Brian A. Joyce
1) I believe there is no non-discriminatory reason to limit marriage rights to certain people based on sexual orientation. My children find it difficult to believe that when I was a child, discrimination against persons of color was widely practiced and accepted. My hope is that my grandchildren will find it difficult to believe that when their own parents were growing up, discrimination against the gay and lesbian community was also widely practiced and accepted. In Congress, I will be an active supporter of the gay and lesbian community, as I have been in the Massachusetts Senate.
2) I am pro-choice. I have come to the conclusion that I cannot and should not impose my personal beliefs on others, and that government should not play a role in this very personal decision, which should be made by a woman, her family, and her doctor. Despite the false accusations that are being made by one of my opponents, my pro-choice position is rock solid. In Congress, I will always vote to protect a womanís right to choose.
3) I support a conditioned end to the embargo against Cuba. We are strangling not only its economy but, consequently, its social framework. The embargo has caused significant deterioration in the nationís quality and level of health care. We must lift the restrictions on US travel to Cuba so that our citizensí organizations can further their advocacy of civil rights and human protections to our southern neighbor. In the four decades of this blockade, we have not compelled Cuba to comply with our demands. We must stop punishing innocent Cuban civilians before we can successfully advocate for their rights.
4) I believe we can seize the opportunity to play a vital and positive role in the health and welfare of the world community. Trade organizations must focus more on human rights, labor rights, and environmental protections. We can do this by encouraging domestic economic growth and development, encouraging the major industrial countries to coordinate their economic policies, and creating public international investment funds to meet human and environmental needs and ensure adequate global demands. The concept of globalization must not be blindly condemned. On the contrary, we must focus our energies toward a global economic framework that promotes the cause of human rights for all.
5) The United States has been and must continue to be a strong supporter of the peace process in the Middle East. Through foreign aid and other legislation, we must continue to help Israel, our closest ally in the Middle East and a consistent supporter in the United Nations, in its struggle to bring about peace. The US should facilitate direct negotiations between warring parties in the Middle East, but we must do so with the consent of the involved parties. Only when Israel and the Palestinian Authority make genuine steps to the bargaining table, of their own accord, can a true, lasting peace finally be achieved.
6) Some of my fondest memories from childhood are of helping my father campaign for local office. Those experiences taught me the value of community and civic participation in the political process. We need young people to realize that they do have a voice and encourage them to take pride in exercising one of their most precious rights. Through campaign-finance reform, we can involve more Americans in the political process. Not only will campaign-finance reform allow more potential candidates to run for office, but it will restore faith among the electorate that special interests cannot purchase undue influence in government matters.
7) There is no question that the history of slavery in this country has had long-lasting detrimental effects on African-Americans both socially and economically, and that the wounds of many are still fresh from our countryís shameful past. It is impossible to put into words the shame that we, as a nation, should feel about the fact that slavery existed for so long, and about the fact that racism persists to this day. I believe, though, that reducing such a complex issue to a monetary figure trivializes the matter. And I donít feel that reparations would erase any of the painful legacy of slavery. I believe what we need is an open and honest discussion on race in this country, however uncomfortable that might be.
Issue Date: September 6 - 13, 2001