The National Stonewall Democrats today spoke of their deep concern that former Congressman Harold Ford, Jr has been named as Chair of the Democratic Leadership Council (DLC).

NSD said the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) community should closely scrutinise the record of Congressman Ford in light of the development.

On Thursday, Former Iowa Governor, and presidential candidate, Tom Vilsack announced that he is stepping down of Chair of the DLC while indicating his replacement by Ford, who possesses a poor record on issues that impact gay and lesbian voters in America.

“Congressman Harold Ford has demonstrated a lack of leadership and judgment on family issues that causes our members great concern,” said Joanne Wyrick, NSD Executive Director.

“His willingness to lightly amend the U.S. Constitution and to exploit gay families for political gain should alarm Democrats across the country.

“The Democratic Leadership Council is in need of leadership that supports and affirms all American families.”

In 2004, with his eye on his failed bit for the Senate, Harold Ford reversed his past opposition to an amendment to the United States Constitution that would bar the legal responsibilities of domestic partnerships, civil unions and civil marriage to same-sex couples.

The marriage amendment was supported by President George Bush and many Christian and conservative pressure groups.

In 2006, Ford again joined a small minority of Democrats who voted for the amendment, which was heavily defeated by both the U.S. House of Representatives and Senate.

“This is not about ideology,” continued Wyrick. “Conservative, centrist and progressive Democrats agree that those who support such a constitutional amendment threaten the stability of thousands of American homes.

“Given that Harold Ford is at odds with the past position of the Democratic Leadership Council, we hope that this presents the DLC with an opportunity to reaffirm their supportive position and for Congressman Ford to rejoin Democrats across the country in rejecting the divisive policies of the Bush administration and discredited Republican leadership.”

The National Stonewall Democrats was founded in 1998 by Massachusetts congressman Barney Frank, who is in 2007 the only out gay man in the 110th Congress.

The NSD has over 90 chapters and is a “grassroots force for social change” in the Democratic party.

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