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Ken Buck on Civil Rights

 

 


Won't compare gays to alcoholics again; better candidate now

Amy Stephens made the case that Ken Buck hurt the party in his failed 2010 Senate bid. Stephens said that the Weld County district attorney's performance in a national television interview had significant ramifications. Stephens noted that "unfortunately when Ken had the 'Meet the Press' incident, along with our gubernatorial (candidates), we watched a lot of things implode."

Buck said the campaign mistakes he made four years ago, including the controversial remark comparing gays to alcoholics, was a mistake he would not repeat again. "I was unprepared for the question, and I answered it in a shorthanded way, and I shouldn't have answered it," said Buck. "I'm a better candidate than I was four years ago. I will not implode, though I don't agree with the premise I did implode."

Source: Denver Post on 2014 Colorado Senate debate , Feb 26, 2014

Buck "mis-spoke" comparing homosexuality to alcoholism

Buck made national news after saying on Meet the Press that he believed same-sex attraction was a lifestyle choice and comparing homosexuality to alcoholism. He later stood by the statement even in the face of calls from gay activists, doctors and psychologists to retract them and even given the fact that the statements strongly supported assertions made by his detractors that his views are out of sync with the views of most Coloradans. [One voter wrote to Buck] calling for Buck to retract his comments. Buck's campaign sent this email:
Thank you for your response. Ken may have mis-spoke, but his desire is to serve the people of Colorado period. As the prosecuting attorney for Weld County, Ken was the only DA in the country to try a hate crime that involved a transgender individual and win. Too often comments are misunderstood and taken out of context, but the hope is that you will realize Ken's commitment to Colorado and its citizens.
Source: Colorado Independent coverage of 2010 Colorado Senate debate , Oct 25, 2010

Birth influences homosexuality like it influences alcoholism

Ken Buck compared homosexuality to alcoholism Sunday in a nationally televised debate. [One analyst speculated], "The homosexuality question is going to produce most of the headlines out of the debate."

Asked by the host to elaborate on a statement he made in an earlier debate about gays in the military, Buck said he believes sexual orientation is a choice. Buck went on to say, "I think that birth has an influence over it, like alcoholism and some other things, but I think that basically you have a choice."

Bennet jumped on Buck's remark. "I absolutely believe he's outside the mainstream of views on this," Bennet said.

After the debate, a Buck spokesman said Buck did not mean to imply with his alcoholism comparison that Buck believes homosexuality is a disease. Buck told The Denver Post after the debate that he "wasn't talking about being gay as a disease" but also said of his remark that "there's no doubt there will probably be a commercial on something like that" from Democrats.

Source: Greeley Tribune coverage of 2010 Colorado Senate debate , Oct 18, 2010

Being gay is a choice, but birth has an influence

Q: On the issue of gays, in a debate last month you expressed your support for "don't ask, don't tell," and you alluded to lifestyle choices. Do you believe that being gay is a choice?

BUCK: I do.

Q: Based on what?

BUCK: Based on what?

Q: Yeah, why do you believe that?

BUCK: Well, I guess, you can choose who your partner is.

Q: You don't think it's something that's determined at birth?

BUCK: I think that birth has an influence over like alcoholism and some other things, but I think that basically you, you have a choice.

Q: [to Bennet]: Does that put him outside the mainstream of views on this?

BENNET: I absolutely believe he's outside the mainstream of views on this.

Source: NBC's Meet the Press: 2010 Colorado Senate debate , Oct 17, 2010

Don't-ask-don't-tell policy makes a lot of sense

An issue that illustrates the differences between Buck and Bennet is the "don't ask, don't tell" policy. When asked about repealing don't-ask-don't-tell, Sen. Bennet said he supported lifting the ban, saying opposition to homosexuality was a result of "outdated views of our society."

Buck said, "I do not support the repeal of don't-ask-don't-tell. I think it is a policy that makes a lot of sense." The don't-ask-don't-tell policy itself was instituted during the Clinton years and prohibits inquiries into the sexual orientation of military members. The current policy states that a person who makes their sexuality known is subject to discharge under the Uniform Code of Military Justice.

The Colorado Independent, in a story titled "Coloradans mostly agree with Bennet not Buck on don't-ask-don't-tell," reported that the majority of Coloradans supported lifting the ban. However, Buck's opinion appears to be more in line with the majority of generals and service-members.

Source: Greeley Gazette coverage of 2010 Colorado Senate debate , Sep 29, 2010

Prosecute the murder of transgender as a hate crime

Campaign For Liberty [created an] ad which is not a strict candidate endorsement, which would violate the law, but instead to promote the group's surveys.

