The CNN/YouTube Democratic Debate is now history and up next are the Republican presidential candidates. On September 17th, the Republicans will come together in a format similar to the ones the Democrats engaged in on July 23rd.
The Democrats had to answer to questions focused on LGBT equality. One question was from an adorable lesbian couple from Brooklyn who wanted to know if the candidates will allow them to marry. The second question, which was one of the most powerful of the two hour debate, was from a Black Baptist minister from North Carolina who asked "why is it still acceptable to use religion to deny gay Americans their full and equal rights?" The Democrats gave to varying degrees acceptable answers with only Mike Gravel and Dennis Kucinich support marriage equality.
I want to see the Republicans face even more questions.
This is not because I am a partisan Democrat, which I am. Its because I believe that the Republicans have far more to answer for. Members of the GOP have repeatedly used LGBT people and our families as political footballs to score points with their and divide the American electorate. They have blocked the advancement of federal protections for LGBT Americans and led efforts to pass anti-gay constitutional amendments in dozens of states.
When I say that, I don't mean to give a free pass to the Democrats. They are not where we need them to be and we need to keep up the pressure to make them stronger advocates for LGBT equality. We have given enough votes and enough money to Democrats that they should go to the mat for us to pass the Employment Non-Discrimination Act and the hate crimes despite veto threats from President Bush.
CNN and YouTube will be accepting video questions for the Republican candidates from now until September 16th. Let's flood YouTube with videos asking the Republican candidates why the oppose legal recognition for our families, why the have opposed non-discrimination legislation, why the support kicking qualified soldiers out of the simply because they are gay.
The LGBT related questions that were raised during the Democratic debate gave national voice to our issues in a way that had not been done before. With a simple webcam we can force the presidential candidates to deal with LGBT civil rights.
Cross posted at Bloggernista.