HRC Blog

How Would Harold Ford’s Record Play in New York?

The New York Times reported yesterday that former Rep. Harold Ford, D-Tenn. is considering opposing Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand, D-NY in the 2010 New York Primary. After losing a race for Senate in his home state of Tennessee in 2006, Ford moved to New York and has worked for Merrill Lynch. But Ford’s positions and values greatly contradict that of mainstream New Yorkers, and particularly New York Democrats. As a congressman from Tennessee, Harold Ford twice voted to enshrine discrimination against the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender community in the U.S. Constitution—the very document that has expanded and protected rights for all Americans.  Every federal Democratic elected official from New York opposed this provision—the Federal Marriage Amendment—and Ford went further, to also support a similar provision in the Tennessee Constitution.  Supporting George Bush’s discriminatory Federal Marriage Amendment is out of line with the values of all fair-minded Americans, be they in New York or Tennessee. Ford also opposes a woman’s right to choose, and throughout his Congressional career, he refused to cosponsor other pro-LGBT bills, such as the repeal of the “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” policy, or the Uniting American Families Act, which would provide same-sex partners of U.S. citizens the same immigration benefits legal spouses enjoy.

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