Guest Blogger

Open Letter from Barack Obama to the LGBT Community

Filed By Guest Blogger | February 28, 2008 9:38 AM | comments

Filed in: Marriage Equality, Politics
Tags: Barack Obama, Democrats, gay rights

[Editor's note:] The following letter was released by Democratic presidential candidate Barack Obama to GLBT Americans. This letter follows the announcement that the Obama campaign will be taking out full page ads in GLBT newspapers in Ohio and Texas beginning Friday. Read Obama's previous Bilerico guest post A Call for Full Equality.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


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He is like the rest of them, pandering for votes.
What they say to get elected doesn't always come to pass.

This quote:

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

Makes it very hard for me to believe this quote:

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

I would also like to question him further about this quote:

"But I also believe that the federal government should not stand in the way of states that want to decide on their own how best to pursue equality for gay and lesbian couples — whether that means a domestic partnership, a civil union, or a civil marriage."

Which states are struggling with that dilemma?

How many states have already resolved the issue by amending their constitution and/or passing a DOMA that the Fed gov't can't repeal?

What should the same-sex families in those states do about their lack of equality?

He makes it sound like the states will all start to find a way to accommodate us. Why does he think that will start to happen?

How does he justify the creation of a separate institution as a way to extend equality? Can he point to other examples in US history when that was an effective solution?

Michael Bedwell | February 28, 2008 11:30 AM

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

>>>>>EXCEPT FOR THAT LITTLE MARRIAGE THING. I NEVER PROMISED YOU A ROSE GARDEN [THAT’S WHAT I’M HEADED FOR :- ) ] NOT ORANGE BLOSSOMS AT YOUR WEDDING.

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

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

Equality is a moral imperative.

>>>>>EXCEPT WHEN I SAY IT’S NOT.

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

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

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

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

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

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

And as president, I will place the weight of my administration behind the enactment of the Matthew Shepard Act to outlaw hate crimes

>>>>>REBECCA, SORRY I FORGOT TO MENTION GENDER IDENTITY HERE SPECIFICALLY. BLAME SOMEBODY ELSE —THAT'S WHAT I ALWAYS DO. WORKS.

and a fully inclusive Employment Non-Discrimination Act to outlaw workplace discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation and gender identity.

>>>>>AH, NOW I REMEMBERED :- )

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

>>>>>DID I MENTION SEN. CLINTON AGREES? OOOPS, FORGET I SAID THAT!

I have also called for us to repeal Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell

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

I have worked to improve the Uniting American Families Act

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


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

>>>>>>ACTUALLY I ONLY TALKED ABOUT NOT BLAMING GAYS FOR THINGS LIKE TRAFFIC JAMS BUT…DIDN’T MENTION HOMOPHOBIA OR FIGHTING IT AT ALL….BUT Y’ALL HAVE THOSE SPECIAL GAY EARS WHERE I SAY ONE THING AND YOU HEAR ANOTHER….SORRY: ROTFLMAO [GOTTA STOP—RUINING MY NICE SUIT HERE!]

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

He is like the rest of them, pandering for votes. What they say to get elected doesn't always come to pass.

Shouldn't you give him the benefit of the doubt, before passing judgment? With that attitude you should just stick your head in the sand.

Y'all need to listen to Barney Frank:

There is a tendency in American politics for the people who feel most passionately about an issue, particularly ones that focus on a single issue, to be unrealistic in what a democratic political system can deliver... and that can be self-defeating.


Americans have been polled and the majority still don't support full marriage equality. You can whine, piss, and moan, but unless you get a Supreme Court decision, you'll never have marriage equality (or gender identity protections) until you get the support for it. You shouldn't try to pin your anger about that on Barack Obama.

I was wondering how long it would take for the inevitable attack post from Michael Bedwell to appear. It's good to know one can still count on a few things as certain in life.

The one question I still want answered is the one NO candidate ever has had the courage to address:

If Barney Frank fulfills his promise to continue excluding transgender people from ENDA and such an elitist and exclusionary bill passes Congress and lands on your desk as President, will you sign it and move on, or will you insist on full inclusion before signing it into law?

This is what we need to know Senator Obama, and it's time we had an answer.

Somewhat along the lines of Marti's comment, it seems as if both Patrick and Michael have problems with Obama's apparent deference to the states in making decisions concerning marriage versus civil unions. Such discussions are going on in New Jersey, for instance. Michael and Patrick, are you asserting that there ought to be some kind of federally-issued and controled marriage license, and that federal legislation mandate that it include same-sex couples? Maybe that is not the best way to ask the question, but what do you personally espouse concerning the role of federalism here?

