Voters Guide

Candidates for US Congress (PA - 3rd District) PA State Senate and PA State Representative were asked about their positions on GLBT issues. Their responses appear below.

US Congress

Not Responding: Phil English (R-Incumbent)

ANTI-DISCRIMINATION

What is your stance on legislation, such as the Employment Non Discrimination Act, which would protect citizens on the basis of sexual orientation, gender identity and gender expression in housing, public accommodations and employment?

 

Kathleen Dahlkemper (D)

I fully support HR 3685 ENDA and would have voted for it were I in Congress at the time. I do not believe there should be any limitations placed on this Bill and that full protection for all Americans is a right and should not limited in any way.

Kyle Foust (D)

I support ENDA and would have voted for the Baldwin version including discrimination against transgendered persons.

Tom Myers (D)

I am against discrimination of all types and support the Employment Non-discrimination Act.

Steve Porter (I)

I favor the legislation.

Mike Waltner (D)

I am in full support of the Employment Non Discrimination Act and other important legislation that would seek to prevent discrimination based on race, gender, sexual orientation and religious preference. It is imperative that no American feel limited in what they can do in this country based on the way they are born. I consider this to be a basic civil right, and one that should be afforded to all citizens of this country.

Hate Crimes

Would you support legislation, such as the Matthew Shepherd Act, which would include sexual orientation, gender identity and gender expression in categories already included for prosecuting violent crime?

Kathleen Dahlkemper (D)

I absolutely support the Matthew Shepherd Act. Hate crimes based on sexual orientation, gender identity and expression cannot be tolerated any more than a hate crime based on race, religion or disability cannot be tolerated.

Kyle Foust (D)

Fully.

Tom Myers (D)

I also support Hate Crimes legislation. Such crimes should not be tolerated. There should be serious penalties for the same as a deterrent. Such crimes proliferate the misinformed opinions, stereotypes and prejudices that spawn such attitudes in the first place.

Steve Porter (I)

Yes.

Mike Waltner (D)

Absolutely. I strongly support legislation that would impose harsher penalties against those who commit violent crimes on the basis of a persons identity, whether it be sexual orientation, religious preference, race, or gender. We need to ensure that all citizens of this country feel free and safe in leading their everyday life.

Military Service

Would you support legislation, such as the Military Readiness Enhancement Act that would allow openly gay, lesbian bisexual and Transgender (GLBT) people to serve in the military?

Kathleen Dahlkemper (D)

Clearly Don't Ask Don't Tell is a failed policy and one that denigrates our soldiers and keeps them second class citizens. I believe that any individual who is willing to serve his/her country should be able to do so without fear of harassment or retribution. I would support the Military Readiness Enhancement Act (HR1246).

Kyle Foust (D)

I am proud of and support all who serve in the military, including my sister who recently retired after 20 years in the Air Force. Given that many of those dismissed from service over the past 15 years have been those with critical skills, such as Arab-language translators, it is clear that DADT does not work for our country.

Tom Myers (D)

I will support the Military Readiness Enhancement Act. Discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation should have no place in our military. Repealing the Don't Ask, Don't Tell policy will save hundreds of millions of dollars and add 41,000 troops to our forces. These are often critical service positions that these good, honorable folks are being discharged solely because they are gay. We need to get on with our mission and get over such archaic prejudices.

Steve Porter (I)

Yes

Mike Waltner (D)

I believe that discrimination is discrimination. We begin to enter into dangerous waters when we decide to enact legislation that overtly limits the civil liberties of any of our citizens based on who they are. We all recall the egregious arguments made for years claiming that allowing women to serve would prove detrimental to our armed forces. As history has clearly shown, our military and our nation have benefited from the service of our women in uniform. The current "don't ask, don't tell" policy dishonors the sacrifices made by gays and lesbians currently serving, or who have previously served in our armed forces.

Other

What else would you like to let people know about you?

Kathy Dahlkemper (D)

You did not ask about Civil Unions so let me just state for the record that I support Civil Unions and Domestic Partner benefits.

On a personal note, I am running for Congress because we have had enough of the so-called family values of the Republican right, enough of the failed fiscal policies of the Republican Party and because of the lack of visionary leadership for this region and country.

I am a small businesswoman, civic and community leader and mother of five. I am not a career politician but a concerned citizen who is determined to lead our nation in a new direction. I believe the depth and breadth of my background in areas such as health care, environmental leadership and as a business owner gives me the experience necessary to make a difference in our region and the nation. I will work tirelessly to create an environment that encourages investment and job growth, that takes care of our children, the elderly, the poorest among us and the working poor. I will strive to leave our world safer and stronger, cleaner and brighter than we currently find it.

