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Dems Sign On for First ‘Gay Debate’

Posted on Jul 10, 2007
AP Photo/Pablo Martinez Monsivais

Democratic candidates Hillary Clinton (far left), John Edwards (third from right), and Barack Obama (second from right), pictured here at a recent presidential debate, are the first three to confirm their participation in the upcoming gay debate on August 9.

Democratic presidential hopefuls Hillary Clinton, Barack Obama and John Edwards are already on board for a debate about gay-related social and political issues, to be held on August 9 in front of a live audience, televised on the LOGO channel and broadcast on the Web on

The debate will be conducted with a live audience in Los Angeles.  On the panel questioning the two [sic] Democrats will be Human Rights Campaign president Joe Solmonese and singer Melissa Etheridge.

The debate was put together by LOGO and HRC.

“In the 2008 presidential election, issues of concern to the LGBT community have already been at the forefront of the national conversation,” said Solmonese.

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By faith, July 12, 2007 at 9:45 am Link to this comment

Perfectly stated vet240 !!!
The topic is really a non issue.  We are all human beings-all different.  These would be “leaders” should be discussing and debating the truly pressing and unconscionable state of America right now - that means the squandering of our resources and treasure (lives) of Americans due solely to a preemptive attack on a foreign nation for wrongful, illicit reasons.
We need to demand the removal of all politicians who support such acts.  Recall everyone of them if necessary.  And we need to impeach the White House administrators.

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By DaveL, July 12, 2007 at 9:03 am Link to this comment

Farmertx, I second that!

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By farmertx, July 12, 2007 at 6:18 am Link to this comment

DaveL, you’re welcome.
It makes no sense to fight amongst ourselves, the old saw, The enemy of my enemy is my friend, coming to mind.
Too many folks have too many preset biases and are unable to get past them. And look where that has gotten us.
The main thing is to build a coalition to retake control of the political system, for all people in this country.
Just as I accept that big businesses (and small ones too) need some protections and incentives at times, I want the ordinary person to have those same things.
The only way I see that happening is removing big money from the political process.
Require that only those who are eligble to vote for a candidate can donate to that candidate, up to a limit of $2000. In this Internet Age, it isn’t necessary for someone to spend millions to get their message across.
The reduction in cash flow will remove those who have no real desire to truly serve in Congress and allow some who would make good decisions based on what is best for the country a chance to serve.

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By DaveL, July 11, 2007 at 7:48 pm Link to this comment
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Thank you very much for your response, and your apologies. 

I suspect we are more alike than different.  For starters, we both are of the same generation.  I’m only a few years younger than you, so I can also relate to younger-generation differences that I may never understand, but I’ll continue to try. 

I’ve found that once straight people get to know me, and my partner, the gay label becomes irrelevant, and they don’t (at least I think they don’t) consider us abnormal.  As you already noted, most all of us are uncomfortable with the unfamiliar.  My hope is that even if people don’t feel comfortable with or understand gays, that they would at least not try to continue to prevent me from having the same rights and responsibilities that they have. 

Same-sex marriage has been legal for a couple of years now in Massachusetts, and wonder of wonders, opposite-sex marriages are not falling apart any more than they were before, children are no less safe, and none of the disasters predicted by opponents of gay marriage have come to pass.  A few thousand devoted couples who have married are far more secure than they were before, a very good thing for society as a whole.  The majority of voters in Massachusetts don’t even consider it an issue any longer, and it is pretty much no longer diverting state politicians’ attention from other state business.  I’m hopeful that this will soon be the case around the US. 

I couldn’t agree more with you that there are more pressing issues for our presidential candidates, but I don’t think that means that they should focus only on the few most important issues until the election.  They are stumping all around the country delivering opinions on a multitude of issues.  A few hours discussing gay rights (which do affect millions of Americans) is something which is acceptable, in my opinion.

Thank you for considering my thoughts, and best wishes.

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By farmertx, July 11, 2007 at 4:50 pm Link to this comment

DaveL, my apologies for using a slang term that offends you. That was not my intent. Just a way of making my point.
This issue has been around for a long time, only recently being discussed openly.
And I am far from being politically correct. Seems like that is part of the problem; too many folks worrying about political correctness instead of dealing with real problems.
And, for you, this is a real problem; the equal rights. Just as Civil Rights carried the day once, maybe Gay Rights will do the same.
But, alas, for me and others of my generation, the question is one of normal versus abnormal.
Generations before mine felt that Jim Crow segregation was normal and integration was abnormal.
Now, it is considered normal by all but a few hard core red necks (and I am a 62yo red necked farmer, so no grief there).
I reckon in time, Gay Rights will become normal.
Myself, I just wish it had stayed in the closet.
The Yiddish speakers have a phrase, From my lips to Gods’ ear…meaning lotsa luck with that one.
I accept that things will change, just ain’t gonna be happy about it.
Again, my apologies.

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By rage, July 11, 2007 at 1:41 pm Link to this comment
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Who’s about to make the magic announcement?

