Barack Obama Tells Crowd that Homophobia is Not Christian

Ben Smith at Politico reports on a question and answer session at a Barack Obama rally in Beaumont, Texas yesterday:

Obama_2“An interesting moment came when he was asked a question about LGBT rights and delivered an answer that seemed to suit the questioner, listing the various attributes — race, gender, etc. — that shouldn’t trigger discrimination, to successive cheers. When he came to saying that gays and lesbians deserve equality, though, the crowd fell silent. So he took a different tack: ‘Now I’m a Christian, and I praise Jesus every Sunday,’ he said, to a sudden wave of noisy applause and cheers. ‘I hear people saying things that I don’t think are very Christian with respect to people who are gay and lesbian,’ he said, and the crowd seemed to come along with him this time.”

Adds Smith: “The moment reminded me of a conversation I had recently with a senior figure in the national gay rights movement, who noted that Obama’s deference to some black Christian discomfort with homosexuality — his refusal to dump the “ex-gay” gospel singer Donnie McClurkin from a tour — angered some gays and lesbians; but conversely, that his ability to sell gay rights in the black church is unique and appealing.”

UPDATE — The video:

Selling Gay Rights [politico]

Comments

  1. says

    This is one of the key reasons that I am supporting Obama for president. He is willing to talk about his support for GLBT civil rights in front of more than GLBT specific audiences. It is not gay people that need to hear that we are worthy of equal treatment under the law simply because we are human. It is non-gay people that need to hear that message.

  2. Pierre says

    I’m originally from outside of Beaumont, Texas – and I’m honestly surprised that he made it out of there alive. I’m not kidding. I love it that he was pushing their buttons. I’m not totally convinced by Obama, but reading this gives me a little hope.

  3. says

    This is another reason why I support Obama. It is one thing to say all the right things to people’s faces. But he says the right things even when it’s not easy and to crowds who don’t necessarily want to hear it.

  4. the queen says

    i ask you, did you ever think you’d live to see the day when any politician, let alone one running for president, would actually dare to say that homophobia is not x-tian?

  5. Derrick from Philly says

    Yes, dear QUEEN, and look where he said it! Most politicians wouldn’t even mention gay people in that setting. Don’t tell me that this Democrat isn’t one brave man. BRAVE, BRAVE MAN. And cute too.

  6. Chris says

    Do you really need Bedwell to see the negative in this?

    He’s pandering to religious black folk, as usual, and when the crowd didn’t like his equality for gays message, simply backed into saying you shouldn’t do un-Christian things, and reminding them that he praises Jesus every Sunday.

    Agent of change? Doubt it. Simply another politician who panders to religious ignorance to get elected. But, he’ll still get the Gays for Shiny, New Packaging crowd.

    Something stinks; B.O. is the Hypocrite of the Week:

    http://www.gaywired.com/article.cfm?section=66&id=18333

  7. David R. says

    Look, I’m not particularly pleased to have a presidential candidate who’s religious. But at least he’s willing to use his religion to make a positive point in a hostile environment. Obama is showing us that he gets it and he’s doing it through real actions that create real change. You Go Girl!

  8. John says

    To the pro-Hillary skeptics, I will say this. I voted for Clinton because I prefer her, and I don’t regret that ballot. But the fact that Obama’s adopting this pro-gay strategy means there will be a mountain of evidence against him if he flip-flops. You can have four more years of war, famine, and pestilence with McBush – or you can give this new candidate a chance.

    Remember, he’s going up for re-election in 2012, so you’ll have another chance to vote against Obama if it comes to that. But it appears Obama has won the nomination, and I’m willing to take a gamble on him in November.

  9. John says

    To the pro-Hillary skeptics, I will say this. I voted for Clinton because I prefer her, and I don’t regret that ballot. But the fact that Obama’s adopting this pro-gay strategy means there will be a mountain of evidence against him if he flip-flops. You can have four more years of war, famine, and pestilence with McBush – or you can give this new candidate a chance.

    Remember, he’s going up for re-election in 2012, so you’ll have another chance to vote against Obama if it comes to that. But it appears Obama has won the nomination, and I’m willing to take a gamble on him in November.

  10. Zeke says

    Show me ONE TIME where Hillary has spoken out in favor of gay rights to a hostile crowd. ONE SINGLE TIME! In fact show me one time where Hillary has spoken out in favor of gay rights before ANY group that wasn’t primarily gay. She doesn’t do it and not even MICHAEL BEDWELL can deny that fact.

    Obama’s brand of Christianity and his willingness to stand against people who do hateful and exclusionary things in the name of Jesus is a reflection of his (and my) denomination, the progressive United Church of Christ. I like to think of us as the Buddhist branch of the Christian faith.

  11. noah says

    Chris,

    Texas and Ohio aren’t exactly known as bastions of liberal thinking. In Ohio it was a felony for a man to whistle at another man until just a couple of years ago.

    How many gay votes are there in Ohio and Texas that would make a difference compared with the conservative votes? Don’t you think that in Texas especially that if Obama had not said a thing about gay rights he might have gained more votes?

    As for positioning things in terms of Christianity, isn’t Obama using an analogy, trying to show people that their homophobia is antithetical to true Christianity?

    Has Hillary Clinton made any similar movements? Do you expect John McCain to do so?

    How did George Bush win the 2004 election? He won because of the use of homophobia to get voters to the poll. The Republicans sent massive numbers of mailers throughout the Midwest and Bible Belt warning of gays destroying the family and bring about the Apocalypse.

    The result of this campaign was a massive voter turn out at the polls.

    Now imagine what is going to happen in the general election if its McCain vs Obama? Do you think that the GOP isn’t going to use this against Obama? Please! Look at how many idiots jumped enthusiastically over the Larry Sinclair bullshit. The nut jobs were convinced of a cover up and bribery.

    Now, let’s add Sinclair and Obama’s support of gay rights together and the Republicans are going to launch a whisper campaign against Obama. That will be followed by direct assaults on Obama like the recent Tennessee Republican Party created mailers that accused him of being aligned with anti-Semites.

    Can’t you imagine what they are going to say: A vote for Obama is a vote for the death of the American family! A vote for Obama is a vote for sodomy!