Marti,
I am not sticking my head in the sand. I don't like Obama and will note vote for him. I firmly believe he is pandering for votes. I will be early voting in a few minutes for Hillary. If she doesn't make it, I will vote for McCain in the general election. At least, I know he hates us.
I do worry about the direction our country is taking. Dubya has led us into a bad position. I am afraid that an ultra-liberal (Obama or Clinton) will take us too far back the other way. We need to stay toward the middle.

We can have my own points of view, that is what makes our country great.

P.S
If he is elected and follows through on what he says he will do, I will be the first to admit that I was wrong to judge him as I did. And I will admit to it.

I think it is completely reasonable to question the logic of his statements as I presented above.

There is no reason to applaud or ignore the inconsistency of his remarks. Vote for him. I think he is great. But if he goes to the trouble of addressing us, we ought to go to the trouble of defending our rights, not abdicating them to fate and saying that "the community" needs to do more...it's up to the courts...or to expect justice is to ask too much.

That is an abdication of responsibility and it serves no one - except those that already have what they need who don't care about the rest of us.

Rebecca's question is just as valid. There is nothing wrong with asking questions and demanding answers. Our support should not be taken for granted, nor should it be given away by people too eager to accept crumbs.

Yes, discussions about marriage are going on in NJ - and that is exactly the point. They are struggling to find a way to maintain inequality because it is too soon for the majority to accept the equality of a minority group - and that majority would never notice one difference if same sex couples were married. Except they would begrudgingly acknowledge that they have lost a position of superiority. That is the only loss.

It is not acceptable for a candidate for President to defend the rights of states to choose which citizens are eligible for constitutional consideration.

Bush was stopped from making that designation in the federal document and every Democrat candidate for prez that fought that amendment should take the same position regarding the actions in individual states. Obama has no right to defend the states that have done it. He (of all candidates) ought to be able to speak to the harm and injustice of that ideology.

Barack has supported the complete, unqualified repeal of the federal Defense of Marriage Act since he was a candidate for Senate. He has taken stronger positions on dismantling Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell and on fully inclusive workplace protections than any candidate in this race. Barack is a strong supporter of every major piece of LGBT legislation in Congress today, from fair tax treatment and equal immigration rights to domestic partner benefits for federal workers. In contrast to Barack’s leadership, we find it troubling that Sen. Hillary Clinton refuses to call for the full repeal of the Defense of Marriage Act, legislation that was signed into law by then-President Clinton.

In Illinois, Obama sponsored a fully inclusive anti-discrimination law that included both sexual orientation and gender identity. A subsequent version of that bill was later enacted as the Illinois Human Rights Act, now one of the most progressive laws of its kind in the country. The U.S. House of Representatives was not able to pass a bill that included gender identity. Barack helped make it happen in Illinois.

http://www.nyblade.com/2008/1-25/viewpoint/opinion/1204OpEdObama.cfm

To me it is a sad day when idle threats become, "if it's not my candidate, i'll vote for the other party." Especially when the other party "hates us."

I don't think McCain is as Republican as many think he is.

Michael Bedwell | February 28, 2008 2:42 PM

KANE: CLAIM: "He has taken stronger positions on dismantling Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell and on fully inclusive workplace protections than any candidate in this race."

TRUTH: This is simply bullshit propoganda. Just because that nonsense appeared in the NY Blade written by the Obama campaign and signed by a couple of gay NY Obamaheads doesn't make it true. Donnie McClurkin says he doesn't hate gays but she does, Blanche, she does. My point is not that I believe Obama does—because I don't—but saying this and that is only words and Sen. Clinton's words are just as good as Obama's. At least she isn't saying as he is that he'll ask the Pentagon's advice about DADT. DUH!

CLAIM: "Barack is a strong supporter of every major piece of LGBT legislation in Congress today"

TRUTH: No more so than Sen. Clinton.

CLAIM: In contrast to Barack’s leadership, we find it troubling that Sen. Hillary Clinton refuses to call for the full repeal of the Defense of Marriage Act.

TRUTH: As addressed above his "call" if based on a phony premise—that Section 2 of DOMA prevents anything when IT DOESN'T and HE KNOWS IT! Further, what's this "Barack's leadership" crap? If he has been so opposed to DOMA for so long why didn't he introduced a bill to repeal it his first day as US Senator?

