On November 6, 2012 this nation will elect the man who will serve as President of the United States for the next four years. With an event of this magnitude ahead, and because I have been accused repeatedly of being a “one issue voter”, I want to share just a few of the reasons I will cast my ballot to reelect President Barack Obama. I could share much more, but I don’t want to write a full-length article on a blog post.
1. Hospital Visitation Rights
Historically, one of the 1,138 benefits denied to same sex couples has been the right to be with their partner in the hospital. In 2010, President Obama directed the Department of Health and Human Services to establish a rule that stopped hospitals from discriminating against same sex couples by denying them the same visitation rights that married couples receive.
In May of this year, Mitt Romney spoke at a news conference in Oklahoma City during which he said, in part, “States are able to make decisions with regards to domestic-partnership benefits, such as hospital visitation rights; benefits and so forth of various kinds can be determined state by state.”
2. Social Security Benefits
When an American worker dies, the surviving spouse is eligible for Social Security payments. The same is not true for same sex couples whose marriage is not federally recognized. Because President Obama has not only spoken out in favor of same sex marriage but also taken great steps toward ensuring equality, I believe that he is the best choice for our next President.
Mitt Romney is against same sex marriage and has signed a pledge from the National Organization for Marriage in which he vowed to support a constitutional amendment to ban same sex marriage.
3. Domestic Partner Healthcare Benefits
My partner works for a company with an outstanding stance on GLBT issues. As such, they offer domestic partner benefits in the form of health and life insurance. The IRS tax code currently dictates that any employer contribution to the insurance premiums of an employee’s domestic partner must be included in the employee’s pay statement and taxed separately as a “fringe benefit”. The same is not true for legally married couples.
4. The Affordable Healthcare Act
Millions of Americans now have access to affordable healthcare and cannot be denied coverage for preexisting conditions. In our household, we have seen some healthcare costs increase as a result of the provisions of so-called “Obamacare”, but we believe that those increases (such as an increased insurance premium because my partner has not been a nonsmoker for over 12 months) are worth it for the greater good. Not to mention it gives my partner yet another reason to remain smoke-free.
5. The Four Year Plan
Mitt Romney is running a campaign on one basic thought – that President Obama has not fixed the economy in the last four years. At the same time, Romney says that his plan – a plan that he can never explain using numbers that add up – will require 8 – 10 years.
6. A Woman’s Right To Choose
Mitt Romney’s stance on abortion has changed drastically since his days campaigning for Massachusetts Senator. On February 2, 1994 he promised to not do anything that would undermine Roe v. Wade. In May – just 4 days after winning the nomination – Romney voiced his support for the “Morning After Pill”. In mid-June he attended a fundraiser for Planned Parenthood where his wife made a $150 donation.
At a Senate debate with Ted Kennedy, Romney denied Kennedy’s claim that he was “multiple choice” on abortion issues. He said that he had supported abortion rights since 1970 when his mother ran on a pro-abortion platform for US Senate in Michigan.
Though Romney has remained relatively consistent about his pro-life platform since his unsuccessful attempt to garner the Republican presidential nod in 2008, with that much wavering over the years, I can’t be certain what his stance would be if he did get in office.
I hope you can see through these six examples that I am far from a one issue voter. I did not write this in an attempt to sway your decision, I simply wanted to clarify mine along with a few of the reasons behind it. What is important is that you exercise your responsibility as an American to vote according to your conscience.
Thanks for reading and please vote on November 6th.