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Thursday, April 10, 2008

Barack Obama Dodges the Gay Press

posted by on April 10 at 8:55 AM

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.

RSS icon Comments


"Quite bluntly, quite bluntly, quite frankly, quite frankly, I, I, I, me, me, me, blahblahblah..."

Argh. Headache.

Posted by Mr. Poe | April 10, 2008 9:03 AM

I'll love you more in the rain or shine
And makin' love in the rain is fine.

Posted by Bellevue Ave | April 10, 2008 9:05 AM

The "Gay Press?" puh-lease, there is no "gay press." I'd rather have Barack meet with real gays. Hillary is a bear - a pander bear

Posted by jackseattle | April 10, 2008 9:09 AM

Um, The Advocate has a new interview with Obama today. You should check it out.

Posted by Patrick | April 10, 2008 9:13 AM

You forgot: "... and that is why despite trailing in the popular vote, delegates and money raised Hillary Clinton should get the nomination."

Posted by I'm a Nuclear Bomb | April 10, 2008 9:13 AM

gay press? lol, good one. and please, it doesn't matter what either candidate says regarding gays and "gay rights"... either could win the presidency, and either would prove to be ineffectual for and ultimately noncommittal to the gays. which is fine, because this issue shouldn't be discussed at a federal level, beyond repealing doma.

Posted by jameyb | April 10, 2008 9:16 AM

The Philadelphia Gay News did a pretty amazing cover layout to illustrate the Clinton/Obama divide. (Go here, look right.)

Posted by David Schmader | April 10, 2008 9:16 AM

COMMENT DELETED (Gratuitously Inflammatory)

We'd rather not moderate your comments, but off-topic, gratuitously inflammatory, threatening, or otherwise inappropriate remarks may be removed, and repeat offenders may be banned from commenting. We never censor comments based on ideology. Thanks to all who add to the conversation on Slog.

Posted by ecce homo | April 10, 2008 9:18 AM

Thank you, Schmader.

Posted by Mr. Poe | April 10, 2008 9:19 AM

None of this conversation will really matter 8 months from now, after Adlai Stevens-- er, I mean, Obama has lost to McCain in the general election.

Posted by drewvsea | April 10, 2008 9:22 AM


You're really grasping, aren't you? The fact of the matter is Obama is the only major, real contender who has actively spoken in support of gay rights. You are, once again, refuted by history and facts. Meanwhile, today he again called to repeal 'Don't Ask Don't Tell'. Seriously, if this is the best you got on our guy, I couldn't be happier.

Posted by ss | April 10, 2008 9:24 AM

Obama belongs to a United Church of Christ: they ordain gay (and female) ministers and consecrate gay marriages. He may not support it politically, but the press needs to read between the lines here.

Posted by joe mama | April 10, 2008 9:26 AM

1: Does anyone really think Clinton would actually deliver *full* gay marriage? In a political climate in which states were falling over themselves to ban it? Presidents not named Bush don't write laws. That's Congress' job. And that's assuming that she isn't just pandering, which is what her record would suggest. Or does NY have gay rights, and I wasn't notified?

2: This is what I hear: "I know you talked to the advocate (twice), and unprompted at a black Church on MLK day, and said that you'd make sure gays would have full rights but no marriage because you didn't think it was politically possible, and so on, but you're NOT TALKING TO ME! WHY WON'T YOU TALK TO ME!

So now you have to do penance by going on a pro-gay tour with Cher in Charlotte and Portland and Indianapolis and San Juan and Missoula and Pierre between now and June."

Posted by Steve | April 10, 2008 9:27 AM

Funny how ECB left out the PGN editor's support of Hillary.

That big bad editorial was written by a Clintonista. Of course.

And Obama's mention of gay issues and basic human dignity in front of conservative and black crowds is far more important than cushy interviews with financial backers: Obama is talking to the people we actually need to win over and engage with; Clinton does a safe interview with a donor and her supporters think she deserves a medal. As usual.

Posted by torrentprime | April 10, 2008 9:27 AM

Ecce's hateful, racist statements need to be deleted (again).

Posted by elm | April 10, 2008 9:30 AM

this is a bunch of nothing.