    There’s no big bang help for Obama in Texas or Ohio for supporting gay rights. Texas? Remember, this is the state that fought tooth and nail to keep the sodomy laws. This is the state where a church is considering firing a minister for being too gay positive even though he banned displays of family photos that might show gay family members.

    Had Obama released this position before a primary in a more progressive state with a strong, politically active gay community I would his moves cynical. In Texas, I think he has more to lose by these remarks.

  12. Derrick from Philly says

    CHRIS: how the fuck can you pander to black Christians by telling them that one of their beliefs makes them un-Christian.

    EXCUSE ME, we’ve had a rash of killings of gay people, and an overall increase in violence against gay people. Do not tell me that it isn’t important to have our leaders go into places that are hostile to gay people and say, “hatred and violence against gay people is wrong.”

    I have to wonder about any gay person who does not appreciate what Obama did –do y’all really care about the murder and lynching of gay people just because they’re gay? Obama seems to care. He’s telling folks who think it’s OK to hate gay people that it is wrong to do so. Have any members of the Southern Baptist Convention done this?

    Those of you who don’t appreciate Obama’s earnest effort to stop hate may as well vote for Huckabee. He must have the message for Christians concerning gay people that y’all want to hear.

  13. says

    I’ve been a Hillary supporter, critical of Obama for Donnie McClurkin, but this is impressive. To say these things to people in Beaumont, Texas – not Austin or Dallas or Houston – but Beaumont, took backbone. Especially considering that the crowd was demonstrably hostile to gay rights as demonstrated by their silence when he brought it up. I need to re-assess Obama. This is a great story.

  14. davey says

    Lord help me, just because he speaks out on gay rights does not mean he is the best person for the job. This is not ALL about gay rights, I consider myself an American, a man, a liberal, a person, not just GAY. I’d rather vote for someone who will do more with healthcare, education, poverty, gun control and also equal rights for gays and lesbians. Hill is the woman to do all that.
    Hillary 08!

  15. John says

    I’m going to have to somewhat agree with Noah and Derrick. Although I don’t think it hurts him. In fact, I don’t think it affects that demographic at all.

    Look, the black folks in that audience were going to vote for Obama anyway. He certainly doesn’t need to mention homosexuality in any of his speeches to get black voters to the polls. They’ve been going for him at a rate of 9-to-1 regardless.

    Black folks aren’t really “values voters.” They’re just…not. If anything, it’s designed to get race baiting GWMs off his back (no pun intended) for the McClurkin thing.

  16. Bojo says

    I don’t know why, but I just don’t trust him. I think he’s pandering for the gay vote and once in office it’ll be gay who? There is no sincerity in his overtones to our community. I firmly believe he’ll pull a Bill Clinton on us.

  17. 24play says

    Sam,

    Thank you for being open to re-examining Obama despite the McClurkin flap.

    When Obama refused to cut the preacher from his tour appearances, I was deeply disappointed. I thought it displayed, if not craven election-year politics, then at least political naivete. But I respected Obama’s explanation that he wouldn’t disinvite McClurkin because we can’t expect to ever secure change if we refuse to be in the same room with people who have different beliefs and opinions.

    I respect him even more for that conviction in light of this latest action. And I think it’s consistent with Obama’s whole approach. He does have core beliefs that he is not willing to sacrifice for political expediency. And he’s willing to do the outreach necessary to change people’s minds on issues he strongly believes in.

    If you’d like to read about another example of this ethic, this article tells about how Obama proposed and stuck by legislation in IL that requires all interrogations and confessions to be videotaped:

    http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2008/01/03/AR2008010303303.html

    When the bill was first introduced, it was loudly denounced by both Senate Republicans and law enforcement, but Obama refused to let it fail. He reached out to its opponents and eventually succeeded in passing the bill by unanimous vote in the Senate.

    There is certainly something solid behind his campaign slogan of Change We Can Believe In.

  18. GM says

    Criminey! What does it take to please you people? Obama is running CIRCLES around Hillary Clinton in this regard. But I get the feeling that some people are so nostalgic for the halcyon days of the 1990s, praying for a return to those comfy pre-9/11, GWB years, that they think that merely installing the Clintons in the Whitehouse will set the Wayback Machine to 1992 and all will be rosy.

    You know what? It ain’t gonna happen. We live in a profoundly changed world – due in part to the Clintons’ eight years in the White House but mostly to the “War on Terror” and seven years of Christo-fascists running the country.

    There is no evidence – ZERO – that Hillary Clinton will change this. In fact, she’s the odds-on favorite for more of the same. (Reference, please, her latest fear-mongering commercial.)

    Barack Obama symbolizes a sea-change in American politics. It’s radical, revolutionary, and it’s just what America needs now. I do NOT agree with most of his policy positions – esp. in re: taxes and government programs, etc. But his stance on the war in Iraq, civil liberties, individual rights, and now apparently his willingness to toss back to the Christianists their own doctrine and to see whether they will catch it or fumble – well, all of that impresses me more than Hillary’s overblown record and claims about tens of years of experience.

  19. says

    Are gay people really so desperate to be validated? Jeez. When Obama does something tangible,concrete and REALLY brave for GLBT folks like what San Francisco Mayor Gavin Newsom did a few years ago regarding the gay marriage issue then MAYBE he would be worth supporting but sorry folks his fear of being photographed with Newsom and his McJerkin actions speaks MUCH louder than his hollow political words. It will be interesting to see if he picks another Jesus Lovin Christian to be his VP or if he chooses an extremely conservative Democrat to balance out the ticket?

  20. says

    This is Beaumont, Texas! Beaumont! Those of you who do not know Texas also do not know how big of deal this is. Beaumont is the reddest of the red as far as politically.

    I managed a congressional campaign outside of Beaumont a few years ago. The area is one of the most right wing in the country. The fact that he even brought up gays is astonishing. The fact that he brought us up twice after not being well received the first time is courageous.

  21. Derrick from Philly says

    SEAN, you are absoulutely correct. The problem is too many blacks, especially church black folks, don’t mind being portrayed that way. It enhances their feeling of being “different” from white folks.

