Clinton References McClurkin in Swing at Obama’s Gay Record

In an interview today with the Washington Blade, editor Kevin Naff asks Hillary Clinton about “critics who say Obama is more likely to address gay issues in front of a non-gay audience.” (Obama specifically mentioned gays and lesbians most recently in his MLK Day speech at Ebenezer Baptist Church in Atlanta, and in his speech following Ted Kennedy’s endorsement)

Clinton_22Responds Clinton: “I find it ironic since Sen. Obama had his gospel tour with [Donnie] McClurkin that he and his supporters would take credit for that.”

Clinton again defended her position on DOMA. She favors repealing the portion which prohibits the recognition of same-sex couples while Obama favors repealing the entire act.

Says Clinton: “I believe that my position reflects the experience I had fighting against the Federal Marriage Amendment. At the time, I was chair of the Democratic Steering & Outreach Committee and I worked hand-in-hand with [the Human Rights Campaign] and other members of the LGBT community to stop the amendment. We’d already seen the success the Republican majority had had in 2002, 2004 in using this as a wedge issue. I was able to explain to other senators that DOMA ensured marriage would be left to the states — that was critical in defeating the amendment. It gave us an argument with both Republicans and Democrats. We cannot count on the political atmosphere staying favorable. That’s something we’ve learned to our unfortunate detriment and I think we are in a much stronger position to bury forever the Federal Marriage Amendment and other mean-spirited, discriminatory legislation.”

Clinton also speaks on ‘Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell,’ ENDA, and her willingness to use forceful advocacy towards gay rights measures.

An interview with Hillary Clinton [washington blade]

Comments

  1. Seattle says

    Obama more recently referred to gay folks at his Seattle speech on Friday, the 8th. It’s a standard part of his stump speech. I don’t know about Clinton (in more ways than one).

  2. says

    McClurkin is such a non-issue for me when it comes to Obama. Anyone using that to cast aspersions on him is really stretching for something, anything, they can make into a smear. Obama is not required to endorse the views of every person who supports him. He’s ready to ditch DOMA, DADT, and supports federal recognition of civil unions. Does Hillary?

  3. Tyler says

    In response to Mike: yes she does.

    I don’t think that the McClurkin issue is meant as a malicious smear, but more a a point of skepticism to draw upon. It makes me really nervous to see someone like that hand-in-hand with Obama. I know who is in Hillary’s pockets, and I know the capacity she operates in with them in tow. With Obama and McClurkin, I’m not sure where his loyalties lie, that scares me. Finally, he is not required to endorse every supporters views, but if you are doing a campaign tour with them, you should expect some fallout if they hold such ignorant beliefs.

  4. Strepsi says

    to Mike, re: ‘Obama is not required to endorse the views of every person who supports him.” No, but he should endorse the views of every person he SHARES THE STAGE WITH. McClurkin was not a random supporter, he was speaking FOR the Obama campaign, on stage at an Obama rally, in appealing to (largely homophobic) African-American evangelicals. Note: I am PRO-Obama. But, as a gay man used to being thrown under the train to garner votes, I must say the McClurkin thing was not a smear. P.S. I am glad Clinton would repeal DADT, I am still pissed at the Bill Clinton for breaking his campaign promise and equivocating with that sh*tty legislation…

  5. John says

    FACT: Barack Obama supports a full repeal of DOMA, Hillary Clinton does not.

    FACT: Barack Obama never embraced “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell”. Hillary Clinton did until 1999 when she said she had a problem with its implementation.

    FACT: Hillary Clinton said in the Logo Forum that Bill Clinton saved us from the FMA by signing DOMA – COMPLETE revisionist history.

    FACT: Hillary Clinton voted for the Iraq war.

    A gay voter has a clear choice in my mind.

  6. Derrick from Philly says

    Obama is too educated to believe in McClurkin’s message. He needed McClurkin’s drawing power on the tour. He’s probably told Michelle in bed, “that McClurkin’s still as gay as they come. Everytime he came near me I had to cover my back.”

  7. chris says

    Hillary has her own repudiating to attend to: Bishop Eddie Long and Rev. Harold Mayberry. And they’ve been on her payroll! At least McClurkin isn’t on the Obama payroll.

  8. Michael Bedwell says

    Jersey, Washington Blade, et al.: it is insane-making that the myth about Section 2 of DOMA has such a shelf life. And that Obama continues to get away with misrepresenting his position just like he does his lie about being responsible for passing a gay rights bill in Illinois.

    DOMA S.2 has NEVER been more than a pat on states’ heads saying, OK, do what you want. It NEVER told them they had to BAN gay relationships. Don’t believe me? Ask yourself this: How could we now have gay marriages in Massachussetts and domestic partnerships/civil unions in nearly a dozen other states if it does? And why would some 45 states have passed their own laws banning either marriage or any type of gay relationship if there was a federal law doing that?

