Thursday, February 28, 2008



Hillary has been outstanding on gay issues, among the very best in Congress. Many of my gay friends are supporting her with genuine enthusiasm. This week Obama has reached out to the gay community for support as well. His outreach goes beyond aggressive advertising in gay media-- a good step in itself. He released an open letter to the GLBT community and he promises, like Hillary, though certainly not like the nasty old man born back in the 30's in Panama when people were hauling water on burros and being gay was considered an aberration to be hidden away. I don't know if HRC has endorsed McCain or plans to, but judging by their atrocious endorsements-- like Lieberman, Susan Collins and Al D'Amato-- one will never be far from wrong in expecting the worst from them. McCain has flip flopped on gay issues depending on how it impacts his own career trajectory. Mostly recently he's decided to go for the homophobic GOP base so he's taken virulently anti-gay stances that he once denounced. McCain defines what it is to be a political hack. Obama, on the other hand, has been straight forward and his reasoning is based firmly in strongly held values and principles.
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.

...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.

Some gay people still harbor some resentments towards Obama because of the appearances he did with loony preacher/singer Donnie McClurkin last year. I accepted his public disavowal of McClurkin's homophobic position as sincere: "[H]e espouses beliefs about homosexuality that I completely reject." Coupled with his own record-- and compared to what McCain has in store for gay people-- I would say Obama is a really good deal for the GLBT community.

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At 12:32 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Sounds absolutely fabulous!

At 3:23 PM, Blogger Locomotive Breath said...

Boring. There's that misuse of 'homophobic' again.

At 3:25 PM, Anonymous Megaman_X said...

I'm trying to avoid this primary season and just wait for it to end, because there's been a lot of attacks and sliming from both camps. And if you want an example of how our online blogs have deteriorated from all this vicious arguing, look no further than MyDD. I used to love that website, but now I can't look at the diaries without seeing at least two that dig some terrible sory about Obama's past. (The Obama/NAFTA thing was made up.) Daily KOS leans toward Obama, but I don't see anything vicious toward Hillary as I do toward Obama on MyDD. And it's really sad, because again, I liked reading MyDD. (However, they're not like DWT, because for one thing, they don't seem to mind Bill Foster. Take that how you will.)

At 3:28 PM, Anonymous Megaman_X said...

I meant, "anything vicious as often as I do toward Obama on MyDD". I do see a nasty diary on Daily KOS about Hillary once in a while.

At 8:18 AM, Blogger jeffrey said...

His public disavowal is worthless. He had plenty of time to remove Mclurkin from the lineup and chose not to. If Hillary shared the stage with a white supremacist preacher there would be no forgiveness.

At 8:20 AM, Blogger jeffrey said...

Also, the Obama NAFTA "thing" isn't "made up" just because the players involved deny it. CTV stands by their story, reconfirming it again today.

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