Sen. Bill Nelson, D-Fla., running for re-election, played it safe Friday on the gay marriage question highlighted by President Barack Obama’s recent endorsement of same-sex marriages, according to a report by the Tampa Bay Times
“I have a record fighting against discrimination and standing up for people’s civil rights based on their sexual orientation. I believe marriage should be left to the states, and Florida voted on same-sex marriage in 2008," said Nelson.
Friday night, at a speech at a "Champions of Equality" event in Miami, he said more about his record against discrimination, describing his support of the banning of the now defunct "don't ask, don't tell" of the U.S. military.
“Don’t ask, don’t tell” famously barred people, based on sexual orientation, from serving openly in the U.S. military. In remarks released in advance of his speech, Nelson reveals: “As a member of the Armed Services Committee I cosponsored and voted for, and the president signed, this legislation. I was proud to do so. The courage, the bravery, the sacrifice, and the patriotism of all Americans who serve deserve no less.
“Here in Florida, I stood against the proposed changes last year that would have added many people to the waiting list for AIDS medications. That’s why Sir Elton John and I co-authored a national newspaper column to shine a spotlight on the situation in Florida.
“This was not a political issue or a charitable cause. It was a matter of what’s right and wrong; whether or not we are acting in people’s best interest.”
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