Marti Abernathey

Obama's My Girl

Filed By Marti Abernathey | November 27, 2007 9:06 AM | comments

Filed in: Marriage Equality, Politics, The Movement
Tags: Barack Obama, campaign 2008, Democrats, gay marriage, gay rights, hate crimes against LGBT people, Hillary Rodham Clinton, video YouTube

Editor's note: This post is part of series called Meet the Candidates in which Bilerico contributors write about why they are supporting their chosen candidate.

Hillary Clinton seems to have a status just short of Judy Garland, Cher, or Madonna within the GLBT community. Maybe I'm bucking the trend, but Hillary's not my girl... Obama is.

He may not be the diva that Clinton is, but his appeal to me has always been about his solid progressive values. There is a clear delineation between Obama and most other candidates in the presidential race. Obama has a history of taking on progressive issues like homophobia and transphobia in his home state of Illinois. Obama supported hate crimes laws on the state level, and repeatedly co-sponsored what is now a non-discrimination law that covers the entire LGBT community. Around the same time, Clinton was asked about transgender inclusion in ENDA. She said "No one who's a leader in the gay and lesbian community has asked me to do that."

Some gay and lesbian politicos will mention the Donnie McClurkin controversy as a reason why they won't support Obama. The political reality is a minefield for Obama. He has the difficult task of building a big tent Democratic Party that includes factions that vehemently disagree with each another.

If Obama blew off African American's who are against marriage equality for gays and lesbians, he'd be throwing away votes from 60 to 70 percent of the African American community. Instead of burning bridges, Obama is focused on building them. Even before hostile (anti-GLBT) audiences he doesn't shy away from talking about our issues. On a number of occasions he has spoken about LGBT civil rights and HIV/AIDS to conservative religious Christians. Obama is standing fast on his support and for civil unions, ENDA, and hate crimes legislation.

During these perilous times, strong leadership is crucial in the White House. In Clinton's qualified support of her husband's passage of DOMA and DADT, Hillary Clinton claimed pragmatism is what led to her husband's choice. She called it “a transition policy” that was no longer “the best way for us as a nation to proceed.” Obama isn't a fair weather friend. He doesn't pick a dialect for the occasion, or a speech tailor made to his audience. He speaks his beliefs with passion and consistency. He's not afraid to wade into hostile territory and engage folks on issues that they may think are controversial. He is committed to meeting people where they and helping increase understanding and tolerance.

Obama's stance on civil unions isn't some watered down, half baked promise. He is stated clearly that he favors the full repeal of the Defense of Marriage Act and will work to achieve all of the benefits of marriage for same-sex couples. On Ellen Degeneres' show he said:

You know what I would do is immediately set up a civil union that is equal in federal rights so that all the states, all the rights that are conferred by the states are the same for gays and lesbians, same sex couples as for any other couple, in terms of marriage, what I would do is I would say each religious denomination can make their own decision.

Sewing together a big tent out of the factions within the Democratic Party is a tough thing to do. One of the hallmarks of a true progressive is consistent movement towards an ultimate goal. Obama continues to more forward in his life and politics. His convictions expressed in words ring true with his actions. He's no diva, but Barack Obama's strong stance on our community's most vital issues is more than enough for me to vote for him for president.

Click to read Obama's platform on LGBT issues.


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Seven very important reasons not to vote for Barak Obama:

FIRST, he’s a Democrat, a political hustler in a right centrist party who’ll say anything to get elected. As Gore Vidal said says “We have one party - we have the party of essentially corporate America. It has two right wings, one called Democratic, one called Republican.” A vote for either party is a wasted vote, and worse, a vote for people whose pigheaded opposition to samesex marriage and gutting of ENDA make them open opponents of GLBT equality.

SECOND, like Clinton and the Republicans he openly, arrogantly and unashamedly panders to gay bashing christian bigots.

THIRD, like Clinton and the Republicans he’s a candidate bought and paid for by corporate interests; a virtual rogue’s gallery of vampiric parasites including:
Goldman Sachs $430,578
JP Morgan Chase & Co $273,359
Exelon Corp $269,100
Kirkland & Ellis $256,089
Sidley Austin LLP $241,525
Lehman Brothers $241,090
Citigroup Inc $207,500
Skadden, Arps et al $206,271
Jenner & Block $186,629
Mayer, Brown et al $168,056
Citadel Investment Group $166,600
Time Warner $162,218
Jones Day $158,400
UBS AG $155,150
Morgan Stanley $127,675
Credit Suisse Group $125,950

Companies don’t donate. They set up PACS and ask employees to donate by giving them an offer they can’t refuse. As in all thing political it’s wise to take Deepthroat’s advice and “Follow the Money.”

FOURTH, Obama was the first presidential candidate to support the NAFTA Peru extension bill before Congress. Look at his list of donors above and his stand makes perfect sense.
According to MSNBC "Obama said he would vote for a Peruvian trade agreement next week…: in response to a questioner who called NAFTA and CAFTA a disaster for American workers.” The AFL-CIO, all Peruvian unions and most environmental and anti-poverty organizations oppose NAFTA because it’s used to pauperize workers, bust unions and is an environmental disaster. Obama, Clinton and most Republicans support NAFTA. They have to if they want corporate money.

FIFTH, in spite of all his hype about the war one thing remains crystal clear, neither he, Edwards, Clinton and the Republicans can end the war. A victory by the Iraqis will end it, just like the war in Vietnam was ended.

Congress has voted to fund the war at every turn and Bush has dug the US in so deeply and created so much hatred in the Middle East that if they pull out oil imports will virtually dry up. The US will be dependent on the good will of the anti-American governments of socialist Hugo Chavez in Venezuela, Putin in Russia, and the leftist Lula in Brazil. That’s why Obama and the all the leading Democratic and Republican candidates flatly refuse to promise withdrawal before 2013.

SIXTH, like Clinton and the Republicans, Obama is a hand puppet for the HMO, pharmaceutical and insurance industries. Don’t get sick if one of them wins, or if you do fly to the to the EU for treatment. If it’s a life threatening emergency hightail it to Canada or Cuba.

The National Nurses Organizing Committee, AFL-CIO condemns Obama, saying “There are two basic options for healthcare reform: increase the role of health insurance companies or replace them. Obama has chosen to give more customers and more public funds to the for-profit insurance corporations. It’s an expensive gift and one that allows them to continue meddling in medical decision-making while raking in obscene blood-money profits.”

SEVENTH, and most important, if enough people vote for him he might win.
http://www.opensecrets.org/politicians/allcontrib.asp?CID=N00009638
http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2007/04/17/AR2007041701688.html
http://www.guaranteedhealthcare.org/blog/shum-preston/2007/05/29/barack-obama-needs-see-sicko
http://firstread.msnbc.msn.com/archive/2007/10/09/403888.aspx
http://www.alternet.org/workplace/67680/
http://www.abcnews.go.com/Politics/wireStory?id=3383532

One thing I've heard repeatedly from activists and organizers in Iowa and Nevada is that Obama seems to be the most stand-offish to gays and lesbians.

While he'll sign shirts, etc he wouldn't sign HRC shirts for a couple from Chicago at the Steak Fry a while back. Every other candidate was willing to take pictures, sign shirts, etc with the two - but Obama just told them "I only sign copies of my book people have purchased." Three persons down the line he signed a t-shirt for someone else. Several folks have complained that he gave them short shrift when he realized they were gay and now think he's the most homophobic (using homophobic not in a mean, "Burn in HELL!" type of way, but the lingering homophobia that all people have to deal with) of the contenders.

Michael Crawford Michael Crawford | November 27, 2007 12:21 PM

So Bill are you saying that we should just leave angry comments on blogs rather than vote?

I think Barack Obama is basically a nice guy, but I don't think he's qualified to be President . . . yet. And while I absolutely agree that LGBT issues are important to me when I decide who to vote for, assuming the candidate is good on those issues, I also want them to have a little experience/insight into national security, diplomacy, the economy, healthcare and all the other things that affect me both as a gay American and an American in general. And that's where Obama is sorely lacking, in my opinion.

Specifically regarding this post, though, I don't understand how Obama's McClurkin dust-up was about not "throwing away votes from 60 to 70 percent of the African American community" but when other candidates don't fall 100% into place on issues like marriage they're "a fair weather friend" who picks "a dialect for the occasion."

I don't think we should hold Obama - or anyone else - to a different standard than the other candidates. But the idea that his "convictions expressed in words ring true with his actions" is a completely hollow claim. If he truly did that, he would have told the audience in South Carolina that, "I invited Donnie McClurkin to be here, but then I learned about his views about our 'gay friends in the red states,' and I realized that his message isn't a message I want to be associated with. So his invitation was rescinded."

THAT would have been putting some action behind his words.

Obama promotes bigoted crackpots promoting hateful, discredited dangerous therapies and religious discrimination under his campaign banner. He believes second class status is acceptable for our personal relationships.

That's really about all I need to know to know he's not the person I want in the White House.

I'm falling more and more along the lines of Bill Perdue lately. There's really little we can do to change the way things are with Democratic front-runners like these. Like Steve said, we shouldn't lower the bar for any candidate who doesn't support full equality. Well, that leaves Kucinich and Gravel, and let's be honest, they're not even trying. Even crazy Ron Paul was able to raise $4 million from anti-war Republicans last quarter.

It seems like they all have their major faults, but in the end my deal-breaker is voting for the war. All the Donnie McC's in the world can't compare to being one of those who pulled the trigger to go kill Iraqis to steal their resources. Like Steve said, LGBT issues are important, but they're definitely not the only thing out there.

Bil said:

"While he'll sign shirts, etc he wouldn't sign HRC shirts for a couple from Chicago at the Steak Fry a while back."

Perhaps he wouldn't sign HRC shirts because he knows that HRC is going to endorse Hilary Clinton.
HRC for HRC!

"While he'll sign shirts, etc he wouldn't sign HRC shirts for a couple from Chicago at the Steak Fry a while back."

This is a feature, not a bug.

