Voice for Equality: John Kerry

U.S. Senator John Kerry (D-MA) is the Junior United States Senator from Massachusetts. He is 14th in seniority in the Senate, having served since 1985. Kerry is Chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, and serves on the Finance, Commerce, Science & Transportation, and Small Business and Entrepreneuship Committees. As the Presidential nominee of the Democratic Party, he was defeated by 34 electoral votes in the 2004 presidential election by President George W. Bush. Senator Kerry is a Vietnam veteran, and was a spokesman for Vietnam Veterans Against the War when he returned home from service.

On October 22, 2008, Senator Kerry delivered a speech at Tufts University, afterwhich he was asked if he supported marriage rights for same-sex couples. His answer: "Absolutely." [Link]

Then, on July 9, 2009, Kerry voiced his support of his state's lawsuit challenging the federal Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA) filed by Massachusetts Attorney General Martha Coakley:
The courts have always been the last resort for those seeking justice under the law, and I am proud to stand with Attorney General Coakley and wholeheartedly support her efforts to right a wrong that passed the Senate over the objections of both of Massachusetts’ Senators.
In 1996, I voted against the so-called Defense of Marriage Act not just because I believed it was nothing more than a fundamentally political ploy to divide Americans, but because it is unconstitutional. Thirteen years later, I still defy you to find a single Senator who can credibly argue that it is within the Senate’s power to strip away the word or spirit of a constitutional clause by simple statute. DOMA should never have passed and should never have become the law of the land. Unconstitutional and fundamentally unfair, today the human cost is especially clear and compelling. Denying same sex couples the same rights and protections under the law as enjoyed by other couples has absolutely nothing to do with defending marriage. This lawsuit is a necessary step in ensuring everyone in Massachusetts can live their lives and raise their families secure in the knowledge that their commitment to each other doesn’t make them any less an American than their heterosexual families, friends and neighbors.

Nominated for Voices for Equality by: Tahlib

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