CLAIM: "In Illinois, Obama sponsored a fully inclusive anti-discrimination law that included both sexual orientation and gender identity"

TRUTH: He only was a COsponsor and was too busy campaigning for higher office to take the time fight for or even sign his name as cosponsor of the bill that passed. Yet he's publicly lied saying he was responsible for it passing when he wasn't even still in the Illinois Senate when it was voted on. He similarly claimed credit for passing a bill that would have regulated the nuclear industry in Illinois. THAT bill was never voted on at all.

And, dear, dear BelovedObama:

I was wondering how long it would take for the inevitable attack response from you to appear. You NEVER dispute any of my FACTS, you only repeat over and over like a bleating sheep from the Obama Ranch that you don't LIKE the facts; you don't LIKE that someone doesn't choose to throw all common sense and insistence on not being repeatedly smile fucked and lied to as you have. That's your right, but do you get nothing from your training as a minister, a professional follower of Jesus that requires more fairness toward others and honesty? They would have luved your help during the Inquisition.

Prove anything I stated as fact incorrect and I will happily and humbly apologize.

Don: First, it might be important for me to clarify that my denunciation of Obama in this regard AT THIS POINT IN TIME is only in relation to his premeditated misrepresentation of what he actually believes and the reality of DOMA Section 2—both simply because it’s dishonest and I hate being lied to, played stupid, and because he has used it [with great success and with impunity thanks to lazy LGBT media and LGBT voters] to smear Sen. Clinton. In every way that matters, their positions are EXACTLY THE SAME regarding states rights and gay relationships. At least she’s being honest about the downside of those positions while he is covers his in smoke and mirrors.

However, yes I believe that they are BOTH morally and Constitutionally wrong in their support for a state’s right to ban any kind of gay relationship. [The question that has similarly been raised relative to their stated positions on “Marriage” of whether they each actually believe what they’re saying is morally right or are just being realistic politically is beside the point for me.]

Specifically—at the risk of bringing down the hysterical but fortunately impotent wrath of Isaiah Washington’s best friend—I believe that the role of the federal government vis-a-vis states and gay relationships should simply follow that of other federally-mandated applications of equal opportunity and protection as they do for race, color, religion, sex or national origin. Gay marriage equality IS identical to interracial marriage in that regard. It IS identical to equal opportunity and protection in employment, housing, public accommodations, public facilities, credit, etc.

Bravo to both H & O for having expressed virtually revolutionary support for extension of FEDERAL rights and benefits to same gender couples. As necessary a first step as repealing Section 3 of federal DOMA and its definitions of “marriage” and “spouse” is, it seems to me that some type of legislative action is going to be required to implement such extension. For instance, how do two people “prove” their eligibility as a couple? Both H & O have expressed concern for that issue in relation to extending citizenship to “foreign national” partners of American citizens. Think Jack marrying Karen’s maid so she could stay in the country. It’s going to take more than, “You had me at hola.”

Therein is the trap I think they’ve set for themselves. [I would LIKE to believe they know it but are, like so many things, privately taking the “we’ll cross that bridge when we come to it” position]. Say DOMA is repealed, Don, and you and your partner decide to file joint federal income tax returns—currently available only to MARRIED straight couples, not even, correct me if I’m wrong, to legally recognized straight “domestic partners.” My understanding is that no “proof” of marital status is required for straight married couples, yet without remedy at the state level when such things start happening the IRS is likely to reject it because Indiana doesn’t recognize same gender relationships by any name.

Only blanket resolution either by federal law along the lines of the 1964 and 1965 Civil Rights Acts or US Supreme Court ruling identical to their outlawing state bans as they did of existing miscegenation laws with “Loving v. Virginia” in 1967 can practically—and Constitutionally—resolve the issue. Assuming H or O are elected and appoint gay-positive judges to the Court, I think the latter is more likely to happen first because, most simply, it’s easier to convince five people [the minimum for a Court ruling obviously] than a majority out of the 535 members of Congress. Hell, we just got the simplest version of ENDA passed, and, so far, in only one house.

I’m not a legal or legislative expert of any kind, and may have already misspoken. But one doesn’t have to be one to know that our potential for progress in Congress is dependent upon a President being fully candid on what he/she believes/does not believe and Obama has not been—and for one reason and one reason only—his own election.