Posted by tone loc | April 10, 2008 9:31 AM

News flash: nobody is going to deliver on LGBT rights. You may get a few little token moves, but the most you might get is federal recognition for tax purposes. Most of the country (i.e. the not-west-coast-and-northeast) doesn't like the idea of acknowledging gay people actually have relationships.

Posted by The CHZA | April 10, 2008 9:32 AM

The Clintons are proven betrayers of the gay community, yet Obama is taking the heat on this??? I really don't understand this post at all. And didn't he just give another Advocate interview? WTF.

Posted by Judith | April 10, 2008 9:35 AM

A Democratic president will be able to deliver just about as much on gay marriage as a Republican president will be able to deliver on banning abortion.

Posted by bma | April 10, 2008 9:36 AM

Watching these pro-Hillary gay folks is like watching Lucy with Charlie Brown and the football.

One of the two candidates has a history of betrayal on gay issues. It's not Obama. Obama has a much better record on gay issues in his policy proposals and his appearances than Clinton does. As 4 points out, he had ALREADY MET with the Advocate at the time Erica posted this.

Posted by Fnarf | April 10, 2008 9:38 AM

Delete Delete Delete.

I no want to see do bad things about my pretty world.

My HS guidence couselor told me so.

Vote Hillary!!!

Posted by ecce homo | April 10, 2008 9:40 AM


because the whole point of this post is because ECB's racism is barely contained under the surface. That is my point. She is just as bad as the red staters she hates so much.

You see, she is now supporting the meme that sais that blacks don't like gays. Obama is black, hence he doesn't like gays.

She is a bigot, pure an simple. Funny thing is, because she fancies herself a liberal, she is completely incapable of seeing it in herself.

Hillary won't do shit for queers, yet her she is, shooting her yap about stuff she doesn't understand herself.

Bottom line, ECB is a bigot.

Posted by ecce homo | April 10, 2008 9:44 AM

Relax. It's just Erica, trying to make something out of nothing yet again. Ignore the little fool and move on.

Posted by ivan | April 10, 2008 9:46 AM

Considering the quality of most LGBT news organizations and the imbecility of the "journalists" that cover the news and would handle any interview with Obama, I don't blame him for not wanting to talk to the local gay press.

And who the fuck READS local gay newspapers other than to check out the ads for bars, clubs, sex venues and sex workers?

Posted by michael strangeways | April 10, 2008 9:47 AM

I'm gay. Number of times I've turned to the "gay press" for news in the past 10 years: 0.

Posted by Michigan Matt | April 10, 2008 9:48 AM


Dang it. You beat me to it. And The Stranger seems to love making fun of the gay press.

Posted by keshmeshi | April 10, 2008 9:53 AM

Do you Obamaphobes ever get eyestrain from squinting all day at every single sentence that comes out of Obama's mouth, looking for the convoluted possibly kinda sexist or bigoted or right-wing interpretation of it?

Posted by sheeeeeeeit | April 10, 2008 9:57 AM

What Mr. Poe said.

Posted by city kitty | April 10, 2008 9:57 AM

I once got caught in a gay press at twink night at Heaven in London. I don't know why the Senator would avoid these - they're more fun than bowling!

Posted by Ziggity | April 10, 2008 9:59 AM

Okay, Erica, I'll bite.

Yes, Obama needs to do more interviews with gay papers and magazines, and he's starting to do more of that. And as your post demonstrated, contrary to the "Kool-Aid" meme, not all Obama supporters are "Obamatons." We are as critical of Barack as we are of Hillary or Grampa Munster, and we should be. We should--and will--hold Obama's feet to the fire on gay issues, and he knows that.

But many of us continue to support Obama because he is better on LGBT issues (supports FULL repeal of DOMA, not partial, like Hillary) and because he goes out of his way to mention us in non-LGBT settings (his MLK-day speech at MLK's home church) and in his stump speeches.

Would you please point out to me where Senator Clinton has done any outreach to LGBT people when it is NOT in a gay paper or magazine or at a LGBT function where the checkbooks are?

