I would say that Sen. Robert Ford’s support in the gay community is mixed. I’ve heard very good things and I’ve gotten very disturbing scowls when his name has come up among gay friends.

That said, nobody can argue with his recent record supporting gay causes. When I heard he had a challenger for the seat, I was personally concerned that we might be losing a strong advocate in the legislature. In a recent interview with challenger Dwayne Green (part of our continuing election coverage that will appear in May 14 issue) he addressed that concern, suggesting I wasn’t the first to ask.

One issue where Ford has been a pioneer on in the legislature has been gay rights. He’s introduced legislation to create a statewide hate crime law that would include penalties for targeting people because of their sexuality and transgendered status, among other things. He’s also pioneered civil union legislation and laws protecting gay rights in housing and employment as well as a bill that would allow hospital visitations, a frequent concern for gay partners.

Green applauds Ford for his support for gays and lesbians and says that he’ll continue those fights if elected.

“As a member of a minority group, I believe in equal rights for everybody,” he says. “This is an issue I agree with Robert strongly on. What I would want the community to know is that they wouldn’t be losing anything with me.”

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