    But, yes, the percentage of homophobes within the white & Latino communities is probably no lower than in the black commnunity. Black homophobes just get more attention because they like to run their mouths more than….ooops. Well, also the media feels it’s their mission to portray black males as villains–being mouthy homophobes helps in that portrayal.

    And I don’t believe I just wrote that. Maybe Barack’s integrity and courage is rubbing off on us…well, a little bit of his courage. I don’t have the courage of Barack, honey.

  22. says

    “Look, the black folks in that audience were going to vote for Obama anyway. He certainly doesn’t need to mention homosexuality in any of his speeches to get black voters to the polls. They’ve been going for him at a rate of 9-to-1 regardless.”

    Um, I hope you do not really think he was talking about that b/c he gives one shit if those people in that audience are going to support him. They paid money to come out and see him, you can be assured his comments on gays will not change their vote. He said what he said because he isn’t stupid and knows it will be on this and thousands of other blogs tomorrow and on the news. He’s thinking about the general at this point.

    Black people are not stupid enough to think that if they are voting for a Democrat they are going to be voting for one that is homophobic like they are. They might not like it, but I doubt they are that delusional.

    I appreciate what he says, but it really doesn’t change my opinion overall and my support for Hillary, who has made plenty of overtures to the gay community since the election began. This might up his ratings with gays but it doesn’t diminish her’s in return. it’s like I’m supposed to hear this and go, Oh god, thank god I can not vote for Hillary now. No thanks.

  23. says

    Speaking as a gay black American I can testify to the fact that blacks appear more homophobic than other groups because of the bully pulpit of the church. Every Sunday these clowns tell their faithful that the Big Invisible Bi-Polar Daddy in the Sky hates all gays.

    Except of course the invariably gay choir director, but he’s spoken of in hushed and “reverent” tones.

  24. paul says

    to me, actions speak louder than words. Who cares what he said, or where he said it. he has plenty of security around him, so he is protected. I want to see what he will do, we all know that candidates will say things like this, but what does it really mean. Do something about it, sign the hate crimes legislation…support gay marriage, make certain that all programs that exclude gays like abstinence only programs are abolished and important information is restored on the CDC website. Proclaim June as “gay pride month” at a national level.
    NO, it isn’t all about gays, but we have been pulled into the political arena and helped GWB get elected, so let’s fire up our base!!

  25. rae says

    as a black, gay person from texas, i can tell you that this was beyond a brave move on behalf of the senator. homophobia is something that is considered “the norm” in the large majority of this state (austin and various gayborhoods excluded), especially with in the black community. this is a place where a preach can get “amens” for saying “i hate gay people” and not come under any kind of fire.
    that said, i am also a member of the united church of christ, and i can assure you that even though it totes the name christian, it cannot be further from the homophobic “christian leaders” that we are used to seeing. it is by far one of the most open, affirming, and progressive denominations withing the sphere of christianity. obama’s declaration of his faith should not, by any means, strike fear or doubt in your minds, but is assurance that he holds an obligation to promote justice and equality.

  26. Michael Bedwell says

    A SINCERE BRAVO FOR WHAT OBAMA SAID. But as we have repeatedly seen accounts of events rephrased in such a way that makes them appear far more significant than they really were, I think it’s fair to ask what the person who asked the question actually said. DID he/she use the term “LGBT rights”?[Googling, so far, I can only find Politico’s account echoed again and again—without quoting the question itself.]

    Perfect example, this thread’s first poster, Michael Crawford, while FAILING TO DISCLOSE THAT HE’S AN OFFICIAL ADVISOR to the Obama campaign, claims, as he has countless times, that Obama talks “about his support for GLBT civil rights in front of more than GLBT specific audiences.” At Bilerico.com, where he is an editor, he claimed this morning that, “Barack has spoken passionately about his support for GLBT civil rights many times in front of non-GLBT audiences.” Which I have asked him to prove; to document what he’s said in front of “non-GLBT audiences” about CIVIL UNIONS and GAY ADOPTION and JOB PROTECTION and REPEALING DOMA AND DADT. I want to see the “many times” he has EVEN USED the term “GLBT CIVIL RIGHTS.”

    And if anyone else equates just mentioning having us as “friends,” or not “blaming us” for whatever, or even asking people not to “scorn” us but to “embrace” us—however good those phrases are—with “talking about GLBT RIGHTS” then you either don’t understand English or you like having Obama’s dick up your ass.

    As for Brother Zeke’s claim that Obama “is a reflection of” their shared denomination, how can that be when the hierarchy of the wonderful United Church of Christ supports gay marriage equality while Obama rejects it? His “brand of Christianity” may be better than that of his close personal friend the Rev. James Meeks who, as a state senator, voted against gay rights in Illinois and ran for governor on an antigay platform and blames “Hollywood Jews for bringing us ‘Brokeback Mountain'” and the star of his campaign gospel show Donnie McClurkin who preaches that gays are out to kill America’s children but it is still far from entirely CHRISTlike.

    As for Zeke’s challenge, “show me one time where Hillary has spoken out in favor of gay rights before ANY group that wasn’t primarily gay”—

    “On November 10, in speaking to more than 9,000 people gathered for an important Jefferson-Jackson dinner in Iowa, Clinton said that Democrats “believe in labor rights, women’s rights, gay rights, and civil rights.” – http://www.ebar.com/common/inc/article_print.php?sec=news&article=2438

    Asked and answered.

    Further, as “symbolic speech” is even a legally recognized concept, how much MORE could Sen. Clinton demonstrate PUBLICLY her support for LGBT rights for MILLIONS of nongays to see via newspaper and TV coverage than when she marched in New York’s Gay Pride Parade WHEN SHE WAS FIRST LADY OF THE UNITED STATES? And several times since as Senator? I can’t say that Obama has never done the same in Chicago, but I doubt it. What IS known is that Obama REFUSED to even be photographed with SF Mayor Gavin Newsom shortly after Newsom became world famous for ordering The City to MARRY gay couples in 2004. And that was even after Newsom had RAISED MONEY for Obama’s Senate campaign. How do you say, “Actions speak louder than words.”

