As the Democrat National Convention gets underway some Bernie Sanders supporters continue to whine that Tim Kaine is not "progressive enough." Personally, I believe that such views are the result of lack of knowledge about Tim Kaine - a man who is a household name in Virginia, especially among Democrats. On the issue of LGBT rights, Kaine has been a consistent ally and has pressed for the advancement of LGBT rights and fought against the Christofascists in Virginia and elsewhere. GayRVA has a piece that gives a brief retrospective on Tim Kaine's efforts in the realm of LGBT rights. Here are highlights:
Tim Kaine was brought onto the Democratic Presidential ticket as Vice President last week and that’s good news for Virginia’s, and the country’s, LGBTQ population.In Hilary Clinton’s intro speech she called Kaine “a progressive who likes to get things done” and commented on his “commitment to social justice” during his tenure in the Commonwealth. Mostly notable, however, was his commitment to LGBTQ issues as best he could in his role as Governor from 2006- 2010 as well as his more recent time in the Senate.
He took time in his first 2016 campaign speech to recall those efforts when he asked people to remember the importance of America’s “rainbow of cultural diversity that embraces all people…regardless of sexual orientation.”
Kaine’s first year as a Virginia Senator earned him a score of 90 from the Human Right’s Campaign. He lost 10 points for failing to endorse the Student Non-Discrimination Act and the Safe Schools Improvement Act, but made up for it in other ways.
In 2015 he co-sponsored the Equality Act, which seeks a federal law to prohibit discrimination based on sexual orientation and gender identity in the workplace and housing. And later that year he introduced Equal Dignity for Married Taxpayers Act which aimed to provide equal treatment for LGBTQ couples under federal tax laws.
Kaine’s support for LGBTQ rights stretches back before his time in the Senate.
When he was on the campaign trail in 2011, Kaine spoke out against a law which allows state-funded, private adoption agencies the right to deny adoptions to same-sex couples.
“I think the best interest of the child is a pretty hard standard to argue with and I think that ought to be the standard,’’ Kaine told the Washington Post. “I don’t think we should be putting artificial barriers in front of the judges who are sitting there with the family.”
It was during this interview he also told the post his views on same-sex marriage had changed and he now supported marriage equality.
But even before that, when he won in 2006 and became Governor of Virginia, one of his first executive orders was to provide protections for LGBTQ state employees.
Kaine also campaigned against the Marshall Newman Amendment, Virginia’s constitutional ban on same-sex marriage, which was put on the ballot the year he entered office.
“Gov. Timothy M. Kaine (D) urged Virginians to vote against a proposed constitutional amendment banning same-sex marriage and civil unions, saying the ballot question puts thousands of unmarried couples at risk of losing a slew of benefits,” read a Washington Post article published in a few months before the referendum.
[I]f his record over the last decade is any indicator of his views on these issues, he should make a great ally in the Whitehouse.