To the editor:
Bob Clement is a good guy, he’s not a hateful person, and probably has many gay friends. However, if his time in the US Congress is any indication, his support of the GLBT community may not be as resolute as his campaign would have you believe.
In 1996, Bob Clement voted for the Defense of Marriage Act (HR3396). Now, that vote alone shouldn’t indicate his position, because you could argue DOMA has kept us from having a Federal amendment banning gay marriage. However, Clement also voted against Barney Frank’s amendment (H.AMDT.1286) to remove language which required the Federal government to redefine marriage as being only between a man and a woman. Frank’s amendment would allow for the Federal Government to recognize the marriage rights of gays and lesbians in State’s which belive in freedom.
In addition, in 1999 Bob Clement voted in favor of a Republican amendment (H.AMDT.356) to the DC Funding bill (HR2587) which would bar funding of adoptions to two people not related by "blood or marriage". While not "specifically" targeting gays and lesbians, the amendment’s sponsor, Rep. Largent, stated in the debate that the reason for this amendment was a DC court decision which allowed two stable, loving men to adopt a little girl.
As I said, Bob Clement is probably a very warm and compassionate person. But he shouldn’t get a free pass from the GLBT community. Clement should answer questions about his previous votes, if he is to be seen as an "inclusive mayor."