Councilmember Harold Brazil

Councilmember Harold Brazil

Democrat, Ward 6

term ends 1998; running for At Large seat in 1996

Response to GLAA 1996 Questionnaire
for DC Council Candidates

1. Do you support legal recognition of marriages between persons of the same-sex?

A. If Hawaii passes legislation, I would support the District recognizing Hawaiian marriages. I would, however, be in close consultation with the community, in order to assess Congressional reaction.

2. Will you oppose efforts by Congress or other parties to stop the District of Columbia from recognizing same-sex marriages performed in Hawaii or other places?

A. Yes, provided the Hawaii courts uphold the Hawaiian statute.

3. Do you oppose efforts by Congress or other parties to outlaw or restrict adoptions by unmarried couples in the District of Columbia?

A. Yes, particularly since the Virginia Court of Appeals ruled that the sexual orientation of the partners is irrelevant to their ability to raise children.

4. If Congress ever repeals the D.C. Health Care Benefits Expansion Act of 1992 that established the registration of domestic partnerships, will you vote to reenact the same law?

A. Yes. Domestic Partnership are, in essence, families to each other. As such, they should not be excluded from granting consent to medical procedures, visiting their partner in the hospital or assuming power of attorney if necessary. I would support legislation to address these inequities in the law.

5. Do you support the re-establishment of the Office of Human Rights as an independent, Cabinet-level agency whose Director has direct access to the Mayor?

A. Yes. The D.C. Human Rights Law is the only law that protects the rights of gays and lesbians. It must be enforced -- which can only be done with a full complement of investigators.

6. Do you agree that the Boy Scouts of America is violating the D.C. Human Rights Law's ban on discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation by excluding gays from participating either as scouts or as leaders?

A. Yes. Gays & Lesbians have a legal right to participate in the Boy Scouts of America as either scouts or leaders. Equal protection is important for all of the District's citizens.

7. Will you vote to repeal the Armstrong Amendment, which allows religiously-affiliated private educational institutions in the District to discriminate against student clubs that promote equal rights for lesbians and gay men?

A. Yes. Human rights and educational decisions relating to public policy toward gay students should not be set by the federal government.

8. Will you oppose efforts by Congress or other parties to abolish or restrict the right of our public school students to form clubs that promote greater understanding between gays and others?

A. Yes. The District must maintain control of its own public school system. Given the hostile environment that many sexual minority youth face, these clubs have an important role.

9. Do you support the designation of a third party to act as a fiscal agent for the distribution of federal AIDS money, such as the system recently adopted by the Financial Control Board?

A. Yes. We must have vitally needed funds flow quickly to programs and providers who are helping people living with AIDS.

10. Do you agree that our own elected officials, past and present, bear much of the responsibility for the District's current financial plight because of their reluctance to make tough budgetary decisions, to establish priorities, and to demand maximum efficiency and productivity (rather than political loyalty) from all District government agencies and workers?

A. Yes, we failed miserably. However, I was the only Councilmember to vote against the unbalanced FY 95 budget. And have voted against each of the subsequent unbalanced budgets. I proposed a Brazil budget that called for significant cuts to unnecessary, sacred COW programs, such as elimination of the D.C. Law School and streamlining D.C. General Hospital. I have proposed across-the-board cuts to certain agencies and a saving on certain contracts. Secondly, I was the architect of Priority D.C., a group formed to establish the District's spending and program priorities by involving and soliciting citizen input. Third, I have consistently opposed tax increases as their magnitude has driven jobs, business and taxpayers out of the District. Finally, I am the co-author of the Government Manager's Accountability Act and the author of the Procurement and Personnel Reform Bills.

11. Do you support the condom availability programs that have been established in the District's public schools and prisons?

A. Yes. Our public health leaders have implemented these strategies in order to prevent HIV transmission. As citizens and as politicians we should support their efforts.

12. Will you support legislation that will establish an effective civilian complaint review system for our Metropolitan Police Department?

A. I would support such a system, provided it was not a repeat of the former Civilian Complaint Review Board, an expensive, inefficient body.

13. Do you support sensitivity and community relations training for all elements of our public safety system (police, fire department, etc.) that includes strong recognition's of gay and lesbian community concerns, so that the District will never again tolerate the kind of insensitivity and incompetence reflected in the Fire Department's handling of the Tyra Hunter case?

A. Yes. Such training is vital to ensuring that gays & lesbians receive quality services from our public safety system.

14. Do you oppose legislation or initiatives that would authorize organized prayers in our public schools, thereby encouraging the harassment of individuals who choose not to participate?

A. Yes. While I have supported the introduction of voluntary prayer in schools as permitted by the Supreme Court, I do not advocate mandatory, established prayer.

15. Do you oppose efforts to abolish or drastically curtail the powers of our elected Board of Education?

A. I have supported such efforts in the past in order to improve the management of our public school system.

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