    Obama’s support for repeal of S2 is mere political smile fucking when he is on record as supporting a state’s right to do whatever it wants REGARDLESS of DOMA. Don’t believe me? Check out the link below from which the following is quoted from an ABC interview in August with Obama spokesman [and his Constitutional law professor at Harvard] Lawrence Tribe, emphasis mine. Aren’t you TIRED of being played stupid, people????

    http://abcnews.go.com/Politics/Decision2008/story?id=3468949&page=1

    “OBAMA BELIEVES STATES SHOULD BE UNDER NO OBLIGATION TO RECOGNIZE SAME-SEX MARRIAGES FROM OTHER STATES. He wants to fully repeal DOMA, however, because he views the statute as “ineffectual and redundant,” in the words of Tribe. OBAMA BELIEVES A LONG-RECOGNIZED PUBLIC POLICY EXCEPTION TO THE CONSTITUTION’S FULL FAITH AND CREDIT CLAUSE EXEMPTS A STATE FROM HAVING TO RECOGNIZE A SAME-SEX MARRIAGE FROM ANOTHER STATE WHICH RUNS COUNTER TO ITS OWN PUBLIC POLICIES.
    “MARRIAGE IS NOT SOMETHING THAT STATES HAVE EVER BEEN OBLIGED TO RECOGNIZE IF IT’S BEEN AGAINST THEIR OWN PUBLIC POLICY,” said Tribe, who has testified on the subject before Congress. “SAME-SEX COUPLES IN MASSACHUSETTS ARE NEITHER BETTER NOR WORSE OFF WITH DOMA REPEALED EXCEPT THAT THE REPEAL OF DOMA IS A WAY OF TELLING THAT COUPLE THAT THEIR MARRIAGE IN MASSACHUSETTS IS NOT GOING TO BE MADE THE SUBJECT OF A SYMBOLIC AND INEFFECTUAL SLAM BY THE FEDERAL GOVERNMENT.”
    …………..
    “NEITHER BETTER NOR WORSE OFF WITH DOMA REPEALED”

    “NEITHER BETTER NOR WORSE OFF WITH DOMA REPEALED”

    “NEITHER BETTER NOR WORSE OFF WITH DOMA REPEALED”

    “NEITHER BETTER NOR WORSE OFF WITH DOMA REPEALED”

    “NEITHER BETTER NOR WORSE OFF WITH DOMA REPEALED”

    “NEITHER BETTER NOR WORSE OFF WITH DOMA REPEALED”

    “NEITHER BETTER NOR WORSE OFF WITH DOMA REPEALED”

    “NEITHER BETTER NOR WORSE OFF WITH DOMA REPEALED”

    “NEITHER BETTER NOR WORSE OFF WITH DOMA REPEALED”

    “NEITHER BETTER NOR WORSE OFF WITH DOMA REPEALED”

    “NEITHER BETTER NOR WORSE OFF WITH DOMA REPEALED”

    “NEITHER BETTER NOR WORSE OFF WITH DOMA REPEALED”

    “NEITHER BETTER NOR WORSE OFF WITH DOMA REPEALED”

    “NEITHER BETTER NOR WORSE OFF WITH DOMA REPEALED”

    Is anybody listening?

  9. kipp says

    If Hillary fought it, why didn’t Bill Clinton veto it? His veto would have been overridden anyway. It would have been plitically expensive for them – but what’s the point of ethical comittments if we don’t sometimes have to sacarifice for them? What’s the point of having a veto (and the subsequent possibility of override) if not for presidents to formally announce their opposition to legislation. I don’t doubt Bill and Hillary are enlightened in their attitudes toward gay people – but I know that when push came to shove he avoided bucking public opinion and signed DOMA into law. I can’t help but feel Hillary would have done exactly the same thing.

    The fact that Obama would choose to address homophobia at speeches given to baptist churches in the south shows he is a much more fearless promoter of gay interests. He could simply avoid bringing up up the subject altogether and I doubt anyone would notice. I’d be happy to see/hear Hillary address gay rights in a church-centered campaign stop – anybody got one? Gays have all the like-minded friends we need – it’s not enough for Hillary and Bill to like us. They need to be willing to fight for us and willing to risk political capital. Hillary (and certainly not Bill) seems to have never been willing to do that.

  10. Jim says

    One errant campaign event does not compare to the Clinton legacy of DOMA and Don’t Ask Don’t Tell. Obama is the only candidate who consistely speaks about gay dignity without being prompted, often before hostile groups. I have never heard Hillary mention gays — except at her gay fundraisers or in the gay media. She cannot be trusted.

  11. peterparker says

    What disturbs me is not whether Hillary is better for the GLBT community or whether Barack is better for the GLBT community. What disturbs me is the fervor with which individuals who typically vote Democrat have embraced EITHER Barack Obama OR Hillary Clinton, but not both candidates. Of course most everyone is going to have some preference between the two Democratic candidates. And no one gets the chance to vote for Hillary and Obama in the primaries. But it does seem to me that far too many Democrats have decided that if ‘their’ candidate doesn’t get the nod for Democratic nomination, they’ll just tune out the remainder of the race.

    Over the weekend, I ran into an old roommate who told me that if Hillary Clinton wins the Democratic nomination based not on the popular vote, but on the votes of the super delegates, he’ll just stay home on the day of the general election to “send a message”. Another friend walked up at that moment, so I didn’t get a chance to tell my old roommate that the only “message” he’ll be sending to Washington by staying home on the day of the general election is that it is fine by him to have another eight years of Republicans stepping the rights of faggots/dykes/trannies.