Michael Bedwell | February 28, 2008 3:33 PM

Paula: As much as I hope a miracle happens and O doesn't get the nomination [fat chance], if he does as expected:

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

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

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

Mr. Bedwell, it seems you truly are against Obama, and that is a perfectly acceptable stance. I do have one question about Hillary's candidness...why isn't there a GLBT link under any portion of her website? You can find it easily on Obama's...

Michael, I think that we are WAAAAAAAYYYYY down on any of their list of priorities. The best we can hope for is that someone will be elected that will indeed keep their promises to help the GLBT community. The next best thing is that they do nothing. Or they could do things to hurt us. I wholeheartedly agree with you that it will take something along the lines of the Civil Rights Act or a SCOTUS ruling to correct the problem.

Hell, I live in Texas. The "good X-tians" of the state got together and voted one of the most restrictive amendments against Gay Marriage or any kind of Civil Union into the state constitution, anywhere in the country. My partner and I got wills, living wills and child custody agreements drawn up to head off some of these problems.
It won't happen here, without federal action.

Personally, I wanted to see Bill Richardson win the nomination. Its a western thing, I guess.

You know, that little cabin in the middle of Sweetwater County, Wyoming is looking better all the time.

I find it curious that people are arguing that Obama just wrote this letter pandering to get votes, when all of the content (in fact some exact sentences) has been repeated by him in other letters or speeches. You can find a list of the Obama LGBT quotes I've collected here:

http://obamapride.blogspot.com

I was also skeptical that Obama really cared about our community, so I did this digging into what he's said on the topic of gay rights, not only in 2008 but even before he was running for President, and I liked what I saw.

Godzilla hypocrite vs. MegaGodzilla hypocrite…

Obama's statements are as hypocritical as you can get from someone who’s been in bed with christian bigots throughout the campaign. But if you think Obama’s a snake in the grass, and he is, check out the CBN interview on February 26th. It features a lengthy interview of Billery Clinton by Pat Robertson’s Christian Broadcasting Network yesterday.

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

Hillary Clinton, a Dixiecrat in a right centrist party is bitterly opposed to same sex marriage, as is Obama. The Clintons’ passed DOMA and DADT and refuse to repeal them. Not by chance did her campaign manager Barney Frank accept the task of gutting ENDA and then tossing both it and the Matthew Sheppard Hate Crimes Bill into the toilet. They didn’t want Republicans claiming that Democrats are GLBT friendly. As if.

Hillary Clinton, like Obama is a union buster and a long time supporter of NAFTA, exporting jobs, tax cuts for the rich matched by cuts in welfare, Medicare and unemployment insurance. She lying about that now but her social and economic program was set in stone when she spent six years on the board of director of Wal-Mart whose real slogan is “Always Low Wages”. She and Obama have been in Ohio denying their support for NAFTA, welfare cuts and exporting jobs but no one believes the.

Hillary Clinton and other right wingers Joe Lieberman are eager backers of Bush’s oil piracy and supporters of the zionist apartheid state. Their cruel treatment of Palestinians has been exposed by South African Archbishop Desmond Tutu, the most senior anglocatholic supporter of GLBT equality. Tutu knows a thing or two about life in an apartheid state. Billery adamantly supports Bushes plan to extend the war to Iran by using nukes ‘if necessary’. Hillary and Obama plan on keeping troops there through 2013.

Voting for either of them is like getting beaten by a spouse but refusing to call the cops. It’s too heavy a dose of naiveté for tens of millions of us we’ll be voting no or boycotting both, in spite of the hysteria mongering of hacks like Leland Frances, no matter which alias he uses. The election of either Clinton or Obama, followed by the realization that they can’t or wont end the war, hold of economic crisis or punish bigots will just speed up the breakup of the of the Democrats, just as it’s now doing to the Republicans.

You can link to the CBN Clinton interview at http://www.cbn.com/CBNnews/328257.aspx

I think all this vitriol and invective is just silly and wasteful. State your position and move on. Twenty paragraph "comments" with detailed call and response is unreadable.

John R. Selig | February 28, 2008 7:00 PM

I much prefer Obama to Clinton. I read his book "Audacity of Hope" in December. Actually I listened to the audio version where he personally read the book. He won a Grammy a few weeks ago for it. I strongly urge everybody to read the book. His opponents try to paint Obama as all orator which is absolutely untrue. He has one of the most brilliant minds I have ever seen. He taught law at the University of Chicago Law School. I did my MBA at the U of C which is one of the great universities in the world (more Nobel Prizes have been awarded to U of C faculty, alumni or people who have taught their at some point in their career than any other university in the world). The U of C doesn't employ lightweights as teachers! Obama has an amazing grasp of the issues, the mistakes made by BOTH the Democrats and the Republicans, what needs to be done to fiux the problems and how to do so. He is a consensus builder and not devisive the way Hillary is!