Perhaps he wouldn't sign HRC shirts because he knows that HRC is going to endorse Hilary Clinton.

I wondered the same thing, Ethan. LOL All the other candidates signed though... I don't think it's a reason not to vote for him - don't get me wrong. Just an anecdotal bit I thought I'd pass on...

And I'm sorry Kathy, but I didn't understand what you were trying to say with your bug comment. :(

It's a feature (good thing), not a bug (bad thing).

It's good that Barack Obama snubbed the HRC, in her humble opinion.

But the joke is lost when someone has to explain it.

"While he'll sign shirts, etc he wouldn't sign HRC shirts for a couple from Chicago at the Steak Fry a while back."

This is a feature, not a bug.

Okay Kathy from now on i am not reading your comments while i have a mouth full of coffee.

Coffee Coffee Everywhere....

Take care
Susan Robins

So Michael, when you write all those angry posts do I get snippy? On the contrary I agree with your anger about bigotry. I'd like the same courtesy from you.

You can start by noting that I don't ask people not to vote, I ask them not to vote for their enemies.

"No, I'm not an American. I'm one of the 22 million black people who are the victims of Americanism. One of the 22 million black people who are the victims of democracy, nothing but disguised hypocrisy. So, I'm not standing here speaking to you as an American, or a patriot, or a flag-saluter, or a flag-waver -- no, not I... I don't see any American dream; I see an American nightmare."

That was Malcolm X.

I'd have voted for him in a heartbeat. I'll never vote for a corporate hand puppet of oil warriors, HMO murderers or union busters.


The sad part, Bill, is that Malcolm X would never have been elected President - no matter what party he was identified with (Green, Republican, Democrat, Labor, Bull Moose, whatever). I'm afraid the 3rd party that you so enthusiastically endorse has about as much of a shot at winning as Malcolm X - maybe less. More people knew he was...

I'm not trying to knock your party. I'm trying to bemoan the lack of a multi-party system in the US.

Something I've tried to consider in this political cycle is this:

Should our community vote for someone who seems to have religious or moral problems with the LGBT community (like Obama and Edwards) or someone who is pragmatic and logical, but still leaves us behind (like Clinton)?

While it stinks that we get thrown to the wolves at all, I tend to lean towards the logical (some might even say overly political or crafty) side rather than the people that have a religious-based problem with us. Will we still be sold out? Most likely, but at least a logical approach might get us further than fighting someone's ingrained religious bias.

While LGBT issues aren’t the only ones out there, they play a huge part in my decision-making. In a perfect world, we would have a great candidate who would stand up for the right things, like equality. The reality is, however, that we have to decide who might not sell us out quite as bad.

Does it suck? Yup. But until we can fix our political system (which we sorely need to do), we have to find the best way to further our causes with what we have.

Waymon:

I don't understand your broad generalization and quick dismissal of John Edwards on the basis of his so-called "moral or religious problems" with the LGBT community.

You may be referring to "0 for life" uber-consultant Bob Shrum. After being paid millions of dollars to produce a juicy memoir of his (unsuccessful) experience in politics, this disgruntled insider wrote that he thought Edwards was uncomfortable around gay people. First of all, this slanderous comment was directly and quickly refuted by Edwards. Second, I worked on the Kerry-Edwards Campaign and can tell you that it was Bob Shurm and the other consultants (many of whom are now advising Hillary) who advised John Kerry to come out in support of anti-gay constitutional amendments in MA and MO. They took every opportunity (even though Kerry disagreed with them) to throw our community under the bus to "appeal to conservative and independent voters." Shurm is the ultimate politician and will do whatever is necessary to win (even though he never did) and say whatever is necessary to sell books (like he did about Edwards--even though it was not true). Third, Edwards is the only candidate to have hired an openly gay National Political Director. Would he have hired him if he was uncomfortable around gay people? As illustrated in my blog posting earlier this month, Edwards has worked harder than Obama or Hillary to win support from the LGBT community.

And, as I said earlier, while I wish Edwards was in support of marriage equality, I am more confident that he will get there earlier at his wife & daughter's urging, than will Hillary with her closest advisor being the man who signed DOMA and Don't Ask, Don't Tell into law and who advised John Kerry in 2004 to support the Federal Marriage Amendment in order to win more conservative voters over.

President Clinton did much to open the doors of the White House to our community, but he ultimately signed DOMA and Don't Ask, Don't Tell and then more recently tried to get Kerry to sell us out for political gain. We know that Bill will be Hillary's closest advisor in the White House. Our community should have some serious concerns about whether or not we can trust Hillary--given the actions of her husband and their consultants.

Eric J. Stern

Waymon, there is no reason to believe that Obama has religious objections to homosexuality. He's a member of the UCC, a denomination which has no problem with homosexuality, and fully supports same-sex unions. His favorite theologians are liberals like Paul Tillich.

Hilary, on the other hand, belongs to the United Methodist Church, a denomination that believes that homosexuality is inherently sinful, and doesn't allow its clergy to officiate same-sex unions. This is the same denomination as George W. Bush. She doesn't really talk about her theology, but participates in bible studies with conservative evangelicals.

Bil, you’re absolutely right. People like him don’t win because the system is rigged against it. The profoundly anti-democratic Electoral College and hundreds of other laws make it hard, but not impossible for a third party to grow and win.

I don't really have a party so much as a time tested strategy of using elections to provide educational and recruiting potential for the left until things get really hot. The next time a third party wins it will signal the arrival of a radically changed political situation.

Basically, elections have not been the way democratic change has occurred in American history.

Figuratively speaking, we shoved a blunderbuss into one of George III’s orifices and politely inquired about independence. We got it.

Elections precipitated the Second American Revolution in 1860 but it was the ‘terrible swift sword’ of blue clad armies of workers, working farmers and ex-slaves that crushed the traitors of the slavocracy.

Elections didn’t win the great labor battles of the last century. They were won by a massive steel hardened union movement that said ‘give us what we want or we’ll take it.’ They got it.

Elections didn’t end the Vietnamese war. GI’s started fragging and soon began fighting to protect themselves, not to win. The antiwar movement grew exponentially and the Vietnamese resistance fought and won on the ground. Two presidents were run out of office and the war ended.

Some combination of mass, militant movements and electoral action will signal the next big change in American history. Let’s hope we’re ready.

Michael Crawford Michael Crawford | November 27, 2007 4:20 PM

Bill,

You are welcome to get snippy at any post that I write. Its all a part of the conversation.

For you to dismiss all of the viable candidates, doesn't make much sense to me. One of them will become the next president and we will have to deal with them. Should we not help to elect the best of the bunch?


Can we just put this out there . . . Obama's sexy. That's why people should vote for him. Worked for JFK.

OK, I'm done now.

Mike, I don’t just dismiss them. I do my homework and PROVE they’re bigots, handpuppets for the rich, war supporters and union busters. THEN I dismiss them as two bit hustlers and enemies. Why don’t you try doing a little homework to knock holes in my analysis?

I provided hyperlinks for all the data I presented. Look them up and refute them. Or try to prove why voting for our enemy does anything but empower them and allow them to take us for granted. Why is a Mojave green rattler better than a Carolina cottonmouth? You feed them and pet them and keep them fat and happy and just when you think they’re your friend…

I have to go now; tomorrow it’s the Heir Apparent’s turn. She’s been hustling longer than Obama and her rap sheet’s as long as my arm. It’s an embarrassment of riches and I’ve got to winnow it down.

Marla R. Stevens Marla R. Stevens | November 27, 2007 8:45 PM

I should hope so, Serena -- that's the sort of thinking that got us Evan Bayh and Dan Quayle -- shudder.

And, Marti, thanks for being willing to throw my right to equal access to civil marriage under the bus. Civil unions cannot be equal to civil marriage (see nonredundancy and portability, particularly international portability). He's either ignorant (of the law? Harvard-trained, brilliant legal mind and legislator who has had this issue in front of him???) or a liar playing voters for fools -- neither of which are exactly endearing in a candidate.

And he does keep religious company with some pretty hard-core anti-LGBT people -- the UCC is not monolithic on the subject by a long shot, particularly not the predominantly African-American version of it.

But, bottom line, he's not electable. Edwards is the most electable of the bunch.

Serena~ Absolutely! I'd be willing to support a Mark Feehily run for prez, even if he's not American or 35. (Something tells me that Kevin Erickson and Brynn are going to be the only people on this thread to get that reference.)

Bill~ I'm really glad, actually, that you put so much research into your comments on here. Have fun with the HRC - she has a longer rap sheet more experience than the other candidates!

But I think what people (Bil and Crawford) are referring to is the message of hopelessness that comes with saying that no Democrat is good enough. Are we holding off the good for the perfect? Did I really just use that expression? Are there alternatives to the Democrats that are viable? Are there things we can do to help out?

Marla~ I do wonder about that electability argument. I've posted about it here before, and besides the qualms I have with that argument in general, I just don't see it with regards to Edwards. He has the longest track record for losing of all the serious candidates, he's the worst fund-raiser of the top three, he's not ahead in the polls, the boy couldn't handle the media to save his life, and he has agreed to a $50M spending cap on his campaign (I'm all for reining in campaign finance... but it can't happen unilaterally from a Democrat because then he's just handing over the election).

I'm really wondering what "electability", as adopted as a frame by his campaign, really means. This article points to my thoughts on the subtext of Edwards' frame:

Steven Ray, a corn and soybean farmer and an assistant volunteer fire chief in Columbus, listened to Edwards last week and could not pinpoint a specific policy he liked. But, Ray said, "If he'll come to Columbus, he's for small towns." Besides, Ray added, "I'm not ready to vote for a woman or a black man yet."

Advisers to Clinton and Obama have accused Edwards of quietly spreading the idea that the country isn't ready to elect a woman or a black man to the presidency. Asked to explain precisely why Clinton, in particular, has electability problems, Edwards paused for a full 25 seconds before answering.

"I don't know," he said. "I'm not honestly sure I could articulate what it is. I think I'd be speculating. My guess is, it's a whole bunch of things."