    More VERY LOUD action: Relying only on his paid blank slate ads on which one could project whatever they want to believe, this week Obama REFUSED to give interviews to gay newspapers in Texas and Ohio, as he has refused with LOGO and the “Washington Blade,” but Sen. Clinton was interviewed:

    “[T]he biggest problem is the federal benefits, and I want to change the law,” Clinton told reporter Eric Resnick, adding that the Domestic Partnership Benefits and Obligation Act is the first thing that needs to be passed. The legislation, which Clinton co-sponsored, would provide benefits to federal employees on par with those offered to married, opposite-sex couples. … “No community has been made more invisible than the LGBT community by this administration, and I want to change that,” Clinton noted when talking about the largely silent stance of the Bush administration when it comes to gay issues. “I am committed to the fair and equal treatment of LGBT Americans.” – http://www.bilerico.com/2008/02/primary_questions.php

  27. AdamN says

    Seriously I am beginning to think that Obama would personally have to deliver a blow-job to Bill Clinton on national television while signing a pledge to support gay marriage in his own blood, to MAYBE begin to convince some of you Hillary supporters that he is pro-gay. No prospective president has stuck their neck so far out for us as Barack is doing now, now when he doesn’t even have to!

  28. Michael Bedwell says

    Videos of the appearance are finally up. The link to the relevant section is below. While it does not include the question, the source says it was, “What are your thoughts about human rights, specifically the LGBT community.” And, watching his answer, I give him credit for sounding better than the printed quotes. At least, unlike McCain, he doesn’t have to have “LGBT” defined for him, in fact, HE defines it for the audience. LOL. If he had said all of these things in one place before, rather than bits and pieces of them spread across various places, AND identified by name the examples of “discrimination” [again, relationship rights, gays in the military, job discrimination] I would think higher of him. It wouldn’t explain his lies about his role in the timeline of the gay rights bill in Illinois, nor make up for his frequent, “let ME explain ‘full equality’ to YOU,” but I give him his due here. Watch for yourselves at:

    http://www.kfdm.com/video/index.php?bcpid=1138292619&bclid=1338937316&bctid=1437076216

  29. Spencer says

    As another black gay person, and one who attended a black southern Baptist Church every Sunday for at least the first 17 years of his life, I can say I never once heard a sermon demonizing gays. Hell, I never even heard a sermon with “gays” as even a minor subject. And there were obvious gays (and a few lesbians) throughout my church. As a child, it never even occurred to me that my church would be hostile to gays. I only discovered Baptists were anti-gay when I became more aware of my southern surroundings. And I think Sean may be on to something. The idea that blacks are homophobic above all others has to be borne out of some kind of prejudice.

    And David, you say that the “bully pulpit” of the black church is what gives the appearance of rabid homophobia, but what of the white evangelical churches that hold marches and rallies on courthouse steps and have “bus-ins” for their homophobia. Yet somehow, that does not extend to the white community at large as it does with the black community. There is definitely something else behind the “blacks as supreme homophobes” idea.

    And for what it’s worth, I have only met a couple black gays who are estranged from their families. Meanwhile, nearly half of my good white friends no longer have relationships with their families. Personally, my relationship with my parents has never been better. Anecdotal, but worth noting.

  30. travshad says

    Is this the Beaumont,Texas that is the seat of Jefferson County? Gore won Jefferson County in 2000 and Kerry carried it in 2004. It doesn’t sound that “red” to me.

  31. Zeke says

    MB, thanks for posting that video. You’re right, it was way better than the transcript would have lead us to believe. I would add that the audience didn’t exactly respond in the way that the posting claimed. They were quite supportive and vocally so.

    I appreciate your finding the one instance that Hillary said the words gay rights. It wasn’t exactly a glowing endorsement but it did meet the minimum standards of my challenge.

    I appreciate the kind a respectful response as well.

    I’m noticing a bit of a chink in that armor bubba. Watch out, we Obamaheads are gonna bring you over to the other side!

    :)

  32. Jeff says

    Gays and lesbians who don’t support Obama because he’s a “Christian” = Christians who don’t support McCain because he’s a “liberal” (i.e. not getting their cake, nor eating it).

  33. Joshua says

    Now, if Obama would only tell his strongest backers and close friends to heed his words.
    For those of you enthralled that he will say things people don’t want to hear, wake up….if that was true he would be speaking the truth about the economy, taxes, eavesdropping, the auto industry, the steel industry and on and on. Believe it or not, there are issues out there that are actually more important than a politician speaking to rednecks about gays. While I agree those people need to be slapped into the 21st century, thats not what I want to hear.

    Flame away.

  34. JerzeeMike says

    Sorry but I have never, EVER trusted Hillary Clinton from day one. She has never, EVER spoke to a hostile audience about gay rights. I have no doubt that she would throw the LBGT community under the bus like her husband did in the 90’s without a seconds thought. She will eventually lose the nomination and we need to push hard for a presidential candidate that actually has the balls to make gay rights an issue.

    The Christian faith has been hijacked by the same kind of fundamentalism that fuels Islamic extremists into bombing innocent people. The word of God has been perverted and the Bible is being used to bludgeon anyone with a differing perspective into submission. The Right Wing are the modern day Pharisees and Jesus himself would be demonized by Fred Phelps and Bill O’Reilly. The U.S. will be in a moral fight for it’s life in the coming years.

    I will be voting come November. I will be voting for Obama because I believe, at this time, he’s our best hope of breaking the grip of religious zealotry that’s choking the life from our democratic republic.

  35. beergoggles says

    The idea that blacks are more homophobic comes about because a disproportionate amount of homeless gay kids are black.

    If it’s not homophobia of their parents turning these kids out of their homes, it must obviously be that wonderful xtian tendency to love the sinner.

  36. noah says

    Okay, let’s not forget that prior to the Clinton campaign’s injection of race into the nomination process, Sen. Clinton had strong lead over Obama in the African American community.

    It gets very old reading these comments that AFrican Americans only support African American candidates. That’s bullshit. Ken Blackwell in Ohio, Lynn Swann in Pennsylvania, and Michael Steele in Maryland all got their butts kicked by African Americans who voted for their white competitors.

  37. Michael Bedwell says

    Race was first injected into this campaign by Barack Obama. Don’t believe me, try the comments of BLACK lesbian minister Irene Monroe all the way back in October.

