Barack Obama spoke to The Advocate regarding his decision to include Rev. Donnie McClurkin on his three-day gospel tour of South Carolina, as well as his history of advocacy for the LGBT community. Here’s an excerpt:
ADVOCATE: I know you’re in a difficult position here trying to balance these two constituencies — but by keeping McClurkin on the tour, didn’t you essentially choose your Christian constituency over your gay constituency?
OBAMA: No, I profoundly disagree with that. This is not a situation where I have backed off my positions one iota. You’re talking to somebody who talked about gay Americans in his convention speech in 2004, who talked about them in his announcement speech for the president of the United States, who talks about gay Americans almost constantly in his stump speeches. If there’s somebody out there who’s been more consistent in including LGBT Americans in his or her vision of what America should be, then I would be interested in knowing who that person is. One of the things that always comes up in presidential campaigns is, if you’ve got multiple supporters all over the place, should the candidate then be held responsible for the every single view of every one of his supporters? And obviously that’s not possible. And if I start playing that game, then it will be very difficult for me to do what I think I can do best, which is bring the country together.
Read the full interview here.