Is Edwards subtly saying: "In the end, red state rubes aren't going to vote for a woman or a black man, and do you really want to trust the fate of the country to the idea that they will?" I'm not saying that his supporters or you or anyone else is saying that specifically, but it's hard to see any other reason for his "electability" (outside of a very small number of cherry-picked polls he refers to).

And when it comes to marriage, he's throwing us "under the bus" just as much as Obama.

Dear Alex:

In late 2003/early 2004, everyone was ready to coronate Howard Dean as Democratic nominee for President. He had the most money, was a Governor (executive experience), and was on top of the polls going into the IA caucuses. Meanwhile, John Edwards and John Kerry were in single digits nationally & in IA. Contrary to popular belief, Dean did not lose because of the "scream." He lost because instead of building a local grassroots infrastructure in IA, he shipped in volunteers mostly from the Northeast to run his get out the vote operation for the caucuses. These out of state volunteers did not know the precincts in IA and were unable to connect and ultimately persuade enough IA voters to caucus for Dean. Meanwhile, Kerry and Edwards had built a local volunteer base in IA and despite having less money and being in single digits--the NIGHT before the caucuses--Kerry finished first and Edwards finished second.

Edwards has a local volunteer precinct captain in every single one of Iowa's precincts. Meanwhile, while Hillary has an abundance of cash, she has hired 100 out of state paid staffers in the last 4 weeks to run the IA caucuses for her. While she and Obama have had to spend millions and millions of dollars on TV, radio, and print ads in IA just to catch up with John Edwards in the local polls, Edwards has quietly been doing what needs to be done to win in IA--persuading the caucus-going voters (many of those being polled in IA will not caucus ultimately which is why IA polls are not all that useful even those taken the night before the caucuses) to come out for him on January 3 and to bring their friends with them. If Edwards wins IA, he, like Kerry before him, walks into NH, SC, and NV with momentum and an influx of cash--making the $$ advantage Clinton & Obama had irrelevant and making anything possible.

Second, while Kerry/Edwards may have lost in 2004, you cannot really say all that much about Clinton or Obama in comparison in terms of their records. Hillary was not elected First Lady and she had a cakewalk in both of her Senate races. Obama's race--come on--I was working in Iowa in 2004 and we had Obama's volunteers coming over from IL to help us with the Quad Cities because that race was such a joke. You can make a reasonable argument that Clinton was tested by all of the Whitewater scandals and the Monica affair (and the other affairs yet to be disclosed), but you can not make the argument that Obama has been tested. Finally, Edwards is the only candidate in the race to have won in what was a very red state at the time.

You continue to insinuate that the Edwards is implying that voters are not ready to elect an African-American man or a woman. These contentions are unfounded and frankly insulting to those of us who have been volunteering our time for this campaign. I respect and admire your writings, but wish that you would stop breathing life into that conspiracy theory.

We believe that Edwards is the most electable candidate because he has from day one been running a grassroots 50-state campaign (consistent with the DNC/Dean 50-state plan--which has had great success). This kind of campaign is one that brings more states into play in the general election--which ultimately helps Democrats up and down the ballot. Further, because Edwards (unlike Clinton) has not taken money from corporations (pharma industry, defense industry, HMOs) and will preside over the country based on the people who contributed to his campaign, his candidacy presents a CLEAR choice for voters trying to decide between a Democratic candidate and a Republican candidate.

Best,
Eric

Eric~

If the electability argument is about his game plan in Iowa, then why is it being used as an argument to vote for him? If he really has the better game plan in Iowa, then we'll see it play out in early 08, he'll win, and there'll have been no need to make the electability argument to create a bandwagon to vote for him, since it will have played itself out by getting him elected (to the Dem nom).

If it's really about the 50-state plan, well, are we really being asked to believe that Clinton and Obama won't plan for the other 49 states outside of Iowa? Where they're currently beating Edwards? Yes, Edwards has had the hardest campaign history of the top three (yeah, Obama's Senate race against Keyes was a cakewalk), but I'm just not seeing the political mastermind here that you apparently are. I'm seeing someone who voted for the war, can't get a handle on the way the media's interpreting his campaign, has vowed to put a cap on his campaign spending (even from small, individual contributions) that Republicans will never agree to themselves, etc., etc. Maybe we'll just have to agree to disagree on this point.

Regarding race/sex, I wasn't saying that any of his supporters are out there making racist and sexist arguments for him to be president. (Maybe this is why Pam calls race a "third-rail" issue, since talking about it at all makes people feel threatened and "insulted".) It's not a conspiracy theory to say that racism and sexism still color our political system and affect the way elections turn out, and it's not conspiracy theorizing to ask why the top white male keeps on harping on a vague concept of "electability" when he has trouble defining why exactly the other candidates aren't electable. Most campaign speak nowadays happens in code, and there's totally a reason why that issue is up there. Maybe it's because he/his campaign needs to get that message out because some people have already written him off. Maybe it's because he/his campaign thinks that those arguments are convincing. Maybe it's one of the few things that he thinks distinguishes his campaign.

But we can't really deny that racism and sexism still permeate our culture, and that when the leading white man says that he's the most "electable", already a pretty lazy argument, then some/most people are going to take it as a reference to race and sex. And I have a hard time believing that he doesn't know that....

On campaign finance, Obama, according to Open Secrets, has financed his campaign on individual donations at the same rate that Edwards has - 99%. And he was able to raise much more. And if Edwards isn't trying to stay in the good graces of the health care and defense industries, then he why hasn't he supported a single-payer system or immediate pull-out of Iraq? I'm not saying that he's secretly getting money from those industries, that'd be silly, I'm just saying that his current financial position hasn't translated into supporting better policy.

And I don't really see how someone who took two years off politics to work for a firm that specializes in off-shore hedge funds is a real choice next to Republicans. And if we're going to talk about "insulting", then his excuse that he worked there to learn about poverty is frankly insulting to our intelligence.

Best of luck with the campaign (but I'm not going to stop criticizing it out of fear of insulting those very awesome campaigners),

~Alex

From Where They Stand: Part Two:

SEN. BARACK OBAMA

Transgender Issues: Supported inclusion of gender identity in hate crimes and employment legislation. Though he has recently avoided the transgender issue in his gay position paper, he told a gay reporter in 2004: “The transgendered community has to be protected. I just don’t have any tolerance for that sort of intolerance. And I think we need to legislate aggressively to protect them.

Sorry, Eric, but personally I don't buy it. Edwards couldn't even win South Carolina, his birth state, in '04, and I certainly see no reason at this point to believe he's got any better of a shot this time.

Hilary Clinton will win for two reasons:

1. She's a woman and women will vote for her in droves because they want to see a woman as President, regardless of her politics.

2. Her last name is Clinton, and after the last 7 years, the idea of another President Clinton in office is very comforting to many.

C'mon, Eric, you know as well as I do that Presidential elections aren't really about politics, they're popularity contests. George W. Bush wasn't elected because he's a master legislator or a great leader. He was elected because of his last name and because his personality appealed to voters. Hillary will be our next President because she's the most popular and the most appealing to the largest number of voters.

Edwards has no chance, no more than Kucinich, Richardson, Dodd, or Biden. The only two who might give her a run for her money are Obama, though doubtful now that he's lost the GLBT vote, and Al Gore, should he enter the race. Barring those two possibilities, Hillary might as well pick out her curtains for the Oval Office right now.

Edwards, electable? Not in this reality.

Rebecca~

Ah! Ah! Inevitability! Electability's evil twin! Ah! Ah!

But you're not using it as a reason to support HRC, and I'll save that rant for tomorrow!

Marla R. Stevens Marla R. Stevens | November 28, 2007 1:49 AM

The electability thing is not a function of race- or sex-baiting on Edwards' part (although, when it is in play, he is not responsible for it and, in contrast, has done much that would let such voters know that he would not be a champion of such ideas for them, starting with the choice of location for his campaign kick-off). It's at least as much a measure of how much he resonates as less slick than they (less wet finger in the wind as policy statement determinant) thus more trustworthy and real as well as how much he resonates on economic issues with independents and the deciding factor middle voters who voted for both Reagan and Bill Clinton.

The latest Zogby poll showing this is just one in a long line of them. Sen. HRC's got huge negatives when considering Dems alone and they only get worse when you count the entire electorate.

Edwards did not lose. Kerry did.

Edwards was madder'n-a-hornet that Kerry quit instead of fighting for the Ohio win that would've been his, for instance.

And Edwards is not throwing us under the bus on civil marriage equality. His position, while titularly opposed, is, on a practical level, one of support in that he supports DOMA repeal -- the one non-bully-pulpit thing he could do as president to ensure civil marriage equality. Obama does not support DOMA repeal. He, like Sen. HRC, stops short of that at support for only civil unions which, given their opposition to the Brown decision equivalency, is utterly unconscionable for anyone who lays claim to support for racial equality and, for an African-American, is strangely and sickeningly Orwellian.

Eric's right about Dean's Iowa loss not being the scream -- he screamed after he lost -- and right about his lack of proper organization being at the root of it. But there was more. Those clueless workers were also incredibly rude and "we're Northeasterners and you're not" arrogant, they cut people off on the highways, drove non-American cars, littered, illegally used other people's dumpsters, and were literally guilty of being too stupid to come in out of the horrendous weather we had that winter.

And this is absolutely dead-to-rights true:

"Edwards has a local volunteer precinct captain in every single one of Iowa's precincts. Meanwhile, while Hillary has an abundance of cash, she has hired 100 out of state paid staffers in the last 4 weeks to run the IA caucuses for her. While she and Obama have had to spend millions and millions of dollars on TV, radio, and print ads in IA just to catch up with John Edwards in the local polls, Edwards has quietly been doing what needs to be done to win in IA--persuading the caucus-going voters (many of those being polled in IA will not caucus ultimately which is why IA polls are not all that useful even those taken the night before the caucuses) to come out for him on January 3 and to bring their friends with them."

Then factor in the comparative percentages of first-time (might or more likely might not be) caucus-goers -- both Sen. HRC and Obama have very high levels of first-timers whereas Edwards is comparatively much higher in caucus regulars.