The commenter suggests the ad was the work of wealthy Colorado gay-rights activist Tim Gill who, the theory goes, is supporting Buck because last year Buck chose to prosecute the murder of transgender Greeley resident Angie Zapata as a hate crime. The prosecution was a victory for the Zapata family and the gay community that rallied around the trial

Source: John Tomasic in The Colorado Independent , Jan 28, 2010

Supports Amendment to prevent same sex marriage.

Buck supports the CC survey question on banning same-sex marriage

The Christian Coalition voter guide [is] one of the most powerful tools Christians have ever had to impact our society during elections. This simple tool has helped educate tens of millions of citizens across this nation as to where candidates for public office stand on key faith and family issues.

The CC survey summarizes candidate stances on the following topic: "Federal Marriage Amendment to prevent same sex marriage"

Source: Christian Coalition Survey 10-CC-q3 on Aug 11, 2010

Opposes same-sex marriage.

Buck opposes the F2A survey question on same-sex marriage

Faith2Action.org is "the nation's largest network of pro-family groups." They provide election resources for each state, including Voter Guides and Congressional Scorecards excerpted here. The F2A survey summarizes candidate stances on the following topic: 'Marriage: Do you support same-sex marriage?'

Source: Faith2Action Survey 14-F2A-Q3 on Sep 30, 2014

Opposes same-sex marriage.

Buck opposes the PVS survey question on same-sex marriage

Project VoteSmart infers summary responses from campaign statements and news reports The PVS survey summarizes candidate stances on the following topic: 'Marriage: Do you support same-sex marriage?'

Source: Project VoteSmart Inferred Survey 14-PVS-q3 on Sep 30, 2014

Religious objections to GLBT services same as 1960s racism.

Buck voted NAY H.Amdt. 1128 to H.R. 5055

Heritage Action Summary: The Maloney Amendment would ratify President Obama's 2014 executive order barring federal contractors from what it describes as "discrimination" on the basis of "sexual orientation and gender identity" in their private employment policies. In practice, it would have required federal contractors to grant biologically male employees who identify as women unfettered access to women's lockers, showers, and bathrooms.

Heritage Foundation recommendation to vote NO: (5/25/2016): Congress should not be elevating sexual orientation and gender identity as a protected class garnering special legal privileges, which is the intent of the Maloney Amendment. The Maloney Amendment constitutes bad policy that unnecessarily regulates businesses. It risks undoing longstanding protections in civil rights law and makes clear that the president's orders are not exempt from them.

ACLU recommendation to vote YES: (5/11/2016): We see today claims to a right to discriminate--by refusing to provide services to LGBT people--based on religious objections. Claiming a right to discriminate in the name of religion is not new. In the 1960s, we saw objections to laws requiring integration in restaurants because of sincerely held beliefs that God wanted the races to be separate. We saw religiously affiliated universities refuse to admit students who engaged in interracial dating. In those cases, we recognized that requiring integration was not about violating religious liberty; it was about ensuring fairness. It's no different today.

Religious freedom in America means that we all have a right to our religious beliefs, but this does not give us the right to use our religion to impose those beliefs on others.

Legislative outcome: Amendment passed by the House 223-195-15 4/26/16; overall bill H.R.5055 failed 112-305-16 on 5/26/2016

Source: Supreme Court case 16-H5055 argued on May 25, 2016

Respect faith-based opposition to same-sex marriage.

Buck signed respecting faith-based opposition to same-sex marriage

Congressional Summary: The First Amendment Defense Act (FADA) prohibits the federal government from taking discriminatory action against a person on the basis that such person believes or acts in accordance with a religious belief or moral conviction that:

  1. marriage is or should be recognized as the union of one man and one woman, or
  2. sexual relations are properly reserved to such a marriage.
Legal Argument Opposed: [Secular.org]: "The stated purpose of FADA is to protect the tax-exempt status, government contract, or any other federal benefit of those who do not comply with the Supreme Court's same-sex marriage ruling. This act's true impact would allow for sweeping, taxpayer-funded discrimination against same-sex couples and their children--all under the guise of religious liberty. FADA would completely eviscerate the historic nondiscrimination Executive Order that President Obama signed last summer that prohibits federal contractors from engaging in discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation and gender identity. The First Amendment protects freedom of religion and freedom from religion, not the special privileges of the religiously affiliated at the expense of the fundamental rights of other Americans."

Political Argument Opposed: [ACLU, July 20, 2015]: The House of Representatives & leading anti-LGBT organizations are pushing a bill--disingenuously titled the First Amendment Defense Act--that would open the door to unprecedented taxpayer-funded discrimination against LGBT people, single mothers, and unmarried couples. This bill would

Source: H.R.2802 16-HR2802 on Jun 17, 2015

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