2008 Barack Obama Dodges the Gay Press
posted by April 10 at 8:55 AMon
The Politico reports that Obama has been refusing to meet with the gay press. “With a decent story for Obama to tell, gay editors from Dallas to San Francisco to Boston have been left wondering why Obama doesnít take it directly to their publications, as Clinton has done with increasing frequency since Super Tuesday.”
And (Obama supporter) Jeff Fecke is pissed:
I know, I know, you doubtless are trying to claim already that you just donít have time to meet with every media outlet, and you met with the Advocate, and youíve given some nice speeches and written a nice letter saying you support LGBT issues, so whatís the big deal?
The big deal, Senator, is that you started off this campaign hanging around with Donnie McClurkin. And you never did adequately explain or account for what was an incredibly insulting decision to anyone who believes in equal rights. You still aren’t willing to embrace full marriage equality. Quite bluntly, I know a number of LGBT voters and their allies who really don’t trust you on this issue, who really fear that you’re going to treat voters who support equal rights as a source of money and votes, but not a constituency that deserves much respect.
Quite bluntly, I don’t trust you to deliver on LGBT rights. The only thing that has allowed me to support you thus far is that I don’t fully trust your opponent on LGBT rights either.
But at least she had the grace to, like [Democratic Sen. Paul] Wellstone [who met with the LGBT caucus two days after he came out in favor of the Defense of Marriage Act], sit down and explain herself. She talked to the Philadelphia Gay News, and gave a strong, sincere, and ringing endorsement of equality for the LGBT community. And she didn’t need to — Hillary Clinton has done far less during this campaign to make me question her commitment to LGBT rights than you have.[…]
Senator Obama, I know I’m not going to get you to reconsider your stance on same-sex marriage, and I know that you can’t un-invite Donnie McClurkin from rallies that are already over. But it’s not asking too much to say that you need to demonstrate that you understand the LGBT community is not some annoying interest group that you need to minimally placate. You need to demonstrate that you know that you’re trying to become the person who is fighting for them, and women, and the downtrodden, and the poor, and the irreligious, and everyone else here in the progressive movement. I’m not asking that you agree with everything everyone in this movement believes — that’s impossible, as we don’t all agree on everything — but I am demanding that you respect people who have been a vital part of the progressive movement, people whose only request is that they be treated by their government the same as everyone else.
In the next few weeks, you have time to sit down with the Philadelphia Gay News. And you’ll have time to sit down with the LGBT press in Charlotte and Portland and Indianapolis and San Juan and Missoula and Pierre between now and June. And if you don’t have time, make time, because quite frankly, Senator, how much you’re willing to fight for the people I am allied with is going to determine how much I’m willing to fight for you. And right now, quite frankly, I’m inclined to let you fight your battles without me.