Obama Address Gay Rights on Meet the Press

November 13, 2007 at 2:35 pm 7 comments

In an interview with Tim Russert on Meet the Press Barack Obama addressed his commitment to LGBT civil rights and the Donnie McClurkin fiasco. Barack makes the point that engaging in conversation with those who disagree with us offers the opportunity for us to change their minds and help them become more tolerant.

I’ve talked to African-American ministers. There’s a problem of homophobia in the African-American community. I will go into churches, I will go into meetings with ministers and say, “I disagree with you on these issues. This is not how I interpret my faith.” But the fact that we’re having a conversation, I think, allows the possibly that I will change their minds, make them more tolerant of these issues.

Barack points out the problem of homophobia in the Black community, but let us not forget that the overwhelming majority of anti-activists and leaders are white including the people behind Focus on the Family, Christian Coalition and the men of Concerned Women of America. There are also key straight African-American allies like Massachusetts Governor Deval Patrick, Georgia congressman John Lewis and Texas congresswoman Sheila Jackson Lee who have stood strong in support of LGBT civil rights.

Click to view Barack’s platform on LGBT issues.

Barack Obama Calls for LGBT Equality
Obama Talks Gay Rights with MTV
Donnie McClurkin: Drama Queen


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7 Comments Add your own

  • 1. Stephen Clark  |  November 13, 2007 at 3:09 pm

    He’s still evading personal responsibility for the McClurkin fiasco. The buck should stop with him. But a respectful expression of regret at his campaign’s atrocious behavior remains the one thing he will not give us. I imagine his support in the gay community will continue to collapse until he makes that gesture. Look, my partner and I have contributed significant individual amounts to Obama. I’m not at all pleased with this development, and we’re now in a quandry about whom to support. Do we just give in to the aggressive Hillary machine? Do we think Edwards is viable enough? But all Obama’s promises in the world about how strong an advocate he wants to be can’t mask the fact that when a very minor moment of truth came, his (campaign’s) actions thoroughly belied his words. They just did.

  • 2. Christopher  |  November 13, 2007 at 6:28 pm

    No one put a gun to Barack’s head and forced him to hire Donnie McClurkin.

    Barack made the decision to seek out his services (saying “Donnie McClurkin is one of my and Michelle’s favorite artists”) and after the LGBT community exploded, Obama, with pigheaded stubborness, refused to give him the heave-ho.

    So be it. Now, by margins around 75%, the LGBT community has given Obama the heave-ho.

  • 3. Michael Crawford  |  November 14, 2007 at 7:22 am

    So Christopher does this mean that you are now backing Hillary or Edwards?

    Obama is not perfect. He never claimed to be, nor do I expect him to be.

    For me, its not just about LGBT civil rights. Its also about Barack having a far stronger chance of being elected president of any Black person ever. That is something that is critically important to me and other Black people. I can’t even begin to tell you the pride evident in my grandmother’s voice at how far Black Americans have come when she talks about Barack.

    That does mean that I am cutting him a little bit more slack than I would someone else and I am okay with that. There are things that he could do that would end my support for him. Donnie McClurkin who is nothing more than a jack ass living in a gospel state of denial is not one of them.

  • 4. Maine Gay  |  November 14, 2007 at 12:17 pm

    I’m not buying it. That wasn’t a conversation. That was a one way talk from McClurkin to the members of the audience about how he had been saved from “the evil of homosexuality” through Christianity. It’s one thing to have an actual conversation, but that’s not what took place.

    What I really want to know is – is his staff that incompetent? They knew it was a controversial thing going in, yet they not only didn’t talk to him about not preaching on the ex-gay thing, but made him the emcee? That’s either complete incompetence or a complete lack of respect for our community.

    Either way, it doesn’t pull me toward Barack.

  • […] November 14, 2007 at 1:55 pm (movies/video/clips, politics, queer rights, religion) Via Bloggernista again… […]

  • 6. Stephen Clark  |  November 15, 2007 at 8:11 am

    Michael, however much I respect the reasons for your strong support of Obama (and I’d love to see the race barrier broken in this election too), I’m afriad you can’t rescue Obama from himself. Sadly, he stubbornly refuses to offer any respectful expression of regret about a whole string of truly atrocious actions and decisions surrounding the McClurkin fiasco.

    That stubbornness smacks of the same character flaw that afflicts Bush, and it makes his positive statements about LGBT issues seem insincere, particularly since neither he nor his campaign yet seems to understand how offensive McClurkin is or why. That lack of understanding is extremely troubling. Whatever devious political compromises Clinton might make, one at least gets a sense that she probably understands the issues on a visceral level.

    In terms of relative competence of the campaigns, Clinton – who I’m not necessarily supporting – has quite an effective campaign that probably wouldn’t have made the initial mistake and certainly wouldn’t have allowed it to fester for weeks. Look how slick they are – rolling out a Barney Frank endorsement in the wake of the McClurkin fiasco. That’s an effective campaign machine. Can Obama’s people do as well as Clinton’s when they get pummeled by Giuliani or whomever? I have serious doubts now.

    The biggest strike against Clinton is that the GOP seems to be just panting to have her be their opponent and, as with Condoleezza Rice saying the Iran resolution doesn’t authorize war, seem to be going out of their way to help Clinton in the primaries.

  • 7. Obama: Gay Rights Not “Special Rights” « Bloggernista  |  November 21, 2007 at 9:39 am

    […] Obama Addresses Gay Rights on Meet the Press Barack Obama Calls for LGBT Equality Obama Talks Gay Rights with […]


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