Gov. Ridge Supports Gay Tolerance

Former Pennsylvania Governor Tom Ridge, of Allegheny County, spoke at the Federal Enforcement Security Foundation awards gala Tuesday night in New York City.  Following his tenure as the first Director of the Department of Homeland Security, Gov. Ridge continues significant involvement in politics and homeland security advocacy.

During the award event, Gov. Ridge stated the following remarks (via The Wall Street Journal Blog):

“I think, as a party, we sometimes come across as very judgmental and very self-righteous, and that doesn’t play well to a lot of people,” he said. “Not just on political grounds, but in terms of the culture. We accept diversity in many different ways, and we need to be more clear about that and careful to express that.”

In particular, Ridge urged a more expansive approach to what he termed “the gay community,” noting that increased familiarity with gay people tends to lead to less judgmental politics. “I think that’s the right way to be,” he said. “Younger Americans on both sides of the aisle are saying, ‘Live and let live.’ ”

Asked about same-sex marriage, Ridge said he had no particular point of view. “It’s one of those situations where I’d leave it up to the state.”

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