August 3, 2010 at 1:59 pm EDT | by Chris Johnson
Kaine takes LGBT queries in DNC video

Democratic National Committee chair Tim Kaine takes questions from Democrats seeking the advancement of LGBT rights in a video made public on Tuesday.

In the video, Kaine responds to what he said were more than 5,000 messages from LGBT people sent to the DNC as part of the “Your Voice Matters” initiative.

Kaine outlines some accomplishments that have been made since the beginning of the Obama administration.

“We have a long way to go, but we’re already making progress for LGBT individuals,” he says. “President Obama and congressional Democrats have already begun to address barriers to equality for LGBT Americans by guaranteeing these families the right to visit and make medical decisions for a partner in America’s hospitals, by enacting hate crimes legislation to protect LGBT Americans — to name just two significant accomplishments.”

Kaine also cites the expansion of the Family & Medical Leave Act as well as  new LGBT inclusion for families within Department of Housing & Urban Development policy as other examples of progress forward.

The chair also addresses a query demanding action on passage of the Employment Non-Discrimination Act.

“All Americans deserve to be able to work and deserve for their work to be judged solely on its merits,” Kaine says. “That’s why I as governor was the first governor to include protection for LGBT Virginians in the executive order mandating non-discrimination in state employment.”

Kaine says he promises that Democrats are “going to do everything” in their power to pass ENDA in Congress.

No mention of repeal of the Defense of Marriage Act or the expansion of same-sex marriage in several states is made in the video.

UPDATE: It should be noted that Kaine wasn’t the first governor of Virginia to issue an executive order providing workplace protections against gays. Mark Warner took that action in the term preceding Kaine’s. Also, both of these orders issued protections based on sexual orientation, but didn’t explicitly provide protections based on gender identity.

Chris Johnson is Chief Political & White House Reporter for the Washington Blade. Johnson attends the daily White House press briefings and is a member of the White House Correspondents' Association. Follow Chris

  • Rob

    There have been some small steps toward LGBT legal equality in the past eighteen months. Calling these steps significant progress would be like giving all Americans free vitamin pills and calling that significant progress toward universal health care.

    The Democratic Party will be entitled to boast of significant progress on LGBT rights when Congress repeals DADT or DOMA, or when it passes the Employment Non-Discrimination Act.

  • Tollendyr

    What has the DNC done? Clearly not nearly enough. Start doing more and more people might support the DNC. It amazes me that this idiot thinks its gonna work the other way around.

  • Duane S.

    Yes, Kaine did had protections for GL people in VA, but it did not include Trans, and it was only an executive order promptly deleted by McDonnell. We need laws now, not easily executive orders with expiration dates at the next inauguration. It was also sad he didn’t mention Don’t Ask Don’t Tell. How many more qualified warriors will we lose before the repeal?

    • Duane S.

      Sorry, He did mention DADT, but glossed over it.

  • John Visser

    Please stand by for more political spin and propoganda from the the DNC. It is after all election season and they need your votes and money. But please read the fine print, “After the election, we the DNC, will not even say the word ‘gay’ until, of course, the next election season.”

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