Barack Obama Writes Open Letter to LGBT Community

***
Open Letter from Barack Obama to the LGBT community

I’m running for President to build an America that lives up to our founding promise of equality for all – a promise that extends to our gay brothers and sisters. It’s wrong to have millions of Americans living as second-class citizens in this nation. And I ask for your support in this election so that together we can bring about real change for all LGBT Americans.

Equality is a moral imperative. That’s why throughout my career, I have fought to eliminate discrimination against LGBT Americans. In Illinois, I co-sponsored a fully inclusive bill that prohibited discrimination on the basis of both sexual orientation and gender identity, extending protection to the workplace, housing, and places of public accommodation. In the U.S. Senate, I have co-sponsored bills that would equalize tax treatment for same-sex couples and provide benefits to domestic partners of federal employees. And as president, I will place the weight of my administration behind the enactment of the Matthew Shepard Act to outlaw hate crimes and a fully inclusive Employment Non-Discrimination Act to outlaw workplace discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation and gender identity.

As your President, I will use the bully pulpit to urge states to treat same-sex couples with full equality in their family and adoption laws. I personally believe that civil unions represent the best way to secure that equal treatment. But I also believe that the federal government should not stand in the way of states that want to decide on their own how best to pursue equality for gay and lesbian couples — whether that means a domestic partnership, a civil union, or a civil marriage. Unlike Senator Clinton, I support the complete repeal of the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA) – a position I have held since before arriving in the U.S. Senate. While some say we should repeal only part of the law, I believe we should get rid of that statute altogether. Federal law should not discriminate in any way against gay and lesbian couples, which is precisely what DOMA does. I have also called for us to repeal Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell, and I have worked to improve the Uniting American Families Act so we can afford same-sex couples the same rights and obligations as married couples in our immigration system.

The next president must also address the HIV/AIDS epidemic. When it comes to prevention, we do not have to choose between values and science. While abstinence education should be part of any strategy, we also need to use common sense. We should have age-appropriate sex education that includes information about contraception. We should pass the JUSTICE Act to combat infection within our prison population. And we should lift the federal ban on needle exchange, which could dramatically reduce rates of infection among drug users. In addition, local governments can protect public health by distributing contraceptives.

We also need a president who’s willing to confront the stigma – too often tied to homophobia – that continues to surround HIV/AIDS. I confronted this stigma directly in a speech to evangelicals at Rick Warren’s Saddleback Church, and will continue to speak out as president. That is where I stand on the major issues of the day. But having the right positions on the issues is only half the battle. The other half is to win broad support for those positions. And winning broad support will require stepping outside our comfort zone. If we want to repeal DOMA, repeal Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell, and implement fully inclusive laws outlawing hate crimes and discrimination in the workplace, we need to bring the message of LGBT equality to skeptical audiences as well as friendly ones – and that’s what I’ve done throughout my career. I brought this message of inclusiveness to all of America in my keynote address at the 2004 Democratic convention. I talked about the need to fight homophobia when I announced my candidacy for President, and I have been talking about LGBT equality to a number of groups during this campaign – from local LGBT activists to rural farmers to parishioners at Ebenezer Baptist Church in Atlanta, where Dr. Martin Luther King once preached.

Just as important, I have been listening to what all Americans have to say. I will never compromise on my commitment to equal rights for all LGBT Americans. But neither will I close my ears to the voices of those who still need to be convinced. That is the work we must do to move forward together. It is difficult. It is challenging. And it is necessary.

Americans are yearning for leadership that can empower us to reach for what we know is possible. I believe that we can achieve the goal of full equality for the millions of LGBT people in this country. To do that, we need leadership that can appeal to the best parts of the human spirit. Join with me, and I will provide that leadership. Together, we will achieve real equality for all Americans, gay and straight alike.

***END

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Comments

  1. AdamN says

    Obama has won me over. I think he has made up for the McClurkin thing and I think its in our best interest to move past that incident.
    His language in the statement regarding civil unions makes me feel that although we may not get marriage with him in office we may well be moving more successfully getting it in all but in name and on the path to getting even getting the name as well.
    Most of all I think the viscous talk from some of the pro-Clinton folks needs to calm down. It is looking very likely that Obama will be our nominee at this point. We all need to come together to support him because the ultimate goal is to defeat McCain, who would be a disaster for our community and our nation.

  2. Derrick from Philly says

    This is good as it gets, gay fellas & gay gals. You’re not going get a president any better on GLBT issues than this future president–not anytime soon. Took me a while to get on the Obama bandwagon, but now that I’m on it it’s all the way, baby!

    Y’all ought to thank God for him…or thank whatever the hell you believe in.

  3. tk says

    Bah, I’m so sick of stupid responses by people like Mike. Stop buying into media talking points and look at politics for what it truly is. For fuck’s sake, politics is mostly made of words and empty promises from everyone involved. The idea that any candidate one supports has one’s own interests at heart is naive and laughable. News flash people: candidates, just like the government they aspire to lead, only have rational self-interest in mind.

  4. the queen says

    my esteemed sister from the east coast, Miss Derrick, is right, my dears… this is truly historic, has any candidate ever dared to come out so openly in our favor? i just hope he and hillary make up and join forces to overcome the powers of political darkness that threaten us all.

  5. matt says

    Sorry Barack… too little, too late. Where was this letter months ago, before you were racking up the wins & the campaign contributions? The media buys this week are so inconsequential — we need to stop grasping at such token acts.

  6. Michael Bedwell says

    Don’t j’all luv the halo effect behind my head in that picture? There are DOZENS like it out there! It’s almost as if news photographers were on my payroll! Now, here’s my first draft of this letter that I’m only sharing with YOU:

    I’m running for President to build an America that lives up to our founding promise of equality for all – a promise that extends to our gay brothers and sisters

    >>>>>EXCEPT FOR THAT LITTLE MARRIAGE THING. I NEVER PROMISED YOU A ROSE GARDEN [THAT’S WHAT I’M HEADED FOR :- ) ] — NOR ORANGE BLOSSOMS AT YOUR WEDDING.

    It’s wrong to have millions of Americans living as second-class citizens in this nation.

    >>>>>EXCEPT FOR THAT LITTLE MARRIAGE THINGY, THEN IT’S RIGHT

    Equality is a moral imperative.

    >>>>>EXCEPT WHEN I SAY IT’S NOT.

    That’s why throughout my career, I have fought to eliminate discrimination against LGBT Americans.

    >>>>>ACTUALLY NOT UNTIL AFTER I’D ALREADY BEEN IN THE ILLINOIS SENATE FOR FOUR YEARS….BUT WHO’S COUNTING? CERTAINLY NOT THE GAYS I’VE PLAYED FOR STUPID ALL THESE MONTHS.

    In Illinois, I co-sponsored a fully inclusive bill that prohibited discrimination

    >>>>>EXCEPT WHEN MY HELP WAS NEEDED MOST AND I WAS TOO BUSY CAMPAIGNING FOR MY NEXT HIGHER OFFICE TO EVEN BECOME A CO-SPONSOR OF THE BILL THAT HAD THE BEST CHANCE OF PASSING….AND THEN THERE WAS THAT LITTLE THING ABOUT LYING AND SAYING I WAS THE ONE WHO PASSED IT WHEN I WASN’T EVEN AROUND THEN. GOOD GOLLY MISS MOLLY THOSE GAYS WILL BELIEVE ANYTHING! ROTFLMAO

    In the U.S. Senate, I have co-sponsored bills that would equalize tax treatment for same-sex couples and provide benefits to domestic partners of federal employees.

    >>>>>OOOPS, SORRY I FORGOT TO MENTION SEN. CLINTON DID, TOO.

    And as president, I will place the weight of my administration behind the enactment of the Matthew Shepard Act to outlaw hate crimes and a fully inclusive Employment Non-Discrimination Act to outlaw workplace discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation and gender identity.

    >>>>>OF COURSE, HILLARY WOULD DO BUT, SHHHHHH….

    As your President, I will use the bully pulpit to urge states to treat same-sex couples with full equality in their family and adoption laws.

    >>>>>YEH, SORRY, WE’RE STILL TRYING TO FIND MY DICTIONARY. SOMEONE KEEPS CLAIMING I DON’T UNDERSTAND THE MEANING OF “FULL.” [BUT I STILL GOT THE GAYS VOTES ANYWAY. ROTFLMAO.]

    I personally believe that civil unions represent the best way to secure that equal treatment.

    >>>>>WHAT???? WOULD I TRADE MY MARRIAGE FOR YOUR CIVIL UNION? DO YOU THINK I’M STUPID?????

