Voice for Equality: Dick Cheney

Dick Cheney is the former Vice President during the Bush administration.

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Voice for Equality: Tom Suozzi

Tom Suozzi is the county executive of Nassau County, New York. He was first elected to the post of county executive in 2001, and is currently serving his second term. In 2006, he ran unsuccessfully against Eliot Spitzer for the Democratic nomination for Governor of New York. In this primary, Suozzi was in favor of same-sex civil unions and not for marriage equality.

In June, 2009, Suozzi reported a change of heart in a New York Times opinion piece:

“I have listened to many well-reasoned and well-intentioned arguments both for and against same-sex marriage. And as I talked to gays and lesbians and heard their stories of pain, discrimination and love, my platitudes about civil unions began to ring hollow. I have struggled to find the solution that best serves the common good. I now support same-sex marriage. This is a subject of great debate before the New York State Legislature (although the legislators there are a little distracted right now), and I hope that same-sex civil marriage will be approved within the month."

Nominated for Voices for Equality by: Megan

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Voice for Equality: Meghan McCain

Meghan Marguerite McCain is the oldest daughter of Senator John McCain and Cindy McCain. She first received media attention in 2007 for her blog, McCain blogette, in which she writes about life on the campaign trail, fashion, music, and pop culture. In 2009, she began writing for The Daily Beast.

In an open letter published May 22, 2009, in the New York Daily News, McCain wrote,

“No matter how politically charged the discussions about marriage equality may get, the question is really a simple one: Do the rights and privileges we offer citizens include everyone in our country, or only some of us? I believe that allowing gays and lesbians the freedom to marry is an idea whose time has come. Though my opinion is no doubt influenced by my family's public role in political life, I still approach this from personal experience, as I think most people do. For me, this is about treating all of my friends, and all of our brothers, sisters, children and grandchildren the same as I want to be treated. Equality under the law and personal freedoms are what make America the greatest country in the world, and they are core values that I hold as a Republican.”

Nominated for Voices for Equality by: Angela

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Voice for Equality: Chuck Schumer

On May 12, 2009, U.S. Senator Charles Shumer sent a letter to the NY Senate expressing his support for marriage equality and urging their support for the marriage equality bill already passed by the NY Assembly.

In the letter, jointly signed with the NY's Junior US Senator Kirsten Gillibrand, he said, "Equal protection under the law has always been a hallmark of the American political and legal system, and in this instance we believe this principle should be extended to all those in our state who seek the civil contract of marriage and the numerous legal rights and protections that come with it."

Over the past three decades in public service, U.S. Senator Charles “Chuck” Ellis Schumer has built a reputation as a leader in finding common-sense solutions to national issues and a tireless fighter for New York.

Chuck was born in Brooklyn, NY on November 23, 1950 Chuck still resides in Brooklyn with his wife, Iris Weinshall, and their daughters Jessica and Alison.

Freedom to Marry salutes US Senator Charles Shumer for being a Voice for Equality!

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Voice for Equality: John Sarbanes

U.S. Representative John Sarbanes (D-MD) has represented the third district of Maryland in the United States House of Representatives since 2007. Sarbanes currently serves on the Committees on Energy and Commerce and Natural Resources.

On May 31, 2007, during a radio interview on the Marc Steiner Show, Sarbanes expressed full support for marriage equality.

Nominated for Voices for Equality by: Gregory Disney-Britton

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Voice for Equality: Ted Kennedy

Senator Ted Kennedy (D-MA) is the Senior United States Senator from Massachusetts. He is the second most senior member of the Senate, currently serving his eighth full (and ninth overall) term in office. Kennedy is Chairman of the Senate Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions Committee, and serves on the Armed Services Committee. The most prominent living member of the Kennedy family, he is the youngest brother of the late President John F. Kennedy and the late Senator Robert F. Kennedy, and the father of Congressman Patrick J. Kennedy.

Senator Kennedy is a vocal proponent of same sex marriage and recently received the Gerry Studds Visibility Award from the Fenway Community Health Center in Boston, the nation's largest LGBT-focused health facility. On May 15, 2008, in the wake of California’s legalization of same-sex marriage, Kennedy issued the following statement:
"I congratulate the California Supreme Court on its recognition that true equality demands that all people have the right to marry and form families. Massachusetts has recognized the right of gay and lesbian couples to marry since 2004 and our experience has refuted the critics. We only strengthen our society when we allow all our citizens to enter into a solemn commitment to share in life's joys and difficulties."
Nominated for Voices for Equality by: Gregory Disney-Britton!

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Voice for Equality: Manny Diaz

Manny Diaz is the current mayor of Miami, Florida. Mayor Diaz and his mother, Elisa, left Cuba in 1961. In 2008, Diaz became president of the U.S. Conference of Mayors. Diaz is married to Robin Smith and has four children and three grandchildren.

Gay Agenda is one of the many media outlets, including Towelroad acknowledging his support for marriage equality as well as opposition to the discriminatory ballot initiative of 2008 in Florida.

Freedom to Marry thanks D. S. for nominating Mayor Diaz as a Voice for Equality!

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Voice for Equality: Sheldon Whitehouse

For more than 20 years, U.S. Senator Sheldon Whitehouse (RI-D) has served the people of Rhode Island: championing health care reform, standing up for our environment, helping solve fiscal crises, and individual liberties.

In response to On the Issues question about support for marriage equality, he responded, "I support the right of states to allow same-sex marriage. It is wrong for the federal government to intervene in what has always been a state issue -- the regulation of marriage. I think it is particularly wrong to amend the Constitution to single out gay people and prevent them from exercising their rights."

He lives in Newport with his wife, Sandra, a marine biologist and environmental advocate, and their two children.

Freedom to Marry salutes Francie P. for nominating U.S. Senator Sheldom Whitehouse as a Voice for Equality!

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Voice for Equality: Russ Feingold

U.S. Senator Russ Feingold (WI-D) was first elected to the Senate in 1992 and since then has built a record as a advocate for Wisconsin’s families. He is committed to strengthening public education, protecting our environment, helping military families, and supporting Wisconsin’s farmers and rural communities.

He is on the record as stating, "Gay and lesbian couples should be able to marry and have access to the same rights, privileges and benefits that straight couples currently enjoy. Denying people this basic American right is the kind of discrimination that has no place in our laws, especially in a progressive state like Wisconsin. The time has come to end this discrimination and the politics of divisiveness that has become part of this issue." He has also spoken out powerfully against any federal amendments to discriminate against the gay Americans.

Freedom to Marry proudly Jim E. for nominating U.S. Senator Russ Feingold as a Voice for Equality!

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Voice for Equality: Helen Chavez

In a public education campaign in 2008, Helen Chavez said, "My husband spent his life fighting for dignity for all people. César was one of the first civil rights leaders to speak out for gays and lesbians, because he understood that you can’t demand equality for your own people while tolerating discrimination against anyone else.

"As a champion for justice, he would have been glad to know that California finally allows gay and lesbian couples to marry, because that brings us one step closer to his vision for communities where everyone is accepted and respected. For 45 years, I stood with Cèsar for what is right. Today I celebrate his memory as I see so many newly married gay and lesbian couples celebrate their marriages. We must welcome them if we are all to have equality."

Freedom to Marry thanks L. Calderon for nominating Helen Chavez as a Voice for Equality!

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