Bob Kerrey | Gay Marriage | Nebraska | News

Once Again, Bob Kerrey Bucks the Nebraska Tide for Gay Rights, Marriage Equality

NYT columnist Frank Bruni talks to Bob Kerrey, the Nebraska Democrat who in 1996 as Senator made a politically perilous vote to oppose DOMA when others in his party refused to stand up to it. He's doing it again in 2012 in his revived bid for the U.S. Senate with a pitch for marriage equality he's not shy to discuss even if it might be politically inexpedient.

KerreyWrites Bruni from Omaha:

Gay marriage isn’t his primary issue. I just happened to hear that he was mentioning it frequently and gave him a call, during which he said that any commitment to social justice compelled advocacy of gay rights. He told me that he often asks voters: “Do you think anyone in his right mind would choose to be gay in Nebraska?”

After he agreed to continue our conversation in person, an aide e-mailed to say that an interview couldn’t be arranged. Kerrey overruled the aide.

Kerrey  insists it's because he doesn't want to be on the wrong side of history:

“What I usually say is, ‘Let me talk to you about the issue of homosexuality,’” Kerrey said over a drink here Saturday night. And then he indeed talks to voters about it, telling them that people are born the way they are and deserve a full complement of civil rights, including the right to marry. It’s that simple.

“People who are opposed to it are going to have to be explaining to their grandkids: why, why, why was that the rationale?” he said. “We’re going to be embarrassed in 25 years.”

Feel free to say thanks to Bob Kerrey here.

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Comments

  1. No body should be surprised to find out that Bob Kerrey is courageous. He is a recipient of the Congressional Medal of Honor because of his courageous actions in the Vietnam War.

    Posted by: andrew | Aug 21, 2012 12:07:28 AM


  2. Too bad he will lose. The state is getting redder and redder, in part because of the ascendancy of social issues.

    Posted by: Javier | Aug 21, 2012 12:07:34 AM


  3. II wish Kerrey would wait until after the election to speak about this.

    Posted by: Mike C. | Aug 21, 2012 12:19:29 AM


  4. @ Javier: you are probably right. However he may have a slight chance of winning because the republicans chose a tea party type state senator Deb Fischer over two establishment republicans to oppose him. He is a former governor of Nebraska and a Nebraska U S Senator.

    Posted by: andrew | Aug 21, 2012 12:52:09 AM


  5. We have incredible Democrats like Bob risking their careers for us and then we have the evil Republicans doing all they can to attack us and take away our legal rights.

    How can ANY gay people be so stupid as to vote Republican ? I mean, REALLY, how can they ? Just what is wrong with the GRUBS (gay republicans) ?

    Posted by: Icebloo | Aug 21, 2012 1:48:43 AM


  6. The fabricated voter fraud "issue" alone should be enough to discourage any honest person from voting Republican at this point.

    But this is the state of the nation right now. People believing convenient lies to further an agenda based on fear and hate.

    I talk to people every day that have fallen for this; it's disappointing, it's frustrating, but at some point you have to appeal to something in them other than political slogans, you have to appeal to their conscience. And you can't do this unless you actually can have a dialogue with them...

    Posted by: "The Gay" | Aug 21, 2012 2:23:02 AM


  7. Fawning is nauseating. Bob's simply doing the right thing. And so far as his comment about "would anybody in his right mind...choose to be gay in Nebraska"- bollocks. Nobody "chooses" as he infers and why the hell wouldn't one choose to be gay? It isn't Uganda.

    Raise your bar and your expectations folks.

    Posted by: jim | Aug 21, 2012 2:44:02 AM


  8. @jim: good points; however, you should read the article, because it seems you missed the part where kerrey is said to go around telling voters that "people are born the way they are and deserve a full complement of civil rights, including the right to marry. It’s that simple."

    Posted by: daftpunkydavid | Aug 21, 2012 2:59:02 AM



  9. This is the kind of guy who JFK wrote about in his Pulitzer Prize Winning book he wrote about in PROFILES IN COURAGE. Bob Kerrey would rather tell the truth no matter how much it would hurt himself politically. To bad he will probably lose the election,just because Nebraska is still part of the problem,rather then the solution. If he does, President Obama should name him Ambassador to Nebraska! Nebraska is not Uganda... it is worse because it is suppose to be part of a democracy! The Gay Victory Fund should support him... Bob reminds me of Mayor Moscone, who would show up at gay events at a time it was not yet fashionable for a straight politician to be seen at our events, even in San Francisco!