Many criticize Obama as words without deeds, but in this case, the deeds AND words speak quite well of his committment to the cause of civil rights for all, not just one special interest group who writes checks and then gets thrown under the bus.

Posted by Andy Niable, Obamamerican | April 10, 2008 10:00 AM

I agree with the bitchy queen whose diatribe Erica regurgitated above - Obama should have to sit down with that creepy old fat troll who edits the Seattle Gay News. I feel like only a journalist of his caliber can extract the key insights I need to decide how to cast my Big Gay Vote.

Posted by Trey | April 10, 2008 10:00 AM

Oops...could the publisher of the Philadelphia Gay News's "righteous indignation" possibly stem from the fact that he's a Hillary supporter who's donated to her campaign? As Queerty points out, would've been nice to see THAT on the front page. Just sayin'.

Posted by sherman | April 10, 2008 10:01 AM

That Advocate interview is fantastic.

Posted by alan | April 10, 2008 10:01 AM

See @14: Publisher Mark Segal is a Hilary supporter and campaign contributer.

And... oh look... an article entitled Obama Opens Up To Gay Press.

Posted by Dawgson | April 10, 2008 10:01 AM

"youíre going to treat voters who support equal rights as a source of money and votes, but not a constituency that deserves much respect."

Uh, that's modern politics in a nutshell - you can replace "equal rights" with whatever political cause you like and this statement holds true. Neither candidate will get you legal gay marriage, but at least one of them had the strength of conviction to address the issue in front of a hostile crowd. Guess what? That candidate was not HRC.

Posted by Hernandez | April 10, 2008 10:02 AM

The lesson of 2004 is that even if the economy is against the Republicans and the majority are opposed to an unpopular war, the Republicans can still win if and only if they can make the Reagan Democrats vote against the gays in the swing districts of rust belt states.

So now, given that making gay marriage an election year issue in 2004 lead directly to four more years of Bush and at least two new Supreme Court Justices for life, do you really think that making it an issue in 2008 will have a different outcome?

Posted by Rain Monkey | April 10, 2008 10:02 AM

@4 -

Heh. Time for Jeff Fecke and ECB to pull a Emily Litella, I guess.

Posted by tsm | April 10, 2008 10:03 AM

I didn't read all of that, but Obama did do that article with the Advocate that was posted today. I like Hillary better, but Obama can squash that criticism while its immediately relevant. Something Hillary constantly fails to do. I blame that on her advisors, and it's probably the reason why she isn't doing better. She should have been able to release her tax info, say the war was a mistake, etc. etc. almost immediately after criticism. I may not think Obama is a better leader than others, but at least he's on top of his shit.

Posted by um | April 10, 2008 10:04 AM

oh btw, after I saw John McCain on the View this morning, for the first time I can see how he might actually get elected. Scary shit. He said he couldn't release his health records until next month because he's having trouble getting all of his doctors together to make a report. That's inspirational. If you can't get some doctors together that you pay, how are you supposed to get a fucking cabinet together? or any group of people to respond to an immediate concern.

Posted by um | April 10, 2008 10:08 AM

@38 - i have heard several pundits talk about how you can tell a lot about how a candidate will run their administration by looking at how they ran their campaign.

if clinton can't pick good advisers in her campaign, what makes you think she'll pick good people to run FEMA or the DOD?

I see a lot of similarities in clinton and bush's management style. They are both susceptible to being drawn in by bad advisers, and then refusing to cut them loose either out of stupidity or loyalty (same diff, right?). They are both loath to admit mistakes, and neither change course out of a fear of being perceived as weak.

"Hils" consistently fails to react because her organization is divided and weak.

Which provides a stark contrast to Obama's operation, which is on point on the ground game, on the internet, and on their message. It's almost like his team is working together with a common vision, not demoralized and in a state of civil war.

Posted by some dude | April 10, 2008 10:11 AM

Thanks for the deletion Erica!!!!

It demonstrates your inability to distiguish between satire of your own pathetic work, and true nastiness.

How does it feel to be deleting comments, when you are supposedly an advocate of free speech?

Oh thats, right, only when it is free speech that you like, understand, or appreciate. Then it's quick with the delete button.

