Highs and lows of Presidential debate for gays

PinkNews logo on pink background with rainbow corners.

In the minutes following the historic, first ever presidential forum on LGBT rights and issues presented jointly by Logo and the HRC, those who turned out to see how the six democratic presidential hopefuls did with the issues are readying their battle cries.

Barack Obama supporters are gathered at Area in Hollywood, Hillary Clinton’s camp is scattered around The Abbey and John Edwards, long thought to be a distant third in the race, gained some definite ground with LGBT voters tonight.

But it was two lesser known potential candidates, Mike Gravel and Dennis Kucinich, who were the clear favourites among the crowd for their staunch support of full marriage rights for LGBT people.

On the flip side of the coin, Bill Richardson took a nosedive when he responded to a question from panelist Melissa Etheridge that he believes being gay or lesbian is a choice, not something one is born with.

Here is a quick recap of the candidate’s highs and lows, in the order that they addresses the panel.

Barack Obama:

High: Acknowledging that he discusses gay rights in all settings – not just when he’s before a room of activists.

Low: Saying the word marriage was “just semantics.”

John Edwards:

High: Apologising for bringing his faith into his political campaign with regard to his belief in gay marriage.

Low: Discussing his firm belief in equal rights for all while saying he doesn’t support gay marriage.

Dennis Kucinich:

High: Being the candidate who wants all of the same things for the LGBT community that they want.

Low: Being the candidate who made a go of a seat in Congress five times before winning.

Mike Gravel:

High: Pointing out that the reason Clinton, Edwards and Obama don’t favour gay marriage is because they’re playing politics.

Low: Saying that people who support them because they stand a better chance of winning are votes he doesn’t want.

Bill Richardson:

High: Pointing out that his state of New Mexico is one of six that does not support Defence Of Marriage Act banning gay marriage.

Low: Saying he believes homosexuality is a choice.

Hillary Clinton:

High: Explaining that “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell,” while a step forward at the time that her husband signed it into effect, is long out dated and severely discriminatory.

Low: Saying that perfering civil unions to gay marriage is a personal choice.

Ross von Metzke

© 2007 Gay Wired; All Rights Reserved