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DETROIT – The man responsible for signing the most progressive piece of pro-gay and lesbian legislation in American history (Civil Unions in Vermont) has won the endorsement of Michgan’s oldest and most notable political action committee for the LGBT community.
Pride PAC finalized its Fall Slate this month and came out with an early endorsement for Governor Howard Dean.
“Governor Howard Dean is a hero to many gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender people because of his leadership and commitment to fairness for our families,” said Sean Kosofsky, President of Pride PAC. “Dean supported civil unions even when it was not politically popular and just months before his next election. He is a man of courage, integrity, fairness and has been the most exciting candidate for President to many LGBT voters around Michigan and the country. We are thrilled to say that other candidates are terrific on LGBT issues but we believe Howard Dean to be the candidate best suited for Pride PAC’s endorsement.”
In a press release on the fifth anniversary of Matthew’s Shepard’s death, Dean released a statement lamenting the tragedy and calling for the passing of a national hate crimes bill. “Five years ago, Matthew Shepard died after he was beaten, tied to a fence, and left to die in the Laramie, Wyoming countryside simply for being gay. And despite the spotlight that his death shone on the hate that members of the LGBT community must face every day, we are no closer to the passage of a national hate crimes bill that includes sexual orientation, gender, and disability. Nor has anti-gay violence come to an end, as evidenced most painfully by the recent murder of Sakia Gunn in Newark, New Jersey,” he said. Dean urged President Bush and Congress to put aside their “partisan bickering” and pass the hate crime legislation.
Pride PAC’s endorsements are based on several criteria including responses to questionnaires, the candidate’s record on LGBT issues, and viability as a candidate. Each candidate is surveyed on issues ranging from hate crimes, civil rights, parenting, family, youth, and military issues, and HIV/AIDS policy.