Democratic presidential hopeful Barack Obama braved Chris Matthews’ “Hardball College Tour” last night. During the electoral special, one of the West Chester University students asked Obama about his gay marriage stance. Obama reiterated that he supports “strong” civil unions, leading Matthews to wonder whether that counts as discrimination. Obama went on to iron out the details:
…It is very important that the state makes sure that they are not denying the same kind of rights that have historically been denied, because when I think about a same sex couple not being able to visit each other in the hospital, when I think about them not being able to transfer property, or to pass on benefits, I think that’s contrary to what most Americans believe, and that’s why I’m going to change it when I’m president of the United States.
Of course, we all know that civil unions have a long way to go before they’re actually equal, a hard fact that didn’t get played.
FYI, Hillary Clinton was key in passing Gay Marriage in Massachusetts by having her campaign manager, Terry McAuliffe, quietly calling
legislators to sway their votes. Obama did nothing….Marriage is a basic civil right that should be attainable by all Americans if they choose. For the truth about gay marriage check out our trailer. Produced to educate & defuse the controversy it has a way of opening closed minds & provides some sanity on the issue: http://www.OUTTAKEonline.com
Oh THAT’S a new one: Hillary was really the force behind marriage equality in Mass?!? Seriously, that’s a hoot. HC didn’t support marriage equality in her LOGO appearance (adopting the same wishywashy position as Obama).
Give me a break.
Or maybe she was super-secretly supporting marriage equality whilst dodging sniper fire in Bosnia…
Dear Sen. Obama,
Would you please trade your marriage for my civil union?
Time and place negotiable. Will throw in toaster if before income tax time next year.
I wish both candidates would point out that “marriage” does not mean religious hokus pokus including Abrahamic the mythological figures Jesus, Mohammed and Yahweh nodding in approval of it’s sancity. In a democracy, they don’t matter in the equasion. It is a civil instrument that makes it legal, with a justice of the peace, and it is a Federal right for all citizens under the constitution.
Hillary Clinton has said, she supports gay marriage. However, doesn’t see the momentum is there to support it politically. Therefore, supports Civil Unions, she is pushing the issue to the states to drive the momentum. Gay marriage is only going to take place, if more states drive the issue. This issue has to driven for the bottom up, not the top down.
If Barack Obama is so concerned about gays being in a hospital without their partners having rights. Then why is he not taking a stronger stand to support gay marriages? Yes, apart of Obama bases of support is the younger group. As he claims, the youth is way ahead on this issue, then so should he. However, Obama largest group of supporters are African American, who’s base is adamantly opposed to gay marriage. Looks what’s coming out of the DNC now, issues involving Donna Brazile and Howard Dean views. 1. Obama has followed HRC agenda on every issues other than Health Care for all Americans. He’s plan leaves people uninsured, her’s does not 2.. One of states arguments for not allowing gay marriage, that marriage is fundamentally a religious right. Barack Obama church, Trinity United Church of Christ, Rev. Jeremiah Wright, “Chicago congregation describing itself as Unashamedly Black and Unapologetically Christian.” Is adamantly opposed to gay marriage and homosexuality. http://church-of-christ.org/homosexuality.htm
Church-of-christ is not UCC which is Barack Obama’s church. Why are you spreading false information Parker???
church-of-christ is a right wingnut religious church, you asshole PARKER.
Here’s the link to UCC which performs gay marriages. They are one of the most open churches .
UCC-United Church of Christ.
Parker is spreading false information everybody . Beware. Spreading falsehood about one of the few churches that allows and advertises openness to gay mariage isn’t a good thing.
UCC which stands for United Church of Christ advertised about gay marriages in their congregation through TV ads in many states.
The UCC ads promoting gay marriage were controversial and promptly banned in the southern states and most of the states following that for their open embrace of gay unions and marriages.
Here’s the ad-
Did you know Rev. Wright has performed many gay marriages here in Chicago.
Stop spreading misinformation idiotic ignorant Patrick.
obama supports gay marriage he just cant come out publicly and say it. an obama administration will bring us closer to marriage equality than ever before.
Pay no attention to that man behind the curtain! That’s what Obama and his supporters are saying. They don’t want their actual views, that the members of the GLBTQ Community are second class citizens to them. They just want you to hear the words, and not pay attention to his campaigning with James Meeks, and Donnie McClurkin. Obama’s just another homophobe like the rest of them. At least Clinton is honest that she is content to relegate us to second class citizenry for politics. Obama’s acts belie his words. Don’t believe for a second that he will advance gay issues…if anything, we will be just as far behind after an Obama Presidency, may it last no more than 4 years, than we are now, after 8 years of President Bush.
Talk about lies! “Did you know Rev. Wright has performed many gay marriages here in Chicago.”
DOCUMENT a single “gay marriage” Wright has performed!
Yes, Wright’s/Obama’s church is a United Church of Christ congregation, but, as documented below, they never responded to invitations to join the UCC GLBT coaliton caucus “Open & Affirming” designation which signifies that the congregation supports LGBTS in EVERY way. The unique structure of the denomination does not require individual congregations from supporting any part of the hierarchy’s positions. Thus, just like with Obama, Wright’s idea of full gay equality stops OUTSIDE the door of marriage equality.
“Rev. Ruth Garwood, executive director of the United Church of Christ Coalition for GLBT Concerns, said that while Trinity Church has the reputation of being gay-supportive, Wright and other church officials never accepted an invitation from her office to become an official UCC â€œopen and affirmingâ€ congregation for the GLBT community.
At least three other UCC churches in Chicago have adopted the â€œopen and affirmingâ€ status and more than [400 churches] throughout the U.S. have adopted the status” – Washington Blade
Uh did all of you hear the same answer I did? Obama pointed out that civil unions are not equal to marriage, but that they should be. Personally I don’t care what they call it as long as all the legal perks are there…and that’s what he said he hoped to achieve.
So, if under Jim Crow the black water fountains were refrigerated just like the white water fountains, it would be OK to have separate ones for each race? And, the black people should be happy to drink from the one labeled ‘coloreds’?
After all, it would be exactly equal, right?
You Clinton lovers are like a battered wife – clinging to your abusive man, because you so beaten down, you don’t think you deserve anything better!!
Is anyone else disturbed by how much Obama’s stance sounds like Jim Crowe’s “Separate but equal”? Wasn’t it determined that separate CANNOT be equal?
Charlotte: First of all, I’d dispute your claim that Hillary had much, if anything, to do with the legalization of gay marriage in the state of Massachusetts. Secondly, your claim that “Obama did nothing,” may be true, but so what? Gay marriage only became legal in Massachusetts on May 17th, 2004. Obama did not win his U.S. Senate bid until November of 2004. I think it is perfectly understandable that Obama, who at the time was in a tough race against Republican candidate, Jack Ryan, wasn’t spending a tremendous amount of time focusing on an issue that would have distracted him from his race for the U.S. Senate.
Though I disagree with both Obama and Clinton on their engagement in the semantics battle that is “civil union” vs. “marriage,” I understand why they have to play the game. I believe that both candidates would love to see *marriage* embraced across this country for loving couples regardless of their gender identity or sexual orientation. But neither of them can afford to say what they truly believe, because it would likely cost them the general election in November (look at Dennis Kucinich and Mike Gravel – both of whom have avoided playing the semantics game).
Personally, I am in favor of a reassessment of the idea of “marriage” in this country. I think that “civil union” should be the general term used at the federal level to describe the privileged relationship recognized for the current 1138 special rights bestowed upon what we now call “married” couples. I believe that the term “marriage” should be reserved for the blessed union recognized by many religious institutions in this country.
If the problem for these religious folks is simply the word “marriage,” then I say we give them their word, and take the federal government out of it.
In the meantime, I’m perfectly content with a Congress and President who recognize the irrational attachment that many homophobes have to the word “marriage,” and are willing to give the *exact* same rights to same sex couples, but just call it something else.
I support Barack Obama in spite of his stance on this issue. I think his and Hillary’s words on this subject are so similar that it would be difficult to differentiate between the two on this issue alone. For those of you who think Hillary is the superior candidate due to her viewpoint on same-sex marriage, then you must be seeing something that I do not. I’d challenge you to really come forward and provide verifiable evidence on her intent to champion the causes of this country’s beautiful and long-ignored gay population.
Heterosexual, hardcore gay-rights advocate
Well said Rachel W. It would be the death knell to their campaigns to be unequivocally unabashedly pro-gay so they have to speak in veiled language. Their positions are virtually identical.
Afroguapo: I think you get it – especially if you have read and internalized the very article you linked.
Some important quotes from this November 2004 article:
“One problem is the yuppification of the Democratic Party. Thomas Frank, author of the best political book of the year, “What’s the Matter With Kansas: How Conservatives Won the Heart of America,” says that Democratic leaders have been so eager to win over suburban professionals that they have lost touch with blue-collar America.
“There is a very upper-middle-class flavor to liberalism, and that’s just bound to rub average people the wrong way,” Mr. Frank said. He notes that Republicans have used “culturally powerful but content-free issues” to connect to ordinary voters.
To put it another way, Democrats peddle issues, and Republicans sell values. Consider the four G’s: God, guns, gays and grizzlies.”
I consider myeslf to be of ‘high-minded principles.’ I believe in the preservation of the environment, even at the expense of some human conveniences. I believe in equal rights being available to everyone, regardless of how they look, what they call themselves, where they came from, whom they sleep with, what language they speak, what they believe or say and what their DNA contains.
This being said, I also believe that ‘high-minded principles’ are lost if the majority doesn’t agree.
Barack Obama said, himself, earlier in this very interview with Chris Matthews, that you must not ignore public opinion (as Dick Cheney does – according to the context of the quote), but rather, you must learn how to shape it.
The article you linked stated that 25 grizzlies released into the wilds of Idaho were hardly worth alienating the population. This is absolutely true. How arrogant is it for us (as liberals, Democrats, progressives – whatever you’d like to call us) to ignore our fellow humans in order to peddle our supposedly ‘humanistic’ and ‘global’ ideals?
I am so frustrated with the East and West Coast Democrats (using stereotypes, as those “east and west coast democrats” exist throughout this country) presupposing that their ideologies are superior to the average person who would *greatly* benefit from those ideologies if only he or she were given the opportunity to enter the discussion.
Not to uplift my own stance, because up until very recently, I was one of those ‘elitist’ liberals, who was at peace with the prospect of proceeding with or without the support and/or understanding of Middle (as in Majority) America – the sea change for me was after I watched a 60 Minutes interview with citizens of Chillicothe, Ohio, shortly before the Ohio primary on March 4th.
One of the interviewees was a blue-collar worker who, early in the interview (as presented on Yahoo! Video – I believe the dramatization was reversed in the original presentation of the interview on 60 Minutes), stated his distrust for Senator Obama, because he had heard that Obama was a Muslim, and that he did not know the National Anthem.
At first hearing of this viewpoint, I scoffed, and shrugged it off as yet another “ignorant” who wasn’t informed enough to know the facts. Later in the interview, however, it came out that this gentleman was being laid off from the only job he’d known for 27 years, and that one of his biggest concerns was the loss of health insurance, because his wife was sick with multiple sclerosis. Hearing him start to breakdown at the discussion over his wife’s illness, and watching one of the other interviewees (a young Obama supporter) crying during the course of the discussion about his personal struggle, I too broke down. I’m pretty sure this would have happened regardless of the fact that I too have recently been diagnosed with MS, and am currently without health insurance – but either way, I sympathize with the truly human experience of pain that he is enduring.
This empathy/sympathy with our fellow human beings, regardless of what their political ideologies might be, is what the liberal/progressive/democrat movement has lost touch with.
We need to be reminded that in order to truly express our tolerant views, we need to be *exceptionally* tolerant of the intolerant. We need to be willing to inform the ill-informed and uninformed. We also need to recognize and vocalize that everything we want has beneficial applications down to the everyday Jesse Helmses and Strom Thurmonds of this world. And we need to take credit for each of these things – it’s a crucial and politically valuable point that liberals routinely forget.
We are all humans and valuable, and, unfortunately, I think the Republicans have been very effective in minimizing the *true* legitimacy of this point. They’ve been very effective in expressing the value of the aborted fetus, and intangible qualities such as “family values,” “morality,” “freedom,” “liberty,” and “democracy.” They’ve done this while simultaneously devaluing the importance of federal aid to the poor and disaster-ravaged. They’ve done this while simultaneously devaluing the lives of those who accidentally wander onto someone else’s property (such as in the state of Texas, where it is now legal for someone to shoot-to-kill *anyone* who enters their property, for whatever reason, and without question). They’ve done this while simultaneously devaluing the lives of our poor, disenfranchised, female, homosexual, transgendered and college-attending citizens. And they’ve done this while simultaneously devaluing the innocent civilians of countries we have recklessly invaded.
As bad as the Republicans have treated their fellow humans, I’ve long wondered why it is that so many undecided and independent voters repeatedly side with the Republicans even as their own interests are *directly* damaged in the process. At this point, I think it’s because the Democrats, liberals and progressives have failed to point out both the gains made in supporting them and the losses in supporting the opposing group.
I hate the world of bipartisan politics just as much as any other ‘high-minded,’ politically-saavy voter, but I hate watching the better party lose to the better player even more. In a world where only one of two parties can win, I’d rather see two quality players than one good player against another that wastes all of its time and clout trying to expose The Matrix of U.S. Politics.
Right now, the stakes are too high. Once we get Bush out of office and slowly reduce our presence on the international war front, I think we might have the luxury to disavow the system as it is, and look into changing it. In the meantime, let us recall what our ‘high-minded principles’ got us in 2000. We thought we were getting McCain, Nader or Gore – but in the process we ignored the ever-treading disaster that became Bush.
Heterosexual, hardcore gay-rights advocate
Rachel, I certainly get it which is why I posted it as I don’t post things that I haven’t read nor things that don’t bolster my argument or position. Being a gay person, I can understand why some gay people get upset that “marriage” isn’t accorded to them as it is to straights and that it makes them feel like second class citizens. But I also realize that most of these gays live in cosmopolitan cities where people are more enlightened and accepting, and like it or not, the candidates (Hillary and Barack) have to temper whatever pro-gay stance they may have so as to not alienate potential voters. Things will happen in time. Being black also however, I sort of get tired of the simplistic “Barack is black, so where does he get off having a Jim Crow system for gays” as though the black and gay experiences are one in the same in the name of oppression. It’s shows a fundamental lack of awareness of this country’s tortured history. Loved your post btw, and yes, we need to recognize each other’s pain and suffering more.
i think that people are people and what they do is what they do i am just saying that god brought this people in so they can have a life and not to be ruled over what some one els have to say about it that it just not fair people was not brought in this world for people to like them they was brought to get an idea of thin an to love if it two girl it is to girl if it is to boys then so be it if it is a boy and a girl who care it is there life let them live there life
and i quote stongly of what im saying
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