Saturday, December 30, 2006

GOP Should Heed Ford's Advice On Equality

As the country prepares to lay to rest former President Gerald R. Ford, Jr., the Republican Party would do well to take a harder look at Ford's advice on equality. As president, he was a major proponent of equal rights for women. Years after leaving the White House, he also became a proponent of equality for gays and lesbians. He supported both non-discrimination in the workplace and marriage equality legislation. Speaking in an interview with the Detroit News in October, 2001, Ford is quoted as saying:

“I have always believed in an inclusive policy, in welcoming gays and others into the party,” Ford said. “I think the party has to have an umbrella philosophy if it expects to win elections.”

When asked by Price if gay couples should receive the same economic benefits as married couples, such as Social Security and tax deductions, Ford said, “I don’t see why they shouldn’t. I think that’s a proper goal…I think they ought to be treated equally. Period.”

Ford’s gay-supportive comments in the Price interview prompted the Republican Unity Coalition, a gay-straight alliance that advocated support for gay issues within the Republican Party, to invite Ford to join its advisory board.

To the amazement and delight of the group’s executive director, Charles Francis, Ford accepted the invitation, becoming the first past or current U.S. president to join the ranks of a gay rights advocacy organization.

Francis credited former U.S. Senator Alan Simpson (R-Wyo.), who served as the RUC’s honorary chair, with approaching Ford to join the group.

In a March 2003 letter to Francis, Ford expressed support for the then pending lawsuit before the U.S. Supreme Court, known as Lawrence v. Texas, which sought to overturn the nation’s sodomy laws.

“I sincerely hope that you prevail in the case of Lawrence v. Texas,” Fold told Francis.

Ford later expressed support for legislation to ban discrimination based on sexual orientation in the workplace.


It is a little-known fact that Oliver Sipple, a gay man, may have saved Ford's life in 1975 when he grabbed the arm of Sara Jane Moore and wrestled her to the ground as she fired a gun at Ford as he was leaving a hotel in San Francisco. One of the bullets fired from Moore's gun missed Ford's head by a few feet. Moore was one of two women who attempted to assassinate Ford while he was president. The two assassination attempts always struck me as rather odd because women have so rarely in history assassinated political leaders.

13 comments:

Wilson46201 said...

Charlotte Corday?

Anonymous said...

The other being Charles Manson disciple "Squeaky" Fromme.

Wilson46201 said...

Фаина Ефимовна Каплан a.k.a. Fanny Kaplan attempted to assassinate V. I. Lenin in 1919.

MJ said...

Apropo of this post, it appears as VP Cheney gives the eulogy for the late President, one can glimpse among the mourners Heather Poe, partner of the VP's daughter. Obviously her personal relationship has earned her the respect and position the Republicans in general seek to legally and constitutionally deny the rest of us.

Anonymous said...

MJ-

Stop your pathetic whinging.

Nobody stops you from attending funerals, do they?

I guess for some people, anything and everything is all about being "gay."

Anonymous said...

Ford was the last centrist Republican president so it is not surprising that he valued quaint virtues like fairness, judging people on their actions rather than their demography or their claims of religiosity, and opportunity for everyone.

Whatever happened to centrist Republicans, anyway? Can you people get your act together and take back your party so we can move on to civil discourse and actual progress rather than endless war and finding demons?

Advance Indiana said...

I had almost forgotten about the middle son, Jack Ford. His sexual orientation has often been speculated upon. He was spotted at gay night clubs in D.C. when his father was v.p. and president. I ran across a photo of him at the White House when his dad was president. It was a picture of Andy Warhol taking a picture of Jack, while Bianca Jagger looked on. I'm sure he met Warhol at Studio 54. Interestingly, son Steve, the actor, was originally cast in the movie, Grease. He dropped out and was replaced by Lorenzo Lamas. To relive the 70s.

Anonymous said...

Who cares, really? Non-Reagan, is gay, I mean Ron Reagan. But, so what? Republicans need to back off the gay marriage issue. Any fool can see it's a loser for them. Afterall, everyone, even gays, are entitled to love and marriage. Who wants to be associated with the party that is against love and marriage? I can hear it now, blah, blah, blah. Everyone, even gays, yes, are entitled to love and marriage. Move on, next issue.

Anonymous said...

It's supposed to be a free country, right? How can we deny gays the right to be happy? Society is evolving. I believe, sadly, that there's a significant number of right wingers that can's accept the above premise.

Wilson46201 said...

Twould be interesting to have ultra-Republicans hailstone and Jocelyn weigh in on the topic of gay marriage...

Anonymous said...

8:41 PM you hit it right on the target!

Let's get this over and done with and let's make the NAMBLA freaks happy and legalize pedophilia. And the PETA people and legalize bestiality [South Park fans know what I'm referring to].

That should stop any arguments from the leftwingnuts for a few years anyway.

Anonymous said...

As an 'ultra-Republican' I'd weigh in and say that there are a lot of people in the Party that would be perfectly happy to drop the issue and support at least civil unions if not marriage. These people are typically younger and working their way into leadership positions. But it's going to take some time.

Wilson46201 said...

Trust hailstone to bring up pedophilia and bestiality into a discussion of same-sex marriage but that why they call them wingnuts! Still, he does enunciate the official positions of the GOP so well ...