After watching part of the debate between the Democratic Party presidential candidates, I realized I really ought to compare the stances of the popular candidates on several of the big Gay issues of today.
Not surprisingly, the results favor the Democratic candidates. Also, not surprisingly Republican candidates were less likely to have formulated positions on certain issues...except for Mitt Romney. Romney, it seems, has a consistent answer for everything these days. A few years ago, he was supportive of Gay rights, but no longer. Today, he is universally opposed to the "radical homosexual agenda."
On Ending DADT
McCain supports Don't Ask Don't Tell, lauding it as a solution to a difficult problem. Clinton, Obama, and Edwards all oppose it. Giuliani wants it repealed. Romney wants to keep it.
On Gay Marriage
None of the six major candidates openly supports federal marriage equality. However, McCain, Clinton, Obama, and Edwards support the right of states to enact Gay marriage laws. Giuliani recently spoke against the New Hampshire plan to enact strong Civil Unions because they were too similar to marriage. Romney opposes Gay Marriage, universally.
ENDA is the Employment Non-Discrimination Act, legislation intended to ensure that Gay people are not discriminated against in the workplace. All three major Democratic candidates have voiced their support for the bill. McCain opposes the bill. Giuliani doesn't seem to have a position on it. Romney opposes ENDA.
On Hate Crimes Legislation
All three major Democratic Candidates support legislation that would include Sexual Orientation as a basis for hate crimes. McCain, Giuliani, and Romney oppose hate crime legislation.
On Civil Unions
McCain, Giuliani, Clinton, Obama, and Edwards have all spoken frequently supporting the civil unions or domestic partnerships as an equivalent to Gay Marriage. Although such unions are not equal to marriage, they are preferable to no legal union at all. Romney opposes Civil Unions.
On HIV/AIDS Funding
HIV/AIDS is still a monumental concern in the Gay community. As a result support for AIDS and AIDS prevention is paramount.
McCain has long been a supporter of the Ryan White CARE Act to provide AIDS funding in the US. He, Clinton, Obama, and Edwards have each demonstrated their willingness to expand this funding. Giuliani supported AIDS causes as Mayor but has not taken a clear stance on HIV/AIDS funding as a presidential issue. Romney opposes AIDS funding and attempted to reduce AIDS spending as Governor.
On Comprehensive Sex Ed
Giuliani hasn't expressed a position that I could find. Clinton, Obama, and Edwards all support comprehensive sex education programs. McCain doesn't support funding such programs. However he has expressed that he is unsure that condoms are effective prevention against STDs. Romney supports abstinence only sex education which, by its very nature, is not comprehensive.
In conclusion, the three main Dem candidates are fervently courting the Gay vote. Meanwhile, Guiliani and McCain have failed to take strong pro-Gay Rights stances where it really matters. No major candidate from either party is willing to allow Gay Americans to have full, equal rights.
And Mitt Romney opposes Gay Rights.