One wild card is the effect of the date change that runs into the holidays when many leave the state for warmer climate vacations. Another is that many college students were registered by the campaigns with the school addresses they were expected to be at on caucus night instead of now still being at home. Sen. HRC and Edwards are expected to have a disproportionate negative impact on the former of these and Obama and Sen. HRC expected to have a disproportionate negative impact on the latter -- a double whammy for Sen. HRC.

Sen. HRC and Obama are dumping massive pots of cash with little to no lasting effect in the polls. Edwards is spending comparatively little yet holding his own. Iowa's still considered just too close to call.

Electability is hardly a "lazy argument" -- it's a real concern for those of us who are sick of what NeoCon-Republican rule has wrought and is a huge factor right now in both Iowa's and New Hampshire's voters' candidate evaluations -- so much so that even the New York Times took notice of it statistically in their most recent major election poll done jointly with CBS. In Iowa, nearly half the Democratic likely caucus goers rate electability higher than any issue. In New Hampshire, that rises to around sixty-eight percent. (It figures even higher in Republican voters' minds.)

One more thing, Alex, your crit of Edwards and troop withdrawal from Iraq is just not justified. Edwards, unlike Obama and Clinton, does stand for removing all combat troops from Iraq, leaving only troops necessary for such ordinary things as embassy protection no different than we have, say, in France, Canada, and Mexico where Marines guarding them are placed in numbers commensurate with the level of threat, and his timetable for withdrawal, while a bit longer than Richardson's is still much shorter than either Obama's or Clinton's.

Yes, he had a day job while studying and working on poverty issues. That hardly makes him the wholely-owned subsidiary of the worst of the worst that Sen. HRC is and that Obama has approached being.

And imagine his eldest daughter having a bully pulpit of her own, along with her mother...We could not ask for better friends than they.

Marla~


On gay couplehood issues, I don't really get what you're saying. All of the Dem candidates have said in various forums that thd sign a bill to overturn DOMA if presented with it. The only one to stray was HRC at the HRC/Logo debate where she said that she'd only seek to overturn section 3, which happens to be the only functional, nonredundant part of the bill. It's a bizarre way of saying pretty much the same thing. Obama's been on record as opposing the DOMa in many forums. And there isn't a civil unions position on it. There really isn't much space between the serious candidates on queer issues at all.

On Iraq, he doesn't just support a few embassy guards - the Wash Post estimates that he would support about 15K troops staying in Iraq for various missions. Which is better, of course, than HRC's position, which is basically "I'm not telling you what I'm going to do on Iraq until I'm in office, suckahs!" But still nowhere near a pull-out, and he still voted for the war. Apology or not, it was a pretty stupid move that should make us all question his judgment.

On his job, it wasn't just a day job while he studied up on poverty, he said that the very reason he took a job working in one of the most elitist, secretive, and lucrative fields of the already elitist, secretive, and lucrative finance industry was to learn about poverty. When there are so many other jobs he could have taken that actually worked with the poor (like giving some of that trial attorneying to people who can't afford it, maybe), it's ridiculous to think that hiding away with hedge fund analysts would actually make him more knowledgable about poverty. And it was basically taking a big check to work against what he says he's for - decreasing the rich/poor gap - since off-shore hedgefunds are specifically designed to take money from the poor and evade taxation.

On electability, if the position is that he'll do better in the primary than the others, then let's not argue and see how the whole thing turns out. There's really no need since if he is more electable in the primary, then he'll prove it by getting elected.

If we're talking about the general election, well, I'm not going to reiterate my arguments there, and I'm just going to say again how frustrating it is that people use the fact that others would vote for their candidate as a reason to vote for a candidate! Besides getting caught up in vague debate about the metrics of the meta of politics that can be used to prove that anyone is the most electable (like that Zogby poll you mention is pretty much bunk, analysis here). Anyone can be argued to be the most electable, and it always seems that the candidate that a person is personally supporting ends up being their most electable. (Case in point is Storm defense of Kucinich's electability yesterday.) I don't like also the implication that comes with that argument that we should support a candidate that isn't that good in favor of one who's more easily elected (that's what I meant by it being a "lazy argument"), and I'm skeptical when people decide that they can predict how things are going to turn out over the next year from this far out. Remember when McCain was an inevitability in '08? And when Republicans would never go for Rudy G.? And when Kerry's veteran credentials were untouchable? There's really no way to know who's the most electable, especially since a good candidate will change the playing field in the next year.

In the end, the Democrats' top 5 are all electable against any of the top GOP candidates if we and they work at it over the next year. That's what I'm sayin'!

Rebecca:

I refuse to stop advocating for the candidate in whom I believe just because the media and the Washington insiders coronated Hillary as the nominee months and months ago. Frankly, this seems to be why many individuals are supporting Hillary--because she leads in the polls, is the frontrunner and has the Clinton last name. For me, that is just not enough and I believe that the passion Edwards (and Obama) supporters have for those candidates may in fact translate to more action and turn out in the early state contests. Anything is possible in the next 30-40 days--if we haven't learned that from the last 4 cycles, then we have not really been paying attention.

Alex:

I enjoy our spirited debate and only wish you would apply the same level of scrutiny to Hillary's record. In fact, no one on this blog--including known Hillary supporters--have really responded directly to any of the concerns I and others have raised about Hillary and especially the "Bill factor" (his demonstrated propensity to throw us under the bus and set back our movement for political expediency). Still waiting on that response (and I don't just want to hear unoriginal talking points from the Clinton machine).

I am not going to respond to some of the criticisms you made about Edwards committment to end the war and provide health care insurance to the broadest number of Americans possible--because I could not put forward better refutations than Marla did above.

On the "electability" point, though, please know that all of us who are vocally supporting our candidates are claiming that they are the most electable. To take your argument to its logical conclusion, do you mean to suggest that if a Hillary supporter claims she is the most electable that she is implying that the country is not ready to elect an African-American President? Or that an Obama supporter is suggesting that the country is not ready to elect a female President? As I stated above, we believe that because of the 50-state campaign Edwards is running that as the nominee he will help the Democrats up and down the ballot put more states in play--thus giving our party the best opportunity to capitalize on the unprecedented opportunities we have to make significant gains in Congress, state legislatures and school boards. We also believe that Edwards refusal to take money from special interests and passion to reform a (Clinton-created) corrupt culture in Washington is exactly the kind of leadership needed to turn this country around and repair so much of the damage done over the last 8 years.

Best,
Eric

Eric,

In fact, no one on this blog--including known Hillary supporters--have really responded directly to any of the concerns I and others have raised about Hillary and especially the "Bill factor" (his demonstrated propensity to throw us under the bus and set back our movement for political expediency). Still waiting on that response (and I don't just want to hear unoriginal talking points from the Clinton machine).

You've not been here long enough. LOL Check out the archives. Several of us have talked about Hillary without kissing her butt.

Will do--thanks for the history lesson Bil :)

FYI--this debate among different LGBT supporters of presidential candidates is SO incredibly healthy and productive. I am doing what I can to direct traffic to it so that we can even further amplify the national conversation.

Best--Eric

Will do--thanks for the history lesson Bil :)

FYI--this debate among different LGBT supporters of presidential candidates is SO incredibly healthy and productive. I am doing what I can to direct traffic to it so that we can even further amplify the national conversation.

Best--Eric

Alex,
It’s not a question of ‘holding out’ or ‘hopelessness.’ There are two questions. The first revolves around whether or not we should be in the business of supporting our enemies. Supporting them empowers them and they pull stunts like Franks fake ENDA or the craven capitulation of Pelosi/Reed/Clinton/Obama/Edwards to the oil piracy. They have the blood of hundreds of thousands of Iraqis and 3878 GI’s on their hands. Their ENDA is a sick joke. How is that acceptable? Who could vote for it?

Every election tens of millions of eligible voters take a pass. They’re not lazy, they’re sick to death of lesser evils. This brings us to the second question. Elections haven’t been the vehicle for major change since 1865. We’ve won concessions when we got massive, militant, ‘pushy’, ‘in you face’, and said ‘we want it all and we want it now’.

Real change comes when trade unionists, feminists, antiwar warriors, immigrants, minorities and GLBT folk rely on ourselves and our agenda. Concessions aren’t made because of the good intentions of lawmakers or the courts. Those people do as they’re told by big money and very make concessions when we coerce them. The electiions are a sideshow.

Seven very important reasons not to vote for Barak Obama: "FIRST, he’s a Democrat, a political hustler in a right centrist party who’ll say anything to get elected. As Gore Vidal said says 'We have one party - we have the party of essentially corporate America. It has two right wings, one called Democratic, one called Republican.'”

No offense, but anyone that believes that line of bullshit, needs a reality check. There's a HUGE difference between Republicans and Democrats. One only need look at 9/11, Katrina, The Invasion of Iraq... all those things happened under a Republican Administration. Clinton could have went to war with Iraq, but chose not to. So many things happened under Bush that didn't happen under Clinton. The Democrats aren't perfect...but they're not Republicans.You think the Republican candidate will roll back DADT?

A vote for either party is a wasted vote, and worse, a vote for people whose pigheaded opposition to samesex marriage and gutting of ENDA make them open opponents of GLBT equality.

That "gutted ENDA" would protect some GLBT Americans. I'm not sure how you turn that into a bad thing. Obama supports a gender identity and sexual orientation in ENDA.

SECOND, like Clinton and the Republicans he openly, arrogantly and unashamedly panders to gay bashing christian bigots.

The reality is that they are pandered to because of this:
http://www.wheaton.edu/isae/Gallup-Bar-graph.html
to not "pander" to them would be political suicide.

