Gay Rights in the Senate Race
The national political discourse turned sharply toward gay marriage and other LGBT rights issues this week on President Obama’s announcement that he supports gay marriage. The contrast is slightly less stark in the U.S. Senate contest.
Sen. Bob Casey is prominent among socially conservative Democrats. He opposes gay marriage, though supports civil unions (until Wednesday, the same position as Obama).
Reports the Morning Call:
Casey supports civil unions, spokesman Larry Smar said, but not gay marriage. Casey opposes actions by states to define marriage as only for heterosexual couples.
Republican Tom Smith, on the other hand, opposes gay marriage and would like to see the issue left to the states – but would support an amendment to the Constitutional banning it. He would oppose a federal ban on civil unions, but does not support them personally.
Casey and Smith are further apart on other LGBT issues, namely the Employment Non-Discrimination Act, a federal ban on discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation by non-religious employers with 15 or more workers.
Casey supports the bill, the Inquirer reports, but Smith said he hadn’t read it.
Smith said he was not familiar with the details of the bill on workplace issues that Casey favors.
“To be very honest with you,” the Republican said, “I haven’t had an opportunity to read that bill in its entirety, but I support pay equality.”
In a questionnaire for the PA Family Council (PDF) earlier this year, Smith said he would oppose the measure.