Feingold on same-sex unions.

Russ Feingold's got principles. The only US senator to vote against the Patriot Act, he's been a constructive voice of dissent about the Iraq war, domestic wiretapping, and now constitutional amendments banning gay marriage. “The proposed ban on civil unions and marriage is a mean-spirited attempt to divide Wisconsin and I indicated that it should be defeated,” Feingold said. “It discriminates against thousands of people in our communities – our co-workers, our neighbors, our friends, and our family members. It would single out members of a particular group and forever deny them rights and protections granted to all other Wisconsin citizens. It would also outlaw civil unions and jeopardize many legal protections for all unmarried couples, whether of the same or the opposite sex. We shouldn’t enshrine this prejudice in our state’s Constitution.”

The Washington Post:
Feingold called the amendment "a mean-spirited attempt" to single out gay men and lesbians for discrimination and said he would vote against it. But he went further, announcing that he favors legalizing same-sex marriages.

That puts him at odds with many prominent Democratic politicians who support gay rights but not same-sex marriage. Should Feingold decide to run for the party's presidential nomination in 2008, his position would put him to the left of many likely rivals.
"Obviously, it's a very difficult issue and evokes a lot of emotions," Feingold said in a telephone interview yesterday. "I think it's something ultimately that people throughout the country will accept, but it's not an easy issue." He accused the Bush White House and the Republican Party of using same-sex marriage as a wedge issue "to hurt Democrats who are against discrimination."
In the party of wishy-washy John Kerry and Republican Lite Joseph Lieberman, Feingold is a refreshing reminder of the truly democratic principles the party is named after.

Wisconsin weighs in on war: In a symbolic message to Washington, 24 of 32 Wisconsin cities, from Milwaukee to Lacrosse, Madison to Ladysmith, approved a resolution calling for an immediate withdrawal of troops from Iraq. Fifty-one soldiers from Wisconsin have been killed serving in Iraq.

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