Atlantis Alumni

Friday, August 10, 2007

The Democrats On Gay Issues: The LOGO Forum

Hillary Clinton, Barak Obama, John Edwards, and Bill Richardson, the top tier of Democratic Party presidential candidates, went on national TV last evening, on the LOGO gay network and on the Internet and tried to explain why they favor FULL EQUALITY for the gay and lesbian community but OPPOSE gay marriage. None of them succeeded in explaining this dichotomy. I think the explanation is simple: none of them have the COURAGE to LEAD and to TAKE A STAND in favor of full equality and equal justice for the gay community. They blew it, period.

The two long shot candidates, Mike Gravel and Dennis Kucinich, are fully supportive of gay marriage and full gay equality and said so unequivocally. The may not win the nomination, but they sure set the bar high for the other candidates.

Bill Richardson, in an answer to a question from Melissa Ethridge, said that being gay is a choice. He later "clarified" that in a statement, but the damage has been done. One wonders where is he coming from?

Obama had trouble answering when he was asked if he understood why gays and lesbians see civil unions as separate and unequal.

Edwards basically said that he personally opposed gay marriage but wouldn't say why, except that he admitted that he should not have said that his opposition was due to his faith. I have an idea: it's your residual homophobia, Mr. Edwards.

Ah, and finally, Mrs. Clinton, who was patronizing at times and stuck to her policy talking points throughout. If you want four more years of Clinton-like triangulation, betrayal, and lip service, then Hillary is your girl.

The questions from the panel were better than I expected. As I've indicated, the responses from the "big four" were too often disappointing.

Joe Solomese, the head of the Human Rights Campaign and one of those posing the questions on LOGO, summed up the forum pretty well:

"Tonight was an important night in the fight for equality for GLBT
Americans. We pulled the curtain back a bit and gave all Americans a deeper look
inside the candidates' core beliefs about the issues that affect our community.
From repealing Don't Ask Don't Tell, supporting equal employment rights,
providing full funding for HIV/AIDS epidemic, to eliminating the Defense of
Marriage Act, these candidates went on record and committed to fighting for
equality in all sectors of our society. Unfortunately, we have more work to
do. The overwhelming majority of the candidates do not support marriage
equality. While we heard very strong commitments to civil unions and equality in
federal rights and benefits, their reasons for opposing equality in civil
marriage tonight became even less clear. Over the course of the presidential
campaign, we will continue to ask these questions and demand real answers from
the candidates who were appeared tonight-and from those who didn't show up. The
next president must be committed to not only doing what's achievable, but also
what's right."

I'm off to look for a third party candidate to support.


Photo: One of Dan's new paintings, on sale this weekend at the Pines Biennial Art Show

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