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By farmertx, July 11, 2007 at 1:11 pm Link to this comment

Vinnie, never claimed that I was unbiased, nor did I say anything about “knowing” Gods’ mind.
I have read the Bible and somewhere in there it says that men having sex with other men is wrong, or words to that effect.
Fortunately, this is still a free country and if you want gays to raise kids, that is your affair. I don’t and that is my affair.
As to “knowing” that we are a Nation under God, I guess you never learned, or choose to ignore, the Pledge of Allegiance. Again, that is your choice.
Your ability to read words that aren’t written is impressive. Maybe if you would concentrate on what was written, you’d understand what was written.

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By DaveL, July 11, 2007 at 1:10 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

I find it very disheartening to read a couple of the preceding comments.

If the Democratic Party or its candidates never addressed issues that presumably affect only small minorities, interracial marriage would still be illegal, as would integration in general.  What is the cutoff point for not protecting a minority?  Is it 5%?  Then should protections not be given to the disabled?  Should the candidates not participate in a debate hosted by the NAACP because they are a relatively small minority whose concerns may not be entirely shared by all Americans?

Discrimination against gays and lesbians is a very real issue for MILLIONS of Americans.  In most states, someone who was simply born gay can legally be fired.  A gay person cannot legally adopt in many states, which can be a tragedy for a child that might not otherwise be placed into a loving home (and regardless of personal opinions on that matter, all credible scientific studies have shown that gays and lesbians are just as good at parenting as heterosexual couples, and the kids grow up being just as well off).  With respect to marriage, some of the most important benefits are realized at the most difficult times of life – sickness, accident, old age, and death.  Hospital visitation, inheritance rights, social security benefits, all are freely given to heterosexual married couples, whether they have children or not, whether they were married two days or 20 years.  Yet two people of the same sex who showed equal or greater amounts of love and support for an equal or greater amount of time are denied these same benefits.

The rights and responsibilities that gays and lesbians are asking are hardly those of a “sub-culture” requiring “extra attention” (per Comment #85735).  We simply want to be treated equally.  I think that is exactly the type of thing that Democratic candidates should be discussing (and, of course, lots of other issues too).  Social equality is part of what the Democratic Party should stand for.  I also think it’s good politics.  Polling shows that most Americans now support either gay marriage or civil unions.  Democratic candidates can burnish their social justice credentials, and help lead acceptance from the remaining minority that hasn’t been well informed about the issue.  At this point in our history, I believe support for gay rights will bring more votes to Democrats than it will turn away.  And it’s the right thing to do.

Finally, to farmtx in Comment #85851, I can understand that you are uncomfortable with the concept of gays, but I would hope that you would keep an open mind about this.  And it really is unkind to use a term such as “faggot.”  However you were raised, you can make a choice to not hurt other innocent people with your words.  I think that would better fit within the Ten Commandments.

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By Vinnie Campbell, July 11, 2007 at 7:44 am Link to this comment
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IN response to #85851 by farmertx:

Your apparent tolerance is but a thinly veiled excuse for your bigotry. You are being presumptuous on many levels. You state that this is one nation under god. There is simply no evidence for that except in the way you have been brainwashed into thinking. God or religion have nothing to do with morality. In fact, quite the opposite- if you want good people to do immoral things, you need religion for that.And that is reflected in the statements you make. So not only do you KNOW that we are a nation under god…whatever that means, but you also know his mind eh? You KNOW for example, that God hates gays, or a certain position while having sex or the fact that people desire what their neighbors possesions? Its laughable what you believe. Read “The God Delusion” by Dawkins or God is not Great by Hitchens for some real enlightenment. 
I think gays make wonderful parents to kids who need adoption. I would rather see kids grow up in a loving   family with gay parents than in an orphanage.

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By farmertx, July 11, 2007 at 4:50 am Link to this comment

Thispoints up one of the basic problems the Democrat’s have inflicted upon themselves; they have to be mirror opposites of the Republican’s on every issue.
Political correctness goes too far. Most of us feel that a gay lifestyle is abnormal. But, speaking for myself, if that is their wish, fine. As long as they leave kids alone, as long as they don’t interfere with my life, let ‘em do what they want.
I would much rather see an effort made to keep them from adopting kids or gaining custody of kids.
Despite the perversions that the Shrub has made of it, we are a country, under God.
I am far from a religious person. But I see nothing wrong with following the 10 Commandments, even though I have broken some of them at one time or another.
Our country has many, too many, more pressing issues than gays getting married. They could have a marriage license endorsed by God, and they are still two faggots, living together, to me.

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By Dublin Joe, July 10, 2007 at 5:51 pm Link to this comment
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I’ll take a public debate about equality issues over a private meeting with a small corporate minority to design the world’s energy policy any ole day of the week.

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By don knutsen, July 10, 2007 at 5:21 pm Link to this comment

I know being politically correct is of paramount importance these days. But to conduct a presidential debate based on the issues of such a small minority of the country alone I think is ridiculous. Gays should be afforded all the rights of anyone else, that should be a given. But not treated as some special sub-culture that requires extra attention. Isn’t there enough important issues facing all America that needs to be addressed, most of which also affect gays, to concentrate on ?

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By vet240, July 10, 2007 at 4:25 pm Link to this comment

What’s to debate?

If this country is going to continue to boast of our “equality” and our “Freedom” it must recognize the biological reality of the human being.

Some are left handed some are right handed but we’re all Ameericans who’s rights to fully function is mandated not only in the Constitution, but as fellow human beings.

We need to put the church beliefs back in the church and out of the government.

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