They weren’t primary elections in the sense of a statewide ballot held in every precinct in every community. The contests won by presidential candidate Jill Stein were what we understand a primary to be at its core, however: Members of state political parties met, and voted, and chose the presidential candidate they would support with the majority of their delegates.
The Stein for President campaign announced yesterday that it had gained 15 of the 18 delegates up grabs in the South Carolina and Connecticut Green Party state conventions. Dr. Stein has had competition in every one of the thirteen states that’s awarded delegates in the Green Party presidential primary season so far, but has handily won in every one of those states.
The main reason that the Jill Stein for President candidacy has been so successful is that Stein coherently represents the growing progressive set of beliefs that is represented by neither the Democrats nor the Republicans. Stein stands for core American civic values such as liberty, equality and community responsibility.
These values have been demonstrated by Jill Stein with particular clarity on the issue of marriage equality for heterosexual and homosexual couples. Mitt Romney and Barack Obama both oppose the equal right to marry. Jill Stein, on the other hand, has been an outspoken supporter of marriage rights for gays and lesbians for many years.
Preparing for a campaign stop in North Carolina this weekend, Jill Stein remarked, “When equal marriage rights came to Massachusetts, some people panicked, and said that it would destroy traditional marriage. I can definitively say now that all those fears proved to be unfounded. Marriage equality has enriched the lives of thousands of gay and lesbian couples and helped them realize their dreams. It hasn’t hurt anyone. We are all better off for it. Discrimination against caring people is what we should be worrying about.”
Some people have justified Barack Obama’s public opposition to marriage equality by saying that, in secret, President Obama secretly sympathizes with gay and lesbian couples who want to get married. Such legends of Obama’s hidden respect for equality under the law have never been confirmed, however. Furthermore, even if these stories are true, the represent cowardice, not courage. It isn’t the job of the President to secretly favor the recognition citizens’ constitutional rights, sitting in private wishing that someone else would make a change. It is the President’s job to be an executive – to make change happen.
If you support equal rights for gays and lesbians, don’t do what Barack Obama does, privately hoping that someone else will make the change. You have to take your opinion public, and vote for a candidate who isn’t afraid to speak up for what’s right. If you support marriage equality, support the Jill Stein for President campaign.