    “In the highly competitive race for black evangelical votes in South Carolina, [Donnie] McClurkin just might give Obama the needed edge. However, that edge will come at a cost far greater than having McClurkin at his side. It comes at revealing how Obama is not only a vote-whore, but a race-card user as well.”

    http://www.irenemonroe.com/2007/10/23/obama-the-vote-whore-with-%E2%80%98ex-gay%E2%80%99-at-his-side/

    But it was after Obama’s growing ego got a reality check in New Hampshire when Sen. Clinton rose from the political grave pollsters and pundits had put her in and beat him, that he let the dogs out, and the Swift Boat Campaign of 2008 truly left the dock—this time suggesting than Sen. Clinton was a racist.

    First up at the wheel—Obama national cochair Jesse Jackson, Jr., who in an desperate and incoherent harangue on MSNBC about “a melting” the very MORNING AFTER the NH primary [BEFORE Bill Clinton’s misrepresented remarks in SC] said about her misty eyes [JJ calls them “tears”] in New Hampshire:

    “those tears also have to be analyzed. They have to be looked at very, very carefully in light of Katrina, in light of other things that Mrs. Clinton did not cry for, particularly as we head to South Carolina where 45% of African-Americans who participate in the Democratic contest, and they see real hope in Barack Obama.

    We saw something very clever in the last week of this campaign coming out of Iowa, going into New Hampshire, we saw a sensitivity factor. Something that Mrs. Clinton has not been able to do with voters that she tried in New Hampshire.

    Not in response to voters — not in response to Katrina [read “not for black people’s suffering”], not in response to other issues that have devastated the American people, the war in Iraq, we saw tears in response to her appearance. So her appearance brought her to tears, but not hurricane Katrina [read: not for black people’s suffering].”

    And others took the wheel and plowed into her and pretty soon blacks who had been YAWNING in his face for months suddenly took notice, swallowed it, and the wagons circled and the numbers flipped, and Obama who was way behind with black voters suddenly was way ahead.

    Even AFTER black civil rights icon John Lewis denounced people who accused the Clintons of being racist; even after Obama himself denied it and asked his staff and supporters to stop suggesting it—the calcultated, dishonest smear stuck as Noah has demonstrated.

    This campaign is going to make the history books for a lot of good reasons—and some of them very ugly and shameful—like racist attitudes toward Obama, like trying to claim he’s secretly a Muslim, and like race baiting Sen. Clinton.

  38. Bill Perdue says

    I am not and never will be a supporter of Obama. He’s a tawdry political hustler in a rightwing party who won’t renounce his pandering to scum like Donnie McKulkin . I’m glad he’s speaking out but he’s been silent about this in the Senate, not lifting a finger when Hillary’s campaign manager conspired with Frank, Pelosi and Reid to gut ENDA and toss it and the Matthew Shepard Hate Crimes Act into the toilet. I’d think more of him if he’d proposed and fought for resolutions to end the war, impeach Cheney and Bush, and repeal DOMA, DADT and NAFTA.

    Nevertheless I am alarmed at the similarities of the attacks by the Dixiecrat Clintons, the Hillaryhacks and the Republicans attacks on him. They’re playing the ‘race’ card and the muslim card over and over, reminding everyone who’ll listen of his ethnicity and muslim acquaintances and relatives. This ‘race’ baiting has to stop, whether it comes from Dixiecrat Hillary Clinton, Hillaryhacks or the Republicans, who’ve already done polling to see how much they can get away with using the ‘race’ card or using misogyny if Billery wins.

    We’ve already seen the rate of gaybashing hate crimes rise, with three murders in February. Attacks on us and on African Americans will escalate if this trend continues. It’s very dangerous.

  39. says

    Oh, so we should believe him because he said it? How about we consider his actions? Maybe associating with homphobic preachers and black leaders says more about him than the bullshit he spews in a speech? Just maybe.

    Don’t be stupid people.

  40. Church of Christ Membr says

    To the Black Gay American-There is no bi-polar big daddy in the sky. There is only God. I am not sure what Obama’s church teaches, but we believe the Bible is the unadulterated inspired word of God. The Bible clearly and definitively says that homosexuality is an abomination to God. A SIN. Man should not lay with Man as Man lays with woman. And Neither should a woman lay with a woman. The Bible says that this is a sin worth of death (Old Testament). Jesus’ death brought life to all who were willing to Obey God. Paul speaks of those in the Church of Christ who were ONCE GAY! I don’t think the issue has ever been if the Bible teaches homosexuality is a sin and do you believe the Bible is true? Someone should ask Obama that. However, from what I understand Gays want rights. They don’t want people to agree with their lifestyle. Those rights can only be given by the laws of the land, Not the laws of the Bible. Why would you want to be married since marriage was first ordained by God in the Garden of eden? Why would you want to be a part of something that God made when his word clearly is against your lifestyle. So maybe it’s not marriage you want. What about rights of homeownership, benefits. . .? I think that is a human right. It is not a Spiritual or Biblical Right. So if Gays want healthcare, benefits, for their partners like everyone else-Why can’t they have it? We should make a clear distinction of rights afforded to us by Biblical principles and laws and those afforded to us by the Constitution.

  41. Saint Paul says

    So now Obama is also a theologian and biblical expert? Nope. All you have to do is read the Bible. Homosexuality is wrong according to the Bible. You either agree with the Bible or not. There is no other way to slice it. It’s not important what he thinks. Christianity is not a game you make up as you go along. Obama is wrong.

  42. David says

    I’ve worked with plenty of homosexual people in the medical field.

    Never had a moments problem with them… they are caring, hard workers.

    NO WAY it’s not BIOLOGICAL… no way.

    Anyway, I don’t know what give “religious” people the right to persecute them.

    “Do unto others” is in the Bible too.

    I’m a Hindu and understand that God does not interfere with our free will.

    Btw, I doubt Jesus would enjoy spending His day at a mass production slaughterhouse.

    “Thou shalt not kill”

  43. Brent says

    OK, to “Saint Paul” and “Church of Christ Membr”–this is exactly where people like you always seem to miss the point. The Bible may have references to homosexuality being a sin, that is true.