    But I also believe that the federal government should not stand in the way of states that want to decide on their own how best to pursue equality for gay and lesbian couples

    >>>>>PAY NO ATTENTION TO THE FACT THAT WHAT I’M ACTUALLY SAYING IS I BELIEVE I SHOULD NOT STAND IN THE WAY OF STATES DOING WHATEVER THEY DAMN WANT—IF THAT MEANS BANNING ANY KIND OF LEGAL RECOGNITION FOR GAY COUPLES…TOUGH

    Unlike Senator Clinton, I support the complete repeal of the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA)

    >>>>>SURE, SURE. I KNOW THIS IS LEGALLY POINTLESS. MY LAW PROFESSOR TOLD ME SO. HE TOLD REPORTERS THAT, TOO, BEFORE WE DRAGGED HIS FLAPPING JAWS BACK TO THE HIVE. GAYS DIDN’T PAY ATTENTION SO MY HAT TRICK HAS WORKED ALL THIS TIME—WHY SHOULD I STOP USING IT NOW. ROTFLMAO.

    Federal law should not discriminate in any way against gay and lesbian couples,

    >>>>>DID I MENTION SEN. CLINTON AGREES? OOOPS, FORGET I SAID THAT!
    I have also called for us to repeal Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell

    >>>>>AND I’VE PLEDGED TO CONSULT THE PENTAGON ABOUT IT…AFTER ALL , THEY LUV THE GAYS.

    I have worked to improve the Uniting American Families Act

    >>>>>DID I MENTION SEN CLINTON HAS, TOO. KEEP FORGETTING THOSE KIND OF THINGS.

    The next president must also address the HIV/AIDS epidemic.

    >>>>>WHY DO I ONLY WANT FIVE BILLION DOLLARS MORE TO FIGHT AIDS WHILE SEN. CLINTON WANTS AT LEAST TWENTY? NO EXCUSE. BUT GAYS AREN’T PAYING ATTENTION SO….

    …science….common sense. … sex education… combat infection within our prison population….needle exchange…

    >>>>>DITTO SEN. CLINTON BUT DON’T TELL ANYBODY—PARTICULARLY THE GAYS—I ADMITTED THAT.

    … we need to bring the message of LGBT equality to skeptical audiences as well as friendly ones

    >>>>>DONNIE MCCLURKIN AND MY PAL REV. JAMES MEEKS STILL HATES YOUR STINKY ASSES BUT IS THAT MY FAULT?

    …I brought this message of inclusiveness to all of America in my keynote address at the 2004 Democratic convention.

    >>>>>WHERE I ESSENTIALLY SAID, “SOME OF MY BEST FRIENDS ARE GAY.” THERE’S THE GUY WHO DOES MICHELLE’S HAIR….THERE’S ERIC STERN THOUGH HE’S ON PROBATION FOR SUPPORTING EDWARDS FIRST…THERE’S….UH….GIVE ME A MINUTE….I HAD THEIR NAMES WRITTEN ON THE BACK OF MY DICTIONARY…..

    I talked about the need to fight homophobia when I announced my candidacy for President

    >>>>>>ACTUALLY I ONLY TALKED ABOUT NOT BLAMING GAYS FOR THINGS LIKE TRAFFIC JAMS BUT…DIDN’T MENTION HOMOPHOBIA OR FIGHTING IT AT ALL….BUT Y’ALL HAVE THOSE SPECIAL GAY EARS WHERE I SAY ONE THING AND YOU HEAR ANOTHER…I THINK I’LL COIN A NEW WORD “QUEARS”…GET IT? “QUEER” AND “EARS”?…..SORRY: ROTFLMAO [GOT TO STOP—RUINING MY NICE SUIT HERE!]

    …and I have been talking about LGBT equality to a number of groups during this campaign – from local LGBT activists to rural farmers to parishioners at Ebenezer Baptist Church in Atlanta,

    >>>>>OK OK OK. I SAID NOTHING ABOUT LGBT EQUALITY IN ATLANTA….AND REALLY ONLY WHEN ASKED ABOUT IT ANYWHERE…..BUT I TALKED ABOUT HUGGING HOMOS….DON’T Y’ALL LIKE A GOOD HUG? OK OK OK…YOU’LL BE JUST AS SECOND CLASS AFTERWARD AS YOU WERE BEFORE ….BUT IT WAS A….FIRST…CLASS….HUG!

    I will never compromise on my commitment to equal rights for all LGBT Americans.

    >>>>>EXCEPT FOR WHEN I NEED PEOPLE LIKE DONNIE MCCLURKIN TO GET HOMOHATER VOTES FOR ME [NOTE TO SELF: ASK DONNY WHAT HE’S SINGING AT INAUGURATION]…EXCEPT WHEN I NEED PEOPLE LIKE MY HOMOHATING CLOSE FRIEND REV. MEEKS TO KEEP HELPING ME GET ELECTED [NOTE TO SELF: ASK JIMBO ABOUT PRAYER AT INAUGURATION…BUT REMEMBER TO TELL HIM TO TAKE THE GAYS OUT OF THIS HALLOWEEN HELL HOUSE THIS YEAR…TOO CLOSE TO ELECTION]

    But neither will I close my ears to the voices of those who still need to be convinced.

    >>>>>YEH, MY EARS HEARD DONNIE SCREAM “GOD DELIVERED ME FROM HOMOSEXUALITY!” WONDER IF I SHOULD ASK FOR A CUT OF ALL THE CDS HE SOLD THAT NIGHT—AFTER ALL I PAID FOR THE STAGE AND MICROPHONE. STILL HAVEN’T CONVINCED JIMBO EITHER…DAMN! WHY DID HE HAVE TO VOTE AGAINST THAT GAY RIGHTS BILL?…MEH. GAYS NEVER PAID ATTENTION ANYWAY. ROTFLMAO…I HAVE GOT TO TAKE THIS SUIT OFF WHENEVER I WRITE THESE THINGS TO THE GAYS….

    …full equality for the millions of LGBT people in this country. … we will achieve real equality

    >>>>>STOP WITH THE DICTIONARY!!! WORDS MEAN WHAT I SAY THEY MEAN! I CONTROL THE HORIZONTAL. I CONTROL THE VERTICAL.

    To do that, we need leadership that can appeal to the best parts of the human spirit.

    >>>>>OK OK OK. MAYBE NOT MCCLURKIN. MAYBE NOT JIMBO. BUT HEY! I BEEN BUSY CLIMBING BARACK’S LADDER. [NOTE TO SELF: THAT’S A GOOD ONE. HAVE DONNIE REWRITE LYRIC TO SING AT INAUGURAL]…AND AFTER WE WIN THE WHITE HOUSE I WILL RUN FOR ANOTHER AND ANOTHER….WHAT DID YOU JUST SAY??? …YOU MEAN?….ARE YOU SURE?….MICHELLE!!!!!!!!!!!!!…….SO NOT ROTFLMAO.

  7. says

    i too am late to the obama party – and i still think hillary would make for a more prepared president on day one, but that fact has lost some importance to me over the past couple of months. seeing what obama inspires in people and FINALLY hearing from him on issues i care deeply about in substantive terms has brought me around. he has my full support and i hope he can count on all you fellow hillary supporters to bring about the kind of change that will make a difference for all of us…

  8. Matthieu says

    If anyone watched the mtv/myspace last stand question and answer session with the candidates before Super Tuesday. Obama cam right out and said he is not in favor of gay marriage but civil unions. i know that personally for the same reasons that i can not support McCain after he allowed us to continue to torture POW. I cannot stand behind a black man that supports separate but equal.

  9. matthew says

    @ TK, are you supporting Obama for a single issue? That is playing into the media game as much as reiterating a vague statement like “more words”. What about his stance on the war? He’s going to send 7,000 troops to Afghanistan to fight Al-Qaeda? He sounds like John Mccain. Obama gets military contractor contributions so of course he supports private mercenaries like Blackwater who (if you have forgotten) continue to behave as if they are above the law with no oversight or consequences. The tortue and innocent deaths will continue. What about nuclear weapons? Can we agree that no one ought to have these? Why does he keep the option of striking Iran with these bombs? Because Iran wants them? They only want them because their scared shit of the US. We are the only country to ever have used nuclear bombs, we did it TWICE and on a civilian population. What’s even crazier is that I havent heard a single word on what to do with Bush and Cheney, their abuse of executive power and disregard for the constitution. Is obama going to rule within the extended powers that cheney and congress have bequeathed onto the presidency? Im not saying clinton is better than obama, not at all. it doesn’t matter who you pick for president, there won’t be change from them. Change comes from the collective work of indiviudals fighting for their rights. some dude you vote for isn’t just going to give it to you.

  10. AdamN says

    Jesus, Michael Bedwell…get a grip.
    Its this kind of crap that I’m getting really sick of. Hillary and Obama are not that different in regards to gay rights. Either would be VASTLY preferable to anything from the right side of the aisle. So its time to calm down with this divisive nonsense.

  11. Derrick from Philly says

    Yeah, Michael Bedwell, so after all that, we got your vote, right? Good. Now, you tell MATT to come to reality and realize it’s a choice between McCain and Obama. That’s your choice, MATT.

    But you’re right about that picture of Barack, Michael. He looks sexy with that halo around his pretty head–like a sexy, slim angel.

  12. JDG NYC says

    Michael Bedwell, you are so completely out of touch. This is a historic and hopeful sign that in the future the LGBT community will not have to display your level of jadedness.

