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Monday, August 5, 1996

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  • Bob Dole’s Running Mates and Abortion

    Today NARAL unveils its new television ad and will hold a news conference in Washington to talk about presidential candidate Bob Dole’s stance on abortion issues. We are joined by James Wagner of NARAL to talk about Bob Dole’s potential running mates and their stand on abortion. Potential running mate Connie Mack, the Florida Senator, has a comprehensive anti-choice record in the senate. This is in line most of Dole’s potential running mates. Wagner states Dole has already made commitments to the Christian Coalition and other organizations that he will move ahead with the anti-choice agenda. For this reason Wagner sees Dole’s choice of running mate as having very little effect on the abortion policy of a Republican administration. Carrol Campbell, governor of North Carolina, is seen as more moderate largely because he has skirmished with the extreme right wing of the party over abortion. The governor believes in flying the Confederate Flag over the capitol of North Carolina and has a strong anti-choice record. Arizona Senator and potential running mate John McCain has cast 79 votes on abortion and reproductive rights and 75 of those votes were anti-choice votes. Of Three Midwestern governors and potential running mates, John Englar of Michigan and Tommy Thompson of Wisconsin have already shown in their own states that they will support strong anti-choice measures. Jim Edgar of Illinois is seen as having a mixed stance on abortion.

  • Jim Colby’s Coming Out

    On Friday six term congress member Jim Colby of Arizona acknowledged that he is gay. Colby came out because The Advocate, a national lesbian and gay magazine, threatened to out him for voting for the Defense of Marriage Act – effectively a vote against same sex marriages. David Grier, who joins us today, applauds Colby for coming out but objects to the general principle of outing and considers  
    Colby to have a pro-gay voting record. Larry Gross, who also joins us, considers outing to be good for the body politic and states Colby’s voting record is weak on gay rights. Larry Gross goes on to describe the first instances of outing during the Aids epidemic. Many highly placed closeted gays in the Reagan administration were seen as being unresponsive to the AIDS crisis. Militant gay organizations like Act Up responded by naming gay officials publicly. Senator Mark Hatfield of Oregon, Governor Jim Thompson of Illinois and Malcolm Forbes were all outed in the 80s.

  • Longtime Clinton friend and advisor discusses Clinton’s stance, or lack of stance, on gay issues.

    Today Pacifica Reporter John Rush interviews David Mixner an openly gay former advisor in the Clinton administration. Mixner, who has known Clinton for over 25 years, states that Clinton has become and expert at befriending those who are making social change while managing to avoid making such changes himself. Mixner identifies with Clinton in that he too grew up in a small town and was eager to break out into the world at large. Clinton, he suggests, although good at heart, is stuck in the people/authority-pleasing mode of operation that launched his political carrier. Mixner sees Clinton as treating the gay rights movement more like a special interest group that can be used to his advantage than as a legitimate civil rights movement.  
    The current Democratic platform is seen as a retreat from Clinton’s first campaign platform. The current platform largely ignores the issue of gays in the military and although it denounces anti-gay discrimination Clinton promises to sign an agreement that would ban gay marriages on the federal level.