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New York's largest gay advocacy group backs Gore

February 16, 2000
Web posted at: 2:10 p.m. EST (1910 GMT)

NEW YORK (CNN) -- Vice President Al Gore has received the endorsement of New York's largest gay rights advocacy group in his run for the Democratic party's presidential nomination.

On Tuesday, the Empire State Pride Agenda announced its support for Gore in the upcoming March 7 primary in New York, one of 16 states holding contests that day.

"I want to fight against the kind of discrimination that has gone on too long," Gore told ESPA's leaders on a morning conference call.

"The Republicans oppose hate crimes legislation. They even oppose a simple law to ban discrimination in hiring, firing, and promotion based on sexual orientation," Gore said.

"Together we're going to fight on for dignity and fairness, on March 7th in New York and all the way to the White House in November."

Gay voters are a sizable constituency among New York's registered Democrats.

On the conference call, ESPA's leaders highlighted the administration's efforts to increase funding for AIDS research and treatment, including Medicaid extensions, outlawing discrimination against gays, and appointing a large number of openly gay officials to government posts.

ESPA, with 25-thousand active members, though backing Gore, has a favorable view of Gore's rival, former U.S. Senator Bill Bradley.

"Senator Bradley did a very good job. We want to credit him for putting our issues out there, for being a leader on some of these issues," said Matt Foreman, the group's executive director. said.

"But we really look at deeds more than words, and here we have a string of deeds and actions for us," he said.

Last week, Gore won the endorsement of the nation's largest gay rights advocacy group, the Human Rights Campaign, which claims 350,000 members.

The statewide Gore endorsement comes on a day when Bradley is scheduled to address the Gay and Lesbian Services Center in Manhattan this evening.

 
ELECTION 2000


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Wednesday, February 16, 2000


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