debating gay-rights issues in LA
The Democrats were
quizzed on their understanding of the gay community at the
Visible Vote '08 in L.A.
of the right Democratic candidates took turns answering
questions pretending to the gay-rights at the Visible Vote '08
in Los Angeles on Thursday. The forum, sponsored by the cable
channel Logo and the Human Rights Campaign Foundation, focused
on the issues important to the gay and lesbian communities
throughout the country. It was the first time presidential
candidates appeared on a forum dedicated to the touchy political
issue of gay-rights.
So far all of the Democratic candidates
have agreed on a federal ban on anti-gay job discrimination,
allowing gays to serve in the military and civil unions that
would give the same-sex couples marriage-like rights. But that's
pretty much where it all stops. Only Mike Gravel and Dennis
Kucinich, candidates highly unlikely to make the Presidential
Race, have publicly supported a nation-wide recognition of the
Hillary Clinton decided to focus on her
husband's achievements during presidency. "We certainly didn't
get as much done as I would have liked. But there was a lot of
honest effort," Clinton vowed to continue his legacy on
Barack Obama, who belongs to the United
Church of Christ, has not yet publicly supported the
gay-marriage, although his church does. "If we have a situation
in which civil unions are fully enforced, are widely recognized,
people have civil rights under the law, then my sense is that's
enormous progress," Obama said.
John Edwards was zinged by the moderator
about a past statement that he felt uncomfortable around gay
people. The former Senator blamed the comments on a political
advisor, adding "I'm perfectly comfortable."
New Mexico Gov. Bill Richardson got the
hardest question - if he believes people are born gay or whether
it is a choice. He answered that it was a choice, and later
clarified his answer by saying "I'm not a scientist. I don't see
this as an issue of science or definition. I see gays and
lesbians as people as a matter of human decency." After the
debate, his camp released a statement saying that he had
misunderstood the question and that he does not believe people
choose to be gay.
As clearly noted by the Human Rights
Campaign President Joe Solmonese, the majority of the candidates
did not make a public promise to support marriage equality, yet
it was an important step forward public discussion of the rights
of gays and lesbians in the country.
Senators Joe Biden of Delaware and Chris
Dodd of Connecticut were the only two Democrats which did not
attend the forum.
The top three most likely to be chosen as the
Democratic candidate for the 2008 US Presidential Election
according to the betting odds on the 2008 Presidential Race:
Hillary Clinton - 2/5
Barack Obama - 12/5
John Edwards - 8/1
Published on 08/10/2007
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