I am determined to make a difference:

Please visit my website at www.kathydahlkemperforcongress.com or contact me at [email protected] with any questions. Thank you for this opportunity to share my views.

Kyle Foust (D)

One of my proudest accomplishments on Erie County Council has been keeping my campaign promise to restart the county Human Relations Commission.

Tom Myers (D)

I would also like people to know that as an attorney I am a staunch supporter of the U. S. Constitution and Bill of Rights. I would oppose any constitutional amendments to ban same sex marriage. I support civil unions and the notion that same sex couples should enjoy full and equal protection under the law, including all the rights and benefits incident to marriage between opposite sex couples.

Steve Porter (I)

The Constitution prohibits the violation of civil rights for any "arbitrary" reason such as age, sex, gender, creed, religion, physical condition or sexual orientation. It is about time this nation comes into compliance with its Constitution and does not allow the prejudices of people to erode the civil liberties we all are guaranteed.

Mike Waltner (D)

I am a firm believer that "To lead is to serve." That is why I have been focusing all of my campaign's resources on building what is the largest grassroots operation in this race so that I can gain direct access to the voters of this district, so I can hear their voice and share with them my vision for positive change. Our campaign is predicated on an inclusive approach. With the largest, and, in fact, only functioning grassroots operation in this contest we are reaching out to all voters in this district, regardless of location, sexual orientation, race, gender, age, or economic status To date we have already knocked on over 4,000 doors, making direct contact with over 8,000 individual voters. Our operation is constantly growing as we convey our message. We are confident that by April 22nd we will have knocked on nearly 30,000 doors, connecting with almost every Democratic voter in the district. I am the only candidate doing this, and I am also the only candidate in this race with a national fundraising base. In fact, the success of our grassroots campaign is bringing in new donors every day. I intend to use these two assets to ensure that Phil English is no longer our Congressman on January 1st, 2009. The way for us to affect real change in this district is to send a new type of leader to Washington. It is simply too risky to settle for another self-financing candidate, lawyer, or career politician. We've been trying this for the past 14 years and it has gotten us nothing. My extensive professional background in community service has informed my view of what leadership should be in this country, and I believe that I am the new type of leader who can once again make government serve the interests of the citizens of this district.

PA State Senate

These are the questions that were asked of candidates for State Senate:

Anti-Discrimination

What is your stance on legislation, such as SB 761, which would protect citizens on the basis of sexual orientation, gender identity and gender expression in housing, public accommodations and employment?

Hate Crimes

Pennsylvania's Ethnic Crimes Intimidation Act has included sexual orientation and gender identity for several years now. It has been challenged on a procedural issue in court. Would you support passage of similar legislation if the existing legislation was invalidated.

Same sex couples

Do you support any recognition of rights for same-sex couples? Would you oppose SB 1250, which would amend Pennsylvania's constitution to ban equal marriage rights, civil unions and possibly threaten other forms of protection.

Other

What else would you like to let people know about you?

 

District 49

Not responding Jane Earll (R - Incumbent District 49)

Anti Discimination

Cindy Purvis (D)

I will support anti-discrimination legislation.

Hate Crimes

Cindy Purvis (D)

I support passage of Ethic Crimes Intimidation which includes sexual orientation and gender identity.

Same Sex Couples

Cindy Purvis (D)

I support rights for same-sex couples. I oppose SB 1250.

Jane Earll (R-Incumbent) quote:

Although not responding to the EGN questionnaire, the following is a statement from Senator Earll when she voted against SB 1250 coming out the Judiciary Committee:

"I think it's a very dangerous precedent to be amending the constitution of Pennsylvania based on court decisions in other states. I don't think we should be doing it based on potential threats, ghosts in corners, when there's no evidence there's any litigation now or being championed, or in the past, in Pennsylvania."

Other

Cindy Purvis (D)

I oppose any legislation or other attempt to blame minorities for our problems as a means of diverting the eyes of the electorate from our real issues and culprits. This type of divisiveness serves no one but those who benefit from keeping us separated.

Thank you for the opportunity to give my viewpoint on your issues.

District 21

Not responding: Mary Jo White (R - Incumbent District 21)

PA House of Representatives

The candidates for State House of Representatives were asked the following questions:

Anti-Discrimination

What is your stance on legislation, such as HB 1400, which would protect citizens on the basis of sexual orientation, gender identity and gender expression in housing, public accommodations and employment?