  13. Michael Bedwell says

    Eeewww, Derrick, O’s got a bony ass… Give me Shemar Moore or Terrence Howard [please!]. LOL.

    But your main point is well taken. As much as I hope a miracle happens and O doesn’t get the nomination [fat chance], if he does as expected:

    EVERY GAY VOTER WHO VALUES NOT JUST WHAT’S BETTER FOR GAYS BUT THE WORLD’S FUTURE MUST SUPPORT OBAMA OVER JOHN “ANOTHER HUNDRED YEARS IN IRAQ—THAT PRETTY LOBBYIST WAS ON FIRE WHEN I SAT DOWN ON HER” McCAIN!

    At this point, my FACTUAL dissents on Obama are merely submitted with the hope of eating into his vote totals so his head doesn’t explode BEFORE he can be sworn in. And, let me tell you something, Ernie, the moment he is do NOT fucking let your guards down. We are WAAAAAAY down on his list of priorities no matter how broadly he smile fucks us now or then. We start making DEMANDS right away or NOTHING will happen.

    But McCain? He would be the political equivalent of nuclear winter if elected. And don’t even THINK of simply not voting for anyone. Don’t be silly—look what the Nadernuts brought us!

  14. Adam says

    “more words.” Apparently you don’t understand that words are the currency of politics. What else does a candidate have? What do you want, someone to ride in on a unicorn and enforce legal gay marriage at the point of a spear? It’s ridiculous to think that candidates have any other option than to EXPLAIN to us, WITH WORDS, what their intent is.

    As to his personal support for gay marriage vs. civil unions. This will matter when the ultimate decision will fall to the President whether or not to allow gay marriage; that will be never. Marriage is a state issue, and the pledge to repeal DOMA, urge states to recognize gay unions, then a pledge to support full-blown marriage if that’s what states decide is the best you’re going to get.

    Further, a Supreme Court justice from Obama will almost certainly support gay rights, unlike conservative justices who wanted sodomy to remain illegal because they thought it was icky.

  15. Minh says

    Frankly, if running her own campaign is any indication of how Hillary will run the country, forget it! She has run, perhaps, the worst campaign I’ve ever seen. She should have fired Mark Penn ages ago. And who the hell pays $4 million for a consultant? She had to lend her campaign $5 million which probably all went to Penn anyway.

    Neither McCain, Clinton, nor Obama have any elected executive experience. The only executive experience all three of them share is running their own presidential campaigns. And as we have seen, Obama has managed his by far better than anyone could have imagined. That’s real leadership and that truly shows he’s ready right now.

  16. Bob R says

    This Bedwell character is becoming a crashing boor. Whatever happened to Leland Francis? Although Leland was occasionally sarcastic and obnoxious, he offered cogent arguments backed up with facts. I miss him. I think it was the crazy Canadian preacher that finally drove him away. Too bad. As for Obama, he can make promises as all politicians do, but I doubt he’ll accomplish much once elected. Like it or not, this is a very conservative country we live in and change comes very slowly. The African-American waited many years and suffered much pain before the Civil Rights Act of 1964 came about. The Gay Rights movement (if such a movement really exists) has a long way to go and a lot of work to do before real equality is achieved. I don’t think our Republic will be around that long.

  17. Rufus says

    Sure…. words they are.

    But I can’t tell you how much it would have meant to me as a 15-year-old growing up in suburban Boston who had never known another gay person to have heard the potential leader of the free world embrace us people like this…. Or to my Mom and Dad who were terrified about the way the country would react to their gay kid.

    This matters, more than any of us could possibly imagine.

    Mr. Obama, you grow more and more presidential by the moment.

  18. Wes says

    Any presidential candidate who comes out and says “I SUPPORT GAY MARRIAGE” will NOT become president. Thats the sad truth. Most of the candidates realize this. I feel like many politicians who oppose gay marriage really don’t on a personal level. You have to be stupid to seriously run for president and come out saying something that will secure your loss.

    I don’t think Obama will stop gay marriage, he just won’t work to bring it about. I think he probably doesn’t give a sh*t about it personally, like most politicians, but cannot openly support it due to the prevalent stupidity of the electorate.

  19. J R says

    To Michael Bedwell
    Wow, lets see, who gave us DOMA, oh thats right CLINTON, who gave us DADT, oh that’s right CLINTON.
    The two biggest pieces of anti gay legislation at the Federal Level in 20 years both done by CLINTON. (Sorry, she doesn’t get out of this by blaming Bill since 8 of her 35 or 42 or whatever years of experience she supposedly has were First Lady).

    And the difference between Obama and Hillary on repealling part or all of DOMA are not insignificant like you claim.

    so go back on your HRC bandwagon and play victim politics for the rest of your life

  20. matthieu says

    @Wes – While no candidate can “SUPPORT GAY MARRIAGE” saying that you personally believe that marriage is between a man and a woman and traveling the country with anti-gay pastors sends me the message that you are towing the line. While other DEMs have towed the line for the right by not openly “SUPPORTING GAY MARRIAGE” some have not interjected their faith into the equation the way that both Edwards and Obama have. Again, what bothers me is that he is supporting a separate but equal “tolerance” of homosexuality. Obama is just pandering to the gay community and it is time WE stand together behind a candidate that will really stand for our equal rights.

  21. Cadence says

    I forgot he that he spoke at Saddleback Church, which upset a lot of people who attend that church. I’ve been wrongly accusing him of limiting his speeches about intolerance to mostly Black audiences, but that speech, which occurred early in his candidacy further shows his goal to work with people of differing opinions, and tell them how he feel even though they may not agree with him. And that was a hostile audience, since they didn’t agree with him on a lot of things, including abortion.

  22. The Realist says

    Posted by: Adam | Feb 28, 2008 3:28:59 PM

    “As to his personal support for gay marriage vs. civil unions. This will matter when the ultimate decision will fall to the President whether or not to allow gay marriage; that will be never. Marriage is a state issue, and the pledge to repeal DOMA, urge states to recognize gay unions, then a pledge to support full-blown marriage if that’s what states decide is the best you’re going to get.”

    You state that marriage is a states issue. Is discrimination a States Issue?

    Its only a states issue is they allow it to be a States issue. I support the earlier post by Matthieu. I cannot support a black man who supports the ” separate but equal” Jim Crow Laws for the LGBT community. It has never worked. Ask New Jersey.

    Besides, he states that his religion prevents him from supporting full marriage for LGBT. WTF? he’s part of Universal Church of Christ. Apart from MCC and the The Unitarian Church,it is the most inclusive church for LGBT communities, so im not sure where that comes from.

    And while we are on the subject of His church,it has distanced itself from the Greater Universal Church of Christ in that it’s preacher is not in full support of LGBT causes.He says he disagrees with his minister, but he has said this before.

  23. Michael Bedwell says

    Actually, JR, they were the biggest pieces of explicitly “antigay” legislation in our history, though DADT merely was a version by statute of what had previously been Pentagon policies [that’s right, Dummy, GAYS WERE DISCHARGED BEFORE DADT!]. But your ignorance about that is not surprising given your argument to absurdity that they were simply “done by Clinton.” Sorry, Dude, as much as he might like to be, Bill is not on the ballot. If you’re too stupid to separate the difference, that’s not my problem. And you no matter how many times you try to deny the facts, WANT to believe they’re not true because that would tarnish your image of Obama On The Cross, his alleged superiority over Sen. Clinton on DOMA is just like Elaine’s orgasms on
    “Seinfeld”—fake fake fake fake fake…..

  24. Wes says

    “Besides, he states that his religion prevents him from supporting full marriage for LGBT. WTF? he’s part of Universal Church of Christ. Apart from MCC and the The Unitarian Church,it is the most inclusive church for LGBT communities, so im not sure where that comes from.”

    He’s lying. Its not his religion, its electability. But he’s a politican, he knows he can’t actually say that.

  25. The Realist says

    He’s lying. Its not his religion, its electability. But he’s a politican, he knows he can’t actually say that.

    Posted by: Wes | Feb 28, 2008 4:07:42 PM
    Post a comment

    Exactly. I’ve said it before. It is a reach around for the LGBT community. Nothing more.

  26. Cadence says

    Realist, I heard from someone yesterday who goes to his church, and he said that they are very welcoming to the gay members of the church. Where did you hear that this is not true?

  27. dvortex says

    I am really curious what Sen Obama has been doing to “worked to improve the Uniting American Families Act” since he has not sponsored the bill. I called his office (in DC) and they were unable to offer me any answer other than, I can get someone to call you back. Same answer I have been given for the past year. All this while, honest Americans are forced to leave the country with their partner to live in exile in one of the 19 countries that allow gay immigration.

    If you really support the LGBT community, why not introduce or sponsor some legislation to match your words?

  28. Derrick From Philly says

    “I cannot support a black man who supports the ‘Separate But Equal’ Jim Crow laws…”

    Well, could you support a Guatemalan? What about an Ukrainian? An Ashkenazi? But you CAN’T support a blaaaaaaack man who supports “separate but equal”…Nooooh!

