Wednesday, March 14, 2007

Hillary and Obama Forgo Gay Vote

It's really unfortunate to see the two main Democratic contenders for the Presidency triangulate and refuse to lead. Hillary was very quick to call for Attorney General Gonzales' resignation - once everyone else did so and it was a win win situation.

Clearly, condemning calling the gay and lesbian citizens of this country immoral is not a "win-win" situation. It is ironic that Hillary Rodham Clinton and the Human Rights Campaign, the biggest GLBT lobbying group, share the same initials. But then again, HRC 1 one used to be a Goldwater Republican and HRC 2 endorsed Republican candidates in last year's congressional elections. So, there.

Today, Hillary was asked about General Pace's statement that homosexuality was "immoral":

I also asked her about the comments by General Peter Pace that homosexulity is "immoral." Clinton has opposed the ban on gays and lesbians serving openly in the military, so I asked her if that law -- signed by her husband in 1993 -- was a mistake, and if homosexuality is "immoral."

"General Pace has clarified his remarks, but let's not lose sight of the fact that 'Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell' is not working," she said. "We are being deprived of thousands of patriotic men and women who want to serve their country who are bringing skills into the armed services that we desparately need, like translation skills. And one can argue whether it was a good idea when it was first implemented, but we know have evidence as to the fact that we are in a time of war -- when we really need as many people as we can to recruit and retain in an all-volunteer army -- we are turning people away or discharging them not because of what they've done but because of who they are."

But is it immoral?

"Well I'm going to leave that to others to conclude," she said. "I'm very proud of the gays and lesbians I know who perform work that is essential to our country, who want to serve their country and I want make sure they can."

When I read the last past, it felt like someone was asking a mother whether her children were stupid. Every decent, loving mother would instantly proclaim: NO! Not Hillary, she'd leave that to someone else to conclude but she is very proud of her children. Even if they are stupid.

Well, I thought. You can always count on Obama. Can't you?

Barack Obama joined Hillary in courting gays and lesbians by calling for the rollback of "don't ask, don't tell" -- without wanting to directly refute General Pace's comment that homosexuality is "immoral."

Newsday caught Obama as he was leaving the firefighters convention and asked him three times if he thought homsexuality is immoral.

Answer 1: "I think traditionally the Joint Chiefs of Staff chairman has restricted his public comments to military matters. That's probably a good tradition to follow."

Answer 2: "I think the question here is whether somebody is willing to sacrifice for their country, should they be able to if they're doing all the things that should be done."

Answer 3: Signed autograph, posed for snapshot, jumped athletically into town car.

Why the dance? Maybe it has something to do with not wanting to alienate moderates -- or social conservatives, the churchfolk who view homosexuality as a sin.

At least Obama wasn't as bad as Hillary. But let's not kid ourselves. He wasn't better than her either. This is a clear and unfortunate lack in leadership. Another thing that is striking is that gays and lesbians should go to Iraq and Afghanistan and die for their country. That's basically what repeeling "don't ask, don't tell" is all about. If it were about equality for all, both Hillary and Obama could have unequivocally rebutted Gen. Pace's comments. However, they chose not to.

You wanna know who did?

The ranking Republican of the Senate Armed Services Committee sharply rebuked the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Tuesday, taking issue with General Peter Pace’s view that homosexual acts are immoral.

Sen. John Warner (R-Va.), a former Secretary of the Navy, said, “I respectfully but strongly disagree with the chairman’s view that homosexuality is immoral. In keeping with my longstanding respect for the Armed Services committee hearing process, I will decline to comment on the current policy until after such hearings are held.”

Yeah, you heard that right. An 80 year old Republican Senator from a southern red state "respectfully but strongly disagrees".

So, what can we make of this? Apparently, Hillary and Obama are willing to forgo the gay vote.

One can only hope that Stonewall Democrats (the GLBT group within the Democratic Party) will issue will stand up against any Democratic candidate for President who refuses to rebut Gen. Pace's statement that homosexuality is immoral. I wonder if Stonewall Democrats of Northern Nevada and Stonewall Democrats of Southern Nevada have to say about this. They'll be able to ask them when the candidates are in Las Vegas on March 24th for a forum on health care.


JudyC said...

I agree with our National Stonewall Director, Jo Wyrick. The immorality lies with sending our troops into battle without the proper equipment and to deny them proper medical care upon their return home.
The "Don't ask Don't tell" policy was a joke and a cop out in 1993 when it was implemented. It was Clinton's only way to meet us half way at the time bcause the atmosphere at that time would not have allowed passage of a full out non-discrimination policy. What it created instead was more of a witch hunt.
As for Hillary Clinton not responding to General Pace's remark what I do respect about her answer is she admits the "Don't Ask Don't tell" policy is not working and she acknowledges we need to accept all people and not turn away people because of who we are. The next step would be for Hillary Clinton to sign on to the Military Readiness Enhancement Act that would truly show her full support for our LGBT servicemen.
Pace's idiotic remark to me was as bad as Jerry Falwell calling the Purple tellatubbie gay and it would influence children.All I have to say is it is never immoral to love. The obvious Hate and Prejudice in Pace's remark is what is IMMORAL.
Now about Obama. I personally don't find him a viable candidate for our LGBT community to stand behind. He has not made time on his schedule for us and he has not shown the guts to even speak the words lesbian or gay let alone transgendered when asked a direct question. I agree perhaps it has to do with preferring to court church folk or social conservatives in only one miniority group. Dancing around the issues sir does not instill confidence in our community to support you.
This has been my own opinion and I am the Chair of the Southern Nevada Stonewall Democrats.

JudyC said...

Sorry we will be too busy with our own Western Regional Training Session the same day so we will not be able to speak to the candidates directly. However,We will have the opportunity to speak to their representatives at our evening reception that same night. check out for information on our weekend event.