WV Libertarian candidate for US Senate calls on opponents to sup - Beckley, Bluefield & Lewisburg News, Weather, Sports

WV Libertarian candidate for US Senate calls on opponents to support same-sex marriage

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John Buckley is running for United States Senate and is calling on his opponents to join him in supporting same-sex marriage in the Mountain State.

Buckley is the only candidate for U.S. Senate to openly support same-sex marriage. “Live & Let Live” is the slogan of his campaign. Buckley said in a news release June 5 he was challenging his opponents in the U.S. Senate race, Secretary of State Natalie Tennant and Rep. Shelley Moore Capito, R-W.Va., to “take a stand for marriage equality.”

Buckley said in his news release June 6 marks the 16th anniversary his “commitment ceremony” with his partner, but he wants the state to recognize his relationship under West Virginia state law.

“This Friday marks the 16th anniversary of our commitment ceremony, and my relationship with my partner should be recognized under the laws of the state of West Virginia, just as it is federally,” Buckley added.

Buckley will campaign with his “Live & Let Live” campaign theme this Sunday at Rainbow Pride of WV’s Pride Parade and Festival at Charleston’s Haddad Riverfront Park in Charleston.

“Leadership entails taking positions on tough issues,” Buckley said. “Public sentiment has shifted significantly in recent years in support of this reform, and it’s better for West Virginia to act on its own initiative, rather than waiting for federal courts to enforce equal protection by judicial fiat.”

Buckley said while his opponents have been “silent” or “ambiguous” on the issue, he is asking them to state their position clearly.

“Silence is abdication on the question of marriage equality,” he said. “Couples of the same gender deserve the same legal protections of their loving relationships as are accorded couples of opposite genders.”

At the same time, Buckley believes the law should vigorously respect the private property and freedom of association rights of those whose religious and moral values do not countenance same-sex relationships.

“With equal rights under the law and a ‘live and let live’ attitude, everyone can learn to ‘coexist’ without rancor or disharmony,” Buckley added.

Buckley was to the Virginia House of Delegates in 1979 as a Republican. He also served as a member of the Electoral College in support of Ronald Reagan in 1980. He is retired from a career at the United States Court of Federal Claims, during which he served variously as the chief administrator of the court as well as chief of staff and career law clerk to the chief judge.