Nice job!!!

Now, care to explain your racist diatribe in this post?

Posted by ecce homo | April 10, 2008 10:16 AM

If the Philidelphia Gay News is anything like the Seattle Gay News, it's no wonder Obama dodged them. And doing two interviews with the Advocate is not dodging the gay press. That's twice as many interviews as Kerry did with the Advocate, and it's still primary season.

The reality is that neither Obama or Hillary has a perfect track record on GLBT issues, but both are miles better than McCain. Neither would be able to deliver on full gay marriage, and demanding that they support it is to demand empty promises.

Support whoever you want, but neither Hillary nor Obama can claim the high ground on GLBT issues.

Posted by Reverse Polarity | April 10, 2008 10:16 AM

You think you're satirical, Ecce? That's rich.

Posted by Mr. Poe | April 10, 2008 10:17 AM

Please delete #15

It is off topic.

Posted by ecce homo | April 10, 2008 10:18 AM

@40 at this point I could give a flying fuck who gets it anymore. I already voted on Feb. 5 so I'm out of it. Hillary wasn't at the top of my list, and maybe Obama would put together a much better cabinet. But I think he will get served, left and right, and over and over again. I hope I'm wrong.

Posted by um | April 10, 2008 10:18 AM

obama HAS to keep the "gay press" at arm's length. the closer he embraces the issues of ANY interest group (gays, abortion, illegal immigrant rights, NORML), the more swing-voter idiots will get alienated. a 1% swing could result in a mccain presidency, and the rest of the planet cementing the image of america as a bastion of backwards-ass imperialism & gluttony.

he needs to fucking win this, and to do that, identity politics needs to STFU.

Posted by max solomon | April 10, 2008 10:28 AM

I probably wouldn't meet with much gay press either. I really wouldn't want an interview that had an ad for watches with a naked gym bunny opposite my political views.

Posted by Gitai | April 10, 2008 10:29 AM

Please delete #43

It is off topic among other things.

Posted by ecce homo | April 10, 2008 10:38 AM

If Whitey McCain promised to make the federal government neutral on the issue of states rights in the area of marriage laws, in the tradition of Goldwater conservatism, then would you vote for him?

Posted by Rain Monkey | April 10, 2008 10:41 AM


I'm pretty sure that "bitchy queen" is straight.

Posted by keshmeshi | April 10, 2008 10:48 AM
Posted by Simac | April 10, 2008 11:24 AM

Why is it so hard for Obamatons to admit their guy could have done a much better job of choosing his associates (McClurkin, Wright, et al.)? If this mirrors who he surrounds himself with if he somehow manages to beat Hillary and win the presidency, we're all in a lot of trouble.

And for the record, I would say the same to HRC and J-Mac, but this is an Obama rant. And he claims to be running a different campaign, with a new style of politics. Harumph!

Posted by fluteprof | April 10, 2008 11:32 AM

Good point on The Advocate.

But the funny things is many LGBTs are supporting Clinton, even though she has a track record of promising indirectly one thing and triangulating it away when it comes time to do something. Once it's hard, she gives up.

Obama just does stuff. And doesn't make a big deal about it, which helps get it done.

Posted by Will in Seattle | April 10, 2008 11:33 AM

@46, I agree with you 100%. As a black gay man, I'm willing to be selfless to put glbtc and some race issues to the far back burner for this election in order to get a Democrat in the White House. I don't think the rest of the GLBTC community is willing to give up their selfish ways though.

My question to those who want to bring "the value issues" to the table is this? how do those issues effect the economy, health care, the war in iraq, education, and our reputation outside of the US?

Posted by apres_moi | April 10, 2008 11:43 AM

52 - yes, if he "somehow manages to beat" the woman who staffed her campaign with incompetent cronies, can't pay her bills, and completely miscalculated her entire campaign strategy, we'll be in a lot of trouble. so, you know, why don't we freak out some more over him not speaking to the "gay press" since super tuesday? because that is *totally* what matters most.

sorry, i'll take a crazy preacher and an ex-gay gospel singer over hillary's bullshit any day.

