Radical/Progressive Queer News and Commentary
from Memphis, Tennessee
Thursday, August 09, 2007
LOGO/HRC Democratic Presidential Forum
LOGO/HRC had a historic Democratic Presdiential Forum" tonight. All of the Democratic candidates support ending Don't Ask, Don't Tell, Support ENDA (Employment Non-Discrimination Act) and want to repeal or revise the "Defense of Marriage Act" and all support, in theory, "civil unions" to provide "equal" rights to gay and lesbian couples. In one uncomfortable moment after another, each candidate was asked why they could not support gay marriage, and all of the "leading" candidates gave horrible excuses about why they could not support marriage rights but were still for equality. Only Mike Gravel and Dennis Kucinich support full marriage equality and in my opinion they are the two best candidates! Not just becuase they support gay marriage, but more importantly, they gave HONEST answers! Hillary, Obama and Edwards just didn't seem very sincere when they tried to explain that they opposed marriage rights for personal/religious reasons. Bullshit! Everyone knows it is becase of political reasons and they were not honest about it.
Richardson was awful. He just didn't seem to be comfortable and rambled around the questions focusing on his (good) record on LGBT issues as Gov. of New Mexico. He is a good man and has been an ally, but like Hillary, Edwards and Obama, did not give honest answers. In my opinion, only Kucinich and Gravel deserve our votes in the PRIMARY, I'm supporting Kucinich.
Melissa Etheridge asked the worst question of the night when she asked Richardson if he thought being gay was a choice or not? Who Cares! I'm sick of that stupid question being asked of Presidential candidates! It doesn't matter if people are born gay, choose to be gay, learn to be gay or listen to too many Madonna records... We should be all have equal rights! Human rights are not based on "biology"! I find the whole "its not a choice" argument to be demeaning. No one asks if being Mormon or Catholic is a choice? Or what about being straight, is that a choice?? What a stupid question, and the answers are always stupid. What a waste of time...
Obama gets an extra point though for having a Gay Pride Web page! I'll have to check to see if Hillary or Edwards have one...
Of course, I will vote for Hillary in the general election, only because the GOP candidate will be far worse. As disappointing as most of the Democratic candidates were in this forum at least they showed up and are trying to win our support. None of the GOP candidates accepted the invitation, and none of them returned HRC quesionnaires. But the Democrats should not take our votes for granted.
UPDATE: Bill Richardson has issued some statements trying to clafiy his response to Melissa Etheridge's question about whether being gay is a choice. I didn't catch it, but he did say "It's a Choice.." and was hissed and booed at. I think he was trying to say that it doesn't matter if it is a choice or not, but he didn't do a very good job and was misunderstood, and a lot of people at the forum are not happy with him. Here is a statement from Richardson clarifying his response: "I misunderstood the question. Let me be clear- I do not believe that sexual orientation or gender identity happen by choice. But I'm not a scientist, and the point I was trying to make is that no matter how it happens, we are all equal and should be treated that way under the law. That is what I believe, that is what I have spent my career fighting for. I ask that people look at my record and my actions and they will see I have been a true supporter of the LGBT community." Pams House Blend has more on Richardson and the forum.