PFLAG Cedar Rapids
Thanks for contacting me with your questions. Given the nature of my positions and your questions, however, I thought it would be more fruitful to explain my ideas rather than simply give yes or no answers.
My basic principle in viewing social relationships is that only those which are peaceful and voluntary should be permitted. Essentially, this means that we can only try to persuade others to agree with us or to do something we desire. Appealing to force or coercion to get others to act as we desire is wrong. Each person's life belongs to him or herself.
We must also respect each individual's moral autonomy. This means that each person has the "right to be wrong" (again, given the proviso of peaceful action). It is wrong to impose one's individual moral standards on another person or group. The purpose of government is to ensure that force is not used; it is not to favor one group or to punish another. That is what equality under the law means.
For gays and lesbians, I would hope the benefits of these principles would be obvious. No one may pass a law prohibiting their peaceful behavior regardless of others' personal feelings about different lifestyles.
On the other hand, the same respect for individual judgment must be afforded those who disagree with you. People have the right to discriminate (peacefully) against any individual or group for whatever reasons in their personal and business lives...even if the reasons are ill-advised.
In government, of course, no such discrimination is permissible (again, equality under the law). I would not personally consider sexual orientation in any federal matters. Indeed, last year I worked briefly as a speech writer for a gay candidate from California who was running for the Libertarian presidential nomination.
I do not support "hate crime" legislation. One should be punished for one's actions, not one's thoughts. (Imagine: if a group hostile to your constituents gained power and sought to punish you for your "evil" thoughts...)
The federal government has no Constitutional authority and no moral right to concern itself with such issues as you mention in your questionnaire (except for the issue of gays in the military; and I am uncertain what the proper response is to that issue).
There are only human rights. There are not men's rights or women's rights or black rights or gay rights or any other such special "rights." There are only the rights of the individual. That is what I am dedicated to defending in any and all areas of life. I judge each person according to his or her own individual characteristics. What group he or she belongs to is irrelevant to me as a candidate.