Dr. Jill Stein will host a meet-and-greet from 7-9 p.m. March 19 at the William Way LGBT Community Center, 1315 Spruce St.
Stein, a physician, is a resident of Massachusetts and ran for governor of the state in 2002 on a platform that included marriage equality, which the state legalized two years later.
“I was really the first statewide candidate to come out swinging on behalf of equal marriage in the first state that supported it,” she said.
Stein said the Defense of Marriage Act, the federal ban on same-sex marriage, is one of the main impediments the LGBT community is currently facing.
“DOMA is a big obstacle that needs to be repealed,” she said. “President Obama has done a real disservice to the LGBT community by keeping it on the books and continuing to enforce it. It should be repealed. It’s a real slap in the face to the LGBT community.”
If elected, Stein said she would “strongly advocate” for DOMA’s repeal as a “first order of business.”
Stemming anti-LGBT hate crimes will also be a primary goal, she said.
Having a president who is supportive of a comprehensive LGBT-rights model is a step in that direction, Stein noted.
“We need to reverse the gay-bashing and the discrimination that is out there now,” she said. “We need a president who will go to bat for equality and for the respect and dignity of all members of the LGBT community in order to put an end to the hate-mongering and the fear-mongering that continues against this community.”
One of the cornerstones of her presidential platform, Stein said, is health-care reform.
“Everybody has a right to health care; that is a human right,” she said. “And that extends to everyone, including the gay, lesbian and transgender community, with appropriate and sensitive health care that provides for their needs, including mental-health needs. Right now we have a system that is in disarray and failing to meet the urgent health needs of all communities of people and bankrupting us in the process.”
Stein will share her goals for the future of the nation’s health-care system with guests at the William Way event.
“We’ll present the campaign and its key issues and have a chance to have informal dialogues and face-to-face discussions so people can inform me about the issues important to them,” she said. “I’m the only presidential candidate advocating for equal rights across the board, and that includes equal marriage, but also jobs, healthcare, getting students out of debt, bringing our troops home.”
For more information on Stein, visit www.jillstein.org.
Jen Colletta can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.