I could go on bashing Hillary for quite awhile but I won't do so. What I do in promoting Obama is to ask people to put asied their own feelings for a second. Both Hillary and Obama are fairly close on all the issues so the vote really isn't about issues. Here are my arguments that lead me to believe that Obama is the only option:

1 - Hillary has negatives in the 50% range. With that she cannot get elected and we will have McCain in the White House. Hillary has many Democrats who cannot stand her not to mention Independents and moderate Republicans! Without Independents a Democrat will not get elected!

2 - Obama has been able to energize a huge tidal wave of new voters/volunteers who have never voted before or who haven't voted in years. If Obama doesn't get the nomination because of gamesmanship (such as Hillary trying to seat delegates in Florida and Michigan) those voters will disappear). This happened in 1968 when Hubert Humphrey took the nomination as college students against the war in Vietnam were beaten on the streets of Chicago in front of the whole world on TV. Nixon won.

3 - Hillary supporters don't dislike Obama, they just prefer Hillary. If Obama gets the nomination they will get behind Obama. Many Obama supporters can't stand Hillary. The new younger voters will not vote at all if Hillary gets the nomination.

4 - The evangelical right cannot stand John McCain. If Obama is the Democratic nominee many evangelicals will stay home. If Hillary is the nominee they will come out in Droves. Their vote for McCain won't really be for McCain but rather will be against Hillary. The Republicans want Hillary to be the candidate so badly!

5 - Obama has broad support. Democrats like him as do Independents and even some moderate Republican and his support continues to grow over time. If Hillary is the nominee McCain will pick up a great deal of Independent support. Heck, even McCain's media expert (who worked for Bush during the McCain bashing campaigns) said that he will sit out the election if Obama is the Democratic candidate because he really respects Obama. Obama's numbers will grow during the general election.

6 - Obama will have longer coattails for Congressional as well as state and local elections. With fewer evangelicals voting and many Independents voting for Obama November 2008 could be a huge shift for the Democrats. Hillary won't have nearly as much of a coattails effect.

7 - Obama is a consensus builder. He will be able to inspire America to get behind him and he will be able to work with Republicans. Hillary is salt in an open wound for Republicans and they will do everything possible to thwart her which will result in gridlock and fewer programs getting enacted and implemented.

Hillary came out with a similar address to the LGBT community long before today. I feel the she is the best candidate to help the LGBT community strive, and that this little piece from Obama is nothing other than him trying to be sure he's covered all the ground that she has.

Vote Hillary for a bright LGBT future!

I'm sorry but this is the same guy who did not want to be photographed with the gay politician from California....the same guy that had a homophobic entertainer open his tour through the south....yeah, he wants the LGTB vote as much as he wants the Latino vote now....to win...does he care? NO!!! So, I don't care for him either...

Michael Bedwell | February 28, 2008 10:06 PM

Mr. Selig: As much as I would prefer he didn’t, I believe Obama will get the nomination and beat McCain. The latter is definitely a good thing. However, with respect, the political shell game and half truths you’re displaying make my little Fairometer go into the red zone no matter how well-intentioned and sincere you are. It is that kind of thing, the MO, the template, the strategy of the Obama campaign that has kept me posting dissents long after it became relatively apparent that at least the candidacy contest was over.

I don’t recall anyone, anywhere questioning Obama’s intelligence and education. However, your commentary about it only makes the dishonest, disingenuous political games he’s been playing about DOMA Section 2 and states’ rights all the more repulsive. By contrast, he might not have known initially about Donnie McClurkin’s homohating views when Oprah first introduced the two, but as a part time Constitutional law professor he damn well knows about “full faith and credit,” etc. So why's he still smile fucking us about that?

Then you say you aren't going to bash Hillary but then proceed to do exactly that for seven more paragraphs.

“Hillary has negatives in the 50% range” sounds disturbingly like parroted Obama campaign boilerplate. While her advantage over McCain, depending on which poll one reads, has gone down as Obama’s goes up, last I saw she was still neck-and-neck with McCain or within the kill zone. If your much-repeated claim were EVER true, she would never have scored any of the high numbers she has and Obama would have already been nominated BY ACCLAMATION.

