Pro-Abort, Homosexual, Human Stem-Cell Groups Mourn Loss of “Greatest Champion” Kennedy
By Kathleen Gilbert
WASHINGTON, D.C., August 28, 2009 (LifeSiteNews.com) - A survey of statements from various pro-abortion, embryonic stem-cell research (ESCr), and homosexualist groups responding to the death of U.S. Senator Ted Kennedy shows a unified salute to a man they say fully engaged his considerable political prowess to benefit their causes. One homosexualist publication revealed this week that the Massachusetts 2007 true marriage referendum would have succeeded had Kennedy not secretly lobbied individual senators to change their vote.
Sen. Kennedy succumbed to a cancerous brain tumor Tuesday night at the age of 77.
An article in the Thursday edition of Bay Windows, New England's largest homosexual news source, described Sen. Kennedy's decisive role in turning the crucial majority of Massachusetts' senators against the true marriage referendum. Bay Windows contributor and activist Marc Solomon said that the referendum was on the brink of approval in the Senate before he was contacted by a Kennedy staffer.
"'Could you get me a list of your targets?' one of Kennedy's key staffers finally asked me. 'Don't tell anyone I'm asking you for this,' he said. He meant it, and I didn't," wrote Solomon.
"A few days later, as I was doing my rounds in the State House, a bewildered conservative legislator stopped me. "You'll never guess who left me a message about gay marriage," he said. "Ted Kennedy." And then I started to hear similar refrains again and again. We'd get word that he'd spoken to the Governor, the Speaker of the House, the Senate President, the chair of the Democratic Party, asking for updates, strategizing, figuring out exactly what he could do and how he could be most helpful."
The constitutional referendum failed by 151-45, barely missing the requisite 25% senatorial support.
Kennedy, one of only 14 senators to oppose the Defense of Marriage Act when it was first enacted in 1996, was also one of the driving forces behind the effort to raise sexual orientation to a specially-protected status under "hate crimes" legislation.
Following the senator's death, Human Rights Campaign President Joe Solmonese said the nation "lost its greatest champion and strongest voice for justice, fairness, and compassion. The loss to our community is immeasurable."
"There was no greater hero for advocates of LGBT [lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender] equality than Sen. Ted Kennedy," Solomonese said in a statement.
Writer John Aravosis of AmericaBlog called Kennedy "absurdly helpful for a straight senator" in the early days of the homosexualist movement.
Among pro-abortion circles, groups including Planned Parenthood, NARAL, the National Organization for Women (NOW), and the Center for Reproductive Rights offered approbation for Kennedy's long and productive career promoting the pro-abortion agenda.
"He was ... a true champion of women's health and rights, believing strongly that women should have equal access to opportunities including education, jobs, and health care," said a Planned Parenthood statement Wednesday.
Several groups pointed out Kennedy's key role in several pro-abortion measures, including The Freedom of Access to Clinic Entrances Act (FACE), which forbids the use of "force, threat of force or physical obstruction" to prevent someone from entering an abortion facility. Kennedy, who had a 100% NARAL pro-choice voting record, has voted against the partial-birth abortion ban, and against notifying parents of minors who receive out-of-state abortions.
In addition, the current health care bill Kennedy sponsored - the materialization of the health reform he called the "cause of my life" - has been widely decried as "the greatest expansion of abortion since Roe v. Wade."
NARAL called Kennedy "a tireless advocate for women's equality and an eloquent guardian of the values of freedom and privacy."
"Senator Kennedy was a strong supporter of reproductive health care and rights, knowing that full equality is not possible unless women can make childbearing decisions with dignity and with access to all options," said Religious Coalition for Reproductive Choice's Reverend Dr. Carlton W. Veazey.
NOW President Terry O'Neill called on the Massachusetts government to heed Kennedy's dying wish to alter state law to allow Democrat Governor Deval Patrick to select an interim senator in the event of a vacancy.
"We urge that this replacement be a strong supporter of the broad range of social justice issues that Kennedy advocated for throughout the last half century," said O'Neill.
Jon O'Brien, president of the dissident Catholic group Catholics for Choice, said Kennedy's pro-abortion career "epitomized the definition of working for social justice." "As a prominent prochoice Catholic, he attracted criticism but never wavered from doing what he thought was right," said O'Brien.
Kennedy also left behind a legacy as a reliable advocate for embryo-destructive research: New York Stem Cell Foundation CEO Susan Solomon called Sen. Kennedy "the leading stem cell research supporter."
"On DNA research, in vitro fertilization, fetal tissue research, and most recently, stem cell research, 'Teddy' was always there," Dr. Sam Gandy, professor of Alzheimer's disease research at New York's Mount Sinai School of Medicine, reminisced.