Bil Browning

After the Forum: A few thoughts

Filed By Bil Browning | August 09, 2007 11:17 PM | comments

Filed in: Marriage Equality, The Movement
Tags: election 2008, HRC, Logo

While Jessica was lucky enough to be able to attend tonight's HRC/Logo Presidential Forum, I had to watch it online. (Logo isn't available at all on my cable system.) Jerame and I tried valiantly to watch it together, but the internet wasn't as cooperative. We caught bits and spurts of various candidates during a live webcast about as reliable as RealPlayer1.0 on a dial up connection. Thankfully, I see they're starting to replay the broadcast. Hopefully the problem was too many folks logging on to watch!

A quick run thru from what I saw...

  • Obama - I thought he was okay. He raised my estimation of him. I got a warm feeling, but nothing overwhelming. He seemed sincere.
  • Edwards - I actually really liked Edwards tonight. I've never really thought much of him, but he really upped my opinion tonight. Plus talking about homeless youth helps...
  • Kucinich - He has such passion and I do agree with him on so many things that it saddens me to know he'll never be president. What I wouldn't give to have a good old honest liberal president.
  • Gravel - Another case of a "Oh, if only" Candidate. I liked what he had to say, but he's preaching to the choir.
  • Richardson - Holy shit. Did he really say that being gay is a choice? What an idiot. He just flat out looked bad up there - it was like watching Nixon debate Kennedy. I've supported Richardson all this time, but I'm putting myself back in the "neutral" category after this. Look for me to blog my experiences with his campaign in the near future.
  • Clinton - Did she really say that she would repeal "Section 3 of DOMA?" Only section 3? Oh, that's right. She doesn't support same-sex marriage and her husband signed DOMA into law. Because we don't deserve all of the same rights as everyone else - only section 3's rights. Whatever. She didn't win me over, but I did miss quite a bit of her portion due to the internet glitches.

Check out the live-blogging posts by contributor Jessica Hoffmann for the transcripts for each candidate. Click here for Obama, Edwards, Kucinich, Gravel, Richardson, and Clinton.

Overall "winner?" Edwards. 2nd place goes to Obama. Richardson comes in last. What did you think?

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Fuck you Richardson -- now I'm going to have to read gay blogs for days about how being gay IS NOT A CHOICE FOR ANYONE.

Uh, hello? Here is one queer who feels that it was for me!! Well, it's a bit more complicated than that, but I wasn't born queer I know that much. So next time just keep your mouth shut Richardson, because I really don’t feel like having my lived experiences further erased by the gay blogosphere.

Overall losers?

Richardson 1st, Clinton 2nd.

I'm surprised people here thought Clinton did poorly. I thought she was fine. Edwards was better than expected, but I don't think enough to change the race. At the watch party I attended, it seemed as though Clinton solidified her support.

Um, it would seem that repealing section 3 of DOMA would be a huge step in the right direction... it's the part that defines that marriage is between a man and a woman and that a spouse is always a member of the opposite sex... doing away with those definitions is vitally important to gaining ground for same-sex marriage rights...

I don't think its so much that Clinton did poorly as she had the opportunity with that question from Melissa Etheridge to really lay out what a Hillary Clinton administration would mean for LGBT Americans and she failed to do that. Instead she went back in time and tried unsuccessfully to justify bad policies her husband put in place.

Edwards and Obama did the best. Both showed warmth and ease with the issues though neither publicly supports marriage rights.

Watching Bill Richardson was like watching a multiple car collision. He had several opportunities to dig himself out of the "gay as choice" hole and did not. After the maricon statement, its safe to say that his support among LGBT voters has dwindled to nothing.

Mike Gravel is like Austin Powers' cranky granddad and Dennis Kucinich is like Austin's weirder older brother. Did anyone else catch that moment were Kucinich froze in time?

Um, no, repealing the whole of DOMA would be the big step. We also need to make sure that states follow the traditional courtesy of honoring other states' institutions. Repealing section 3 of DOMA would not solve entirely all of the problems at the federal level that gay rights activists are facing.

Leaving matters to the state is a broad statement that equality for gays is not an issue worthy enough of federal attention, unlike covers for race, gender, and religion. At some time or another federal measures will be needed to fully achieve equality.

I never meant to imply that repealing section 3 would solve all problems... simply that it's a start, and that rarely has the gay-rights movement been about "all or nothing" politics, so repealing section 3 doesn't seem an unreasonable progression.

I think that it's interesting that so much hostility is being paid to Clinton, when she, Obama, and Edwards are perfectly aligned in their positions on same-sex marriage - they all want civil unions with equal rights. Curious.

Leland Frances | August 10, 2007 3:50 AM

Lucrece, were you born yesterday? Do you understand nothing of the complex history of states rights versus federal law? Joe's question about it could not possibly have meant to imply that he even imagines that a federal law could be passed that would tell the states what to do in that regard [DOMA only tells them what they DON'T have to do in regard to what other states do, and most have mirrored it anyway with their own versions of DOMA]. His question was challenging what the candidates should morally support not what they could do legally, which is nothing more than sign a bill reversing Section 3 of DOMA should Congress send it to them.