    I understand your message, but it doesn’t play anymore: “blacks ought to know better because they complain so much about discrimination” Yeah, I know where you’re coming from. But you CAN make an exception in this case. Sure you can. Every time you sit down in a gay bar that is 90% white or 90% black, you are accepting the “separate but equal” doctrine. So, voting for Obama will not be a vote for Jim Crow for gay people, it’ll be a vote for the first presidential nominee (from a major party) to reach out this far to GLBT Americans.

    “…cannot vote for a blaaaaack man who supports ‘Separate But Equal’….” Chile, please.

    It’s Obama Time!

  29. soulbrotha says

    Some of you queens bitched and moaned about his lack of response to the LGBT community. And now that he has, you STILL aren’t satisfied. If the man came out in full support of gay marriage, it would not matter one whit. I don’t believe you give a damn about the issues as long as YOUR candidate wins. And if he gets the Dem. nomination, I will bet that you criticize his every word while turning a blind eye to that disaster, John McCain. Old habits die hard, I guess.

    Whatever.

    GO OBAMA!!

  30. The Realist says

    I don’t believe you give a damn about the issues as long as YOUR candidate wins. And if he gets the Dem. nomination, I will bet that you criticize his every word while turning a blind eye to that disaster, John McCain. Old habits die hard, I guess.

    Whatever.

    GO OBAMA!!

    Posted by: soulbrotha | Feb 28, 2008 4:31:22 PM

    Not at all. I will support the Democratic nominee whether it is Hillary or Obama. Which is more than most of the Obama supporters have been willing to say.

    I will hold Hillary to the same standard as i have Obama. She has alot explaining to do, also. I’m just not comfortable with Obama’s “look at my right hand and don’t pay attention to my left hand” approach.

  31. Derrick from Philly says

    THE REALIST:

    Up until 1967, when my family traveled down to Georgia to visit the rest of our family, there were either no restrooms for us at gas stations or a “Colored Only” restroom. Often I chose to use the bushes because the “Colored Only” restrooms had giant bugs & frogs in them…probably snakes too. I remember “Jim Crow”, THE REALIST, and Barack Obama is not preaching Jim Crow standards for gay people.

    “race baiting” WTF Don’t talk to me like I’m one of those damn politicians. Talk “real” to me, man.

  32. Jersey says

    Its more than I’ve seen out of any of them so far. Its also a good start. For him to pu this out right now before next tuesday’s primaries is pretty bold imo. I was big time pissed at him for McClurkin but he’s been taking steps to make it up to me recently. And, like I said earlier, he’s better on this than all the others who actually have a shot at becoming president. Hills hubby was telling Kerry to vote against us just last election. I don’t trust her in the least little bit.

  33. Cadence says

    Realist, how dare you say Derrick or anyone else has experienced. Why don’t you deal with Derrick’s point. Why are you holding Obama to a different standard than the other candidates? Why does he have to recognize that seperate isn’t equal, but none of the non-Black candidates have to. Why are you ignoring Hillary’s initial support for DADT and DOMA, and her claim that they were the right thing at the time. Or her claim that the time isn’t right to fight for marriage equality. Why does she get a pass for saying that public opinion trumps people’s rights.

    And how can somone seriously saying that Obama is just talking when he has sponsored or co-sponsored LGBT positive legislation in the past?

  34. soulbrotha says

    I’m just not comfortable with Obama’s “look at my right hand and don’t pay attention to my left hand” approach.

    Posted by: The Realist | Feb 28, 2008 4:42:19 PM

    Well REALIST, I’m not sure what you mean by that, but I feel more comfortable with that than Hillary’s “pay attention to HIS hands, not mine” approach!

  35. mark says

    How nice of senator Obama to distribute this right before the Texas and Ohio primaries where he needs a win to knock Hillary Out. I’ve got news for you Senator Obama…Its not going to work, the majority of the GLBT community stands with the prson who has always fought for our rights…Hillary Clinton.

  36. MCnNYC says

    So Barack Thanks for taking out ads in the GAY MEDIA (aka bar rags?)cause we all read them esp in Texas and Ohio.

    AND Thanks for the “fully inclusive” ENDA but not the “fully inclusive” MARRIAGE?!?

    Oh right we need to get what we can and go about this incrementally. Cause politally that is the best we can get …at this time of course…Hmm now where did I hear that stragedy before…NGLTF..LAmbda Legal PFLAG are you ready for this?

  37. says

    When will we find out about the VP candidates?
    I’d rather vote for a Republican candidate like McCain knowing he’s basically brain dead and his VP will be running the country(kinda like Bush/Cheney)than for either Egobama or Hillary at this point.

  38. Reggie says

    People, DON’T drink the Kool Aid !!! Sorry Obama. But where was all this effort when you had McClurkin by your side? THAT showed your true feelings more than you realize. Everything after that is just spin! Not all CHANGE is good. Change without experience is what ended us up where we are today. See gw bush in the history books.

  39. Wes says

    If your unrealistic expectations of Obama were met, he would not have a chance of becoming president. If Clinton met those same expectations, which she doesn’t, she wouldn’t have a chance either.

    “In protest, there must never be any compromise. In politics, there is always compromise.”

    -Bayard Rustin

  40. Michael Bedwell says

    Cadence, the issue was Obama’s denominational affiliation, UCC, not the particular congregation he is part of. I have also heard that his in Chicago has gay-affirming programs—out gays are definitely welcome in their “singles ministry”—but I can’t find their position on marriage equality. My understanding, and Zeke from Florida is welcome to correct me if I’m wrong, is that while “marriage equality” is supported by the governing body of the denomination, unlike in some, individual church congregations within the denomination are free to make up their own minds. Whatever the beliefs of the leaders of the 8000-member Trinity United Church of Christ congregation, Obama has clearly gone against the beliefs of the denomination’s hierarchy.

  41. abracadaver says

    ADAM: The Supreme Court struck down all U.S. sodomy laws in 2003. I think Bedwell may be on to something…gay people are amazingly uneducated about their own issues. And the President of the U.S. has absolutely no right, power or ability to “approve” or “legalize” gay marriage. In fact, the federal government itself has no powers of any marriages, period. I guess gays (along with many of their African American counterparts) skipped history and civics, too. *GASP* My fault…how dare I say anything that could even be remotely construed as disparaging against the darker-skinned masses under the hypnotic sway of His Messianic Holiness, Senator NO-bama! Anyone else noticed how, historically, time and again, they cut the throats of any white persons who stand and fight with them as soon as it comes down to choosing between them and one of “their own?” Disgraceful. If I were a Clinton, I’d wash my hands of their ungrateful race once, for all, and for good.

    JR: DADT isn’t a piece of legislation, it is an official policy of the Department of Defense. Any executive can repeal it. If Senator NO-bama really was against it, he wouldn’t need to claim that he will “work” to repeal it; he could simply do it by executive order. Instead, he’ll do the same thing Bill did…which is to “negotiate” with “informed” members of the House and Senate, and then reach a “working compromise.” Pfft. Claptrap.

    “Obama time”? More like NO-bama time.

  42. noah says

    Given that George Bush won as string of state by using anti-gay messaging, this is actually a bold statement.

    Also, go back and look at the statements from John Kerry’s campaign staff that explained that Bill Clinton advised Kerry to support a Constitutional amendment banning gay marriage to win votes.

    At the end of the day, John McCain will appoint conservative onto the Supreme Court who will only be too happy deny or repeal hard won rights. Last year, the Supreme Court gutted Brown v. Board of Education, the landmark decision that overturned segregation in schools.

    Do you think that if McCain appoints more conservatives to the bench they won’t go back allow anti-sodomy to be put in place?

    This is a fight for the future of American civilization. The Republicans don’t care about average Americans and especially about gays or lesbians (who aren’t rich closeted ones like Larry Craig).

    Both Clinton and Obama have maintained that they are very close on issues. So, I’ll be happy to vote for either one for president though I would prefer Obama because I think he is for more sincere and competent to be a great president.

    And, let’s be honest, given the MESS that Bush has created, the next president is going to face a tremendous amount of work to fix things: housing disaster, economy, wars, social issues, etc.

  43. Michael Bedwell says

    Wes, Bayard Rustin also said, “We must never elevate charisma to greatness.” Ironically, Rustin [an ACTUAL great black man] is on the cover of the Ohio gay paper whose back cover features the Obama “exquisitely vague” ad, his face gazing heavenward, his hands at first appearing “in prayer” [I kid you not]—with nothing about any SPECIFIC LGBT “right” that the Repugs can throw back at him. See at http://www.outlookweekly.net/ ———but, NO, again: DO NOT VOTE FOR McCain UNDER ANY CIRCUMSTANCES!!!!!!!!!!!!

