Monday, October 11, 2010

Questions from a voter

Mr. Puente,

Could you please provide me with your position and opinion on the following topics....


For my opinion on the abortion issue, I'll direct you to the following posts on my blog:


I support a terminally ill patient's right to die with dignity. If there is absolutely no quality of life for an individual who is suffering from the pain and agony associated with measures taken to extend their life despite the fact that their illness is terminal, if that patient should choose not go on with treatment and put an end to their needless suffering, I see no problem with allowing them access to resources to reach that end. Let there be no misunderstanding however that the decision should be that of the patient and no one else.

Fetal Stem Cell Research

I have no issue with fetal stem cell research.

Human Cloning

I'm okay with research into therapeutic cloning where specific kinds of human tissue can be cloned to create replacement organs but I am probably just as creeped out by the concept of cloning an entire human being as most people.

Homosexual "Marriage"

I have a personal definition of marriage that is consistent with the teachings of my religion but I don't think it prudent or even legal for me or anyone else to try and force that religious definition onto other people who don't share my religious views or choose not to adhere to any religion at all. I recognize that the definition of marriage as a civil contract between two individuals is subject to evolve and include relationships that fall outside of "traditional/religious" contexts. Since the rights of religions to define marriage and its practice are protected by the First Amendment, there is no need to codify any sort of additional protections for those religions and their adherents; to do so would be redundant considering the scope of the First Amendment.

That being said, I believe in equal rights for everyone regardless of age, race, religion, creed, color, sexual orientation or gender identity. I have been a strong supporter of the Common Ground Initiative and the organization Equality Utah. I also support the Matthew Shepard and James Byrd, Jr. Hate Crimes Prevention Act signed into law in October of 2009 and coincidentally opposed quite vocally by my opponent, the incumbent Congressman Jason Chaffetz. I am opposed to any sort of legislation that would attempt to exclude a minority group from equal protection under the law. This would include the unfair restrictions placed on homosexual members of the U.S. armed forces under the military's "Don't Ask, Don't Tell" policy, the so-called Defense of Marriage Act and any amendment to the U.S. Constitution that would define marriage based on a religious definition instead of a legal definition. I also voted against Amendment 3 to Utah's Constitution in 2004.

As I stated in a video blog post on this topic:

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