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Victory for Kerry

Mills College Weekly

Democratic presidential candidate John Kerry is currently in the
spotlight after what many saw as a surprise victory in the Iowa
caucuses. Kerry, who has been a senator in Massachusetts since
1984, finished first, while the expected front-runner Howard Dean,
finished in third place. California’s primaries will be on March 2,
and in preparation for that is a brief look at how Kerry stands on
the issues that affect women and the Mills community most.

Kerry, who is doubly a spokesperson for the Vietnam Veterans
Against the War and one of many senators to vote to allow Bush to
use force in Iraq in 2002, has taken a pro-choice stance, and has
said he will support only pro-choice judges to the Supreme Court.
He believes that health insurance plans should be required to cover
contraception, and he also promises to close the pay gap between
women and men. He claims that he will help to expand on the Family
and Medical Leave Act, which permits people to take time off from
work for their children’s needs, and promises to eliminate the
“glass ceiling.” Kerry promises to lift the ban on gays in the
military, and claims to support “same-sex civil unions” and rights
such as health benefits and inheritance rights. In 1996, he opposed
the Defense of Marriage Act.

Kerry, who touts himself as the one candidate who can beat Bush,
has been accused of changing his stance on issues, based on what is
popular. “Mr. Kerry voted for the U.S.A. Patriot Act, Mr. Bush’s No
Child Left Behind education bill, and the Congressional resolution
authorizing the president to use force in Iraq, only to sharply
criticize all three once he became a presidential candidate,” says
Todd S. Purdum, in his New York Times article “Rivals Mine Kerry
Senate Years for Material to Slow Him Down.” However, according to
Purdum, “On a number of issues, including support for gun control,
gay rights and the environment, Mr. Kerry has a long, consistent

“He has canned answers,” junior Kate Creps said. Other Mills
students are also apprehensive about Kerry. “There’s things about
Kerry that really worry me-I wonder if he isn’t on the same team
as Bush,” senior Sandra Belanger said.