec 2001   For week ended December 14, 2001
Most Recent Week
Front Page
Local News
Arts & Entertainment
·New Products
·New Websites
·Mormon Stock Index
Letters to Editor
Continuing Coverage of:
Boston Temple
School Prayer
Julie on MTV
Robert Elmer Kleasen
About Mormon News
News by E-Mail
Weekly Summary
Submitting News
Submitting Press Releases
Volunteer Positions
Bad Link?

News about Mormons, Mormonism,
and the LDS Church

Sent on Mormon-News: 13Dec01

By Kent Larsen

LDS Senator Gets Endorsement from The Human Rights Campaign

WASHINGTON, DC -- Oregon Senator Gordon Smith, one of five LDS Church members serving in the U.S. Senate, has received the endorsement of the Human Rights Campaign, the nation's largest gay and lesbian political organization, in his effort to win reelection in 2002. Smith is the only Republican and only Mormon endorsed by the campaign, which comes because of his work in fighting discrimination.

That effort began following his initial loss to fellow Oregon Senator Ron Wyden in a 1996 special election to fill the seat vacated by Bob Packwood. In that election, Smith had the support of the antigay Oregon Citizens Alliance, while Wyden had the support of the Human Rights Campaign and other gay rights organizations. When Oregon's other Senator, Mark Hatfield decided to retire, Smith ran for that seat, and actively supported several positions supported by gay rights advocates, including the Employment Non-Discrimination Act (ENDA).

Since his election, Smith has continued support for some gay rights positions. He co-sponsored the 2000 Hate Crimes Prevention Act and argued for the provision that included sexual-orientation in the crimes covered by the act. The Human Rights Campaign cited his co-sponsorship of the ENDA, the Ryan White CARE Act and a bill to extend Medicaid coverage to those living with HIV. It also cited his support for the nomination of an openly-gay man, James Hormel, as U.S. Ambassador to Luxembourg, and his efforts to get support among Republicans for the Local Law Enforcement Enhancement Act.

Smith has also appeared at many events hosted by gay rights organizations. He was on the host committee for the Republican Unity Coalition's inaugural breakfast last January. The Republican Unity Coalition seeks to involve gay Republicans in the Republican party and the Bush administration and build bridges between gay and straight Republicans. Smith also spoke at the Human Rights Campaign's annual 2001 national dinner in Washington DC along with Senator Hillary Clinton.

While his positions on gay issues are at odds with the traditional conservative positions espoused by many LDS Church members, Smith has actively tried to make his beliefs clear. In the debate last year on the 2000 Hate Crimes Prevention Act, Smith said, "One needn't agree with all the goals of the gay community to help it achieve fair treatment within our society. It is possible, for example, to oppose gay marriage on religious and policy grounds but to protect gays and lesbians against violence on the same grounds."

The Human Rights Campaign said that his record shows consistent support for those ideals, "Gordon Smith has earned our support by working for fairness and speaking out against discrimination," said Stachelberg. "His record shows that he is a true friend and a dependable ally who has the courage to go against the grain when necessary, and do what is right."


HRC Announces Endorsements for Senate Campaign 2002
Human Rights Campaign Press Release 10Dec01 T2

Senate passes hate crimes bill
Houston Voice 23Jun00 T2
By Laura Douglas-Brown

Bush Admin. Broadens Gay Overtures
Washington Post (AP) 27Oct01 T2
By David Crary: AP National Writer

See also:

Oregon's Smith-Wyden Political Friendship Celebrates 100th Weekly Luncheon
Mormon News 14Sep00 T2

LDS Senator Argues For Hate Crime
Mormon News 25Jun00 T2


[an error occurred while processing this directive]

Copyright 1998, 1999, 2000, 2001 Kent Larsen · Privacy Information