The winner was the ONE candidate who expressed something NEW: John Edwards and his mindbogglingly courageous statement that public schools should teach positive attitudes about gay families. Given a choice between banning gay marriage or preventing their kids from hearing that it's okay to be gay, the American Taliban would be throwing rice at our weddings and leading the Chicken Dance. It won't just be Ann Coulter crucifying him tomorrow.

Of course, Obama expressed something new, too: he insulted those Blacks who came before him, who made it possible for him to be where he is today, by suggesting they wasted their time fighting the legal bans on mixed marriages 40+ years ago. I hope the Lovings of Loving v. Virginia never heard him say that. If he doesn't get the importance of unencumbered marriage to his own people, his own PARENTS, then it's no surprise he can feel good about proposing separate and unequal laws for us. He said some great things about homophobia and AIDS but I was dumbstruck by what he said about his own people's history.

Carrie said:

rarely has the gay-rights movement been about "all or nothing" politics

You're far too generous, Carrie. :)

I was wondering what your take was on Richardson after this latest debacle. Sounds like he's not even running for Veep these days but he's got excellent aim when he's shooting himself in the foot.

I'll be doing a post on Richardson later today (I have to work this morning dammit.) Needless to say, I've washed my hands of him.

Also, while I realize that Carrie is a huge Hillary supporter, I'm sorry Carrie, but she just didn't do that well. Check out everyone else's coverage (I've been skimming this morning!) and see that no one else was really that hip on her either. She didn't move on any issues. She defended her husband's bad policies. And she seemed stiff. After Richardson's comment, I was really hoping she'd hit it out of the ball park. Sadly, no.

But Edwards saying our issues should be taught in school? Now THAT'S movement and a way to grab attention. It's not going to be just Ann Coulter crucifying John today for that comment...

And in all honesty, I believe this has become a two person race, between Clinton and Obama. Clinton and Obama already have twice as much money as any other candidate does.

With that in mind, I think Clinton was the big loser. Obama and Edwards both came off well, if a bit bland. They didn't offend anyone, and didn't get mired down the way way Hillary did. If the Obama camp is smart, they'll learn something from this debate. The chink in Hillary's armor is her husband's presidency. I mean come on, defending DOMA as a protection against a marriage amendment? That's ludicrous, and it made her look very defensive and weak. Richardson proved he shouldn't be president, because he sticks his foot in his mouth every place he goes. Him and Joe Biden are the worst at saying the wrong thing at the wrong time. Kucinich and Gravel did well, but they don't have a financial snowballs chance in hell of being elected. If I had to pick a winner between Edwards and Obama, I'd say Edwards (even though I'm an Obama supporter). He's very adept (almost Bill Clinton like) in his ability to connect with an audience. He seemed very at ease while Obama seemed to measure his words VERY carefully... almost too carefully.

Not saying she's flawless, just saying that the other two and she are in the exact same place about same-sex marriage and yet she's the only one really getting ragged on about it.

It's interesting that Edwards loves the LGBT community SO much, says that gay-friendly curriculum should be taught in schools, but still thinks marriage is just between a man and a woman. Doesn't seem to add up.

I no longer fear a Kucinich Revolution.

Fear has too long kept me from being honest about my Presidential selections.

Fear no longer holds sway.

I should have clarified, Leland. Federal measures are taken because even in states like Massachussetts, whom have passed some form of marriage recognition, only the state-granted benefits apply. Married gay couples in Mass. still have no tax benefits on a federal level along with myriad other benefits heterosexual marriages enjoy on a federal level.

Also, it seems that you too were born yesterday when you think that federal measures only consist of passing stand-alone bills. There are many ways to amend existent laws. The "leaving it to the states" argument shows how naive you can get when you fail to miss the parallels of it with previous civil rights issues. Civil issues deferred to state laws generally remained stagnant until significant court battles elevated them into remedies in the federal level.

The reason why LGBT issues have been left to the states on the previous years was because of the fear of a republican majority's move to pass amendments on a federal level, which can no longer be the case with the current congress.

You believe in state legislatures' ability to effectively handle the issues. I am more confident in the battle for the courts. Taking federal initiatives and getting the conservative grasp of the Supreme Court countered with new appointments from a Democrat president seems to be the best option. When it comes to minorities, the courts more often than not have been the leading forces of change.

The Richardson campaign has contacted me about doing an interview with the Governor. Stay tuned.

There's a poll being taken at on "who you liked best..."

So Clinton: 41%
Kicinich: 28%
OObama: 18%
Gravel: 6%
Edwards: 6%
Richardson: 1%

I loved this from a post on "Your Two Cents" from LOGOonline:
I found Obama's comment on marriage interesting:

“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,” he said.

Is this statement not synonymous with telling a black person that they are going to get to their final destination, what does it matter where they sit on the bus!

"Is this statement not synonymous with telling a black person that they are going to get to their final destination, what does it matter where they sit on the bus!"

Actually, no, it's not synonymous with that.

Yeah, it's not synonymous at all.

I kinda think it is. I liked the quote too, R.