    HOWEVER, what is emphasized FAR more often by Jesus himself is that not one of us has the right to judge but God Himself. Remember the story of the adulteress, and Jesus asks that the one person who has no sin should be the one to cast the stone, and everyone leaves???

    People who call themselves Christian seem to miss this point. Jesus was very adamant about accepting ALL people, regardless of their sin. (Remember that we are ALL sinners???)

  44. Eric says

    Saint Paul, that’s the point. Christianity HAS been a game you make up as you go along for the past 2000+ years.

    The bible has been written and re-written many times. What makes the latest, watered down rendition the authority on all versions?

  45. Mike says

    Is it just me saying that supporting gayness is very un-Christian. Anyone who has ever read the bible knows that if you are openly supporting a sin such as gay pride you are pretty much doomed unless you stop and repent. So ya, Mr. Obama, not reverend Obama, why don’t you stop your brainwashing of these people by using their beliefs to trick them into what you know not.

  46. orangeman says

    Yo, I can agree and I can disagree. Though in the old testament it is considered a sin (or a curse/test as I and edgar see it) but the old testament also tells you to stone your children if they misbehave. You have to understand the old testament is much stricter because a) these were God’s people b) this was used to have them shape up. You can’t call Obama wrong for interpreting the Bible his way. I think at the core of it he is appealing to the core of christianity which is christ hood. Everyone is equal. You are your brother and your brother is your soul. If you see gays and lesbians, or sinners as enemies then follow christs words in luke and love your enemy. Someone also brought up a valid point of seperation of church and state. I do agee with this and obviously he is following suit and doing the right thing here. I know many are intimidated having a religious man in office (especially one that has a cross section of different kinds) but like i said I think his biggest goal is Christhood or selflessness which all religions can agree on (Buddha, Krishna, Mohammed, Ghandi, Edgar). I think he’s a great man and all of those who think he’s pandering for votes are retarded. It takes a real special guy to be selfless and about the people and people still try to twist it into something absurd and evil. If the man gets mass votes from being a great guy then so be it people.

  47. kevin says

    i agree with mike,

    this is a rediculous and blatent trick.

    i am all for the kindly treating of homosexuals.

    you want to know why?

    because they are human beings!
    and for no other reason!

    this article has a misleading title as well.

    a phobia is an IRRATIONAL fear.

    how does having an Irrational fear unchristian.

    though that was just the title.

    and its rediculous to me that obama can go to church every sunday and believe in equal rights for gays.

    clearly, he needs to stop thinking about his image(because it is clearly mostly what he cares about seeing as how he always finds a way to himself look good) and start actually reading the bible.

    a good place to start would be the beginning.

    where god made adam and eve.
    (and yes…. not steve)

    i probably sound like a dick.

    i dont care.

    because well i dont care.

    everyones to worried about who they might offend than to actually have a real belief anymore.

    and also because i see homosexuality as a sin,

    no different than lying or not obeying your parents or murder or adultery.

    now in our society we dont treat the murderers or the child molesters very fairly now do we?

    our culture unfortunatly sees these people like they have lost all rights.

    in fact we see it as that they themselves have stripped their own rights.

    why should we have to make special treatment for them if we dont for murderers.

    its rediculous.

    obama is rediculous.

    every presidential nominee since the beggining of time has promised change.

    are you really going to believe it?…….again?

  48. Chri says

    to keep it brief…

    Jesus loves and accepts all to come as they are, sins aren’t going to disappear once one accepts Jesus.

    It is un-Christian to be disrespectful or treat homosexuals different than any other person.

    HOWEVER, it is un-Christian to act as if homosexuality is ok and to ignore the sin, instead of helping out those struggling with it.

    Jesus loves everyone, not their sins. So should we.

  49. Isabelle says

    I think when people hear the word “religion” they associate the entirity of it to only God and coverting (or condemning) people rather than the ethics and morals behind the actual belief. I don’t believe in God, but I think religion is a good sort positive education (when relating it to morals and ethics about being a good neighbor etc. etc. There are lot of things I disagree with, but the general meaning behind what it was supposed to be is nice).

    And to a lot of people, I think that Barack stating he goes to church every sunday is a good way to win brownie points and comfort the people who enjoy that idea.

    And at Kevin who was bitching about change: It’s the work of every President throughout the years that have built America. It has changed a lot — just because you don’t see it with one man doesn’t mean that you won’t see the results of your choice as who to make President fifty years from now. Change is a gradual thing; small things put together to make a big picture at the end.

  50. John says

    1. Whenever right-wing nuts drag out the “homophobia only means irrational fear and we’re prefectly rational” nonsense, you know they’ve already lost the debate. It also reveals that they haven’t updated their library in decades.

    If you look at the latest entry in Merriam-Webster you will notice that irrational fear is only one of three possible usages. The others are “aversion to” and “discrimination against” homosexuality or homosexuals. Even the more conservative American Heritage dictionary has “contempt for gay men and lesbians” as an alternative usage.

    Any linguist will tell you that the meaning of words aren’t fixed. That’s what we don’t all talk like Geoffrey Chaucher.

    2. Political motivated “preachers” (snake oil salesmen) claiming to speak for a person who’s been dead for 2,000 years makes about as much sense as me saying:

    “I have received a vision from China’s First Emperor Qin Shi-Huang. And he disapproves of stem cell research and loves tax cuts. That’s right, the exalted SON OF HEAVEN commands that you support the Bush tax cuts. Moreover, the holy LORD OF TEN THOUSAND YEARS has reviewed all the scientific evidence from genetic research, and he has concluded that stem cells are babies.”

  51. says

    While I agree that Christians are to “walk in love” and “love thy neighbor”, that doesn’t mean that Christians are to support Gay activities or homosexual behavior. We are to love these people as Christ loves them. We need only to show them the truth, that homosexuality is immoral and unnatural behavior. Beyond that, we have to be Christ like. Hate is not Christ like. As a Christian, I do not support the things that some so called Christians are doing at military funerals and such. I am what you might call a evangelical Christian. I am non-denominational and base my faith on Jesus’s way of living as should all Christians. If it’s religion versus relationship, then I am down with religion. A relationship with Christ is much more important than an organization. Jesus didn’t come to this Earth to give us religion. http://RonPaul2008.com

  52. says

    I’m not gay, but I’m bi. I have lots of gay and bi friends.

