Why don't I consider Leon Koziol a serious Democratic candidate? Oh, there are so many reasons. There's the FEC reason, for one. In spite of Leon Koziol's supporters telling us six days ago that a problematic FEC filing for the Koziol for Congress campaign was being redone that day, there still is no filing on record with the FEC for the Koziol campaign.
Then there's the constantly pending Koziol for Congress web site, which is reminiscent of Ray Meier's "Hello, world" and "Coming Soon" little Internet campaign speeches. Leon Koziol's campaign has been saying that it will have a web site up in the next couple of weeks for over three months now.
But, my new favorite is Leon Koziol's response to the same-sex marriage question in the Utica Observer-Dispatch's survey. Our three geuine Democratic candidates each gave coherent and appropriate responses to the question:
Michael Arcuri said, "I oppose unwarranted government interference in the private lives of consenting adults, and I support laws that provide equal benefits for all citizens, to health and life insurance, inheritance and other basic rights like hospital visitation."
Bruce Tytler said, "If there are two people of the same sex who have a long, stable relationship, they should have the same rights others have. I don't have a problem with same-sex marriage, but there are a lot of different ways we could approach that."
Les Roberts said, "The federal government should play no role in who gets married or in the definition of marriage."
Good on you, guys.
Leon Koziol's response, on the other hand, missed the target by a mile. Koziol only responded, "I have two children from a marriage based upon the traditional value systems which I continue to support."
What are we supposed to make of that statement? Whether Koziol has children or not doesn't have much bearing on whether he is qualified to serve as a member of the House of Representatives. Neither does his personal support for one set of values or another.
What Leon Koziol seems to be trying to do with this statement is to attack the right of all Americans to receive equal protection under marriage laws - but to be fuzzy enough to avoid scrutiny on the matter. That's a scummy way to deal with this issue.
Last summer, a really fantastic lesbian couple moved down the street from me. They've got an adorable little daughter, of whom both women are legally mothers of. They hope to have a second child soon, and I have hopes that our children will play together for years to come. This couple has been together for years, they want to get married, and they deserve to be able to do so. To deny that family equal benefits under the law just because it doesn't meet the requirements set by right wing Christians is absurd and cruel. It's also blatantly unconstitutional, violating the 1st amendment ban on government establishment of religion as well as the equal protection clause.
Leon Koziol ought to be ashamed to stand with those religious zealots who are trying to reduce the institution of marriage down to a withered, corrupt remnant of what it should be. Marriage should be defined by love, not by hate.