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John Kerry and John Edwards

Running for President and Vice President for the Democratic Party

>What is your position on same-sex marriage? Should same-sex marriage be dealt with at a state or federal level?

John Kerry and John Edwards believe that every American should have the opportunity to succeed and to live the American dream. Discrimination has no place in a nation founded on the principles of freedom. While the United States has made great strides toward true equality, much remains to be done and too often the progress we’ve made comes under attack.

The GLBT community contributes to our nation in so many ways, in every corner of this country. Gay and lesbian Americans only ask for equal treatment. They deserve the right to make medical decisions for one another in times of crisis, the right to inherit a house purchased together and equal access to health insurance, Social Security and retirement benefits. Together, we can provide this simple justice.

What is your position on abortion?

Kerry was an original co-sponsor of the Women’s Health Equity Act, which ensures women’s access to the highest quality and most advanced health care available. As president, Kerry would increase funding for breast and cervical cancer research and treatment, require insurance plans to cover contraception and fight for a meaningful Patients’ Bill of Rights to guarantee women direct access to their OB/GYNs. And Kerry would only nominate individuals to the federal bench whose records demonstrate a respect for the full range of constitutional rights, including the right to privacy and the right to choose.

What is your position on stem cell research? Should the federal government fund stem cell research?

Today, millions of children and adults suffer from incurable diseases like diabetes, Parkinson’s, Alzheimer’s, heart disease, cancer and spinal cord injuries. Kerry/Edwards believe that we must lift the barriers that stand in the way of science and push the boundaries of medical exploration so researchers can find cures that may exist. Continuing in our nation’s great ethic of discovery, Kerry/Edwards believe that stem cell research holds immense promise for curing or treating these diseases and medical conditions. They will lift the ideologically-driven restrictions on stem cell research that are impeding progress toward cures for millions of Americans suffering from debilitating diseases.

Kerry/Edwards support lifting the ban on stem cell research. Stem cells hold enormous promise for the development of new treatments for the most devastating diseases. Kerry/Edwards believe our medical researchers should be permitted and encouraged to simultaneously pursue embryonic stem cell research. As president, Kerry will overturn the ban on federal funding of research on new stem cell lines, and he will allow doctors and scientists to explore their full potential with the appropriate ethical oversight. Patients and their families should no longer be denied the hope that this new research brings.

How would you address the rising costs of health care?

Kerry/Edwards have a plan to address soaring premiums and cut U.S. citizens a break. Their plan will lower family premiums by up to $1,000 a year, cut waste from the system, lower the cost of prescription drugs to provide real relief to seniors, and use targeted tax cuts to extend affordable, high-quality coverage to 95 percent of Americans, including every child. And because Kerry/Edwards believe that everyone’s health is equally important, they will provide all Americans with access to the same coverage that members of Congress give themselves.

Would you change the current tax policy? If so, how?

When Kerry/Edwards are president and vice president, middle-class taxes would go down. Ninety-eight percent of all Americans and 99 percent of U.S. businesses will get a tax cut under the Kerry/Edwards plan.

What is your position on funding for higher education and student financial aid?

Kerry/Edwards would offer a fully refundable College Opportunity Tax credit on up to $4,000 of tuition for every year of college and offer aid to states that keep tuitions down. And they will launch a new effort to ensure that all of our workers can get the technical skills and advanced training they need.

Kerry will make a new deal with hundreds of thousands of young people: If you serve the United States for two years – working in a school, a health center, or strengthening U.S. security – we will make sure you can attend four years of college tuition-free.

Today, there are more questions on an application for a $5,000 student loan than on an application for a $2 million small business loan. Kerry will simplify the student aid application, allow many students to apply for college on a postcard, and make sure students can get information about college earlier in the application process.

How should we proceed with military operations in Iraq?

Kerry/Edwards will make the creation of a stable and secure environment in Iraq our immediate priority in order to lay the foundations for sustainable democracy. That is the right way to get the job done and bring our troops home. Kerry/Edwards believe the following principles should guide U.S. policy in Iraq right now and that if these steps are not taken, options in the future will become more limited. This needs to be an urgent agenda to:

– Internationalize, because others must share the burden;

– Train Iraqis, because they must be responsible for their own security;

– Move forward with reconstruction because that’s an important way to stop the spread of terror; and

– Help Iraqis achieve a viable government, because it is up to them to run their own country.

What is your plan to improve the economy and stimulate job growth?

Kerry will cut the deficit in half during his first four years in office. He will end corporate welfare as we know it, roll back the Bush tax cuts for the wealthiest Americans, and impose a real cap to keep spending in check. And when Kerry puts forward a new idea, he’ll tell you how he’s going to pay for it.

Today, businesses are harnessing new technology to manufacture energy-efficient cars, high-grade steel, advanced plastics and other new products. And this requires a bigger, skilled labor force to make them. Kerry/Edwards believe we should invest in these jobs and invest in the people who will fill them.

How would you handle the threat of terrorism?

The most important choices we face are about national security. And the most urgent national security challenge we face is the war against al-Qaida and likeminded terrorists around the world. Kerry has a comprehensive strategy to win the war on terror and keep the United States safe.

As president, he will:

(1) destroy terrorist networks – by transforming our military and reforming our intelligence services – and prevent them from again taking root in Afghanistan;

(2) prevent nuclear terrorism;

(3) cut-off sources of terrorist financing;

(4) protect the homeland by securing U.S. ports, borders, and critical infrastructure, enhancing chemical, nuclear, aviation and rail security, defending against bio-terrorism, and providing our first responders the resources they need;

(5) use all elements of our national power to deny new terrorist recruits and havens and prevent terrorists from poisoning minds around the world;

(6) support democracies in the Arab and Muslim world; and

(7) restore alliances to combat terrorist networks across the globe.

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