    I’m going to be the first to say that the second Ron Paul has his way, it’s going to be illegal for gays to have sex in 20 states, and illegal to have abortions in 11.

    So yea, you RP people REALLY know how to support this Union of the States. Instead, RP people wish to have a separatist colony system. “Leave it for the states to decide. Get the Federal Gov’t out of the decision making process.”

    Yea, THAT will work. Y’know, you RP supporters should really spend some time in the bible belt. They’ll really love your point of views.

  53. says

    Shane: The concept of marriage wasn’t invented by christians and it is slightly different in different cultures. Plus, who cares if the meaning of a word changes to include more people? To us no christians what the Bible “affords” us or not is meaningless.

    I believe homophobia is christian, it is in the Bible. So is sexism and elitism. Therefore Christian = Not necessarily a good thing.

    kidwithsword: Ironic that you talk about Obama brainwashing people who are christians, since they’ve already been brainwashed by whatever church they belong to.

    BTW Obama’s christianity is most likely an act. Him and people like Hillary aren’t stupid, so religion is most likely an instrument for them to get votes.

  54. William says

    I am a Christian. There are many homophobic men in my Church. The interesting thing is that the men who are most vocal about being anti-gay, are the most effeminate men in my church. They also set off my gaydar in a big way.

    The more someone protests homosexuality, and argues that homosexuality is a sin, the more gay they seem to most people. There is a rather large group of people my church who have discussed this outside of Sunday Church Services, and we all agree that many Anti-Gay Christians are repressed homosexuals who are struggling with their own urges.

    There is such a significant correlation between anti-gay Christians and repressed homosexuality, that it is also a Truism that all anti-gay Christian men are closet homosexuals.

    There is more than enough evidence in the growing list of Christian Anti-Gay crusaders who are eventually outed as Gay.

    In the city where I live, many anti-gay Christian men are busted for soliciting undercover police officers posing as male prostitutes.

    I suspect that the news coming out of the 2008 Republican National Convention will provide additional evidence to support the trend that many anti-gay Christian men are closeted homosexuals. News reports have already indicated that many male prostitutes will be traveling to Minneapolis & St. Paul, MN for the Republican National Convention. Some people speculate that many male prostitutes will be in Minneapolis & St. Paul, MN during the Republican National Convention in 2008 because there will be a very large group of anti-gay Republican Christians who have no other outlet for their true homosexual identity, except to seek out companionship from male prostitutes under the cover of night.

    Conversely, both Minneapolis and St.Paul police forces may be ramping up their sting efforts to catch all of the repressed homosexuals Christian Republicans who will be feverishly seeking the companionship of a male prostitute.

    This type of behavior is unhealthy and risky, but if you are an anti-gay Christian Republican on the outside, but a gay man starved for companionship of other men on the inside, then often times the only outlet they are comfortable with is Male Prostitution.

    Many male escorts are aware of this, therefore they see significant opportunity to profit from all of the Anti-Gay Christian Republicans who will be seeking male companionship during the Republican National Convention in St. Paul / Minneapolis, Minnesota.

  55. Maria says

    I see some of you need more information about Obama beyond his efforts to big about unity amoung all americans. I was an Edward supporter and I thought about supporting Hillary because I am a woman but I thought I would get all the facts. Here are some of the facts.

    Barack has stood up for the poor people, latinos, gays, blacks, and white.

    Barack is not the same old. Here are a few more examples.

    1. Unlike most other Democrats, Obama had the guts and judgment to come out against the Iraq war when it counted.

    2. He doesn’t take lobbyist money. The others in the race do.

    3. Barack is for transparency and ethics in government. He puts his money where his mouth is. He sponsored key ethics legislation. Lobbyist bundling is now on the Internet for all to see. All our taxpayer dollars that go to contractors also are accounted for down to the dollar. He has disclosed his own tax returns in this election.

    4. He doesn’t have a history of going for tens and tens of millions in personal wealth. He and Michelle are worth less than 1/30th of the Clintons, who have socked away Dick Cheney level wealth from their government service, not to mention their half a billion dollar charity. Obama never served on the Wal-Mart board like Hillary Clinton, who was silent on discrimination, union and import issues when she did and then the Clintons opened up trade to China and Nafta. He doesn’t have a history of so many scandals (I know I know, the Clintons are completely innocent of course).

    5. Obama has shown great management ability in running a steady, well funded consistent campaign against huge opposition. He has been consistent, tried to refrain from cheap shots like the Jessie Jackson comment or Hillary’s fearmongering that the terrorists will attack if we elect Obama, that Hillary Clinton is not ready to be President, that she needs to “get real”, or that he is a plagiarist when she has borrowed just as many words from others. He taps into the positive, like hope and unity. That is how real change gets started.

    6. Barack understands that we need to reach out to the world. He knows America can’t just sit back and wait for the world to prove itself to us by fulfilling conditions we dictate after we have done so many things to diminish the world’s respect for us. We need preparation and an agreed upon agenda before our next President meets with our enemies, for sure, but we don’t need to go demanding how they should run their country before we even sit down to discuss our demands in an agreed upon agenda.

    7. He has a tremendous, broad base of support. He gets Independents and even some Republicans. One of John McCain’s campaign managers even said he would resign before he helps McCain to run against Obama. He drives a ton of young people to the polls.

    8. He has charisma. The “cult” attacks on him are silly. We want a President with good ideas who is popular. Not a President with good ideas who is not popular, like Carter.

    9. He has a plan in foreign policy. Get out of Iraq. Shore up Afghanistan. Focus on getting bin Ladin and his henchmen. Stop nuclear proliferation – he would buy up the rogue materials that Bush refuses to buy up so that the likes of Warren Buffet are left to give handouts to do it.

    10. He is the most electable. According to most recent stats, he polls 3 or 4 points ahead of McCain, while Hillary trails McCain by about the same.

    There are no guarantees. To me he shows the most promise of any Presidential candidate for a long time.

  56. says

    Old Testament:
    “Thou shalt not lie with mankind, as with womankind: it is abomination,” Lev. 18:22.

