WASHINGTON, Oct. 31 (JTA) – Following is a summary of where the two leading U.S. presidential nominees, George W. Bush and Al Gore, stand on key issues of special concern to the American Jewish community:
Bush: Opposes expanding federal hate crimes legislation. Believes state enforcement of laws is sufficient.
Gore: Supports national hate crimes legislation that would expand the definition of hate crimes to include gender, sexual orientation and disability.
SUPPORT FOR ISRAEL
Bush: Supports peace process and said he will “stand by Israel.” Believes the United States should not “interfere with Israel’s democratic process.” Has said he supports moving the U.S. Embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem.
Gore: Supports peace process and close relationship between the United States and Israel. Has said he supports moving the U.S. Embassy to Jerusalem.
Bush: Supports prayer in public schools. Wants public schools to allow more religious expression. Supports voluntary, student-led prayer, including a moment of silence for meditation or reflection.
Gore: Opposes organized prayer in public schools. Supports a student’s right to voluntarily pray in school and supports voluntary participation in a moment of silence.
Bush: Supports the use of public funds for paying private and religious school tuition. Would give parents funds to move children out of failing schools.
Gore: Opposes public funding of private schools. Believes vouchers would drain away funds from public schools.
Bush: Supports federal funding of faith-based organizations but says public money should not fund sectarian worship or proselytization. Has said he would establish an office for faith-based groups in his administration.
Gore: Supports federal funding of faith-based organizations with safeguards to ensure the separation of church and state. Would require secular alternatives and non-mandatory participation standards in religious observances as a condition for receiving services.
Bush: Would “vigorously prosecute” illegal sales of guns and those crimes committed with guns. Would make federal gun prosecutions a top priority.
Gore: Supports a ban on assault weapons, closing the gun show loophole, mandatory child-safety trigger locks, photo licensing for new handguns, and restoring the three-day waiting period for handgun purchases.
Bush: Pro-life with exceptions for rape, incest and endangering the life of the mother.
Gore: Pro-choice and is in favor of expanding Medicare funding of abortions.