A candidate for the Democratic nomination for Pennsylvania attorney general spoke about what some may see as unconventional views.
Patrick Murphy, a candidate for Pennsylvania attorney general and a former congressman, voluntarily enlisted in the Army, fought in Iraq, drives a Ford Explorer, is the father of two young children and calls himself a proud Catholic.
“The most interesting thing about him is that he’s Catholic and proud to be, and he’s proud to be pro-choice…he’s found a balance between being a lawmaker and being Catholic,” sophomore Sebastian Camacho said.
Murphy, the former U.S. representative for Pennsylvania’s eighth congressional district, spoke at a Temple College Democrats meeting today, Feb. 7. In the midst of fielding questions about gun control, speaking about the war in Iraq and the repeal of the Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell policy, a theme emerged: He’s not your typical Catholic politician.
In fact, Murphy wrote the bill that repealed DADT in September 2011. DADT was a policy that banned gays and lesbians from openly serving in the United States military and was responsible for discharging more than 13,000 members from the armed forces.
Several Catholic members of Congress confronted Murphy, he said, and were concerned with how the clergy would react if they voted to repeal DADT.
Murphy said he wants his daughter, Maggie, 5, to research her father online when she’s 18 years old, and be proud of what her father fought for. He wants other politicians to be the same way–to fight hard for what is right, he said.
“Our country right now is at a crossroads. The progressive values that many of you fight for…are under attack like they’ve never been before,” Murphy said.
In addition to his unorthodox views on GLBT rights, Murphy is also pro-choice.
“I’m pro-choice because I fought for our Constitution. I taught it at Westpoint, and it is the right thing to do…what you’re seeing in Pennsylvania right now and all through the country, is really an aggressive denial of a woman’s right to choose,” Murphy said.
“I fundamentally believe that we have a separation of church and state, and women have the right to privacy,” he added. “And that right to privacy and our right to choose is under attack in Pennsylvania and across the United States.”
Murphy said these attacks come in the form of “right-wing extremists,” and plans to close healthcare clinics for women.
Despite his practiced separation of church and state, Murphy said he, his wife and their two children attend church every Sunday in Bucks County.
Sarah Fleischman can be reached at email@example.com.