Campbell’s Brother Wins Victory For Gay Rights



A politician who failed in Broward had more success in Vermont this week when he led that state’s Legislature to approve same sex marriage.

Vermont state Sen. Majority Leader John Campbell guided the legislative fight to legalize gay and lesbian unions.

Vermont is the first state where gay and lesbian marriages were approved by lawmakers. The story is here.

Politics runs in the Campbell family.

His brother is Skip Campbell, former state senator and one of Fort Lauderdale’s most celebrated trial attorneys.  In addition to having a love of politics in common, the two brothers look like each other:

John Campbell

Walter “Skip” Campbell


But more than two decades ago, John Campbell wasn’t savoring victories. 

He lost in 1986 to state Rep. Bob Shelley, R-Pompano Beach, for the District 92 House seat in northeast Broward.

Campbell back then was a trial attorney with his brother Skip’s firm, Krupnick Campbell. 

He is also a former cop.

Surprising in light of his championship of gay rights and his liberal voting record in Vermont, Campbell ran in Broward as a conservative Democrat.

Campbell admitted as much to to the Sun-Sentinel.  He said his tough-on-crime platform made him “seem more like the Republican and Bob seems more like the Democrat. 

The race was a major disappointment to the entire Campbell clan.  His wife, mother, father-in-law and four of his five brothers knocked on more than 4,000 doors during the campaign.

Campbell lost by just 275 votes out of 24,803 cast, according to the Sun-Sentinel.

Ten years later, brother Skip went on to win a Broward seat in the state Senate.  Brother John moved to Vermont.

One more fact about the Campbell race that I can’t resist mentioning:  The campaign was managed by Sam Fields,’s resident guest columnist.



3 Responses to “Campbell’s Brother Wins Victory For Gay Rights”

  1. What We Need says:

    We need politicians like John here who can champion civil rights. I don’t think his brother Skip ever promoted equal rights for all, including the gay, lesbian and transgender community

  2. Disgrace says:

    It is a disgrace that gays received rights in Iowa and Vermont this week, while Florida remains in the pre-Stonewall era. Every members of the Broward Legislative Delegation needs to make equal rights for gays a priority.

  3. It is a Question of Justice says:

    It is a question of justice. Follow the thinking. Being gay has always been a part of the human experience, one that is difficult for straight people to understand, yet there throughout history there have been gay people. If you ask them, and why should they lie, overwhelmingly the answer from gay people is “I was simply born this way and have always been attracted to persons of my own sex.” When one or two say that, it’s one thing. When thousands say it, that’s a fact. So being gay is a characteristic of birth or chance and to a small degree, if at all, of choice. Characteristics of birth require certain protections in our society. That’s why we protect blacks, women, disabled. As to characteristics of chance, our civil rights also protect religions, elderly, and so forth.
    These people are to be treated equally under the laws. You don’t have to like them, nobody forces that. You just can’t discriminate. Being gay is in there somewhere and belongs in that category.

    Marriage is a two part thing in most but not all cases. One part is religious. Religions should be able to decide what rites they will give what people without government intervention. The second part is a state marriage license. Religions should stay out of what government under the law should do with those. There is a big difference between rights and rites. Now, I may never quite understand what is appealing between two men or two women. For me, that’s not appealing. But I fall way short of judging them bad people or of choosing to deny them their rights. If two gays want to get married, that’s perfectly OK by me so long as they live up to both the responsibilities and benefits of marriage. This is the way the law should be and I don’t think it cheapens my marriage one bit, nor does it threaten the institution of marriage. What it does is simply offer the governmental estate of marriage to others that want it, and to only those that want it, blind (as justice should be) to the discrimination that is traditionally hurled on this group. You don’t have to like it, nobody is requiring that. But we here believe in liberty and the reasonable pursuit thereof. Let them do what they want to do so long as it doesn’t create a problem for others, and gay marriage does not do that in any single way. Vermont is correct and ultimately the issue will be decided nationwide this way. No matter what the gay opposition does, there will always be gay people. It’s like they say in their marches, they’re here, they’re queer, get used to it. Let them, who cares.