THIRD, like Clinton and the Republicans he’s a candidate bought and paid for by corporate interests; a virtual rogue’s gallery of vampiric parasites including: Goldman Sachs $430,578 JP Morgan Chase & Co $273,359 Exelon Corp $269,100 Kirkland & Ellis $256,089 Sidley Austin LLP $241,525 Lehman Brothers $241,090 Citigroup Inc $207,500 Skadden, Arps et al $206,271 Jenner & Block $186,629 Mayer, Brown et al $168,056 Citadel Investment Group $166,600 Time Warner $162,218 Jones Day $158,400 UBS AG $155,150 Morgan Stanley $127,675 Credit Suisse Group $125,950 Companies don’t donate. They set up PACS and ask employees to donate by giving them an offer they can’t refuse. As in all thing political it’s wise to take Deepthroat’s advice and “Follow the Money.”

Sorry, but that's how elections run these days. Barack is doing what it takes to win.

FIFTH, in spite of all his hype about the war one thing remains crystal clear, neither he, Edwards, Clinton and the Republicans can end the war. A victory by the Iraqis will end it, just like the war in Vietnam was ended.

What's obvious is that the President got us into this war,  a Democratic president can get us out.

Congress has voted to fund the war at every turn and Bush has dug the US in so deeply and created so much hatred in the Middle East that if they pull out oil imports will virtually dry up. The US will be dependent on the good will of the anti-American governments of socialist Hugo Chavez in Venezuela, Putin in Russia, and the leftist Lula in Brazil. That’s why Obama and the all the leading Democratic and Republican candidates flatly refuse to promise withdrawal before 2013.

It's not smart to make election promises you aren't sure you can keep. There are so many variables, saying flatly that you're going to be out, could kill reelection bids. That's a fact that George HW Bush  learned the hard way.

SIXTH, like Clinton and the Republicans, Obama is a hand puppet for the HMO, pharmaceutical and insurance industries. Don’t get sick if one of them wins, or if you do fly to the to the EU for treatment. If it’s a life threatening emergency hightail it to Canada or Cuba. The National Nurses Organizing Committee, AFL-CIO condemns Obama, saying “There are two basic options for healthcare reform: increase the role of health insurance companies or replace them. Obama has chosen to give more customers and more public funds to the for-profit insurance corporations. It’s an expensive gift and one that allows them to continue meddling in medical decision-making while raking in obscene blood-money profits.”

There isn't anyone polling over 4 percent that supports single payer. Things can ONLY get better. I work in health care, I have an idea of how bad it is. But we aren't going to go from the current situation to single payer all at once. That can't happen in this climate. Obama supports incremental change. I think that's pretty realistic.

One thing I've heard repeatedly from activists and organizers in Iowa and Nevada is that Obama seems to be the most stand-offish to gays and lesbians.

While he'll sign shirts, etc he wouldn't sign HRC shirts for a couple from Chicago at the Steak Fry a while back. Every other candidate was willing to take pictures, sign shirts, etc with the two - but Obama just told them "I only sign copies of my book people have purchased." Three persons down the line he signed a t-shirt for someone else. Several folks have complained that he gave them short shrift when he realized they were gay and now think he's the most homophobic (using homophobic not in a mean, "Burn in HELL!" type of way, but the lingering homophobia that all people have to deal with) of the contenders.

Bil, I wouldn't ever sign an HRC shirt, does that make me anti-gay? (although it might be useful when the toilet paper runs out). He knows what everyone knows... HRC is supporting Hillary Clinton.

Also, if you look at history, you'll see that President Lyndon Johnson was a racist. I really don't care what his personal beliefs are. I care about him doing what he says he's going to do. If you look at his past history, you'll see he's got a strong follow through.


Obama promotes bigoted crackpots promoting hateful, discredited dangerous therapies and religious discrimination under his campaign banner. He believes second class status is acceptable for our personal relationships.

That's really about all I need to know to know he's not the person I want in the White House.

It wasn't under his banner. Your claim about his thoughts about our relationships is just flat wrong. As I said to Bil, I don't care about his personal thoughts, but about his public actions.

His support of civil unions is much stronger than Clinton's or Edwards. It's a matter of progression... as you can see in your own state.

Lastly, I don't have a problem with What McClurkin said from the video I've seen. He said Jesus saved him from homosexuality. If that's his belief, I support him in his personal belief. Many Christians believe that the earth is only 6,000 years old. I don't have a problem with that fairy tale either, as long as it doesn't infringe on my rights.

In the end, if he's able to be happier and more content in his life, more power to him (even if it's delusional).


The sad part, Bill, is that Malcolm X would never have been elected President - no matter what party he was identified with (Green, Republican, Democrat, Labor, Bull Moose, whatever). I'm afraid the 3rd party that you so enthusiastically endorse has about as much of a shot at winning as Malcolm X - maybe less. More people knew he was...

I'm not trying to knock your party. I'm trying to bemoan the lack of a multi-party system in the US.

Third party's effect the party that they are closest to. Greens pull from Democrat votes, Libertarians pull from Republicans.

Malcon X said:

"I've never seen a sincere white man, not when it comes to helping black people. Usually things like this are done by white people to benefit themselves. The white man's primary interest is not to elevate the thinking of black people, or to waken black people, or white people either. The white man is interested in the black man only to the extent that the black man is of use to him. The white man's interest is to make money, to exploit."

"I don't mean go out and get violent; but at the same time you should never be nonviolent unless you run into some nonviolence. I'm nonviolent with those who are nonviolent with me. But when you drop that violence on me, then you've made me go insane, and I'm not responsible for what I do."

I could never vote for someone with that mindset.

Marla R. Stevens Marla R. Stevens | November 28, 2007 8:37 PM

There's a difference in saying it in front of a gay audience and making it a regular part of your stump talks. One's pandering -- especially when one's other actions say otherwise and the other's a settled position that can be trusted.

Obama's just not trustworthy in my book.

The key difference in the troops is combat or non. Edwards' plan is the latter.

On electability, I'm talking the general election, obviously. Of the frontrunners, only Edwards' numbers on that have been consistent. I sure as hell am not voting for Sen. HRC if she's the Dem nominee and I am anything but not alone in those planning to jump ship in that case. And, more importantly, Edwards, for many reasons beyond those of sex and race, is perceived by disgruntled Republican voters as the one they'd prefer over any of the candidates their party is offering them -- particularly their frontrunners. Yes, for some, sexism and racism are in play, too. But, for people like my sister-in-law, it's back to the old "It's the economy, stupid" and they know that Edwards understands what they're going through and has the moxie to stand up for them.

There are some negatives, like Sen. HRC's, that are not going to be overcome by enthusiasm. Give me the bird in the hand, especially when it's a perfectly darned good bird.

Hey Marty great to see you here. I am surprised they let Obama supporters blog here :-0

here is my latest blog to educate the voters rather than have them make up stories. Might as well get right down to the nitty gritty.

.......................

Oprah will bring them Barack will give them

BARACK OBAMA'S ANSWERS Top Priorities, Iraq war, SecurIty, Health care, Education, Gay Marriage, Abortion, Poor, Guns, Stem Cell Research, Energy, Affirmative Action, Budget Issues, Social Security

BARACK OBAMA'S ANSWERS as found on
choose your candidate washington post

CHOOSE YOUR CANDIDATE

http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-srv/politics/interactives/candidatequiz/?

BARACK OBAMA SAYS:


TOP PRIORITIES:
My top priority as president will be ending this war
in Iraq, a war that should have never been authorized
and never been waged. In doing so, I will work to keep
our country safe from terrorists and to restore
American credibility around the world. Providing
universal health care to the 47 million Americans who
currently do not have it will be another top priority
of my administration, as will combating global warming
and putting our country on the path toward energy
independence. But all of the issues that I have
focused on in this campaign -- whether it's creating a
21st century education system and fighting poverty or
achieving comprehensive immigration reform and
strengthening our economy -- are vitally important and
must be prioritized by the next president. And all of
these issues share one thing in common: in order to
fully address them, we have to do more than change
political parties. We have to fundamentally change our
politics and transform the way business is done in
Washington.

IRAQ WAR: 1
IRAQ WAR: 2


SECURITY:


HEALTH CARE


EDUCATION:
CHANGES IN EDUCATION:

GAY MARRIAGE:
CIVIL UNIONS:

ABORTION:

POOR:

GUNS:
GUN CONTROL:

STEM CELL RESEARCH:


ENERGY: 1
ENERGY: 2

IMMIGRATION: 1
IMMIGRATION: 2


AFFIRMIATIVE ACTION:

BUDGET ISSUES: 1
BUDGET ISSUES: 2

ECONOMY: 1
ECONOMY 2:

SOCIAL SECURITY: 1
SOCIAL SECURITY: 2


CLICK READ MORE TO SEE ALL THE ANSWERS BARACK HAS LISTED AT THIS WASHINGTON POST POLL SITE. I THINK IT GIVES AN EASY READ TO HIS PERSPECTIVES.

http://my.barackobama.com/page/community/post/danielleclarke/C5Ph

Posted by: PaProgressiveDem | December 7, 2007 07:52 PM

Hey Marty great to see you here. I am surprised they let Obama supporters blog here :-0

here is my latest blog to educate the voters rather than have them make up stories. Might as well get right down to the nitty gritty.

.......................

Oprah will bring them Barack will give them

BARACK OBAMA'S ANSWERS Top Priorities, Iraq war, SecurIty, Health care, Education, Gay Marriage, Abortion, Poor, Guns, Stem Cell Research, Energy, Affirmative Action, Budget Issues, Social Security

BARACK OBAMA'S ANSWERS as found on
choose your candidate washington post

CHOOSE YOUR CANDIDATE

http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-srv/politics/interactives/candidatequiz/?

BARACK OBAMA SAYS:


TOP PRIORITIES:
My top priority as president will be ending this war
in Iraq, a war that should have never been authorized
and never been waged. In doing so, I will work to keep
our country safe from terrorists and to restore
American credibility around the world. Providing
universal health care to the 47 million Americans who
currently do not have it will be another top priority
of my administration, as will combating global warming
and putting our country on the path toward energy
independence. But all of the issues that I have
focused on in this campaign -- whether it's creating a
21st century education system and fighting poverty or
achieving comprehensive immigration reform and
strengthening our economy -- are vitally important and
must be prioritized by the next president. And all of
these issues share one thing in common: in order to
fully address them, we have to do more than change
political parties. We have to fundamentally change our
politics and transform the way business is done in
Washington.