  44. says

    I voted for HRC but can’t see why any of her supporters could seriously feel Obama is some terrible choice. In particular, why would anyone buy the “just words” argument. Every political candidate says “words” when running, and the hope is they provide action upon election. There’s no need to seriously doubt Obama would do this if elected. He strikes me as a man of action and conviction. I love Hillary, but face facts, she voted for the war for no other reason than thinking “I am going to run for president.” That should count against her as a person of action just as much as any negatives about Obama (for example, voting “present” so many times). I think moderates and left-wingers and even some Republicans have two brilliant candidates among the Dems to choose from. It’s splitting hairs if you vote only on the issues. If you vote on personality and work style, then there is a bigger gap. But I think Obama having McClurkin sing for him (which DID piss me off) is meaningless in the grand scheme of things.

  45. jason says

    This is pure pandering by Obama. If he was so concerned about gay rights, he’d be putting those ads in the mainstream media, not the segregated gay media. It’s in the mainstream where the issue of gay rights needs to be engaged. Don’t forget that many gay people don’t read the gay media and have little interest in the commercial gay scene.

  46. GM says

    Michael Bedwell = Spam

    And to Mark at 5:14 — Nonsense. Like Texas and Ohio somehow are ruled by the gays? I would say, given the populace in both of those (red) states, this was a gamble on his part.

    Regardless, as stated often above, this is head-and-shoulders above anything else out of any other viable candidate for president.

    No one’s asking people to check their rationality and skepticism at the door. But when a candidate could have more to lose by making a statement like than than to gain, I cannot gainsay it.

  47. Michael Bedwell says

    abracadaver—however much you might agree with me about some things, your race baiting is repulsive.

    And you are wrong about DADT—it was passed by Congress into law: TITLE 10 Subtitle A PART II CHAPTER 37 § 654.

    As for the federal government and “marriage”—while true that it does not engage in legalizing or banning same gender relationships, DOMA defines what a “marriage” and what a “spouse” is [man/woman] for purposes of application of any federal law that involves one of those terms. Both Sen. Clinton and Obama want to see Congress repeal this so that federal rights and benefits can be extended to gay couples. Such extension will require more legistlation but that is the minimal first step.

  48. mark says

    Just to reply…Obama is free to do what he wants and Im glad he is taking a stance on things like this…it shows some character. Texas is critical and no Texas isnt full of members of the GLBT community, but when the elction is this close every vote counts. If he truly cared about our community this would have come out long ago. I stand with Hillary for everything she has already done for our community…she deserves our support and thats just the way i see it.

  49. abracadaver says

    Perhaps I am indulging in race-baiting, Bedwell. That’s a matter of opinion. But what I don’t see is anyone denying its true, because we all know that it is. Ask the Jews who allowed themselves en masse to be beaten, hosed, imprisoned, etc. in the 1960s, and then promptly lost their jobs in the NYC school district several years later because blacks decided that black children needed to be taught by other blacks or they “couldn’t learn.”

    I have no problem with your choice to be a race apologist. Why do you have a problem with me deciding to tell it like it is? You’d do well under fascism.

  50. Chrissie says

    like it or not, unless obama screws up big, he’s going to get the nomination. this statement, in all honesty, did not have to be made. he could have easily gone on to texas and ohio without saying one peep about LBGT rights. i think it’s easy to say “too little too late” but i think it’s a hard-headedness on hillary supporters’s part to cry out like this. the man is extremely level-headed and this statement goes to show that he is making an effort to let the LBGT community that they are not forgotten in the wake of hillary’s utter failure during this campaign.

    go obama 08.

  51. 24play says

    Mark,

    You make no sense. You criticize Obama for releasing this statement a few days before a handful of critical primaries. Well, when did Hillz release her open letter to the “LGBT community”? On the eve of the Duper Tuesday primaries, that’s when. So you’ll excuse me if I fail to draw any distinction between the two actions. They’re both politicians campaigning, trying to swing voters in every demographic. Obama at least put his money where his mouth is and paid for a few ads in key states before he released a statement designed to garner free press.

    And since it’s the reason you’re standing with Hillary, perhaps you can also elaborate on exactly what “everything she has already done for our community” includes? I’m coming up blank there, since I don’t recall her doing much of anything that her major Democratic competitors haven’t also done.

    It seems that, like so many of Hillary’s gay supporters—not to mention many of Obama’s—you’re just flailing about for ways to explain away your gut reaction to the two candidates.

  52. The Realist says

    It is not only the LGBT issue the we as the LGBT community should be voting. We need to be considering issues such as health care. Obama’s plan fall way short of doing anything for our HIV/AIDs brothers and sisters. Hillary’s plan goes much further in addressing those issues for the LGBT community.

    Single payer is the desired plan but full coverage for all Americans including the LGBT Americans is critical and needs addressed today, not years from now.

  53. Astonedtemple says

    So Obama releases what could be such a controversial letter that could throw his chances at the presidency and maybe, just maybe, victories in the next couple of primaries and the most of you can’t help but to see the glass half empty.

    Hell, the man didn’t have to bother reaching out to us. With this kind of reaction, who needs friends like us?

    I just don’t get the lot of you.

  54. Bryan B says

    More WORDS.
    We have Obama’s actions: touring with anti-gay gospel tour Donnie McClurkin to get votes in South Carolina. He refused to drop the guy from his tour.
    That action speaks louder than any words he could ever use.
    Obama is a sham. He tells the people he wants to vote for him what they want to hear. He needs conservative votes in SC, he tells them, “Look, I support the support of Donnie McClurkin.”
    He needs us gay folks’ votes in Ohio and Texas, and he writes us a letter full of empty words.

  55. el polacko says

    this all sounds very nice on its surface, but haven’t we, as a community, learned yet that wishing does not make it so ? as odious as DADT is to us, we should not forget that the previous policy was even worse… and, as hillary points out, elements of DOMA have been useful in preventing an all-out push for a constitutional amendment that would be FAR more damaging to any future legal recognition of our relationships. political changes in a democratic society are often slow and incremental. hasty moves often have more deleterious repurcussions than steady, focused steps, emotionally frustrating as that can be.
    as others here have mentioned, i might have been more impressed by this pie-in-the-sky, typically “inspirational” laundry list had it been placed in the national media rather than slipped into niche publications. granted, as a 15-year-old this ‘open letter’ would have brought tears to my eyes, but i’m a bit older now and can recognize a little cheap political pandering to snag a few extra votes when i see it. she’s not as showy, but hillary’s clear-eyed pragmatism stands to be far more helpful to us as we continue our march toward legal equality. i only hope that the obama bandwagon hasn’t already run roughshod over our making the wiser choice of a presidential candidate.

  56. Zeke says

    WES, it’s actually the UNITED CHURCH of Christ rather than the Universal Church of Christ.

    Mr. Bedwell is correct, our national denomination has endorsed FULL marriage equality, legal and spiritual, for all couples regardless of the genders of the pairings however not all congregations agree with or follow the national policy on this. The UCC is a Congregationalist church meaning that individual congregations have autonomy and aren’t required to follow the national churches decrees. Trinity, Obama’s church in Chicago doesn’t seem to have a publicly stated position on the issue of marriage equality but I’m pretty certain they don’t support it since they aren’t even an “Open and Affirming” congregation. OnA is an official designation that a congregation adopts, through a vote of its members, stating that they are open, affirming and inclusive of GLBT people in the FULL life and ministry of the church. I find it surprising and a bit shameful that a UCC congregation so devoted to civil rights and justice for African-Americans would not be Open and Affirming. It does seem that they have taken some baby steps over the last year toward becoming more open to and inclusive of (if not affirming if) gay people.

    On a related note, the UCC is now under investigation by the IRS because Obama spoke at our national Synod last year. He didn’t mention his campaign, none of his staffers or volunteers were allowed into the convention center, we were instructed to not bring ANY form of sign or other campaign paraphernalia into the event and it was specifically announced that he had been invited and accepted the invitation a year before he became a candidate. Obama spoke about his spiritual journey and the role that his twenty plus years as a member of the UCC played in his spiritual awakening to fight for social and economic justice just as Christ commanded. I was there and know that the investigation by the IRS is bogus and only meant to intimidate a liberal church that doesn’t support our current government’s every move the way the fundamentalists do. His speech is on DVD for anyone to see. WE, unlike our corrupt government, have nothing to hide.

    Oddly enough I’ve seen no sign that the IRS is investigating the Southern Baptist Convention for the MANY times Huckabee has given REAL and documented campaign speeches at Baptist churches, universities and conventions. I’m not holding me breath that they will.

  57. soulbrotha says

    El Polacko,
    “…but hillary’s clear-eyed pragmatism stands to be far more helpful to us…”

    Def. of Pragmatism: a practical approach to problems.

    Yes, her pragmatism shined through in the handling of her campaign. A true inspiration to us all.

    And thank you for my laugh of the day.

  58. David in Iowa says

    After campaigning for over 15 months and rubbing shoulders with 2 mondo anti-gay homophobe preachers I say too little too late. Hillary has been a great friend to the LGBT community for years. I’m supporting the best candidate for us, Hillary!!!!!!!

  59. astonedtemple says

    I actually feel sorry for the Hillary campaign. Their even having hard times paying up the vendors and caters who helped the campaign out. I’m wondering if Clinton is still in the race just to raise enough money to pay up without hurting herself.