Further evidence: after the Obama-smitten media declared her cupboards bare and her support totally drying up, her campaign just announced that she received $35 million in contributions this month—TWICE the amount she did in January.

“The new younger voters will not vote at all if Hillary gets the nomination.” Except of course for the “new younger voters” that have been voting for her already. Sen. Clinton has consistently said that the election is not about her but about the issues and, therefore, whoever gets the Democratic nomination should be supported.

Conversely, Obama effectively encouraged the country-destructive, childish narcissism of his most extreme supporters when HE publicly said, “"I am confident I will get her votes if I'm the nominee. It's not clear she would get the votes I got if she were the nominee." I don’t give a flying fuck if he believes it—what the hell justification does he have for saying it out loud? WHICH is more important to him—keeping the Repugs out of the White House or putting only HIMSELF in it? There has been waaaaay too much implication that he and/or many of his supporters are willing to bring the whole plane down if it's not flying the direction THEY want.

“Hillary is salt in an open wound for Republicans and they will do everything possible to thwart her which will result in gridlock and fewer programs getting enacted and implemented.” How can I put this politely? — You don’t know what the fuck you’re talking about, and I have proof to the contrary:

“From Senator Clinton, a Lesson in Tactical Bipartisanship
NY Times, 4/30/06

“Only eight years have passed since Lindsey Graham, then an ambitious Republican member of the House, paraded over to the Senate each day to argue the impeachment case against President Bill Clinton. How things have changed. Mr. Graham, of South Carolina, is now a senator. Hillary Rodham Clinton, the wife of his adversary, is now a colleague... And the two are to the amusement of their peers and the distress of liberal activists increasingly close allies and friends, working together on high-profile issues from military benefits to manufacturing, traveling together on extended trips overseas, even publicly praising each other.

Mr. Graham recently wrote a glowing tribute to Mrs. Clinton for Time magazine's coming 100 Most Influential People issue, in which he calls her a "smart, prepared, serious senator" who "has managed to build unusual political alliances on a variety of issues with Republicans." "I don't want her to be president," Mr. Graham said in an interview. "We're polar opposites on many issues. But we have been able to find common ground."

The pairing may be odd, but it is not unique or, from Mrs. Clinton's perspective, accidental. One by one over the last five years, to team up on specific projects, she has sought out the most conservative of Republicans many of whom tried to remove her husband from office just two years before she won her seat and derided her candidacy when she stepped into electoral politics. They, in turn, have sought her out. ...

Her tactical alliances with Republicans...also provide a window into how she operates in the Senate. With Senator Trent Lott, she worked on improving the Federal Emergency Management Agency. With Representative Tom DeLay it was foster children. Newt Gingrich, the former speaker of the House, jumped in with her on a health care initiative, and the Senate majority leader, Bill Frist, was a partner on legislation concerning computerized medical records. And virtually every Republican member of the Senate Armed Services Committee, whose Republican chairman, John Warner, speaks admiringly of Mrs. Clinton's "remarkable core of inner strength." ...

Her pairing with Mr. Graham was also awkward at first. It began three years ago when Mr. Graham invited a large group of senators, including Mrs. Clinton, to join him at a news conference to demand broader health benefits for National Guard members and reservists. "She was the only one to show up," Mr. Graham recalled. "I felt weird, and I think she did too. The history is what it is. So I felt uncomfortable. But once we got into the news conference it flowed well, and I think we complemented each other, and we chose at that moment not to let history define us." END QUOTE.

“Obama is a consensus builder.” This campaign propaganda is among the most intellectually insulting on its face. Just one silly bumper sticker short of "Able to leap tall buildings in a single bound!" If it were true, again, all those millions who have voted for Sen. Clinton, keep donating money to her, would have by now had their “Obama Light Bulb Moment”—“Why am I supporting her when I could have had a V8 er could support him?” He would not just have roughly 1400 delegates, he would have all of them, including her roughly 1300. That alone would have already given him the nomination. No expensive, waste of time from the campaign trail Democratic National Convention would be necessary. But, hmmmm, let me look again...take four divide it by three carry the one....NOPE still hasn't happened!

What do you, and the other Obama Consensus members "get" that the 2.3 million who voted for her in California didn’t? She came in second but, still, as recently as two weeks ago 453,000 people in Wisconsin voted for her.