    Another friend told me that her husband (a very liberal, counter-culture type) plans to vote for McCain if Hillary Clinton get the nomination. And yet another person told me she’d stay home on the day of the general election if Barack Obama gets the nomination.

    PEOPLE!!!!!!!!! This is NOT the way to win the equal rights that GLBT Americans deserve under the U.S. Constitution. This is not the way to ensure federal protection by including GLBT people in federal hate crimes laws. This is not the way to defeat those from the religious right who would turn our government into a theocracy. This is not the way to put an end to this shameless war. This is not the way to solve the healthcare crisis in this country. This is not the way to make sure the Federal Marriage Amendment dies an ugly, painful death.

    This sort of either/or attitude is *exactly* what the Republicans want from us. And such an attitude will buy another 4, maybe 8, years of Republican rule.

    Both Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama are good candidates for the GLBT community. Neither one of them is perfect. But they are both very, very good.

  12. daniel says

    Bedwell speaks the truth as far as I’m concerned…so rant on Bedwell, my stranger-friend!

    Hillary understands the way government works when you are dealing with idiot Republicans(especially in the south). She knows that some things take small steps to attain the big goal.

    I love how quickly people forgetthat the Don’t ask, Don’t tell bill was the FIRST piece of legislation Bill Clinton put into law, and at that time, he was making inroads for the gay community. Show me any politians of that time that were speaking to the gay issues besides the Clintons.

    The Clintons have always supported the gay community, and known how to get us to our ultimate goal of equal rights, one step at a time.

    I would bet you that Hillary would never have allowed McClurkin on stage with her with his bullshit. The reason Obama did was because he wanted the Black Evangelical vote, no matter what the cost. Have any of you supporters of Obama looked at Rev. Jeremiah A. Wright Jr, Obama’s pastor who is a major homophobe and bigot?

    Those who say Obama is not politics as usual don’t have their eyes open.

    I heard Obama saying the other day that if you’re in Washington to long, then you become corrupted by the way Washington works.

    So does that mean Sen. John Kerry and Sen. Edward Kennedy who he loves to name drop are his biggest supporters corrupted by the Washington as well???

    Give me a break.

  13. John says

    Michael just doesn’t get it. Full repeal of DOMA is ESSENTIAL for symbolic reasons. Every bit of this law is as hateful now as it was then. Overturning a section of it only serves to validate the original law…. Exactly what we don’t want to be doing.

    The legal reasons for overturning are secondary.

  14. jeffbecker says

    If Obama gets the nomination, I am voting for McCain.

    Why? Because anyone that spouts a line that of hope, when really they are just as devisive, if not more devisive than other canidates, I do not trust.

    Michelle Obama said that if her husband doesn’t get the nomination, she’s not sure she’ll vote for Hillary. I’ve never heard Bill say that about Barack.

    I want someone, even if I don’t like their policies, I know where they stand.

    Go Hillary is what I’m hopeful of. She is CHANGE I believe in, and more than believing in her, I BELIEVE what she says!

  15. Marco says

    Of courseMcClurkin is no matter of importance to Obama supporters. It seems Barack breaks wind and many gather around to bask in it’s gaseous glory.

    Same with the war. Obama says he didn’t know how he’d vote three years ago, but now he’s the anti-war candidate. He’s so against the war in Iraq, he continues to fund it.

    Hillary and Barack, for all their faults, are still better than President John McCain. I hope we all remember that in November regardless of the outcome of the Democratic race.

  16. Jersey says

    Sorry but she’s willing to leave a discriminatory law on the books no matter how you (Michael) feel it will be interpreted. Oh and she also voted for the war. She’s hardly a person for change.

  17. says

    She’s so full of empty sentences. The things she says don’t follow each other logically. She says that she thinks she’s in a much stronger position to repeal the FMA – does she mean that Obama, than she was in the past, than people have been in the past because of her work on DOMA, what? She wants us to fill in the blanks with whatever makes us happy, instead of noticing that what she’s saying doesn’t stand up by itself.

  18. Michael Bedwell says

    I repeat that I will vote for Obama if he gets the nomination. I just hope he doesn’t because I think that every one of Sen. Clinton’s positions from health care outward are better; that she would kick ass in the White House while he would still be trying to create “change” and fight the Republican Religious Right by shouting, “‘Kumbaya’, everybody! ONE MORE TIME!”, and I don’t want to reward his naked lies to us, his half lies to us, and his substitution of smile fucking for substance.

  19. David says

    Jeff Becker, you said the following:

    “I want someone, even if I don’t like their policies, I know where they stand.”

    Am I to infer then you voted for W twice?

    This logic is a little silly in my opinion — if you go to the candidates’ websites and read their positions on the issues, you can find out where they stand. Anyone waiting to hear policy specifics in a stump speech is going to be disappointed.

  20. says

    What makes Obama supporters think he will be able to end DADT, or DOMA?? He will not be able to do that, even if he really even tried. It’s nice that he supports federally sanctioned civil unions, but only a fool thinks that has snowballs chance in hell of ever happening. Obama knows that all too well.

    I would vote foe either of them in a general election, and as a black man I am rooting for him, but some of his kool aid drinking supporters need to a reality check.

    As far as Hillary goes, that Iraq war vote is really biting her in the ass now.

