'Ron Klein would be a strong advocate for fairness in Congress,' said Human Rights Campaign President Joe Solmonese.
WASHINGTON - The Human Rights Campaign today announced its endorsement of Democrat Ron Klein running against incumbent Republican Rep. Clay Shaw for Florida's 22nd congressional district.
"Ron Klein would be a strong advocate for fairness in Congress," said HRC President Joe Solmonese. "With such a stark contrast between candidates, all fair-minded voters in Florida's 22nd district need to become engaged in this important campaign."
As a state senator, Klein opposed Florida's outright ban on gay adoptive parents and worked for fair treatment of gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender seniors. Klein also supports employment non-discrimination legislation and hate crimes prevention measures and opposes any amendment to the U.S. Constitution that would discriminate against GLBT Americans.
"Equality is an American value and I will carry that message to Congress," said Klein. "Together we are fighting for common sense in Washington. Only with an eye toward cooperation will we achieve meaningful goals. Goals like better schools for our children affordable health care the creation of quality, high-paying jobs supporting our veterans and a 21st century energy policy."
Klein's support for equality is in stark contrast to Shaw's record. In the past Shaw supported a strong hate crimes law, yet this past September Shaw bowed to Tom Delay and the far-right leadership and changed his position - opposing the hate crimes bill that passed the House.
In showing lack of understanding of this issue, Shaw spokesperson Gail Gitcho explained the flip-flop by saying, "Every crime is a hate crime."
"Embezzlement is not a hate crime perjury is not a hate crime. But when a person is killed because he or she is Hispanic, Jewish, or gay, that is a hate crime. It's a shame that Clay Shaw can't make this distinction," added Solmonese.
Additionally, Shaw has never co-sponsored the Employment Non-Discrimination Act and he supports a discriminatory amendment to the U.S. Constitution that would ban the protections and responsibilities of marriage for same-sex couples and their children.
"Time and time again, Clay Shaw has shown that he is out-of-step with the voters of his district when it comes to issues of fairness for gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender Americans. HRC is pleased to support a strong, fair-minded candidate like Ron Klein and we are committed to helping ensure his victory in 2006," added Solmonese.
To ensure the election of fair-minded leaders like Klein, HRC's political action committee mobilizes GLBT and allied voters throughout the country. In addition, HRC-PAC provides fundraising assistance and campaign staff support to targeted races.
The Human Rights Campaign is the largest national lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender political organization with members throughout the country. It effectively lobbies Congress, provides campaign support and educates the public to ensure that LGBT Americans can be open, honest and safe at home, at work and in the community.
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