    F”or truly, I say to you, till heaven and earth pass away, not an iota, not a dot, will pass the law until all is accomplished. Whoever then relaxes one of the least of these commandments and teaches men so, shall be called least in the kingdom of heaven; but he who does them and teaches them shall be called great in the kingdom of heaven.” Matthew 5:18-19

    You can challenge how The Bible has been translated and modified over the centuries, in which case we know NOTHING about what Jesus or Moses really said.

  57. Zeke says

    Good Lord, did Towleroad get a link from the judgementalist wing-nut-o-sphere?

    You “love the sinner hate the sin” hypocrites need to get your own houses in order. You are not Christians. You are nothing more than self-righteous, moralizing, hypocritical Pharisees and Sadducees. Just like the ONLY people that Christ is recorded to have condemned and the only people that he called jackals.

    Go back to WingNutDaily where your compassion trolling will be appreciated.

  58. Zeke says

    Oh, and be sure to tell everybody back at the site that linked you here that a mean ole, ungodly, anti-Christian, family hatin, ‘Murka hatin, homa-sek-shul attacked you just because you were tryin to tell ’em how much you loved him in spite of his sin and perversion.

    That should certainly earn you some martyr points for your crown in heaven.

    Lord knows how you people love to play martyr.

  59. brian says

    Thank you, Obama!!! Thank You!!! Believe me, I love change. I love National Healthcare. I love not giving tax cuts to companies that outsource overseas.

    Right now, most of all, I love that ir is 2 days until the Texas primary and a very difficult decision has now been made. Despite my appreciation for all issues and their importance on a nationwide level, I am very much attached to the issue of homosexuality. Thank you for speaking to me, Senator Obama. I love change, but I love inclusion as well.

  60. says

    In Luke 6:37, Jesus says: “Do not judge, and you will not be judged. Do not condemn, and you will not be condemned. Forgive, and you will be forgiven.”

    Those who condemn homosexuals *WILL BURN IN HELL*. Jesus says so. He also says to “do unto others as you would have them do unto you”, and “love your neighbour as yourself”. Even more, “love your enemy”.

    Those who spread hatred and discrimination against homosexuals might be many things, but they are not in line with the Gospel as preached by Jesus. That is what Obama is getting at.

    Those who quote Leviticus with regard to homosexuality are also on a slippery slope. The Pharisees religiously and slavishly devoted themselves to obeying every rule in the Torah, and there is no group that is treated more harshly by Jesus. Their legalistic observation of the Book of the Law and ignorance of the Law of Love earned them nothing but contempt from the Christ.

    The Bible is useful for training in righteousness. It contains the medicine for helping us flawed humans begin to escape the bondage of sin. Yet it is also sharper than any double-edged sword, and will cut you if you are not careful. As Christians, in love, we absolutely *MUST* carefully guard the Sword so that those who are unwary are not hurt by it.

  61. says

    From out of the blue dept..
    I am a Caucasian/Native American who follows the path of Wicca, and is an out and proud Bisexual man in Oklahoma (one of the reddest states in our wonderful country..) My mind is made up. Hillary or Obama. period. The reality is that either of them will trump McCain without a hitch. Ignore the mudslinging, the propaganda, and simply push for either of these two. All of the rest of the candidates truly represent our reprehensible past. Who knows, Hill may just be selected to be his VP. now, wouldn’t that be something! ^_^ We as a democratic force need to collect and concentrate our energies on restoring our progressive vector that we have lost ages ago. If we fail, I truly fear our great nation will be no longer.. and join the ranks of other failed empires.. (Does the fall of Rome ring a bell, anyone??)
    peace, take care, and take care of someone else…..

  62. Ric says

    Personally, I am not a Christian, as Gandhi said, “I very much desired to be a Christian, until I met one”, he also said “I like your Christ. I do not like your Christians.” Please do not tell me I must live my live according to your Christian beliefs. I treat people well and expect the same back. My rights are guaranteed by the Constitution, and I will vote for the candidate that will most likely support my rights. Obama.

  63. says

    On June 29 2006 the US Sup Ct. overturned the arrest of two gay Texans for homosexual conduct. Texas fought FIERCELY, the whole way. I remembering actually crying, bawling really, when I heard the decision- Justice Scalia is totally homophobic, and has said so in his decisions (our American legacy…ouch.)Never thought the case would go this way…
    Homophobia doesn’t come any larger than in Texas. BO is a brave gentleman, apparently, and this is definitely tipping the scales in his favor in my mind.
    But lest we forget- the friendly faced Al Gore penned the defense of marriage act (DOMA), basically invalidating the legality of same sex marriages despite the constitution’s clause that we honor in one state what was done in another.
    I would not have pegged him as someone to take LGBT rights away, but he did.

  64. carolyn says

    barack Obama is one of the bravest politicians in the world today and I hope he wins your presidency. However, it is very sad that Americans are so backward that they still let some ancient book tell them how to think instead of thinking for themselves! The Bible may say those verses about homosexuality. However, it ALSO says that we should stone people who commit adultry, not wear clothing that mixes cotton with wool, and not eat pork– so unless every single Christian who runs around saying homosexuality is a sin is also abstaining from pork, supporting stoning to death every single adulterer, and wear only pure wool or cotton clothing AT ALL TIMES, they are hypocrites!

    Love is love is love–and love makes the world go around. How can you call yourself a Christian and be against love? Wasn’t it Jesus who said, when someone asked him how people would recognise his followers, that “They will know us because of our love for everyone”???

  65. John says

    BTW, Obama did win Beaumont by a wide margin in yesterday’s primary.

    Of course, the really big story was Hillary’s lopsided wave in Southern Texas, where Hispanic voters from El Paso to Laredo turned out to support her in droves.

    However, the fact that Obama carried Beaumont so convincingly suggests that the anti-homophobic message isn’t as kryptonite as some would have us believe. At least when it comes to these (mostly black) Democratic voters.

  66. says

    These are strange times. We are seriously considering electing a black man (or a woman) as President of the United States. A giant leap for this country. But we far less willing to give equal rights and equal protection to non-heterosexual citizens. We still have a long way to go.

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