Friday, January 23, 2009

Kirsten Gillibrand to fill Clinton's empty Senate seat  

New York Governor David Paterson is expected to choose Democratic Kirsten Gillibrand to fill Clinton's empty Senate seat, after Caroline Kennedy withdrew from consideration. I was hoping for another woman to succeed Hillary, and I give major props to my feminist governor for choosing one, but I'm not 100% thrilled with her views.

Though she is a Democrat, she voted against the bailout, opposed Spitzer's move to give driver's licenses to undocumented immigrants, voted against repealing the "Don't Ask, Don't Tell" policy, and voted against a number of policies that proposed giving more benefits to same-sex couples. The Human Rights Campaign gave Gillibrand a score of 80% on her support for gay rights, which is the lowest of any Democrat.

However, she does support affordable and accessible birth control, as well as stem cell research. She also supports prohibiting job discrimination based on sexual orientation. She supports the Equal Rights Amendment as well.

Hopefully her other views are not completely set in stone, but as Ann from Feministing puts it: "I'd much rather have seen this seat awarded to someone who shares Clinton's progressive views rather than just her gender."

What next?

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