    Btw, it’s pretty easy for Barack to say he was always against the war, since he was not even in the senate when it was voted on.
    He could have very well ended up voting for it just like Hillary, or maybe he might have just voted “present”.

  21. Paul says

    well, i did vote for Obama, but it was a last minute thought eventhough I am still hoping for Hillary to win the nomination. A friend of mine summed it up very well, he said Obama stands for “change”, but what exactly does that mean? change in what?
    i agree Hillary does have her shortcomings, but I have to say this is an exciting time for us in this country…finally, we have two candidates that are in minority groups to run for President. This is as American as things get folks. Vote democrat, unless you want to see 4 – 8 more years of stupidity. :)

  22. 24play says

    Senator Clinton is going to have to show us she can kick some ass on the campaign trail if she still wants the chance to kick ass in the White House.

    She had every advantage going into this thing: decades of political experience, name recognition, gobs of cash, and the support of the Democratic machine in almost every state in the nation. She’s squandered all of that.

    So much for ready to lead on Day 1. And so much for Obama being a lightweight who could never stand up to the rigors of a tough campaign. Somebody’s window of opportunity is closing fast.

  23. Derrick from Philly says

    This is extraordinary. I didn’t read anything important in last weekend’s primary/caucuses. Buyt there are some pundits who are now saying that if Senator Clinton does not have decisive victories in Texas and Ohio, she may have to reconsider this whole run for the presidency; she may withdraw from the race. I was ready to vote for either Obama or Clinton in the general election–which ever. For the Pennsylvania Primary, I’d decided to vote for Obama, but it never occured to me that his may be the only name on the ballot by April. Extraordinary.

  24. Jersey says

    Michael, I would suggest you go and read Obama’s remarks from2002 about the outcome of going to war to see just how spot on he was. It is an exact premonition of what has happened. He was extremely smart about what the problem would be if we went in there. Unfortunately everything he warned against has come to pass. He’s an incredibly smart man. Besides, look how well he’s running his campaign, she’s just today had to fire her campaign manager. he looks to me like he knows what he’s doing. Moreso than she does.

  25. Matt R says

    To all of those who say to check out their websites to see their positions on the issues, not all positions are on their websites. Have you noticed that while Hillary positions herself as pro-LGBT and sends out various messages to our community through the web and blogs, she does not share her views on her campaign site? The page is there, but you have to have the URL or the link to get to it. How does this help our visibility or show her accountability to issues if you can’t easily find them on her site. It is like we are in the closet again, if you have the key you can see what she thinks, but regular people can’t find it (or is she ashamed of her positions or just looking for money from us and not supporting us publicly). Obama’s LGBT positions are easily found from his home page. This also makes me wonder how many other position statements/community promises that Hillary has made which are not visible on her site unless you know the Link/URL. Doesn’t seem like good full disclosure or accountability (worst case, does she have an evangelical page, or pages for other groups which her wider constituency might not like). I know it is less likely because it might have hit the press, but you never know.

  26. Chris says

    Anybody who would like to read Obama’s interview with the Advocate talking about the South Carolina ‘pastor controversy’ can find it here:
    http://www.advocate.com/news_detail_ektid50021.asp

    Several thoughts on the situation…

    *To solely attack Obama on this is unfair, as Sen. Clinton proudly published/trumpeted a long list of South Carolina pastors, many of whom publicly say homosexuality is a sin or can be changed through God’s help. And when her husband signed the Defense of Marriage Act, they ran radio ads touting it on Christian radio! (per the AP in ’96 — they halted the ads after gays complained) And the Kerry campaign asserts that President Clinton urged them to support some of the anti-gay marriage ballot initiatives across the country, similar to Clinton’s strategy in signing DOMA (signing that wasn’t about avoiding a Constitutional amendment, it was about getting re-elected!).

    *Obama didn’t even attend the event in question, otherwise you can be sure he would have spread a more hopeful, gay-inclusive message right after McClurkin’s unfortunate remarks, as he did during a very high profile speech in a church for MLK Day

    *To my knowledge Hillary has never had gay clergy involved in a South Carolina event, as this one did

    *Personally, I like keeping people whose views I disagree with ‘close’ rather than in the shadows. This is in keeping with Sen. Obama’s belief that dialogue is the only way to make progress with folks who have opposing views. To do anything else devolves into nothing more than two separate camps with high walls up around them, with folks barking, “you’re evil” — “no, YOU’RE evil…” — back and forth at each other. I prefer Obama’s approach, get everybody in a room, take their money, stick with your positions/principles, and continue the dialogue. The Clinton 50/50 us vs. them approach in the ’90s certainly didn’t get the gay community very much.

    *I’m impressed by the fact that Sen. Obama is willing to say the hard unpopular truth to groups that are used to being pandered to — the Detroit auto industry, African American church bodies, etc. Plus, he brings up equality for gays and lesbians at ‘mainstream’ campaign appearances and in major speeches (the Kennedy endorsement speech most recently) in ways I haven’t seen other candidates do — they usually save that for gay-specific events.