With Oprah if not God on his side [but don't tell him], with an adoring, fact ignoring media at his back, with people describing his effect on them in transcendental and religious revival and sexual terms, having raised well over $150 million dollars, enabling him to repeatedly outspend her with print and TV advertising, with Obama campaign workers and signs blanketing the nation—WHY has your “consensus builder” been unable to close the deal?

And with all those advantages, if he’s unable to get consensus among members of his OWN PARTY—then whence comes your predictions of nothing but roses and lollipops from Republican or more conservative Democratic Congressmen. If the Great Consensus Builder was not even able one-on-one, privately, to convince Donnie McClurkin not to preach homohatred at Obama’s own rally; if he was not able to convince his close friend the homohating Rev. & Sen. James Meeks to vote for the Illinois gay rights bill.....then how can you possibly predict his success advancing his programs through a divided Congress?

Some of the media have begun to wake up in this regard:

“Political candidates routinely indulge in exaggeration, pandering, inconsistency and self-serving obscuration. Clinton and McCain do. The reason for holding Obama to a higher standard is that it's his standard and also his campaign's central theme. He has run on the vague promise of "change," but on issue after issue—immigration, the economy, global warming—he has offered boilerplate policies that evade the underlying causes of the stalemates. These issues remain contentious because they involve real conflicts or differences of opinion.”

The Promised Land is a lot farther off than you want to believe. And Obama is no Moses.

Michael Bedewell, loved your post. This guy BO...well, he stinks. I don't believe he even knows what he's saying half the time, and don't for a second believe he's actually going to get any of his stolen ideas done if he's in the big house.

He wasn't able to get a single bill passed through the illinois legislature until it became democratically controlled and the African American Speaker decided to make BO a candidate for the US Senate. Then he fed him all the legislation, told him what to put his name on, when to vote present, blah, blah, blah. He's worse than inexperienced, he's a fraud.

Jude Rene Montarsi | February 29, 2008 1:52 AM

Now that both Senator Clinton and Senator Obama have deigned to pander to us (and throw some of their campaign money to our press) I shall repeat myself ad nauseum: "BEWARE OF THE BAIT AND SWITCH." They represent the status quo and their pandering to the LGBT communities is shameless. Senator Clinton does not even mention transgendered citizens and Senator Obama does, as an afterthought.

While I would love to give Senator Obama the benefit of doubt (because he is savvy at motivating change and god knows we're all ready for REAL change) we must remember that both Senators Obama and Clinton are members of the corporate class and servants of the oligarchy that continues to erode the civil rights of ordinary citizens (gay and non-gay).

I'd rather vote for Groucho Marx, who once quipped, "It is big of me to commit bigamy." I might just take a trip and vote for myself for president on my absentee ballot (if it's even counted).

Until the LGBT communities organizes itself collectively, joining together to support a third party, AND until the majority of people in this country "get it" that corporate financing of campaigns means we only get to vote for the candidate who will only represent the interests of the oligarchs, LGBT folks in this country will continue to remain political cannon fodder. Politicians need us. We are the easiest class of people to demonize and they need demons when their political fortunes change. We make a great serving of Red Herring!

We are no less stupid or gullible as are the rest of our non-LGBT brothers and sisters in this country. Until we ignore the "bait and switch" tactics and organize into a voting block to be reckoned with, we'll remain as we are...which, for the majority of us, is not very far from where we were a year after Stonewall.


"Equality for all Americans" would mean marriage equality, not civil unions. I hate double speak.

Mr. Obama, please do yourself - and the Country - a favor. Be principled. At least John McCain is consistent, even to the point of defending his adversaries. You have no idea how much actions like that are admired and appreciated.

When you say, "real equality for all Americans, gay and straight alike" mean it. Americans have had enough double speak.

Marriage Equality. Employment Equality. Just plain old unadulterated Equality. Now.

I'm just surprised that Marti quoted Barney Frank in support of a position.

:)

Seriously, many Canadians would rather vote in a U.S. primary than a Canadian federal election. Trying to pick a Canadian politician to vote for is like trying to choose which brand of peanut butter to smear all over your face. (If you're thinking "why...?" then you just got my point). They've got a serious case of the Dud Factor, and none of them (well, perhaps Jack Layton, I don't recall) have the courage to appear as openly pro-LGBT as either Clinton or Obama.

So enjoy what you have, and get involved when you can.

Emily Freeman | February 29, 2008 10:12 AM

This is an interesting letter but I fear he might just be using this to secure the gay vote. This is an interesting article that appeared from a Canadian TV station (I am an American living in Canada) about the NAFTA comments made by Obama:

http://www.ctv.ca/servlet/ArticleNews/story/CTVNews/20080228/turkey_Gates_080228/20080229?hub=TopStories

If this story is true, I hope he is not making statements to win votes and plans to do the opposite.