Hate Crimes

Pennsylvania's Ethnic Crimes Intimidation Act has included sexual orientation and gender identity for several years now. It has been challenged on a procedural issue in court. Would you support passage of similar legislation if the existing legislation was invalidated.

Same sex couples

Do you support any recognition of rights for same-sex couples? Would you oppose legislation similar to SB 1250, which would amend Pennsylvania's constitution to ban equal marriage rights, civil unions and possibly threaten other forms of protection.

Other

What else would you like to let people know about you?

District 1

Anti Discimination

Pat Harkins (D-Incumbent)

I am a co-sponsor of HB 1400, and I was instrumental in having the hearing late last fall at the Blasco Library regarding this issue.

Hate Crimes

Pat Harkins (D-Incumbent)

Yes

Same Sex Couples

Pat Harkins (D-Incumbent)

I would have to know all of the particulars of the legislation that would come before me before I would support it. I believe what consenting adults choose to do in the privacy of their residence is their right, with no involvement from the government.

Other

Pat Harkins (D-Incumbent)

I am an open-minded legislator, and I try to see all sides of an issue before making a decision.

District 2

Anti Discimination

Flo Fabrizio (D-Incumbent)

As the Erie County Clerk I worked extensively and cooperatively with all stakeholders to effectuate anti discrimination language for the Erie County Human Relations Commission. Through the efforts of many persons who were desirous and committed to protect all citizens regardless of their sexual orientation, the Erie County Council adopted, and the Erie County Executive signed an ordinance which amended The Erie County Human Relations Charter by incorporating language prohibiting discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation

I am a cosponsor of HB 1400, and I will work diligently for its passage.

Hate Crimes

Flo Fabrizio (D-Incumbent)

I would support the adoption of similar legislation.

Same Sex Couples

Flo Fabrizio (D-Incumbent)

I support the recognition of rights for same –sex couples or civil unions. I would oppose any constitutional amendment that would ban civil unions or provides language that specifies that marriage can be only between a man and a woman. The constitution should be empowering and it should not be a document that impedes, threatens or violates human and/or civil rights.

District 3

Not Responding: Jason Owen (R), Joe Pfadt (R)

Anti Discimination

John Hornaman (D-Incumbent)

As a co-sponsor to HB 1400, I believe there should be no discrimination in housing or employment based on any factor of one's existence. I also believe that neither party in negotations for housing or employment should seek to make sexual orientation an issue in those negotations.

Hate Crimes

John Hornaman (D-Incumbent)

I disagree with the concept of "hate crimes" entirely. If you have been beaten or murdered, you are no more beaten because you were hated for your race or sexual orientation.

Same Sex Couples

John Hornaman (D-Incumbent)

I believe that a marriage exists between one man and one woman. I would not oppose SB 1250.

District 4

Not Responding: Curt Sonney (R-Incumbent)

Anti Discimination

Rick Mitchell (D)

I am in favor of equal treatment for all people, and agree in principle with the provisions of HB 1400.

Hate Crimes

Rick Mitchell (D)

I would support common sense hate crimes legislation.

Same Sex Couples

Rick Mitchell (D)

I would support civil unions. Same sex couples should have the same property rights under the law as anyone else. Estate laws that punish people not given equal standing under that law are unfair. Individual churches will do what they choose, but I would oppose legislation such as SB 1250.

Other

Rick Mitchell (D)

If elected, my first act will be to add my name to House Bill 1660, which proposes single-payer health care for all Pennsylvanians. This means that whenever you are sick you can walk into your doctor's office or any hospital and have all the care you need, for as long as you need it, with the calm assurance that all the bills will be paid.

Pennsylvania should become a leader in producing alternative energy. To this end, more resources should be devoted to developing this area. This will have multiple benefits to the environment, to the economy, and to the consumer.

Education is very important. Whatever can be done on the State level to repeal "No Child Left Behind" and restore balance to the educational process, should be done. Strong public education is vital to the future success of our society.

While I can't say unequivocally that I'd vote against all new taxes, I am opposed to new taxes that simply get added to the General Fund.

District 5

Not Responding: John Alward (D), John Evans (R-Incumbent)

Videos

Erie Pa ) Keith Drzal White Erie Gay Business alliance - Posted Apr 20, 2008

Chris Young speaks for Barack Obama at Candidate Forum - Posted Apr 20, 2008

Kyle Foust speaks at Candidate Forum - Posted Apr 20, 2008

Mike Waltner speaks at Candidate Forum - Posted Apr 20, 2008

Tom Meyers speaks at Candidate Forum - Posted Apr 20, 2008

Speaker for Hillary Clinton at Candidate Forum - Posted Apr 20, 2008

 


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