  60. Bill Perdue, RainbowRED says

    In the Devil’s Dictionary Ambrose Bierce describes politics as “A strife of interests masquerading as a contest of principles. The conduct of public affairs for private advantage.” The views of Bierce, a real writer, were confirmed by Obama’s latest breathtaking escalation of hypocrisy.

    Obama’s dead set on locking up the nominating process by promising everyone everything. That explains the farce in Ohio. Obama and Clinton shamelessly lie about their common and long term support for NAFTA, When they denounce each other for supporting it for once they’re telling the truth. In fact bipartisan support for NAFTA, deregulation of corporate predators, tax cuts for the rich and cuts in welfare, unemployment insurance and heath care and the export of jobs have put us on the edge of economic chaos.

    In terms of the GLBT agenda both Obama and Billery continue to pander to bigots. But outrageous as Obama is as he hops into bed with bigoted vermin like Donnie McKulkin and Mary Mary, Billery Clinton goes way beyond him trawling for the votes of the senile bigots who dote on Pat Robertson, the bible fascist. She appeared on Pat Robertson’s CBN network to explain her deep commitment to ‘christian values’ like opposition to samesex marriage and to take a few cheap shots at Ralph Nader, a indisputable American hero. She bitterly explained that Nader is just a tool of the Republicans, the same slander she uses against Edwards, Obama and anyone else reckless enough to get in her way. Earlier Pat Robertson expressed his deep admiration for Clinton and congratulated her for ‘tacking to the right” as hard and as fast as she could.

    http://www.cbn.com/CBNnews/328257.aspx.

    As usual both Obama and Clinton continue to support the genocide in Iraq by funding it. Both oppose socialized medicine, full citizenship rights for immigrant and imported workers, samesex marriage and neither lifted a finger to stop Barney Frank, Pelosi Reid when they tossed gutted ENDA and then tossed it and the Matthew Shepard Hate Crimes bill overboard. Neither has presented motions to repeal DOMA, DADT and NAFTA or to impeach Bush and Cheney or call for an International War Crimes Tribunal.

    A vote for either is a vote for Bush Lite – more war, a deeper economic crisis and bigotry.

  61. patrick nyc says

    Man over 70 posts and so much heat, thank God, it’s cold here in NYC, 23 last time I checked.

    The truth is unless Hilary, and most of you regulars know I voted for her, pulls a rabbit out of her hat our choices are McShame and Obama, oh and that loser Nader.

    My Irish Catholic hardcore Republican sister told me last night she wants Obama. So as much as I told my 4 even more conservative brothers he’d never get the nomination in racist USA, they are the ones who said he will.

    I will vote for who ever we nominate. Please people look at the end results, Obama or McSleeze.

  62. Bosie says

    THIS SHOWS OUR TRUE COLORS WE ARE NOT LOYAL AND AT ANY MOMENT WE TURN OUR BACKS ON SOMEONE WHO HAS DONE ALOT FOR THE LGBT COMMUNITY AS HILLARY CLINTO HAS DONE.

    WHY NOT SUPPORT SOMEONE WHO HAS SHOWN US ALREADY …AND WILLING TO PUSH FURTHER….I stand by HIllary Clinton.

    I dont get why…here comes a man using “pretty words” buyign them, JUST LIKE BUSH did…yes im talking about all those who voted for Bush and now are going after Obama…>THEY ALREADY damged our country and want to take it further….DUMB DUMB DUMB………

    I STAND BY HILLARY CLINTO, BECAUSE A WOMAN WITH EXPERIENCE ISN’T A TREAT FOR A REAL AMERICAN.

  63. autumnal says

    I’m so sorry we forced you to through us under the bus in South Carolina, and I’m also sorry you were too worried about getting gay cooties from Mayor Newsom of San Francisco to have your picture taken with him, and I’m so sorry you felt the need to write this anemic attempt at fence mending.

    This is worth the paper it’s printed on…oh nevermind it’s Digital, not even important enough to give voice to since that might get a sound bite….yeah sorry you wrote it for sure.

    Your actions spoke for you, and with them you spoke volumes. Digital Epistles ain’t worth much thanks buh bye

  64. autumnal says

    actually only now after I just posted did it occur to me an answer some of my friends have been asking the last couple of hours…”why did he do this now?”

    Obama’s done little else but grudgingly mention gay people and usually run away or do overtly insulting things over gay people.

    The reason the Obama campaign has “released” this now is merely to increase his “cool factor”.

    Cynical ploy that isn’t going to do much for gay people but will make him look so cool and gay people sooooo “ungrateful” despite the crap he’s pulled, typical cute politician crap.

  65. AG says

    “and, as hillary points out, elements of DOMA have been useful in preventing an all-out push for a constitutional amendment that would be FAR more damaging to any future legal recognition of our relationships”

    Hmm, elsewhere another commenter said she stands against DOMA. To my knowledge, Clinton has defended this horrible sop to the fundies as recently as this year. If she thinks it should be repealed, I’d love to see a quote to support this. Most of what I’ve seen has her triangulating on this point to spin her defense of it in her favor.

    But I remember when it passed, in 1996, and it was a hostile Congress’ way of forcing Mr Clinton into either signing it into law and thus lend some prestige to Gingrich’s Congress, or to paint himself as some far-left anti-family liberal. It was one of the post-Reagan right’s earliest attempts at gay baiting, and the fact that it worked emboldened this approach for the next 10 years.

    Honestly, I don’t know if it really had any actual impact on foiling a federal amendment, given that the amendment had limited support among the Republicans, and even less among the American people. I do know that it is used *currently* as a cover-your-ass to any politician who is too timid to come out and take a stand on it one way or another.

    It’s not a good law, and yes, this is the federal government exercising power over marriage, where previously it had not. When Hilary defends it, I have to wonder why, given her support for ENDA. Does she do it rather than contradict the legacy of her husband? Or are her views still evolving? If it’s the former, that’s a troubling precedent. If it’s the latter, that’s just disappointing.

    And this is the crux of it: while I’m genuinely pleased to have a politician that can “evolve” unlike Bush, who seems to think it’s a point of pride not to take on new information that might contradict his decisions, she’s had to tack to the left in the Primaries to reconnect with her base. Which makes me wonder where she’ll be in the general election. How much are either of them going to have to backtrack?

  66. jason says

    I really don’t have much faith in Obama. Remember how he put anti-gay singer Donnie McGlurkin on his tour a couple of months back? Surely any person with a shred of decency would have avoided McGlurkin like the plague. It’s been on the public record for a long time that McGlurkin has decidedly anti-gay views. Face it – Obama is just another panderer playing identity politics to increase his vote.

  67. Michelle says

    Boy, Obama sure is lucky his parents met (and married?) in Hawaii, one of the few states to never have enacted an anti-miscegenation statute. Otherwise their marriage wouldn’t have been legal in all 50 states until Loving v. Virginia in 1967…. 6 years after Obama was born.

  68. David in SF says

    I’m reading a lot of the comments and it disappoints me.

    Someone mentioned abandoning Hillary. In my opinion, if we stood by principals and those that were truly consistent with our goals, we would have all voted for Dennis Kucinich. Sure, he had no chance of winning, but if he got 10 percent of the vote, the others might have looked harder at his positions.

    Obama has said many times that you need to talk with your enemies as well as your friends and he has taken heat for it on many occasions. Like it or not, he seems to want EVERYONE at the table and for me, that’s refreshing.

    Obama is also the first Presidential candidate that has mentioned the Uniting American Families Act (hasn’t signed on as a co-sponsor, which is disappointing). This may impact only a small portion of our community (those of us with foreign born partners), but for those that it does impact, it would make a major difference in our lives and futures.

    Obama gives me hope and he also challenges us to work together.

    Also, what kind of message are we sending to our children? I grew up thinking that anyone could become President of the United States… Now it seems that your last name has to be Clinton or Bush. I want a woman for President as much as anyone else and have long said it… But Hillary may not be the right woman at the point in time (I personally find her to be very divisive).

  69. Bry says

    Very well said, David in SF.

    I’m very proud of what our party has done here, to get this close to nominating an inspiring yet realistic person who may just really change our political system instead of just being another manipulative cog in it. For so many on this board to hang on for dear life to a horse that clearly is not worth hitching onto, well, it is really sad. Hillary has not changed her “fighting” style of politics over the last “35 years”, but the people in general are tired of her and Bush’s political style. YES – the fighting, the choose-sides-at-all-costs mentality. It really is tiring, isn’t it?

    If we, as the gay community, don’t reject her divisive politics then we are going down with the tired old ship. This guy is clearly on our side and believes in us and our issues – so my question is: Why are you holding onto a past that is CLEARLY not worth holding onto (Hillary – with DOMA, DATD, and all her other “successes” of the past “35 years!”), and not embracing a future that holds so much potential?????