IRAQ WAR: 1
IRAQ WAR: 2


SECURITY:


HEALTH CARE


EDUCATION:
CHANGES IN EDUCATION:

GAY MARRIAGE:
CIVIL UNIONS:

ABORTION:

POOR:

GUNS:
GUN CONTROL:

STEM CELL RESEARCH:


ENERGY: 1
ENERGY: 2

IMMIGRATION: 1
IMMIGRATION: 2


AFFIRMIATIVE ACTION:

BUDGET ISSUES: 1
BUDGET ISSUES: 2

ECONOMY: 1
ECONOMY 2:

SOCIAL SECURITY: 1
SOCIAL SECURITY: 2


CLICK READ MORE TO SEE ALL THE ANSWERS BARACK HAS LISTED AT THIS WASHINGTON POST POLL SITE. I THINK IT GIVES AN EASY READ TO HIS PERSPECTIVES.

http://my.barackobama.com/page/community/post/danielleclarke/C5Ph

Oh Yea some FACTS ON BARACK + LGBT ISSUES

OBAMA 2 blog links = 10 LGBT ARTICLES FOR OPPOSITION REBUTAL (LONG FOLLOW UP FOR COMPLETE RESEARCH)
THE FOLLOWING ARTICLES COVER MANY AREAS FOR USE IN REBUTING THOSE WHO WOULD ATTACK BARACK

1. OBAMA WINS LOGO GAY DEBATES

2. OBAMA ON D.O.M.A. = DEFENSE OF MARRIAGE ACT

3. OBAMA ON NON BLOOD FAMILY VISITS

4. OBAMA ON UNTING AMERICAN FAMILIES ACT

5. OBAMA'S PAST WORDS 2004 RESEMBLES HIS PRESENT WORDS

6. OBAMA ON TRANSGENDER PEOPLE

7. OBAMA ON GOSPEL TOUR = MANY ARTICLES

8. OBAMA WON'T THROW GAYS UNDER THE BUS WILL HILLARY?

9. OBAMA ON PRIDE MONTH AND STATEMENT ON LGBT RIGHTS

10. GAY MAN CHARLES MERRILL TALKS TO ME ABOUT OBAMA CLINTON EDWARDS BY IM

TOO SEE LONG BLOG - CLICK - READ MORE



1-6
http://my.barackobama.com/page/community/post/danielleclarke/Cxdn

7-10
http://my.barackobama.com/page/community/post/danielleclarke/CxlH


ETHAN QUOTED BIL:

Bil said:

"While he'll sign shirts, etc he wouldn't sign HRC shirts for a couple from Chicago at the Steak Fry a while back."

Perhaps he wouldn't sign HRC shirts because he knows that HRC is going to endorse Hilary Clinton.
HRC for HRC!

Ethan St. Pierre | November 27, 2007 1:12 PM
.....................

ETHAN i named you after my son and you would go for HRC ??

And HRC has the statements of all three candidates and Obama goes for repealing all of DOMA while hillary only wants to repeal CERTAIN PROVISIONS?? And edwards and Clinton bot only approve civil unions for those in LONG TERM RELATIONS??? Thats an OUT to "flip flop" when we need them to not "flip flop" on LGBT people !!

........................................

John and Hillary believe that (gay) couples in ""committed long-term relationships"" -" Edwards and Clinton sidestep on civil unions for gays"


Edwards
""I believe that couples in committed, long?term
relationships should have the same rights,
benefits, and responsibilities, whether they are straight couples or same?Sex couples.""

Edwards above statement, is the only one in the area of
civil unions i am concerned about. Because straight
people don't have to be in long term committed relationships to get married / civil unions.
However, edwards does want to repeal the DOMA bill
that the clintons levied on us in the 90's, which is a
good thing for edwards.

Clinton says

""I would like to see federal benefits extended to
same sex couples that meet certain standards.""

""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.""

Clintons above three statements have me very concerned
that she is side stepping in what she says so as not
to commit to anything officially.

she would amend the provisions of DOMA in certain
standards. Her husband and her were the ones who got us DOMA which Barack has wanted to erase ever since
the clintons had it installed as law. Barack obama
and john edwards want to repeal DOMA which is good for
us.

"Obama is the only candidate who supports long-term,
same-sex relationships regardless of length of time those couples have been together. In the
united states no heterosexual couple is ever
challenged to demonstrate length of relationship in
order to obtain the privileges of marriage.

By supporting Barack Obama, you can join me in supporting the candidate who stands for providing
equal rights to same sex couples--with NO
qualifications."

NOTE: Lastly please send this to your friends who are either gay or lesbian or supporters so they may know the truth of these three candidates.

Anyway that is the way i see this one issue of civil unions.

I would love for you to evaluate the "rest" of these three candidates statements below. You will see how Hillary Clinton and John Edwards try to use words which give them room to squeeze out of fulfilling their commitment to all of us in the LGBT community.


JOHN EDWARDS

http://a4.g.akamai.net/f/4/19675/0/newmill.download.akamai.com/19677/anon.newmediamill/pdfs/edwards.pdf/strong/a

HILLARY CLINTON

http://a4.g.akamai.net/f/4/19675/0/newmill.download.akamai.com/19677/anon.newmediamill/pdfs/clinton.pdf/strong/a

BARACK OBAMA

http://a4.g.akamai.net/f/4/19675/0/newmill.download.akamai.com/19677/anon.newmediamill/pdfs/obama.pdf/strong/a


Try doing your RESEARCH Ethan !!!!!!

Danielle Clarke


........................................

LOGO Gay Debates Transcript and voter results
http://iowa.barackobama.com/page/community/post/danielleclarke/CJnX

Last and not least, Senator Hillary Rodham Clinton. She was the first lady of Arkansas and later first lady of the United States. She was elected to her first
term as a senator from New York in 2000 and re-elected last year. Senator Hillary Rodham Clinton.
(APPLAUSE)
CARLSON:
Senator Clinton, welcome.
CLINTON:
Thank you.
CARLSON:
I don't know if Senator Edwards is still here, but from the last debate, let me go on the record. I like the coral jacket.
CLINTON:
Thank you.
(LAUGHTER)
CARLSON:
Joe is our first questioner for you, Senator.
Joe?
SOLMONESE:
Senator, thank you for being here tonight. You've said in past settings like this and all across the country that you would like to repeal "Don't ask; don't tell."
Now, since 2003 you've sat on the Senate Armed Services Committee, the committee that would decide this issue. Why haven't you introduced legislation to
repeal this policy?
SOLMONESE:
Well, Joe, first, thanks for doing this and thanks for everybody being here and having this forum.
I think the very simple answer is we didn't have a chance with the Republican Congress and George Bush as president. And I want to get it done when I'm
president. I want to do it and have it be successful. I don't want to try in a Republican Congress with a very negative president and have it defeated.
We're talking now that we have a Democratic Congress about what steps we can take to sort of lay the groundwork so that when we do have a change in the
White House, which can't happen too soon to suit me...
(APPLAUSE)
... we will be able to move on that.
But I just want to put it into a broader context, because it's one of my highest priorities. I came out against "Don't ask; don't tell" in 1999. It was a
transitional action that was taken back at the beginning of my husband's administration, because at the time there was such a witch hunt going on.
And we've got some veterans over here. I saw Staff Sergeant Eric Alba, who I have met before at HRC, and I was so glad to see him when I walked in.

(APPLAUSE)
And for people who don't know Staff Sergeant Alba's history, he was the first Marine wounded in Iraq, recipient of a Purple Heart, and 15 years ago he
could have both been refused the opportunity to serve, but if he had gotten into the military under the rules that existed at the time and the attitudes that were
prevalent, he could have been court-martialed or even accused and threatened with criminal action if he didn't reveal names of those with whom he might have
had relationships who were serving in the military.
I think we have moved a long way on this and other issues, but I think it's important to recall how much of an advance "Don't ask; don't tell" was at the time.
However, it was not implemented appropriately. It was still used to discharge a lot of patriotic men and women who were serving our country, often at great cost
in the middle of a war where people were being told, "We don't need your services anymore," including linguists and translators and other specialty services.
But in 1999, it just struck me that it wasn't working and that what we needed to do was to try to move us toward using the Code of Military Justice and judge
people on conduct, not status, no matter whether you're gay or straight. That's the way it should be. It should be even-handed across the entire services.
We're beginning to see some changes. I remember very well the intense debates about this back in '93, and honestly, it was so emotional in the military and
in the Congress that the Congress did pass a law. But we have to get the law repealed.
But now it's beginning to change. Former Joint Chiefs of Staff Chairman General Shalikashvili has just come out in favor of a change. I've noticed General
Powell, who was adamantly against my husband's efforts back in '93, has begun to say, "You know, maybe we should rethink this."
So I think we will lay the groundwork, but then when I'm president, we'll get it done. And I'm looking forward to doing that.
(APPLAUSE)
SOLMONESE:
Changing tracks, talk to us about what is at the heart of your opposition to same sex marriage?
CLINTON:
Well, Joe, I prefer to think of it as being very positive about civil unions.
(LAUGHTER)

It's a personal position, and you and I have talked about it. I've talked about it with a number of my friends here and across the country.
And for me, we have made it very clear in our country that we believe in equality. How we get to full equality is the debate we're having. And I am
absolutely in favor of civil unions with full equality, full equality of benefits, rights and privileges.
And I've also been a very strong supporter of letting the states maintain their jurisdiction over marriage. And I believe that was a right decision for a lot of
reasons, because it's easy, again, to forget that just 2.5 years ago, we were facing all of these referenda that were enshrining discrimination in state constitutions.
And a lot of people tried very hard to fight against them and prevent them from being passed, but unfortunately, they were.
Now, 2.5 years later we're beginning to see other states take different approaches. And what we were able to do -- and I really give HRC a lot of credit for
your leadership on this -- in stopping the federal marriage amendment gave the states the breathing room to make different decisions.
So I want to proceed with equalizing federal benefits. I want to repeal Section 3 of DOMA, which stands in the way of the extension of benefits to people in
committed same sex relationships, and I will be very strongly in favor of doing that as president.
SOLMONESE:
I wonder, Senator, if you can sympathize with the frustration of this argument that it's a states' rights issue. In the civil rights struggle, this argument that it
was a states' rights issue was something that was typically used against people working against us as sort of a red herring. And so can you see where this
argument of marriage as a states' right issue would resonate the same way in our community?

