Points of view: Social issuesThe Globe asked the three
Democratic candidates for
governor questions about
Governor Mitt Romney has sought an
agreement with US Immigration and
Customs Enforcement that would allow
the Massachusetts State Police to arrest
undocumented immigrants for being in
the state illegally. Do you support the
agreement? Why or why not?
While enforcement of immigration laws is best left
to the federal government, there are certainly some
issues within the immigration debate that the state
must do a better job of enforcing. Chief among
them is to ensure that hard-earned taxpayer dollars
pay for the work of legal workers.
||No. The Massachusetts State Police have enough
to do already . . . without trying to enforce federal
law, too. A more constructive approach would
be to support the balanced legislation proposed
by Senators McCain and Kennedy in the Congress
(and) to enforce our own state laws concerning the
employment of fully documented workers.
||I support the bipartisan McCain-Kennedy bill. I
am also open to a limited role for State Police in
helping to enforce our immigration laws. However,
charging State Police with the massive task of
rounding up all undocumented immigrants would
divert them from fighting gang and gun violence in
Would you sign a bill granting in-state
tuition rates at public colleges to
undocumented immigrants? Why or why
||I do not support in-state tuition for illegal
immigrants. As the son of immigrants, I understand
how important immigrants are to our culture and
our economy and believe we should encourage
||Yes. All resident graduates from our high schools
who qualify for admission to a public college or
university should (pay) in-state tuition rates,
regardless of immigration status. . . . I will not
support any measure that makes it harder for a
young person to move out of the underclass.
||I would sign legislation allowing immigrant
students who attended high school in
Massachusetts for three or more years and earned
a diploma, have taxpayer identification numbers,
and are committed to becoming citizens to pay the
same in-state tuition rates at our public colleges as
other Massachusetts students.
|Since 1998, Massachusetts has
received about $800,000 in federal
abstinence education funds yearly, which
the Department of Public Health had
historically used for a media campaign
urging teens to wait before having sex. In
April 2006, the Romney administration
directed the DPH to divert these funds
into a classroom-based abstinence-only
program. If elected, would you
spend the money on media campaigns,
on classroom-based abstinence-only
programs, or take some other action?
||I believe that comprehensive sexuality
education should be taught in schools - this
includes information about contraception and
abstinence. For this reason, I would rather see
federal abstinence-only funding go toward media
campaigns promoting abstinence in young people
than abstinence-only education.
||Abstinence education has a place in a
comprehensive sex education curriculum, and I
would support classroom-based instruction that
includes this topic. I would accept and use federal
abstinence education funds for use as a part of
comprehensive sex education curriculum in the
classroom or for a media campaign urging teens to
wait before having sex.
||I believe that we must provide comprehensive,
accurate information to our young people about
reproductive health - emphasizing the value of
abstinence but also discussing other ways to
prevent unintended pregnancies. I would be open
to using federal abstinence education funds for
classroom-based programs or media campaigns
that provided accurate information to our young
people and fit within a well-rounded approach to
|Would you sign a bill repealing the 1913
state law that forbids gay couples from
states that ban same-sex marriage from
marrying in Massachusetts?
Why or why not?
||I support repealing the 1913 law. Currently, the
1913 law is being used to discriminate against
same-sex couples and it is being unfairly applied.
||Yes. In the first place, the law has suspect roots in
attempts to ban interstate recognition of interracial
marriage. Further, gay men and lesbians have
married in Massachusetts, accepted the rights and
responsibilities of marriage, and moved on with
their lives out in the open.
||I support the right of same-sex Massachusetts
couples to marry. The 1913 law has no effect on
them. This law only affects same-sex couples from
other states, preventing them from marrying in
Massachusetts if their own states forbid same-sex
marriage. I do not support repealing this law.
|Do you support the proposed 2008 ballot
amendment that would define marriage
as the union of one man and one woman?
What specifically would you do to
advance or oppose the measure?
||No, the proposed ballot amendment is divisive and
unnecessary. As governor, I will actively work to
ensure the defeat of the amendment by advocating
to the public that it is unwise to vote for this ballot
||I oppose that ballot initiative . . . I would work to
protect the rights of families in Massachusetts
by publicly and actively opposing this ballot
||I support the right of same-sex Massachusetts
couples to marry. And I oppose the proposed
constitutional amendment. I would vote against the
amendment to ban same-sex marriage if I were in
the Legislature. And if the amendment does wind up
on the ballot in 2008, I will lead the fight against it.
|Have you attended a same-sex wedding?
If so, how did it affect your thinking on the
||No, I haven't, but I didn't need to attend one to
come to the conclusion before the SJC ruling
that marriage equality was just that equality.
And I did go to the rehearsal brunch that was held
for the seven plaintiff couples.
||Diane and I attended a number of commitment
ceremonies before the Goodridge decision and
found each one as touching, intimate and warm as
we have the best conventional weddings we have
||I have not personally attended a same-sex
wedding. However, I know same-sex couples who
have gotten married, and I know how much it has
meant to them. I am proud that Massachusetts
has given them the opportunity to make this
commitment to one another.
|Would you sign a bill to legalize slot
machines at the state's racetracks?
Why or why not?
||As governor, I would establish a Gaming Regulatory
Commission to assess, coordinate and regulate our
state's gaming activities, including the state lottery,
slot machines, and casino gambling. I would
devote the new revenue from gaming to increasing
local aid to stabilize property taxes.
||I have some serious reservations about proposals
to legalize slot machines and casino gambling in
Massachusetts. I am not convinced that we have
fully considered the social and other costs on local
communities of more gambling in Massachusetts,
as well as the effect new gaming may have on our
very successful state lottery.
||I am open to having slot machines at racetracks
but believe that it has to be done the right way
- providing resources to address public safety and
other societal issues that accompany gaming, and
protecting lottery aid for our cities and towns.
Would you support efforts to legalize
casino gambling in Massachusetts?
Why or why not?
||Yes. Casinos are coming to Massachusetts once
the Mashpee Wampanoag tribe is recognized by
the federal government. I would support efforts
to legalize casino gambling in Massachusetts so
that we can be proactive in regulating casinos. I
would devote the revenue generated by casinos to
increasing local aid.
||If properly done, opening a limited number of
resort-style casinos in Massachusetts can not only
keep some of that revenue here to meet the needs
of our state but also generate significant economic
benefits for the Commonwealth.
|Would you support efforts to provide state
funding for embryonic stem-cell
research? Why or why not?
||I will not only continue to defend this important
research, but I will make one of my priorities that
Massachusetts is able to play an active role in
supporting stem cell research and progress across
the life sciences. I have proposed funding $1 billion
over ten years to accelerate innovative research
and development in the life sciences and emerging
||Yes. As someone whose loved ones have
suffered from incurable conditions such as lupus,
Alzheimer's and diabetes, I enthusiastically support
the science that offers a reason to hope. Last year,
I proposed a public bond to raise public funds for
investment in stem cell research facilities.
||I strongly support stem cell research. I support
fiscally responsible state investments in research
and development - including in stem cell research
- to advance science and medicine and create