  70. Michael Bedwell says

    ASTONEDTEMPLE:

    Sen. Clinton’s campaign announced today they’ve taken in $35 million in February—TWICE what they did in January. If Obama is such a consensus builder why can’t he get his own party members to stop voting for and donating to her and canonize …er nominate him by acclamation? Imagine the problems he’ll have in Congress with all those Repugs who don’t think he’s the Messiah.

    FOR AG:
    “As President, Hillary will replace the divisive leadership of the past six years. She will work with the LGBT community and allies in Congress to change laws. She knows that by working together, we can continue to work against hate and stand united for equality. Supports civil unions: Hillary will work to ensure that all Americans in committed relationships have equal benefits — from health insurance to life insurance, property rights, and more.” – http://www.hillaryclinton.com/feature/lgbt/

    FROM HRC CANDIDATES QUESTIONNAIRE; the relevant questions and Sen. Clinton’s responses:

    QUESTION: If a state has taken the steps to recognize same sex couples and their families for purposes of state-based benefits, rights, privileges and responsibilities (such as marriage in Massachusetts and civil unions in Vermont and Connecticut), should the
    federal government recognize the state’s legal recognition of such couples and
    families for purposes of federal benefits and tax treatment?
    ANSWER: Support
    COMMENT: “I have long been on record supporting equality in benefits and eliminating discrimination against gays and lesbians. I support repealing the provision of DOMA that may prohibit the federal government from providing benefits to people
    in states that recognize same sex marriage. I strongly support ensuring people in
    stable, long-term same sex relationships have full equality of benefits, rights, and
    responsibilities.”

    QUESTION: According to a 2004 GAO report, over 1,100 benefits, rights and privileges are provided to married couples and their families in federal law that are not available to same-sex couples. Do you support extending federal benefits, rights, privileges and responsibilities to same-sex couples (and their children) provided the partnership meets certain federal standards of commitment and mutuality of interest?
    ANSWER: Support

    “She repeated her call for a repeal of Section 3 of DOMA, because it prohibits the federal government from recognizing decisions made by the states in terms of enacting civil unions, domestic partnerships or, in the case of Massachusetts, full marriage rights.

    “I think extending federal benefits is a very important step forward,” she said. “I don’t see why a same-sex couple in California, which has a domestic partnership law, should be able to take advantage of the Family Medical Leave Act if one of them is ill, while a couple in another state without such a law cannot. I would like to see federal benefits extended to same-sex couples … Too many couples cannot share life decisions, or jointly own property or take care of one another within a recognized legal framework. I want to change that.”

    To get started on the path of federal recognition for same-sex couples, she recommended that Congress pass the [federal employees] Domestic Partnership Benefits & Obligations Act.” – Washington Blade interview, February 11, 2008

  71. astonedtemple says

    No offense Bedwell but I’ve abandoned reading and replying to your posts. It literally gives me a headache.

    My vote and my $20 bill here in Austin, Texas has gone to Obama.

  72. John says

    I like Hillary. Or more succinctly, I sympathize with her. As she certainly doesn’t deserve the hatred that gets thrown at her for no apparent reason (or exceedingly stupid ones like “she should’ve dumped Bill in 98″).

    Having said that, the attacks on Obama’s patriotism and heritage are also totally unfair. And I don’t know if they’re outright racist. But damn, they seem awfully borderline racist to me.

    Moreover, given the fact that McCain has somehow “magically” (NOT) regained the poll lead, I’d say more than a few of those millions of so-called “Obama white conservatives” lied about the depth of their loyalty. How incredibly dissapointing…though not entirely surprising. Looks like we’re in for another close election.

  73. Ted says

    Give Bedwell credit for giving us factual information. He’s obviously got a bias toward Hil but there’s nothing wrong with that. Most people here don’t have enough facts

    On the other hand, Abracadaver, please keep racist comments to yourself, unless you’re just trying to warn us you’re out there.

    I agree with the comments above that Obama had more to lose than gain by publishing this letter. So give him credit for taking the risk. You can be sure the religious right will be all over him come Fall for this. As noted above, no presidential candidate has ever gone so far.

    I do hope he has the political skills to actually get things done for us. Seems to me that Bill Clinton had good ideas to help the LGBT community in 1992 but couldn’t get it done. Perhaps gays in the military should not have been one of his first priorities. A president that ignores politics and what it takes to effect change does so at our collective peril.

    Whatever you do, vote Democrat!

  74. John says

    Ted,

    Bill Clinton was completely inexperienced in 1992. He thought a president who never served in the miitary could just waltz in and change that environment by sheer virtue of the fact that he was Commander-in-Chief. But of course, that’s not how it works in an arcahic institution like the military.

    Clinton needed to move slowly. He should’ve waited until he got rid of Powell. Had Clinton waited until the beginning of his second term, we might not have ended up with DADT at all. By that time, Westly Clark was Supreme NATO Commander and John Shalikashvili was Chairman of the Joint Chiefs (both are far more willing to consider openly gay soldiers than Colin Powell).

  75. Dee says

    Dear Senator Obama,

    Talk is cheap. You say you’ll stand up for us yet you accept support from ministers that thrive on homophobia.

    I’m not just talking about McLurkin. But also Rev. Kirbyjon Caldwell, who supports you strongly and who’s church runs the following program:

    “Metanoia Ministry

    We are pleased to announce the creation of ” The Way, The Truth and The Life”, a program created to provide Christ Centered instruction for those seeking freedom from homosexuality, lesbianism, prostitution, sex addiction and other habitual sins.”

    Write to me when you denounce & reject support from people like these. Then maybe we can talk about me giving you my vote.

    Sincerely,

    Dee B.

  76. says

    I cannot stand this pandering. In regards to the LGBT issue, all the major candidates are the same to me. Leaving the decision to the states is a cop out. If you truly believe that all citizens in this country are equal, then that should be a mandate on the national level. Another important issue here is citizenship rights. People always forget that LGBT people cannot marry a non-American and hope to get that person a green card. This is just plain wrong and UNEQUAL. Straight people can love and marry who they will, regardless of which country that person may be from. Why can’t LGBTs? I don’t care whether it’s called gay marriage, civil unions, or domestic partnerships. Just give us all equal treatment under the law.

  77. says

    Any LGBT person that would vote for Barack Obama needs to get their head out of their ass.

    Let’s start with HIV/AIDS funding:
    Obama: $5 billion
    Clinton: $20 billion

    Now look at the reversals in the letter:
    I will allow the states to make up their own mind on domestic marriage, civil unions, or marriage equality. TRANSLATION: The states can still say no to any of the former.

    The line about DOMA is frankly bull. So many states have amendments now that the Federal Law is essentially worthless.

    Don’t Ask Don’t Tell: Both candidates will undo it.

    Timing of this letter: He is trailing in Texas among gays by 20 percentage points.

    And what does this mean: “But neither will I close my ears to the voices of those who still need to be convinced.” TRANSLATION: I will throw you under a bus anytime I need to.

    Please don’t vote for this man. Not now and not in November. Vote for Nader or even McCain.

  78. Chase says

    To balance out empty words from Obama, here are some real actions from Hillary (excerpt from her letter to LGBT community):

    I will change that. The best evidence of what I will do as President is what I have already done.

    I am proud of my record as First Lady, as a U.S. Senator and as a candidate for President in working toward the fair and equal treatment of LGBT Americans.

    • I am proud that as Chair of the Senate Democratic Steering and Outreach Committee in 2006, I worked closely with LBGT community to develop a smart strategy that defeated the Federal Marriage Amendment. I am proud of fighting the FMA as divisive wedge politics at its worst.

    • I am proud to be a co-sponsor of the Employment Non-Discrimination Act, the Matthew Shepard Local Law Enforcement Hate Crimes Prevention Act, and the Domestic Partnership Benefits and Obligation Act which would grant the same benefits (including health insurance) to domestic partners of federal employees that are currently offered to employees’ legal spouses.

    • I am proud to have authored the Early Treatment for HIV Act, which expands access to vital treatment options for low-income individuals living with HIV, and fought to fully fund the Ryan White CARE Act.

    • I am proud that I hired a National Director of LGBT Outreach within a month of announcing my candidacy for President and to have openly gay and lesbian staffers serving at all levels of my campaign.

    • I am proud to have a National LGBT Steering Committee of over 130 that includes openly LGBT elected officials, Board members and opinion leaders on issues ranging from transgender rights, to HIV/AIDS, to “Don’t Ask Don’t Tell”.

    • I am proud to have marched in Gay Pride parades as both First Lady and as Senator and to have spoken in front of so many LGBT audiences ranging from the Human Rights Campaign, Empire State Pride Agenda, the Hetrick Martin Institute, PFLAG (Parents, Families, and Friends of Lesbians and Gays), GMHC (Gay Men’s Health Crisis), and the American Foundation for AIDS Research.

    • I am proud to have fought Republican efforts to demonize and marginalize the LGBT community, and I will continue to do that as President.