Posted by brandon | April 10, 2008 11:56 AM

Yawn. ECB needs more of a life. Obama has met with countless gays throughout this campaign. My spouse and I even got a pesonal two on one meeting with his speech writer. Next flack attack please.

Posted by Mike in Iowa | April 10, 2008 11:57 AM

Re: That Advocate article (which is mentioned in the blockquote)... Would that be the same article where Obama says his gay professor "didn't proselytize"? Look it up in a dictionary, kids.

Posted by ECB | April 10, 2008 12:32 PM

Yeah, I saw the "p" word, and it didn't bother me because it didn't alter the substance of his message in the interview (moreover, if it was such a big fuckin' deal, why didn't the interviewer call him out on it?). Am I supposed to believe that HRC has never made a word choice that was offensive in some way?

Your condescension, more than anything else, is what really grinds on me - this whole attitude that every Obama supporter is a blind, ignorant moron, and if we Only Knew Better we'd vote for HRC. At this point, you're so far away from actually convincing anyone to change their position (and shouldn't that be the point?), why keep on with it?

Posted by Hernandez | April 10, 2008 12:58 PM

Do you steal talking points from anywhere other than Shakespeares Sister, ECB?

Posted by youknowitstrue | April 10, 2008 1:04 PM

ECB, why didn't you post the whole quote? Oh, because it doesn't make Obama look bad:

Somebody else who influenced me, I actually had a professor at Occidental -- now, this is embarrassing because I might screw up his last name -- Lawrence Golden, I think it was. He was a wonderful guy. He was the first openly gay professor that I had ever come in contact with, or openly gay person of authority that I had come in contact with. And he was just a terrific guy. He wasnít proselytizing all the time, but just his comfort in his own skin and the friendship we developed helped to educate me on a number of these issues.
Posted by Dawgson | April 10, 2008 1:08 PM

so he says his gay professor didn't make a big political statement out of his sexuality at a time when being openly gay was considered a big political statement. at least that's how i read it. this offends you? or do you think he literally means his professor was a good guy because he wasn't trying to "recruit?"

good grief, i have trouble with reading comprehension sometimes, but you are either being intentionally obtuse, or you are even more thick-headed than i am. if you want people to buy into your manufactured outrage, you're going to have to do better than this.

Posted by brandon | April 10, 2008 1:08 PM

Notice how no one cares about polls showing Obama losing to McCain in places like...NYS? Not part of the narrative.

Meanwhile, "you are either being intentionally obtuse, or you are even more thick-headed than i am. if you want people to buy into your manufactured outrage, you're going to have to do better than this" = Unity, unity, rah rah rah!

Posted by unPC | April 10, 2008 1:25 PM

right, unPC. just like all your calls for "unity" in your obama-bashing comments here, and your relentless anti-obama blogging over at no quarter. best of luck with all that! rah rah rah!

Posted by brandon | April 10, 2008 1:30 PM

I'd be awfully curious to know what the distribution rate of those gay newspapers are. If they're similar size to Seattle's, then I don't see why Obama should bother.

That's like asking a presidential candidate to do an interview with The Belltown messenger or The Seattle Sinner.


Posted by godsactionfigure | April 10, 2008 4:37 PM

@Dawgson: Thanks for the full quote. I didn't think the partial quote sounded like something Obama would say, and now I know it's cause he didn't.

ps to ECB: no dictionary needed, but thanks anyway.

Posted by Lesley | April 10, 2008 4:43 PM

You finally get around to this OLD story on the day that it becomes irrelevant (Obama's interview with the Advocate comes out)--pathetic.

Posted by Miles | April 10, 2008 5:18 PM

Regardless of her inexplicable support of the Clinton candidacy, I find ECB wildly attractive.

Posted by Eric | April 10, 2008 6:56 PM

ECB is a dried up worthless cunt. The only thing she is good for is washing dishes and child production. I wouldn't trust to raise the child, but she could have one for a nice family in the suburbs who can't have one of their own.

Hillary would support her in the choice!

Vote Hillary! She loves queers and crack addicted 1970's throwback "Femininazi's"!!!

Posted by ecce homo | April 11, 2008 11:52 AM


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