CLINTON:
Absolutely. And Joe, not only that, I really respect the advocacy that the community is waging on behalf of marriage. I think you're doing exactly what you
need to do and should do, and I really am very much impressed by the intensity and the persistence of that advocacy. But this has not been a long-term struggle
yet.
And I think it's really clear that people in the states are moving much more rapidly to deal with the inequality than you would find at the federal level.
When you and I were plotting strategy to beat the federal marriage amendment, the reason we were plotting strategy is we were worried it was going to pass.
And, again, this was a terrifying prospect that we would have enshrined in the Constitution for the first time ever discrimination.
And we were very clear about what we needed to do to get the vote in order to prevent this mean-spirited, divisive effort led by Karl Rove to politicize the
hopes and dreams of so many of our fellow Americans.
And we were able to defeat it, but I don't know that we could have defeated it if we had not had DOMA. That, if anything, has provided a great protection
against what was clearly the Republican strategy blessed by George Bush, led by the congressional Republicans, to just cynically use marriage as a political tool.
CARLSON:
Do you think that's going to come up this time when the Republicans are running?
CLINTON:
No.
CARLSON:
Is it dead as an issue?
CLINTON:
You know, Margaret, I'm very optimistic, because I think that...
CARLSON:
I haven't heard it yet.
CLINTON:
I don't hear it either, and -- don't tell anybody, but I'm running for president...
(LAUGHTER)
... and so I'm traveling around the country a lot.
CARLSON:
"Don't ask; don't tell."

CLINTON:
Yes, that's right. And I don't hear it. I don't feel it. I don't see it. Even with the Republicans, with their various forums, you don't get the sense. Why?
Because a lot of people who were in favor of that constitutional amendment knew better. That was a strictly cynical, political ploy on their part, and they were
successful, unfortunately, in a lot of states.
But I think that now people are starting to say, "Well, maybe we don't want to do that," and because a Democratic Congress won't bring up the amendment,
there's really nothing for them to be rallying around.
CARLSON:
Thank you, Senator.
Melissa?

ETHERIDGE:
Senator, I have a personal issue here. I remember when your husband was elected president, I actually came out publicly during his inaugural week. It was a
very hopeful time for the gay community. For the first time we were being recognized as American citizens. It was wonderful. We were very, very hopeful.
And in the years that followed, our hearts were broken. We were thrown under the bus. We were pushed aside. All those great promises that were made to us
were broken. And I understand politics. I understand how hard things are to bring about change.
But it is many years later now, and what are you going to do to be different than that? I know you're sitting here now. It's a year out -- more than a year. A
year from now are we going to be left behind like we were before?
CLINTON:
Well, obviously, Melissa, I don't see it quite the way that you describe, but I respect your feeling about it.
From the moment that Bob Hathaway spoke at the Democratic convention through the appointments that were made, both to positions in Cabinet agencies as
well as in the White House, to the ongoing struggle against Gingrich and the Republican majority, I think that we certainly didn't get as much done as I would
have liked, but I believe that there was a lot of honest effort going on by the president, the vice president and the rest of us who were trying to keep the
momentum going.
I remember when I was running for the Senate as first lady, marching in the gay pride parade in New York City. And to a lot of people that was just an
unbelievable act.
ETHERIDGE:
Why not be the leader now?
CLINTON:
Well, I think I am a leader now. And I think that we are doing a lot to not only talk about laws, as important as they are, but to really try to change attitudes
and persuade people that they should be more open, more respectful, more accepting.
If I were sitting where you're sitting with all you have gone through in the last 14 years, I'm sure I would feel exactly the same way, because not only did
you bravely come out, but you've had health challenges and so much else. And so time can't go by slowly. You want things to move as quickly as possible, which
I understand and wish could happen as well.
But as president, I think I have an opportunity both to reverse the concerted assault on people. It wasn't just on people's rights; it was on people. It was
pointing fingers. It was demeaning. It was degrading. It was mean-spirited. And that will end. That is over. And when we began to...

........................................
SOLMONESE:
Changing tracks, talk to us about what is at the heart of your opposition to same sex marriage?
CLINTON:
Well, Joe, I prefer to think of it as being very positive about civil unions.
It's a personal position, and you and I have talked about it. I've talked about it with a number of my friends here and across the country.
And for me, we have made it very clear in our country that we believe in equality. How we get to full equality is the debate we're having. And I am
absolutely in favor of civil unions with full equality, full equality of benefits, rights and privileges.
And I've also been a very strong supporter of letting the states maintain their jurisdiction over marriage. And I believe that was a right decision for a lot of
reasons, because it's easy, again, to forget that just 2.5 years ago, we were facing all of these referenda that were enshrining discrimination in state constitutions.
And a lot of people tried very hard to fight against them and prevent them from being passed, but unfortunately, they were.
Now, 2.5 years later we're beginning to see other states take different approaches. And what we were able to do -- and I really give HRC a lot of credit for
your leadership on this -- in stopping the federal marriage amendment gave the states the breathing room to make different decisions.
So I want to proceed with equalizing federal benefits. """"I want to repeal Section 3 of DOMA, which stands in the way of the extension of benefits to "people in committed" same sex relationships"""", and I will be very strongly in favor of doing that as president.
SOLMONESE:
I wonder, Senator, if you can sympathize with the frustration of this argument that it's a states' rights issue. In the civil rights struggle, this argument that it
was a states' rights issue was something that was typically used against people working against us as sort of a red herring. And so can you see where this
argument of marriage as a states' right issue would resonate the same way in our community?
CLINTON:
Absolutely. And Joe, not only that, I really respect the advocacy that the community is waging on behalf of marriage. I think you're doing exactly what you
need to do and should do, and I really am very much impressed by the intensity and the persistence of that advocacy. But this has not been a long-term struggle
yet.
And I think it's really clear that people in the states are moving much more rapidly to deal with the inequality than you would find at the federal level.
When you and I were plotting strategy to beat the federal marriage amendment, the reason we were plotting strategy is we were worried it was going to pass.
And, again, this was a terrifying prospect that we would have enshrined in the Constitution for the first time ever discrimination.
And we were very clear about what we needed to do to get the vote in order to prevent this mean-spirited, divisive effort led by Karl Rove to politicize the
hopes and dreams of so many of our fellow Americans.
And we were able to defeat it, but I don't know that we could have defeated it if we had not had DOMA. That, if anything, has provided a great protection
against what was clearly the Republican strategy blessed by George Bush, led by the congressional Republicans, to just cynically use marriage as a political tool.