    A few lines from Obama’s MLK Day speech at Atlanta’s Ebenezer Baptist Church, “The Great Need of the Hour”:
    “For most of this country’s history, we in the African-American community have been at the receiving end of man’s inhumanity to man. And all of us understand intimately the insidious role that race still sometimes plays – on the job, in the schools, in our health care system, and in our criminal justice system.

    “And yet, if we are honest with ourselves, we must admit that none of our hands are entirely clean. If we’re honest with ourselves, we’ll acknowledge that our own community has not always been true to King’s vision of a beloved community.

    “We have scorned our gay brothers and sisters instead of embracing them. The scourge of anti-Semitism has, at times, revealed itself in our community. For too long, some of us have seen immigrants as competitors for jobs instead of companions in the fight for opportunity.

    Full speech here:
    http://my.barackobama.com/page/community/post/rospars/CGxG9

  27. says

    Obamas’ position on not going to war was the same as mine, and millions of other americans. Not sure how that makes him more worthy for the presidency than me.

    Like I said before, we’ll never know what his vote would have been since he was’nt in the senate at the time. He could have very well voted for it just like she did.

  28. anonymous says

    I am with PeterParker here, and can’t believe no one else has yet piped up in his support.

    Anyone who says they will vote for McCain over either Democrat if ‘their’ candidate doesn’t get the nomination, or just won’t vote at all, doesn’t deserve to be part of a progressive political discussion.

    It is the worst kind of ‘I’m taking my toys and going home’/shoot-yourself-in-the-foot argument that anyone who feels passionately about this country, and the wrong direction it has been taken in over the last 8 years, could make.

  29. Michael Bedwell says

    Don’t equate bad site design with ill intent, Matt. Both Sen. Clinton and John Edwards had their positions on LGBT issues on their sites months before Obama did. She is hardly trying to hide her support for us from nongays—just listen to her in the debates.

    Yes, now you can more easily find Obama’s LGBT-related one-pager on his site, but just as easily you can find his 64-page “Blueprint for Change—Barack Obama’s Plan for America” where you will discover not one word, not one sentence, not one syllable about gay rights. Did he fucking run out of cyber “paper”? Does he only support the rights of gays in other countries? Yes, to apply the same qualifier above, he does mention us in speeches and in answers to questions in debates and interviews.

    But imagine sitting down with him and saying, “Sen., please tell me what and who you think is most important when changing America.” After he had finished spending several minutes, half an hour, whatever, reciting everything to you found in those 64 pages, and had still not even said the gay-word wouldn’t you question how important that man actually thought your life is in America?

  30. peterparker says

    Those of you who are saying “If (insert candidate name here) gets the nomination, I’m voting for McCain” are fucking idiots, plain and simple. John McCain has never done *anything* for the gay community. That legacy will continue into the White House should he win the Presidency. And he’ll also keep the entire country mired in this illegal, immoral war in Iraq.

  31. Matt R says

    Michael,
    I appreciate the response. I don’t think it is bad site design, but a case of trying to get all the votes possible as least offensively/controversially as possible. It would be very easy for her to have links to key issues and constituencies, but she has 14 issues on her site. None speak to our community. No support at all, but she is our friend?
    So does that also mean that she did have us on her site (easily found off of the home page) and now it has changed? Otherwise, saying she had us on her site first, but no one could find it (unless they were part of the approved constituency and not a regular voter) is pretty meaningless (and offensive, I am out of the closet, when will her comments come out?).
    I just fear she is running the Bill Clinton model, tell them I am with you, but don’t hesitate to throw them under a bus because it isn’t part of my official platform. I would like to give her the benefit of the doubt, but given the history, she should know to address this skepticism more forcefully (Melissa Ethridge made this clear in the “your husband threw us under a bus” comment at the Logo discussion).
    Why do we so easily give her a pass?

  32. Michael Bedwell says

    With all due respect, Matt—am I to interpret your no comment about our invisibility throughout 64 pages of Obama’s “Blueprint for Change” as giving him a pass? If so, why?

    In addition to the fact that BILL Clinton is NOT on the ballot [though, I concede, he would probably like to be—and would win] Melissa Etheridge is many wonderful things but she is no expert on LGBT political history. Mr. Clinton did fuck up BIG TIME in many ways, but reducing his 8 years to having “thrown us under the bus” is nonsense no matter whose mouth it is coming out of. So, Matt, and Melissa if you’re tuning in:

    President Clinton did not throw under the bus the unknown numbers of gay executive branch employees who were protected for the first time by an executive order he issued [and the Bush Reich immediately ignored upon taking office]. With thanks to gay historian Arthur Leonard for the list, he did not throw under the bus those who benefited from “a total revamping of the security clearance process that ended the ‘special procedures’ under which gay people were frequently delayed or denied on security clearances, a real problem for people in technology occupations working for government contractors.”
    Nor did he throw under the bus his appointee James Hormel, the first openly gay ambassador, nor Bob Farmer, the first out gay U.S. consul general, nor the first openly gay federal judge, Deborah Batts, nor the first openly gay people occupying positions requiring Senate confirmation such as Roberta Achtenberg, nor all the first out gays in senior White House staff positions.

