Bluefield Daily Telegraph, Bluefield, WV

Breaking News

Local News

September 4, 2012

Same-sex marriage plank key for W.Va. delegate

A gay activist in West Virginia, attending the National Democratic Convention in Charlotte, paints Mitt Romney as a divisive, flip-flopping candidate with recycled and dramatically new views that are unfair to women and the homosexual community.

That conclusion can be drawn from both the presidential nominee’s acceptance speech last week in Tampa and the GOP platform supporting pro-life policies and the traditional marriage of a man and a woman, Dr. Coy Flowers said Monday.

“He believes essentially that women don’t have the right to make a determination of choice over their own reproductive freedoms,” the delegate said, as Democrats from across the country gathered for the convention.

“He believes that individuals who are different than the stereotypical Republican and Romney image, like lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender Americans, don’t deserve the same freedoms and rights and protections as other Americans. And I think that’s divisive and wrong in 2012. It was wrong last year. It’s wrong this year, and it’s going to be wrong tomorrow.”

Flowers is president of West Virginia Fairness, whose website describes him as an obstetrician-gynecologist, who, with his partner of seven years, lives in Lewisburg with “their brilliant, 6-year-old son.”

Fairness West Virginia is a statewide advocacy group, striving to make sure gays, lesbians, bisexuals and transgender residents can be “open, honest and safe at home, at work, and in the community.”

“I know that Obama is a much better choice than Romney because Obama truly believes in making sure that every American has an equal opportunity and equal access to opportunities to succeed in their careers, their education, and life in general,” Flowers said.

“He believes in the dignity and respect and worth of every American.”

Before the week is out, the Democrats are expected to insert a plank in their national platform that endorses same-sex marriages.

“It’s super important,” Flowers said. “In 2012, I think it’s quite ridiculous and just blatantly discriminatory for any American to prohibit rights in the Constitution to all Americans.”

Moreover, the doctor said, the Romney of 2012 is radically different from the Romney of an earlier decade when he ran in vain against the late Teddy Kennedy for the U.S. Senate and favored abortion and same-sex unions.

“He’s very different now,” Flowers said.

“He’s been co-opted by the Republican Party and the extreme right. What he is today is what he said last week. He wants to divide America. He wants to make women second-class citizens when it comes to their own health care. He wants to make gay and lesbian citizens to continue to their second-class citizenship. And he wants clearly an economy that continues to give higher tax breaks and incentives for those who are the richest Americans and not try to build the wealth for all Americans.”

With a “more than adequate income,” Flowers said most of his colleagues and many others assume he should be a Republican, based on money principles.

Actually, the physician said, he fared best under Democratic administrations, such as President Bill Clinton, who sought a progressive tax structure for Americans based on their ability to pay.

In the Clinton years, some 22 million new jobs were created, and when Obama came to power in 2009, the nation was forfeiting 800,000 jobs monthly under President George Bush.

“Today, we’re gaining 150,000-plus jobs per month,” Flowers said. “His principles are similar to Bill Clinton. He’s going to put into policy ways where all Americans can excel.”

Gas and food prices have steadily climbed under Obama, with fuel more than double than it was when Bush departed, but Flowers dismissed this, saying, “If you look at us compared to other countries in the world, we have it pretty good when it comes to gas prices and food prices.”

“Anyone who reads a paper about prices overseas or has traveled overseas, knows we have it pretty darn good in America,” Flowers said.

“I don’t think the president has too much influence these days on gas prices to be honest with you. Look at the facts important to West Virginia in the energy sector. Under Obama, we have the highest employment in the coal mining industry, although Republicans co-opted coal mining and executives want you to believe that Obama has been bad for coal and the Environmental Protection Agency is bad for coal.”

Some Democratic leaders however, share GOP sentiment that the EPA has thwarted mining production, calling it a “war on coal.” At last week’s Tampa convention, West Virginia delegates donned miners’ hard hats to illustrate their opposition to Obama’s coal policy.

“Well, the record is to the contrary,” Flowers said.

“Actually, the jobs are the highest in decades in the coal industry. When you look at oil production, America currently has the highest oil production it has ever had under President Obama. If you listen to Romney and the Republican-ites, they want you to believe that Obama actually is closing down oil refineries and not wanting to open up lands for drilling, which is not true.”

What’s more, he said, Obama has invested money in renewable resources and in natural gas.

Flowers said he is looking forward to meeting Florida Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz, the current chair of the Democratic National Committee, and to the speech by Vice President Joe Biden.

“People always say Obama’s political staff holds their breath until Joe Biden is done speaking because of certain political gaffes,” he said, laughing.

“But he represents America. In our homes, we sit around the dining room table and living rooms and speak our minds. That’s what Joe Biden does. That will appeal to a lot of West Virginians.”

1
Text Only
Local News
National and World
Newspaper Deivery Routes Available
Sister Newspapers' News
Facebook
Local News Videos