Bill Weld on Civil Rights

Former Republican Governor; former Senate candidate (MA)


1990s: Established MA African Caribbean American commission

This may not be Republican dogma, but what I did very early on in my administration was to establish an African Caribbean American commission, meet with them once a month myself, not a cabinet secretary. All your concerns, anything we can do specifically, same for Asian-Americans, same for Hispanic-Americans, met regularly with Muslim and Arab community. My wife read from the Koran in Arabic to them.

So, you know, I received the Golden Door Award for, you know, friendliness to various diasporas who were resident in our state. So that comes very naturally to me. I'm a pluralist. I think the essence of democracy is that the individual shall not be thrust in a corner. If there are members of groups who by virtue of their membership in that group are being thrust in a corner, that's when my blood temperature really starts to rise.

Source: 2016 CNN Libertarian Town Hall with Gary Johnson & Bill Weld , Jun 22, 2016

I led Massachusetts on gay rights, and MA led America

Q: What you have done in office that has been consistent with Libertarian ideals?

WELD: In office, in my case, even though I was then a Republican and not a Libertarian, I was way out there by myself on gay and lesbian rights, starting my first month in office, in January 1991. And for 10 years, no one followed suit. I appointed the woman who wrote the decision holding equality of marriage as constitutionally compelled, which led to the Supreme Court case holding that.

Source: 2016 CNN Libertarian Town Hall with Gary Johnson & Bill Weld , Jun 22, 2016

Marriage equality is dictated by equal protection clause

People sometimes say to me, "why should the government say that equality of marriage, gays and lesbians being able to marry is the law of the land, and isn't that the nanny state?" No, not at all. That's the Constitution telling you that marriage equality is dictated by the due process clause and equal protection clause. That's not the government. So I think that's a canard to say that government should have no role in safeguarding the constitutional right.
Source: 2016 CNN Libertarian Town Hall with Gary Johnson & Bill Weld , Jun 22, 2016

Delivered homily at two same-sex weddings

Bill Weld truly mixes fiscal conservatism with social liberalism. As governor of Massachusetts he cut taxes 16 times, balanced the budget annually, pursued privatization, vetoed minimum wage increases, and even rejected higher levies on cigarettes to pay for health care for children.

Yet Weld does live up his socially liberal reputation in spades. Weld created the Governor's Commission on Gay and Lesbian Youth and was generally in the vanguard of gay-rights causes. As recently as 2004, he delivered the homily at two former staffers' same-sex wedding and endorsed the Goodridge v. Department of Health decision before a Log Cabin Club conclave during the Republican National Convention. He has since told the New York Post that he opposes same-sex marriage beyond Massachusetts.

Source: W. James Antle III in Spectator Magazine , Aug 25, 2005

$1M for homosexual youth office coordinator

William Weld, promoter of the militant homosexual agenda, has been nominated as U.S. Ambassador to Mexico by President Clinton. Senator Jesse Helms (R-NC), chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee and staunch defender of faith, freedom and family, has refused, on the basis of Weld's record, to conduct a hearing on the nomination. He has said that if Weld goes to Mexico, "he will go as a tourist." [Sen. Helms won the battle and Gov. Weld was never appointed Ambassador.]


As Governor he has promoted homosexuality among his state's youth, creating a Governor's Commission on Gay and Lesbian Youth, appointing a homosexual youth coordinator and funding the office with $1million, and authorizing his Department of Health to co-sponsor with homosexual activist groups an annual "Gay/Straight Youth Pride March." (Life Advocacy Briefing, 8/11/97)

Source: RNC For Life Op-Ed against Weld's ambassadorial nomination , Aug 11, 1997

1995: reaffirmed commitment to affirmative action

Neither Kerry nor Weld toes the partisan line. "In 1995, when every governor in the country was running away from affirmative action, Weld reaffirmed his commitment," said Kennedy School Lecturer in Public Policy Martin S. Linsky.

Weld also parts with many Republicans over abortion, drawing national media attention during the Republican National Convention for his pro-choice statements, in opposition to the party's platform.

Source: Harvard Crimson on Kerry/Weld debates , Sep 13, 1996

We shouldn’t have discrimination in housing and employment

I think it’s very important that we not have discrimination in housing, employment against people who may be of any, any particular, particular lifestyle.
Source: KERRY/WELD: CLASH OF THE TITANS, PBS.org , Jun 5, 1996

Overturn CA Prop. 8: Let gays marry.

Weld signed AFER amicus brief and Daily News coverage

[Many] conservative leaders are signatories to an "amicus brief" calling on the Supreme Court to overturn Prop. 8. Enacted in November 2008, Proposition 8 eliminated the fundamental freedom of gay and lesbian Californians to marry. The American Foundation for Equal Rights (AFER) prepared an "amicus," or a "friend of the court" brief: a letter to the Supreme Court outlining a position on a pending case. AFER prepared this amicus brief, in support of gay marriage, and the "amici" signed it prior to sending to the Supreme Court.

"Many of the signatories to this brief previously did not support civil marriage for same-sex couples; others did not hold a considered position on the issue," the brief said. "However, in the years since Massachusetts and other States have made civil marriage a reality for same-sex couples, amici, like many Americans, have reexamined the evidence and their own positions and have concluded that there is no legitimate, fact-based reason for denying same-sex couples the same recognition in law that is available to opposite-sex couples."

AFER is dedicated to protecting and advancing equal rights for every American. As the sole sponsor of the federal court challenge of California's Proposition 8, now known as Hollingsworth v. Perry, AFER is leading the fight for marriage equality and equality under the law for every American. Building bi-partisan support has been part of AFER's mission ever since the filing of its federal constitutional challenge to overturn Proposition 8.

Source: AFER amicus brief 13-AFER on Apr 1, 2013

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Page last updated: Aug 22, 2016