    “We got a major advance on asylum policy when Janet Reno adopted as official precedent a decision that gays are a ‘distinct social group’ for purposes of analyzing eligibility for political asylum in the US for people from oppressive countries. We also, importantly, got our first major Supreme Court victory, Romer v. Evans, which was at least partly attributable to Clinton’s two Supreme Court appointments, Breyer and Ginsburg, both of whom have been pretty stalwart in supporting gay rights on the Court. (They both voted our way in Lawrence v. Texas, and they both dissented in the Boy Scouts case.)”

    If you want to brand Hillary with Bill’s mistakes, you have to give her credit for what he did right, too.

    But, let’s bring it up to present day and the present campaign. Yes, Sen. Clinton has homophobes among her supporters, too. But I don’t recall her coming close to anything like throwing us under a huge campaign bus like that one paid for by Sen. Obama and driven by Rev. Donnie McClurkin blaring his music and screaming “GOD DELIVERED ME FROM HOMOSEXUALITY!!!!!!”

    We ALL still have those tread marks on our backs, the same ones Obama stepped on in his road to victory in South Carolina. And he can smile fuck me until I give birth to beautiful little mocha chocolata babies and I won’t forgive him for that anymore than I will forgive him throwing the effort to pass a gay rights bill in Illinois off his campaign bus for the US Senate and then claiming he personally delivered the bill signed and sealed with his love.

  33. hal says

    “Michelle Obama said that if her husband doesn’t get the nomination, she’s not sure she’ll vote for Hillary. I’ve never heard Bill say that about Barack.”

    I would just like to point out that what Michelle Obama was asked was whether or not she would stump for Hillary if she is the nominee, not whether or not she would vote for her. Huge difference, especially when you are asking the wife of a candidate who is at that time campaigning for her husband. So please, vote for McCain. He needs all the help he can get.

  34. Michael Bedwell says

    Actually, when asked on “Good Morning America,” the verb was neither “vote for” nor “stump for” Sen. Clinton.

    Exact wording of question:

    “Could you see yourself working to support Hillary Clinton if she gets the nomination?”

    “I’d have to think about that,” was the beginning of Mrs. Obama’s answer.

    Judge the implicatons of that and the rest of it for yourselves at:

  35. Matt R says

    Michael,
    Similarly, with all due respect, is the fact that you can’t find any support for LGBT equality on Hillary’s website (unless you have the URL or links) giving her a pass on supporting LGBT rights, if so, why? This was my original point, I don’t know the 64 page policy document you highlight from Obama, but I can get to his LGBT positions easily from his homepage (as can everyone else), I can’t find Clinton’s. Why is she hiding us? Embarrassed about supporting us, or just sending messages to us through our channels while not supporting us with all voters. With all respect to her, that doesn’t fly. At least with Obama, he talks about us on every speech and goes further on GLBT rights than Clinton. From their respective issues pages (when you find Hillary’s) – he talks about 1,100+ federal marriage rights (in the form of civil unions) to gay people, Clinton only talks about civil unions with no specifics about rights or what those “civil unions” mean (when you find her “secret” GLBT rights web page). She doesn’t support full DOMA elimination. Her ENDA viewpoints (from the secret page), only says that she will fight for it, she doesn’t say it will include Transgender or Gender Identity (although the title of the page does say LGBT, so maybe it is implied), however, Obama puts it in his statement on ENDA, leaving no ambiguity. Hillary’s page is just that, ambiguous, leaving lots of wiggle room. Now is not the time to put up general statements, but real ones. For those looking for each site, Hillary’s LGBT site is http://www.hillaryclinton.com/feature/lgbt/, but it can’t be found off her home page so you need the URL or link. With Obama it can be found on his home page under people (LGBT).

    I agree Michael that the McClurken mess did shake my support of Obama, but I considered the issues, what he publicly supports in our community (to potentially hostile audiences who don’t agree with gay rights), his platform (as well as other non-LGBT issues) and compared that to Clinton and I found her lacking. The fact you can’t find her LGBT positions off of her campaign page is just a very easy indicator of how we are hidden, and doesn’t bode well for our influence/interests in an administration that doesn’t talk about us to the overall electorate. Anything to get elected I guess.

    Without going through Bill’s whole background, I agree he did some good for LGBT, but he also did a lot of harm after promising to also support us. It is just a case of not wanting to be “fooled” again (otherwise its shame on me).

  36. hal says

    “Could you see yourself working to support Hillary Clinton if she gets the nomination?”

    “I’d have to think about that,” was the beginning of Mrs. Obama’s answer.

    I take this to mean what I said earlier. Her husband is running for the nomination, so why would she talk about anyone else being the nominee until that is the reality? Trying to make it seem as though she won’t vote for Hillary is dishonest to say the least.

  37. Michael Bedwell says

    It is fact that both candidates have been poorly served by their LGBT advisors over what to highlight where and to what specificity in both their verbal and printed statements relating to LGBT issues. Trust me, I have been studying both of them [and previously John Edwards], from a variety of resources, for months, and, on LGBT issues, could take EITHER candidate’s side and pick apart the other for errors and omissions in this or that venue.

    Obama’s one-pager that so bewitches you says, “Obama will work with military leaders
    to repeal the current policy and ensure we accomplish our national defense goals.” Pointing out that DADT is a LAW not merely a policy might be semantic quibbling but “military leaders” have no power to repeal it, only Congress does, and those “leaders” have been roadblocks to getting Congress to do it for 15 years! His Kumbaya approach would only result in Bill Clinton Redux—a President dry fucked by military homophobes. If Obama’s elected we can only hope he has a gay-friendly Congress to do the adult’s work for him.