    Posted by: Jerry Pritikin aka The Bleacher Preacher | Aug 21, 2012 3:23:07 AM


  10. JIM: You've entirely missed the point he was making.

    He was just responding to the often claimed "gay is a choice" argument.

    And the whole "fawning" perception you have, what is it with the UK gays that think they understand the US ? Clueless, totally clueless.

    Posted by: "The Gay" | Aug 21, 2012 5:29:25 AM


  11. Jim seems to have totally missed Kerrey's point. He's implying (not inferring) that people don't choose to be gay, they just are gay.

    But why does "The Gay" infer that Jim's from the UK?!?

    Posted by: Elegir | Aug 21, 2012 7:00:22 AM


  12. GOOD LUCK TO HIM

    Posted by: reality | Aug 21, 2012 7:13:33 AM


  13. He'd be a shoo-in in VT. It's too bad other states don't vote as rationally.

    Posted by: KevinVt | Aug 21, 2012 8:46:22 AM


  14. I just wish his #s looked better

    I would love for him to win the seat and keep it in Dem hands, but not looking so good at the moment

    that seat and Claire's in missouri were/ are the most likely lost to repubs but with akin's remarks and new PPP poll now shows tie (was akin by double digits before)Claire looks like she will win.....now if the repub in Nebraska would just do something just as crazy to help Kerry's #s :-)

    Posted by: say what | Aug 21, 2012 11:27:52 AM


  15. @DAFTPUNKYDAVID. I did read the article and still don't interpret Kerrey's recognition of homosexuality as not an orientation one chooses with his non-sequitur about who would "choose" to be born gay? He stepped all over his message.

    @ELEGIR. See comment above- and thanks for cleaning up my diction!

    @JERRY PRITKIN AKA THE BLEACHER PREACHER. I know Bob well and have a good handle on his strengths and weaknesses- which doesn't make me right or wrong. I simply take issue when gay people genuflect every time somebody simply does the right thing- whether politico or priest. Bob tells you what he thinks. Take a read if you will:
    http://www.thevillager.com/villager_385/newschool.html

    @THE GAY. I'm a US citizen living in North Carolina who just loves using the term "bollocks". Perhaps I'm a clueless Anglophile?

    (NOTE: I sat on the board of The New School where Bob was President until last year.)

    Posted by: jim neal | Aug 21, 2012 6:15:54 PM


  16. @DAFTPUNKYDAVID. I did read the article and still don't interpret Kerrey's recognition of homosexuality as not an orientation one chooses with his non-sequitur about who would "choose" to be born gay? He stepped all over his message.

    @ELEGIR. See comment above- and thanks for cleaning up my diction!

    @JERRY PRITKIN AKA THE BLEACHER PREACHER. I know Bob well and have a good handle on his strengths and weaknesses- which doesn't make me right or wrong. I simply take issue when gay people genuflect every time somebody simply does the right thing- whether politico or priest. Bob tells you what he thinks. Take a read if you will:
    http://www.thevillager.com/villager_385/newschool.html

    @THE GAY. I'm a US citizen living in North Carolina who just loves using the term "bollocks". Perhaps I'm a clueless Anglophile?

    (NOTE: I sat on the board of The New School where Bob was President until last year.)

    Posted by: jim neal | Aug 21, 2012 6:15:56 PM


  17. Bob Kerrey's entire life has, with few exceptions, been a Profile In Courage.

    Posted by: andrew | Aug 22, 2012 1:31:01 AM


  18. I'll take one Bob Kerrey in a losing effort over ten Ben Nelsons in a winning one. Losing campaigns by people with vision and conviction are incredibly valuable, because they inspire the next generation of leaders to run for office in 10, 15 years, and to seize the mantle after public views have evolved.

    Posted by: Ben in DC | Aug 22, 2012 3:43:59 AM


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