    Now you get back to me when Obama marches in a gay pride parade, and then I may consider giving him my Texas vote. Somehow I doubt that will happen. Hillary ’08

  79. says

    As for Hillary’s marching in pride parades, please note that in New York, she typically marches from midtown until 23rd Street, where the tourists and the media are. After that, where the gays actually are, she ditches the parade.

    Read Clinton’s autobiography for a real wake-up call on his position on gay marriage. Triangulation equals leaving us out.

  80. Tilisha says

    Okay my problem with this letter is the constant “I have done throughout my career”! No he hasn’t he just started most of what he is doing BEFORE announcing his campaign. He tried to start doing more AFTER the Logo Debate. This is ridiculous!

    I don’t like neither Hilary or Obama. There both a bunch of liars. I hope Mike Gravel wins from out of nowhere.

  81. Landon Bryce says

    I did not have a preference between either of the Democratic front runners until the Obama supporters started piling on Clinton. Realistically, there is no significant difference in how they will likely approach most of the issues I care about. Both of them seem to be balancing a genuine interest in (although not a passion for) LGBT equality.

    I am really bothered, though, by the naivete of many Obama supporters. I do not believe that Clinton was any less idealistic than he is when her husband first entered the White House. She has lived through 15 years of cruel, unwarranted, Republican attacks. The main reason why you may dislike or have difficulty trusting Clinton is because you have absorbed the baseless charges that have been flung at her by the Republican noise machine.

    And what makes you think Obama can stand up to the full force of that machine? What Whitewater-like fictional, invented scandal will dog him if he is still in politics in two decades? Who that he knows well has killed himself and how long before Fox News launches innuendos of murder against him? And no one can say if he or of if Clinton will better maintain idealism in the face of constant hatred from evil liars.

    Obama does not yet have the experience that I would like to see in an effective president. He has yet to be an active senator: his focus as state senator was becoming US senator and his focus as a US senator is on becoming president. What happens when he focuses on the job he currently has? We don’t know yet.

    He may be more electable than Clinton. He may be a better president than she would be. I hope so- the race seems pretty much decided in his favor. But he is a much less known quantity. I don’t think I should be blamed for not trusting him yet.

    This letter does make a difference to me. I am impressed. Like on all issues, Obama’s words are better than Clinton’s, but she has more actions that back up a commitment to our community. And I hate to see gays giving her the same treatment that she’s gotten from Rush Limbaugh since most of us knew who she was.

  82. mjc says

    wow everyone calm down.. hillary wrote a letter too, just a month ago. now he wants to steal away gay voters in tex, oh, ri and vt. so he pulls his out.. cmon. aren’t we smarter than that, don’t we know better? its all words and empty promises from anyone. ok lets say he becomes president, save these letters and ads, and hold him to it, put some fucking pressure on someone for once. same goes for clinton, hold them to their words in a more real way than having the wussy human rights campaign hold some bullshit dinner or something.

    this is just more target marketing. im sure they agree with what they are saying, but don’t wet your pants because obama said it. they’re pretty even in my opinion. they’ll sign all the pro gay shit that could ever make it to their desks , now THAT is the pain in the ass part of it, getting them through house / senate.

    i could eat my words, but i dont think we’ll see either one initiate any real progress on their own.

    also, lets see if he makes it to the general election if he continues the LGBT pandering… i have my doubts.

  83. mjc says

    i should have mentioned in my last post.. i said ‘put some pressure on someone for once’.. i know we’ve been lucky to have amazing activists in the lgbt community but i just feel like a lot of people are quick to complain when they’re thrown under the bus but also very apathetic. if everyone who had a complaint took the smallest bit of action maybe things could move forward a little faster… who knows. not to mention i’m annoyed with the human rights campaign, maybe that was coming out in my post a little. i know there are tons of great people out there working for the community.

    just didnt want to offend any activists out there!

  84. Derrick from Philly says

    Very honest comment, LANDON. I’ve read almost all the comments here (including my own), and I’m exahausted. I put party before candidate (in presidential elections), and so I could vote for either Barack or Hillary. I have decided to support Barack Obama–not so much because of what he’s said, but because of the behavior of Bill Clinton and some Democrats (ones like some posters on this thread: ABRACADER). So, I turned to Obama in reaction to what I perceived as racial politics. When members of his camp tried it, it was despicable and I told Obama supporters that it was. I’m impressed that both he and Hillary stayed above all that smelly racial hatred crap.

    I believe that sometime over the next few weeks Hillary Clinton will withdraw from the primary, and Barack Obama will be the nominee. That’s why I’m so weary of the ugly fighting within the Democratic Party. We haven’t had a primary race this devisive & ugly since 1980. That divisiveness resulted in the election of Ronald Reagan.

    The Democratic Party is diverse, it is not homogenous like the Republican Party; we have to WORK at getting along with other. After next Tuesday, we have to begin the process of reconciliation. Hillary Clinton will contribute to that process. She will tell her people to stop the ugly bullshit and support Barack Obama for president. And then, for all THINKING Democrats, she will always be a class act.

  85. AG says

    Michael B.: Thanks. It sounds like she’s wanting to repeal *parts* of DOMA, rather than the whole thing, which is less heartening to hear than a full repeal, which Obama supports.

    To those dismissive of this DOMA stuff, I’m sorry, but it’s not irrelevant. Not to me. I can just barely defend a 1996 Clinton support for DOMA, but it was still a case of political expediency vs backbone, even if I understand their decision to support it.

    I cannot tolerate a 2008 defense of that law. Her partial-support/partial-repeal approach is classic Clintonian triangulation. I don’t mean that in a negative way. But it’s politics circa 1996 and 2003, not 2008. I find it less a principled stand, and more a calculated one. It’s shrewd, but it’s playing both sides. Those accusing Obama of playing both sides need to realize that he’s not the only one doing it.

    The above commenter who said that the only real candidate we had for full rights was Dennis Kucinich was correct, although I think Bill Richardson was for full marriage rights as well.

    But this is the hand we’re dealt, folks. Incrementalism is all we’ve got just now. I think, frankly, we’ll continue to see progress if either Obama or Clinton get elected, but don’t expect them to do it for you. Keep fighting, keep leading by example and leading by leading. You don’t have to change *their* minds. It’s the people that elect them, your neighbors and co-workers, friends and families that have to get on board.

  86. John says

    No, Richardson’s for California style registered domestic partnerships, which means civil unions basically.

    Only Kucinich and Gravel are for same-sex marriage this time around. In 2004, it was only Kucinich, Sharpton, and Mosley-Braun.

    No, Obama isn’t the most progressive black presidential candidate ever (as some of his more religious supporters claim). But he’s certainly the only one who has a chance to win.

  87. AG says

    John: I stand corrected about Richardson. And I’d forgotten about Gravel (oh dear).

    Still, I’d really like a device that let you peer into alternate realities to see what a Kucinich presidency would be like. Or a Gore one circa 2001 for that matter.

  88. Robert says

    Actually, I loved Michael Bedwell’s line-by-line cynical — but right on target — commentary. I, too, am fed up with candidates — I remember Bill Clinton’s first-hundred-days betrayal all too well — who say one thing and then do another; tired of candidates who lack all courage when it comes to LGBTQ equality.

    So much for “hope” from Obama.

    I completely agree: if Obama truly believes all the nice sentiments in this ‘open letter’ that some supporter wrote for him (to garner gay votes), then he should already have proven them by having signed on as a cosponsor for UAFA, et al.

    Obama has been clear: he believes marriage should be reserved for male and female couples, only. To my mind, it’s a real disgrace that a black man doesn’t choose to challenge himself beyond his “belief.” In lots of places in this country forty years ago, plenty of people believed black men couldn’t or shouldn’t be anything more than an itinerant preacher, a servant, a minstral or musician or athlete, or a garbage worker.

    His stand on same-sex marriage is inexcusable.

    So much for “change” from Obama.

  89. R says

    Reading the negativity in this column has put me in a bad mood. This is when I’m NOT proud to be part of the gay community. Why is it that some gay people could find a negative way to look at and an ability to make fun of a crippled child helping to deliver kittens in a homeless shelter? You would still complain that something was wrong with it. You’re MISERABLE people from the get go. You must look at the bright side and see that it doesn’t get better than this for right now. You want immediate gratification in everything, just like you demand from the waiters, flight attendants, and household help in your lives who HATE your guts. You’re the first to make fun of and point out the negative in out gay figures who are doing their best. You can’t help your inability to say nice things about anyone. You’re 100 times as imperfect as the people you put down on a daily basis. You want perfection from everyone and think that you’re going to get it. You’re delusional, at best. I know who you are and you simply don’t matter to me. You want gay marriage even though MARRIAGE is a CHRISTIAN, JEWISH, and otherwise RELIGIOUS INSTITUTION! Try fighting for Civil Unions for ALL PEOPLE–gay and straight for this government, and leave MARRIAGES UP TO CHURCHES. I won’t be able to read another comments string from gay people for the rest of this election because all of you who are just as I described make me sick to my stomach.

  90. Wells. says

    “Contraception” isn’t the word I would have used for gay people (there’s little danger of any of us getting pregnant from intercourse); but whatever.

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