The criteria for serving one's country should be competence, courage and willingness to serve. When we deny people the chance to serve because of their sexual orientation, we deprive them of their rights of citizenship, and we deprive our armed forces the service of willing and capable Americans.
It is my hope that the number of stem cell lines available for federally-funded research will be expanded so that the government can continue to participate in this vital research and provide hope to the millions of Americans with diseases that might be cured.
For the life of me, I don't understand what honest motive there is in putting this in front of this body to philosophically debate marriage on a constitutional amendment that is not going to happen, and which is enormously divisive in all of our communities.
As a former nine-year member of the Board of Supervisors and nine-year mayor, I know firsthand the merits of strong zoning laws. They protect residential areas so they can support families and be free of commercial activities that are not related to neighborhood needs.
Let me say this: I believe closing Guantanamo is in our Nation's national security interest. Guantanamo is used not only by al-Qaida, but also by other nations, governments, and individuals - people good and bad - as a symbol of America's abuse of Muslims, and it is fanning the flames of anti-Americanism around the world.