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07/10/2007

Welcome developments: Logo starting to find political voice

by Jeremy Hooper

LogohrcHRC and Logo have announced that they are teaming up to host on August 9th an historic live televised forum wherein the leading presidential candidates will be pressed on LGBT issues:

LEADING PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATES TO PARTICIPATE IN HISTORIC FORUM ON GAY ISSUES [Logo/HRC Release (pdf)]

So far the only confirmed candidates are Obama and Clinton, with Melissa Etheridge and HRC prez Joe Solmonese set to serve as the co-panelists who will engage the White House would-bes on issues like marriage equality, workplace fairness, the military, hate crimes, and HIV/AIDS.

Progressive. Here's just hoping the follow-up questions will be less along the lines of, "Oh, I see," and more along the lines of, "No, no, no -- please don't give me that stock political answer. Let's be frank and talk like actual humans discussing a very important issue, not spinmeisters engaging in a talking point-laden, superficial discussion."

Not THAT would be a truly historic political-media event!

It remains to be seen if the rest of the slate of Dems (or any of the GOP candidates) will sign on to the event over the next month. We sincerely hope so, as the rousing group sing-a-long of "Come To My Window" scheduled to close the event will have a much stronger tone if rounded out with a few more low voices.

**UPDATE, 7/11: John Edwards and Chris Dodd have also confirmed.

**UPDATE2, 7/11: Mike Gravel, however, was not invited. He has contacted Queerty to lash out against the oversight.

**UPDATE3, 7/11: Conservative columnist Kevin McCullough is less-than-exicted about the forthcoming event.

**UPDATE4, 7/11: Kucinich is now in. HRC's Backstory blog has more, including an explanation about why they didn't invite Gravel.

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Your thoughts

Speaking of frank discussion... this humble new yorker would like to suggest barney frank as a panelist.

Posted by: Katie | Jul 10, 2007 12:53:48 PM

Is this what they call a "mixed blessing," or is it more a "double-edged sword"? The first such forum [BRAVO!] simultaneously reinforcing the growing loss of independent LGBT voices in the increasing conglomerization of LGBT media [BOO!!!!] while reinforcing the Human Rights Champagne fund in its self-proclaimed patent on the gay movement. [BOO to the tenth power!!!] Would it have been gotten Joe Solmonese's yellow and blue panties too much in a bunch to have included NGLTF and Lambda Legal and PFLAG as cosponsors? After all, the last good idea his predecessor Elizabeth Let's Turn HRC Into A Money Machine Birch had was merging HRC and NGLTF.

You've probably already written about this, but it bears repeating. YouTube and CNN are soliciting video question submissions for the July 23rd Democratic debate [deadline is July 22nd] and their September Repug debate.

http://youtube.com/debates

and a site where you can sort the topics so far:

http://www.communitycounts.us/

As CNN will choose which ones to use and, thanks to the failure of HRC, our rights remain pretty much an afterthought in mainstream media [except as an issue of conflict], it's unlikely more than one, if any, serious gay equality-related questions will make the cut, but that shouldn't prevent those with the equipment to do it from trying.

Posted by: Leland Frances | Jul 10, 2007 1:20:52 PM

Yes, I would like to see this event fleshed out and opened up a little more. Hopefully they will decide to add some more folks before the date. While I actually am quite the fan of Joe and think he's a good head of that organization, it does seem a tad shortsighted to just have HRC's leader and an activist-minded musician fielding the Q&A.

-Jeremy

Posted by: G-A-Y | Jul 10, 2007 1:39:55 PM

Too bad my cable operator doesn't carry Logo (am I the only one?). Looks like I'll have to get my highlights after the fact. It would be nice if a live stream were offered.

Posted by: George | Jul 11, 2007 1:41:27 PM

George: There will be a live stream, I believe on both HRC and Logo's websites.

Posted by: G-A-Y | Jul 11, 2007 1:44:06 PM

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