...................................
And now with that, it is my pleasure to introduce our first candidate. Barack Obama was elected to the U.S. Senate from Illinois in 2004. The senator
previously served eight years in the state Senate in Illinois. Please welcome Senator Barack Obama.
(APPLAUSE)
CARLSON:
Good to see you again.
OBAMA:
Thank you. Thank you.
CARLSON:
Well, welcome, Senator. You are a rock star, I think.
OBAMA:
Oh, I don't know about that.
CARLSON:
It's not quite as hot here as it was in Chicago the other night, literally and figuratively, perhaps.
OBAMA:
Absolutely. Well, it's wonderful to be here. I want to thank, first of all, HRC and LOGO for setting this up. I think it is a historic moment, not just for the
LGBT community, but for America. And so I'm glad that I'm participating and glad I kind of got the ball rolling.
CARLSON:
Yes. Start-off batter here.
OBAMA:
Absolutely.
CARLSON:
Welcome.
(APPLAUSE)
OBAMA:
Thank you. Thank you.
CARLSON:
I'm going to have some questions for you, but first I'm going to turn it over to Joe.
SOLMONESE:
Senator, thank you so much for joining us. It's a real honor to have you here with us tonight. And thank you for being the first to accept our invitation.
You have said in previous debates that it is up to individual religious denominations to decide whether or not to recognize same sex marriage, and so my
question is what place does the church have in government-sanction ed civil marriages?
OBAMA:
Well, it is my strong belief that the government has to treat all citizens equally. I come from that, in part, out of personal experience. When you're a black
guy named Barack Obama, you know what it's like to be on the outside. And so my concern is continually to make sure that the rights that are conferred by the
state are equal for all people. That's why I opposed DOMA in 2006 when I ran for the United States Senate.
(APPLAUSE)
That's why I am a strong supporter not of a weak version of civil unions, but of a strong version, in which the rights that are conferred at the federal level to
persons who are part of a same sex union are compatible.
Now, as a consequence, I don't think that the church should be making these determinations when it comes to legal rights conferred by the state. I do think
that individual denominations have the right to make their own decisions as to whether they recognize same sex couples.
My denomination, United Church of Christ, does. Other denominations may make a different decision. And obviously, part of keeping a separation of
churches and state is also to make sure that churches have the right to exercise their freedom of religion.
But when it comes to federal rights, the over 1,100 rights that right now are not being given to same sex couples, I think that's unacceptable, and as president
of the United States, I'm going to fight hard to make sure that those rights are available.
(APPLAUSE)
SOLMONESE:
So to follow up on your point about the state issue, if you were back in the Illinois legislature where you served and the issue of civil marriage came before
you, how would you vote on that?
OBAMA:
Well, my view is that we should try to disentangle what has historically been the issue of the word "marriage," which has religious connotations to some
people, from the civil rights that are given to couples in terms of hospital visitation, in terms of whether or not they can transfer property or any of the other --
Social Security benefits and so forth.
So it depends on how the bill would have come up. I would have supported and would continue to support a civil union that provides all the benefits that are
available for a legally sanctioned marriage. And it is then, as I said, up to religious denominations to make a determination as to whether they want to recognize
that as a marriage or not.
SOLMONESE:
But on the grounds of civil marriage, can you see to our community where that comes across as sounding separate, but equal?
OBAMA:
Well, look, when my parents got married in 1960 or '61, it would have been illegal for them to be married in a number of states in the South. So obviously,
this is something that I understand intimately. It's something that I care about.
But I would also say this, that if I were advising the civil rights movement back in 1961 about its approach to civil rights, I would have probably said it's less
important that we focus on an anti- miscegenation law than we focus on a voting rights law and a nondiscrimination employment law and all the legal rights that
are conferred by the state.
Now, it's not for me to suggest that you shouldn't be troubled by these issues. I understand that, and I'm sympathetic to it. But my job as president is going to
be to make sure that the legal rights that have consequences on a day-to-day basis for loving same sex couples all across the country, that those rights are
recognized and enforced by my White House and by my Justice Department.
CARLSON:
Before I go to Melissa with a question -- I've been working with the LOGO people for a couple of days, so I have more of a feeling for what troubles them --
it seems like religion owns the word "marriage" or you're letting religion have marriage, and then civilly, you get civil unions.
But you got to get married and I got to get married, but Joe doesn't get to be married. And that really does mean that it's a lesser thing. It looks like a
politically feasible thing to do, but...
OBAMA:
Well, as I've proposed it, it wouldn't be a lesser thing, from my perspective. And, look, semantics may be important to some. From my perspective, what I'm
interested in is making sure that those legal rights are available to people.
And if we have a situation in which civil unions are fully enforced, are widely recognized, people have civil rights under the law, then my sense is that's
enormous progress, and that is the kind of progress that I think HRC would be proud of and I would be proud of as president, and that's what I'm going to try to
lead.
CARLSON:
Thank you.
Melissa?
ETHERIDGE:
Thank you very much. First, I just want to say how incredibly humbled and honored I am to be here. I am not a professional politician. I'm not even a
journalist. I'm an incredibly privileged rock star...
(APPLAUSE)
OBAMA:
That's a good enough reason.
ETHERIDGE:
I'm very, very grateful and honored to represent my community and be able to speak for so many people who need to have their government's help. And with
that, thank you.
I want to say hello. It's a pleasure to meet you, Senator Obama.
OBAMA:
It's great to meet you.
ETHERIDGE:
And you have this reputation, and not only in my heart and my experience of you, of being an incredible orator. You speak, you touch many of us, and you
have. And we have lots of hope.
And I see you speaking to a very divided America. The last eight years we have been subject to a great fear that has divided us all -- between races, between
economic classes and, of course, gays and lesbians often feel like we are at the very end of that "us" and "them" role.
OBAMA:
Right.
ETHERIDGE:
If you are elected president, what are you going to do? What are you going to do to bring this country back together?
OBAMA:
It's a great question. Part of the reason that LGBT issues are important to me is because I got into politics in part because I don't like people looking down on
other people. It bothers me. Maybe it's something that my mother instilled in me. Maybe it's the experience of being an African American and at times being
discriminated against.
So the cause that all of you are involved with is part of what prompted me to get into politics. But part of what prompted me is also this hopefulness, this
belief that there is a core decency to most people, and certainly most Americans, and that our founding documents, I think, have a set of universal truths that are
really important.
And the key question for the next president is can we tap back into that core decency? And can we appeal to what Lincoln called the better angels of our
nature?
And part of that involves, I think, when it comes to LGBT issues, acknowledging the reality that people experience every day. That's why when I was at the
Democratic convention in 2004, I said there are no red states; there are no blue states. But I also said we've got gay friends in the red states, and we played little
league in the blue states, trying to acknowledge that people's experience on a day-to-day basis is they've got gay friends, they've got gay family members. They
love them and they cherish them, and somehow our politics creates craziness and fear that doesn't match up with people's day-to-day experience.
And it's the job of the president, I think, to talk about these issues in ways that encourage people to recognize themselves in each other. And when I talk like
this, by the way, sometimes the Washington press corps rolls its eyes and says, "Ah, he's so naive."
CARLSON:
No eye-rolling here yet.
(LAUGHTER)
OBAMA:
But people do, because the sense is, you know, Obama -- he's always talking about hope. I'm a hope-monger.
(LAUGHTER)
But I believe that, and...
(APPLAUSE)
ETHERIDGE:
I grew up in the Midwest. I grew up believing that if you work hard and you're good, then you'll succeed and you can be a good citizen. I grew up believing
in our country, in this great America. It's the greatest country, and I grew up believing in those documents. And those documents say equality to everyone...
OBAMA:
Absolutely.
ETHERIDGE:
... given by our creator. And my creator made me what I am. And I believe that.
(APPLAUSE)
ETHERIDGE:
And please, as you go and as you leave, don't be afraid. Don't let that fear -- be the first one to make the change to bring it, all right? Thank you.
(APPLAUSE)
CAPEHART:
You've gotten some praise for taking to the pulpits of black churches and telling the black community, talking to the black community about its
responsibilities.
Now, you and I both know that there's a homophobia problem in the black community. So how are you going to talk to the black community about that, both
as a candidate and, if you are elected to the White House, as president?
OBAMA:
I have already done so. Some of you saw at the Howard debate that Tavis Smiley had organized I specifically raised the homophobia in our community as an
impediment to dealing with AIDS issues. I'm somebody who talks about LGBT issues not just before HRC.
I was with Harold Ford. He organized a forum of black ministers in Tennessee. And I specifically talked about the degree to which the notion of gay
marriage in black churches has been used to divide, has been used to distract. I specifically pointed out that if there is an pastor here who can point out a marriage
that has been broken up as a consequence of seeing two men or two women holding hands, then you should tell me, because I haven't seen any evidence of it.
(APPLAUSE)
And what I've also said is if you think that issue is more important to the black family, which is under siege -- if you think that's more important than the fact
that black men don't have any jobs and are struggling in the inner cities, then I profoundly disagree with you.
So this goes to the earlier point that we were talking about, Melissa. I think when there's truth-telling involved, people respond, as long as you don't come at
people in a heavy-handed way, but rather you approach them based on their own experience and their own truth.
And the black community, I think, has a diversity of opinion, as you and I both know. There are people who recognize that if we're going to talk about
justice and civil rights and fairness, that should apply to all people, not just some. And there are some folks who coming out of the church elevated one line in
Romans above the Sermon on the Mount.
So my job as a leader, not just of African Americans, but hopefully, as a leader of Americans, is to tell the truth, which is this has been a political football
that has been used. It is unfortunate. It's got to stop. And when it stops, we will then be able to address the legitimate and serious concerns that face the black
families.
CAPEHART:
Senator, real quickly, a recent poll out of the New York Times and MTV of Americans ages 17 to 20 show that 44 percent of them favor same sex marriage
compared to 28 percent of the public. Now, you're running as a candidate of change, but how can you run as a candidate of change when your stance on same sex
marriage is decidedly old school?
OBAMA:
Oh, come on now. I mean, look, we can have this conversation for the duration of the 15 minutes, but there's a reason why I was here first. It's because I've
got a track record of working on these issues.
If people are interested in ENDA at the federal level, they can look at who was the chief co-sponsor of Illinois' version of ENDA, which we passed. If
people are interested in my stance on these issues, I've got a track record of working with the LGBT community.
What I have focused on, and what I will continue to focus on, is making sure that the rights that are provided by the federal government and the state
governments and local governments are ones that are provided to everybody. And that's a standard that I think I can meet, and I don't make promises I can't keep.
And on this issue, I have been at the forefront of any of the presidential candidates.
CARLSON:
Senator, I want to do a viewer-generated question. I want to do a moderator-generated question very quickly.
OBAMA:
Go ahead.
CARLSON:
Would you put the fight among gays and lesbians for civil rights on a par with the civil rights movement for African Americans?
OBAMA:
Well, my attitude is if people are being treated unfairly and unequally, then they are being treated unfairly and unequally, and it needs to be fixed.
So I'm always very cautious about getting into comparisons of victimology. The issues that gays and lesbians face today are different from the issues that
were faced by African Americans under Jim Crow. That doesn't mean, though, that there aren't parallels in the sense that legal status is not equal. And that has to
be fixed.
But I think it's important not to look at the black candidate and wonder whether or not he's going to be more sympathetic or less sympathetic to these issues.
I'm going to be more sympathetic not because I'm black -- I'm going to be more sympathetic because this has been the cause of my life and will continue to be the
cause of my life, making sure that everybody is treated fairly and that we've got an expansive view of America where everybody's invited in, and we are all
working together to create the kind of America that we want for the next generation.
CARLSON:
Well, I had a great viewer-generated question here for you. You're never going to know what it is, but now you get to sum up for 30 seconds or a minute.
OBAMA:
Well, listen, it's a pleasure. This went too quick. I want more time, but I don't have it.
CARLSON:
We'd like to give it to you.
OBAMA:
But the only thing I want to say is this. All the candidates in this race are going to be terrific on these issues compared to, certainly, the candidates in the
other party right now. And that's unfortunate, because this shouldn't be a partisan issue.
The one thing I guess I would say about my candidacy, and something you should think about, is I don't just talk about these issues where it's convenient.
There's a reason that I spoke about the importance of gay and lesbian issues in the most important speech of my life. I didn't have to. There's a reason why in
my announcement I talked about these issues. There's a reason why I talk about gays and lesbians and transgender people in my stump speeches.
I'm somebody who I think is willing to talk about these issues even when it's hard -- in front of black ministers. I'm willing to talk about AIDS at Saddleback
Church to evangelicals and talk about why we need to have condom distribution to deal with the scourge of AIDS. So that's the kind of political purge that I hope
all of you recognize is going to be necessary in order for us to create the kind of America that we all want. And I appreciate your time. Thank you.
(APPLAUSE)
CARLSON:
And we're happy you came here.
OBAMA:
I had a great time.
CARLSON:
It's good to see you. Bye now.
OBAMA:
Thank you. Thank you so much.
CARLSON: