Barack Obama‘s campaign claims they scheduled their interview with The Advocate ahead of outcry over the Senator’s perceived gay silence. It seems to us that Kerry Eleveld’s first question – “Let’s start with what’s hot, why the silence on gay issues?” – only supports our initial skepticism.
Timing aside, Obama offers Eleveld some more details on his gay policy, like how his Joint Chiefs of Staff won’t necessarily have to come out against Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell…
I would never make this a litmus test for the Joint Chiefs of Staff. Obviously, there are so many issues that a member of the Joint Chiefs has to deal with, and my paramount obligation is to get the best possible people to keep America safe.
Eleveld then digs deep into Obama’s support of civil unions, asking the Senator whether it’s fair to ask gays to “wait their turn.”
Obama insists it’s not like that, saying that his policy’s shaped by the larger events around them. He also tells us that it’s not up to him to lead the way:
I don’t think that the gay and lesbian community, the LGBT community, should take its cues from me or some political leader in terms of what they think is right for them. It’s not my place to tell the LGBT community, wait your turn. I’m very mindful of Dr. King’s “Letter from Birmingham Jail” where he says to the white clergy, don’t tell me to wait for my freedom.
My perspective is also shaped by the broader political and historical context in which I’m operating.
That’s a decision that the LGBT community has to make. That’s not a decision for me to make.
The Democrat goes on to chat about his gay college professor, the dangers of comparing black and gay civil rights movements and makes clear that there’s no differnet between white and black homophobia. Its all hateful.
Oh, and with regard to the aforementioned “silence,” Obama insists he didn’t do it intentionally. He’s just got too many people knocking on his door.