Tonight was the first forum dedicated to Gay and Lesbian issues. It was broadcast live over the LOGO network, which is a Gay themed network under the MTV umbrella. LOGO offered the same forum to the Republican candidates but all declined. If you are Gay and can still support the Republican Party after that snub to your community then you are either self loathing or just plain stupid.
If the race could be judged on just Gay issues then it would be a clear win for Dennis Kucinich,who is light years ahead of the other candidates on the issue of equal rights for the GLBT community and not far behind was former Senator Mike Gravel. The thing to remember for both of those candidates is that there is almost no chance of either being the nominee so truly speaking your beliefs becomes very easy.
Gov. Richardson was clearly the loser tonight as he stammered through what should have been easy questions on equality. He has a very good public record on GLBT issues but it was not evident by his seemingly uncomfortable feeling being at the forum.
John Edwards sounded too political and not as genuine as I would have liked to hear him. I believe a lot of his support within the Gay community could be traced to his wife Elizabeth who is an outspoken proponent of equal rights. He did not harm his standing amongst the gay community this evening but he did nothing to further it either. I must also say that I have supported Senator Edwards Presidential campaign with a small donation but I have not made up my mind as to whom I will support in the primary.
Barack Obama was very impressive and seemed extremely genuine in his belief of equal rights. He is not in favor of gay marriage but is in favor of civil unions with the same rights as marriage as are Edwards, Clinton and Richardson. Only Dennis Kucinich and Mike Gravel support marriage equality but as I stated above that is an easy position to take when you understand that you will not be the nominee.
Hillary Clinton was also very impressive. What I have noticed about her while I have watched all the debates is that she always appears Presidential. She also did not pander to the community instead she reiterated that she would be a strong proponent of gay rights but also that there would be times when there would be a difference of opinion. I appreciated the candor.
I consider myself very smart politically and I am smart enough to realize that none of the candidates with any chance would come out for gay marriage. They can not do that in a society that votes based on the thirty second soundbite. Those in the gay community that are looking for real leadership on this issue must understand that leadership on that issue would most likely mean that leader would not be elected President. Although I hate to admit that, it is true at this point in our history.
Times are changing quickly and the GLBT community can not afford to see another Republican elected President. If that was to happen we could be looking at a loss of all the rights we have gained over the past 15 years. I am comfortable with the Democratic field and will do all in my power to help the nominee get elected. I am sure tonight didn't change any minds but I am sure it made us all feel much more comfortable with our choices.