Log Cabin Republicans Endorses Rick Lazio for Senate

Support for Civil Rights and Championing AIDS Funding Highlight Record

September 27, 2000 Facebook Twitter LinkedIn Blogger Tumblr

(Washington, DC) – The nation's largest gay Republican organization endorsed Rick Lazio for the US Senate in New York, citing his record of support for civil rights and his strong leadership on HIV/AIDS issues.

"In this race, New Yorkers have a real choice," said Tom Wahl, Chairman of Log Cabin Republicans of New York. "They can choose a real record of fighting for the people of New York in Congress for ten years in Rick Lazio, or one year of promises and no record from his opponent who just discovered New York and has not delivered one penny of AIDS funding to New York."

In a meeting with the Log Cabin Republicans of New York, Lazio voiced his strong support for the Employment Non-Discrimination Act, which would prohibit discrimination in employment on the basis of sexual orientation. Lazio also discussed his vote in helping defeat the the 1998 Hefley Amendment, which would have overturned federal non-discrimination policies protecting gay federal workers. He also pointed to his leadership in opposing the 1998 Riggs Amendment, which sought to deny housing funding to San Francisco to protest its domestic partnership law.

"Rick Lazio was one of the very first Members of Congress to open his doors to Log Cabin Republicans when we opened our office in 1993, and we have built a solid working relationship since then on important issues for the gay and lesbian community," said Rich Tafel, executive director of Log Cabin Republicans. "President Clinton has failed to lead when it came to funding for people with AIDS in New York. Rick Lazio led the charge of centrists Republicans in the House to increase AIDS funding by hundreds of millions of dollars over the Clinton budgets since 1995. Rick Lazio was instrumental on this crucial issue. Where was his opponent when New York needed this funding?"

"Rick Lazio has a real record of delivering for New York," Tafel said. "He will be an excellent Senator, a strong advocate for civil rights, and will bring a decade of expertise on sound AIDS policy to the US Senate. He's the type of centrist, independent and compassionate leader that New York deserves."

Lazio's record as a leader and champion of HIV/AIDS issues includes leading the fight for increased funding for the AIDS Drug Assistance Program (ADAP), the Housing for People With AIDS (HOPWA) program, and his sponsorship of the Work Incentives Improvement Act, a bill to support people with AIDS in transition from public assistance to work.

In the meeting with Log Cabin Republicans-New York, Lazio also voiced his support of local jurisdictions to enact same-sex partner registry and benefits laws without any federal interference, and the study of tax equity for domestic/civil partners. Lazio also supports a review of the current policy on gays in the military, and wants to see a "sincere dialogue" between military leaders, Congress and the administration on the results of the review and any steps to be taken.

Lazio also maintains a written non-discrimination policy in his Congressional office which protects gay and lesbian employees, and has been a strong public supporter of the inclusion of gays and lesbians within the Republican Party. Since 1995, Lazio has spoken at several Log Cabin Republicans conferences in Washington, DC, and has advocated the concerns of gay Republicans to the GOP leadership in Congress.