    Further, unlike some, I am not content to read a supportive comment, even a flawed one, by one in one place and, not seeing a parallel statement by the other in the same place, deduce that he/she is against whatever, etc., etc. BOTH, had you bothered to look, stated their unequivocal support for “over 1,100 benefits, rights and privileges … provided to married couples and their families in federal law” when asked in writing by HRC.

    Yes, shame on you for allowing yourself to be fooled by Obama by not doing your homework or you would not make easily disprovable claims like, “Obama… goes further on GLBT rights than Clinton.” And, that’s nothing but the unmistakable smell of Barackberry Kool Aide on your breath when you claim, “he talks about us on EVERY speech.”

    How can I put this so you’ll understand and not simply take off on another tangent.

    HORSESHIT!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    That absurd comment alone, despite any valid points you have, tells me that you don’t care about objective facts; reality is irrelevant to you. Your lab results are in and you clearly have the worst form of Obama Brain Cancer: you decided you liked him first and then tried to find reasons to justify it—or, conversely, you decided you hated Hillary first and then tried to find reasons to justify it.

    Unlike you, Matt, I’ve contrasted them broadly, deeply, and in detail. There ARE differences between the two re LGBT rights, but they aren’t found in what they both “support” which is functionally the same. They are found in Obama’s willingness to fuck gays with the McClurkin dildo in order to attract homophobic votes in South Carolina. They are found in his political word game over DOMA Section 2 when he still supports a state’s right to legally ban gay relationships. They are found in his lie to “The Advocate” that he was a chief cosponsor of and passed the gay rights bill in Illinois when he did neither.

    And that, in addition to his non gay-specific proposal failures, is why I want to keep Sen. Obama as far away from the White House as possible. Though I would support President Hillary Clinton appointing him Secretary of Hugs.

    PS: You can download the “Blueprint for Change—Barack Obama’s Plan for America Without the Gays” at

    http://www.barackobama.com/issues/

  38. Matt R says

    Name calling aside Michael.
    I liked Obama 7-8 months ago and thought my ideal would be Obama/Edwards (and I have said this to my friends consistently). It is not a recent turn. I do not work for any campaign, I haven’t volunteered for any campaign. I am just an observer who has been watching Obama talk about equality in all forums (going back to the 2004 speech where I first took notice). I understand your frustration with Clinton and Obama. I think she has a lot of good policies and don’t get me wrong, I will vote for her if she is the nominee (no weird threats about McCain). It must be very frustrating when you think a candidate represents you, but he web-site and public positions (outside of discussions/speeches to our community specifically) don’t play it out.

    I did read both position statements. Clinton’s secret one (I know it bugs you and it is irritating you, but it is the truth) and Obama’s very findable one. On Clinton’s (with the URL I cited earlier), she does not talk about 1,100 federal gay rights, she might on her HRC scorecard, but she is strangely ambiguous on her position paper, saying: “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.” Sounds good. Now oppose that with Obama: “Barack Obama supports full civil unions that give same-sex couples equal legal rights and privileges as
    married couples, including the right to assist their loved ones in times of emergency as well as equal
    health insurance, employment benefits, and property and adoption rights. Obama also believes we need
    to fully repeal the Defense of Marriage Act and enact legislation that would ensure that the 1,100+ federal
    legal rights and benefits currently provided on the basis of marital status are extended to same-sex
    couples in civil unions and other legally-recognized unions. ”

    He is saying equal rights as those of “married couples”. Hillary doesn’t say that (These are direct quotes). He is saying 1,100 federal legal rights that are provided to marital status, and extend them to civil unions. Hillary doesn’t make that married equivalent position.

    On don’t ask don’t tell, yes Obama says review with the military commanders (not the best statement), but he also says, “Obama believes we need to repeal the “don’t ask, don’t tell” policy.” A very direct statement. Clinton says, “End Don’t Ask Don’t Tell
    Hillary knows that courage, honor, patriotism and sacrifice – the traits that define our men and women in uniform – have nothing to do with sexual orientation. She’s concerned that the military is discharging people with critical skills, including desperately needed Arabic language skills. Hillary believes that this is a matter of national security and as president, she will address it.” She’ll end it, but not because it is a discriminatory policy, or because LGBT’s deserve equal rights, but because we need their “critical skills” and this is a “national security” matter. Doesn’t sound like she just supports us, just wants to use us.

    I understand your frustration, but these simple comparisons (and I know they are simple, but I am not going to talk about all of my months studying these issues and how I am such an expert and everyone should trust me), but just doing simple comparisons, Clinton doesn’t seem nearly as strong on LGBT rights and issues. It is easy for someone to say that I might have drunk the cool aide (and revert to name calling and profanity), but when you look at the 2 sites (when you find Hillary’s ) what other conclusion could you come to except that Obama (and all of his speeches/references supporting our rights to hostile audiences, vs. Clinton’s lack of any similar speeches/references) has better LGBT positions and appears to be more behind them (thus public).