I can make my point quickly, and not take 27 paragraphs to do it.

If Senator Obama is the nominee, will he have a transperson address the Democratic National Convention?

I would really love to see that, Shakay. I would really love that.

Since Michael Bedwell is now making it a regular practice to belittle and ridicule people of faith who support Senator Obama and indeed to insult the faith itself of those Obama supportes - "Obama Messiah" ,
"professional followers of Jesus", saying that we follow Obama as a "prophet" and "worship" him as a god ( all deeply offensive comments to many who take idolatry very seriously and comments which reek of contempt for our faith) it might be useful to look at Jim Wallis's posting yesterday on his "God's Politics" blog regarding the systematic attacks on and vilification of Senator Obama's faith. Barbed remarks directed at the faith of those with whom one disagrees is are a very low form of discourse. Anti-religious bigotry has a long a vicious history. As queer folks who know well the consequences of the slandering of a whole community or class of people I encourage all of us to aim a little higher than mean spirited barbs directed at people of faith.

"Defending the Facts on Obama's Faith" (by Jim Wallis)


http://blog.beliefnet.com/godspolitics/2008/02/defending-the-facts-on-obamas.html

Anti-religious bigotry, the new love child of this generation's affair with conspiracy philosophies.The Silent Majority, anyone?

Michael Bedwell's flaws lie elsewhere, not in anti-religious bigotry. Pompous, verbose, and presumptuous? Yes. Byzantine in his criticism of Obama? I don't think so.

Hey, at least try to cut him some slack. Irony of calling Obama's actions narcissistic aside, at least he has started on his road to salvation, on his metamorphosis into concise writing. I say we let him delude himself into thinking that anybody will be more willing to read his ramblings with the recent addition of caps locks for cruise control than the previous posts now. I don't think it will kill anybody to scroll down a bit more than usual.

gayactivist | March 1, 2008 11:57 PM

Why did you campaign with Donnie McClurkin, a known homophobe who claims homosexuality is a disease, during your Gospel Tour in South Carolina? You affiliate yourself with people who are hostile to the GLBT community.

I can't stand this guy. He is running a ruthless campaign against Hillary and has as much as said she is an old hag.

That said on the issue of his support of gay rights-why did he have a "reformed" gay give a speech for him at a rally?

I assume everyone here knows what a "reformed" gay is. Thats a gay person who believes that gay people are all sinners and that we can be "cured". Do you know what they used to do to gays in the past to "cure" them? Look it up.

Does Senator Obama secretly want to "Cure" us? He has repeatedly made a point of his deeply held Christian beliefs. Why does he have anti gays speaking for him but not anti semites, anti Catholics or anti any other group? He is tolerant of gay bashers but no one else-hmmmm.

For all the gay people that bet on Obama-watch out. Ruthless people, and he is ruthless, never stop being ruthless. And last time I checked gays were still considered a political liability.


And we should lift the federal ban on needle exchange, which could dramatically reduce rates of infection among drug users.

Cool!

It's great to see women playing identity politics. I guess you need a vagina to understand the plight of gays and lesbians... or I guess you need to be black to understand the plight of african-americans.

This election has brought out nothing but the worst in all of you - hatred, flag-waving... The people who said they would vote for McCain if Obama won - smack yourself in the face - WAKE UP!

SpiderWoman | March 15, 2008 11:51 AM

I for one was glad to her gender identity included, not just gay and lesbian.

As for marriage, we should be working backwards. All marriages should be required to be civil unions. Then those who are religious and choose to make it that kind of ceremony can go on and say their vows in a church. Since churches are private, they can choose or not choose to extend their services to whomever they want. Pick your religion wisely.

Ron Whiteis | April 16, 2008 7:18 PM

"I personally believe that civil unions represent the best way to secure that equal treatment".
Translation: "separate but equal". Haven't I heard this someplace before? Let me check my notes. How quickly we forget the past. Does "separate but equal" ever really work?
Ron

He is still, basically, supporting a "Separate But Equal" stance on marriage. I am never voting for anyone who doesn't think I deserve the same citizenship rights that they and their kids enjoy. I find it offensive that the "progressive" community wants us to shut the heck up and vote for this guy without a ruckus. They sold us up the river. I don't care which homophobe wins.