    While the cool-aide references are coming towards Obama supporters, it is a way of discounting their perspectives, but in the face of these comparisons, I wonder who has really drunk the cool-aide and is now doing anything (e.g. I am an expert, you are coolaide drinker, what “horsesh*t”) to substantiate it.

  39. Matt R says

    Oh and Michael,
    Thanks for the guidance on where to find Obama’s Issues doc. You talk about comparing the candidates like-to-like. Obama has 20 issues here and I agree none of them gay issues. However, similarly on Clinton’s site, she also has a 14 point key “issues” section, and none of them have anything on LGBT either. So comparison to comparison they are equal on that part (neither discussing it). But I can find his views and policies on LGBT under people (afterall we are people and have different perspectives just like Asian American’s, African American’s, Women, etc., so a sufficiently good place to discuss these policies). However, Hillary doesn’t have any of it. I don’t know how you could come to any other comparative conclusion other than she is hiding us deep in her web-site, to get our votes and money (since she gives our boards and organizations the links), but not parading us in front of other voters (who could be hostile), because what? That isn’t what she is about? She doesn’t want to risk pissing off the evangelicals? Doesn’t want to alienate anyone who doesn’t support gay rights (those like McClurkin)? Why? I don’t think she is bad (again I will vote for her if she is the nominee), but it does make one wonder what her real commitment is to our equality.

    Signing off to watch Sarah Connor.

  40. Michael Bedwell says

    Great idea for a show, if not particularly well-executed, though I’ll be watching it, too, and would like to be trapped alone in a bunker with young John Connor.

    When you’re finished, please tell me, without looking it up, exactly what you remember Obama saying in that 2004 speech which first triggered your interest.

  41. Matt says

    “FACT: Barack Obama supports a full repeal of DOMA, Hillary Clinton does not.

    FACT: Barack Obama never embraced “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell”. Hillary Clinton did until 1999 when she said she had a problem with its implementation.

    FACT: Hillary Clinton said in the Logo Forum that Bill Clinton saved us from the FMA by signing DOMA – COMPLETE revisionist history.

    FACT: Hillary Clinton voted for the Iraq war.

    A gay voter has a clear choice in my mind.

    Posted by: John | Feb 11, 2008 1:56:09 PM”

    FACT: Politicians will say anything to get elected or re-elected — just look at John McCain’s flipflopping on various hotbutton issues in the past four years. If Obama wins in November and doesn’t dissolve DOMA within the first two years of his presidency, he’s as full of shit as I think he is. We Dems have been screwed before by our leaders (see Pelosi & Reid’s recent antics) and I betcha we probably will be again in the near future.

  42. Matty R says

    Michael,
    It was the national stage of the democratic convention and he mentioned (not talking for sentences or paragraphs) about equality of many people, including gays. That it was the party of many perspectives and voices…. something like that. While not a big speech just about gay rights, on that stage, at that time, better than done before to that type of broad audience and national live coverage. Clinton (either of them) didn’t talk about us. But Obama did. During his own election year. On the biggest stage/audience he has ever had. Thats balls. And you know he believes it, not just that it is a political calculation (that could therefore be easily changed).
    And I agree on john connor, but I would like him about 5-10 years older.

  43. Michael Bedwell says

    Thanks for your memory, Matt. Here’s what he actually said:

    “We coach little league in the blue states and, yes, we’ve got some gay friends in the red states.”

    What balls did that take?

    SOURCE: http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/articles/A19751-2004Jul27.html

    NOTHING about “equality” of gays. Less even than the cliche, “Some of my best friends are gay.” Hell, Dick Cheney has a gay daughter and look how far THAT’s got us.

    And, I’m sorry, but no it wasn’t “better than done before to that type of broad audience and national live coverage.” He was giving the keynote of the Democratic National Convention that year. The speech style of describing a mix of peoples was something of a steal from the person who did it better exactly TWENTY YEARS before—Jesse Jackson’s keynote at the 1984 Democratic National Convention in San Francisco, also broadcast live to a national audience. There were two main differences—Jackson’s speech was even more eloquent and not only did he mention gays AND lesbians twice, HE did call for gay rights explicitly:

    “The Rainbow includes lesbians and gays. No American citizen ought to be denied equal protection from the law.”

    demonstrating the balls two decades ago that you wrongly give Obama credit for four years ago. How do I know? I was in the hall that night and heard it with my own ears. But you probably won’t believe me so here’s a link to its transcript:

    http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/pages/frontline/jesse/speeches/jesse84speech.html

    To be fair, Jesse Jackson is supporting Obama’s campaign. But I doubt it’s because he imagines him the champion of gay equality that you do.

  44. How Quickly We Forget says

    Senator Obama has spoken directly about gay issues to audiences that are not friendly to the gay community. Even at the “scandalous” McClurkin event, he stood in the pulpit and condemned the way that the church has been cruel and unjust to the gay community. The Clintons enacted Don’t Ask Don’t Tell and many other unfair policies that President Bush took advantage of during his presidency. How quickly we forget? Oh, you would rather see a candidate in office, like McCain, who gleefully disrespects you than vote for Senator Obama than go ahead. You can not stop the progress of the future.

  45. says

    I heard the voice form the bottom of LGBT for getting more rights. Thanks for doing so many things for us.
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