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10/31/2007

Letter: Why Edwards' furniture would look best in Oval

by Jeremy Hooper

Picture 1-114Despite his oft-repeated line that he "struggles" with the marriage equality issue -- which sort of makes it sound like it's an addiction, a difficult Calculus assignment, or the ability to feed both your shoe habit and your children on a fast food worker's salary -- Democratic hopeful John Edwards certainly does have his LGBT supporters. And in a new letter being released today, those supporters (who are as of now unnamed) are making the case as to why John's 50-state plan is the one that will lead a Dem in to the White House, and why he will be the best person for our community once he gets there. Here's a sneak peek at the dispatch:

Edwards LGBT Letter [pdf]

Oh, the primaries. That magical time when we all have an opportunity to gauge which candidate holds the most promise, before we typically join forces to back the one who will simply let us down the least. At this point, has an Edwards proven to be someone who actually holds that much sought after promise for the LGBT community? Yes. ELIZABETH Edwards has. Now let's just see if John's been (a) using his wife to test the waters of full gay acceptance (with his "struggle" routine just his strategy of kinda-sorta but not fully supporting gay rights so as to not piss off those who stand against us), or if (b) it is truly Mrs. Edwards who deserves our letters of support.

In a political world where we don't feel we can fully trust anyone but know we have to ultimately put faith in someone, we are at this point open to several possibilities. However, it's not a letter we need to see to sway our opinions. It's the candidate's full and unequivocal support for one easily understandable symbol:

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**UPDATE: Here is the final version of the letter, with the names of the LGBT supporters included: pdf

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Your thoughts

Some of the reasons I'm supporting Edwards over Hillary or Barack:

First, as Barack showed last week, he's not ready to lead this country. I believe that he means well, but he showed his true colors last week by courting evangelical voters by using a known homophobe as his surrogate. And Donnie McClurkin wasn't the only homophobe on the tour as Mary Mary compared gays and lesbians to murderers and prostitutes. If Barack had really wanted to show that he's a leader, he would have admitted that he made a mistake and then cancelled the tour. Instead, he tried to sweep it under the carpet by asking a gay minister to join the tour. For me, that was too little, too late.

Second, that episode came on the heels of both Barack and Hillary's failure to respond when General Pace said that gays and lesbians are immoral. Edwards immediately denounced this statement. Hillary and Barack took days to see how they should respond and they only responded after it was clear the the public found the comments repugnant.

Third, Edwards wants to repeal Don't Ask, Don't Tell. The Clintons put it in place. Hillary is now saying that passing DADT was all part of a long-term strategy to get rid of it. Huh? Talk about "two steps back". She should explain her strategy to the proud gay and lesbian Americans who were drummed out of the service because of DADT. Or American tax payers who have spent millions training those individuals only to have that investment flushed down the toilet of DADT.

Fourth, Edwards wants to repeal ALL of the so-called Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA). Hillary only wants to repeal a PORTION of it. If she gets her way states will still be allowed to discriminate and violate the full faith and credit clause of the Constitution. Besides, we wouldn't even have DOMA if it weren't for the Clintons. They said that Bill hated "having" to sign DOMA, but then they were up on the air with ads in the South within two weeks boasting of how Bill took the lead to pass DOMA.

Fifth, Hillary is also lying about DOMA and the anti-gay Federal Marriage Amendment (FMA). She says that DOMA was all part of an effort to stop the FMA. But there was no FMA until EIGHT years later. Does she really expect us to buy this line?

Sixth, Edwards supports ending immigration discrimination against gay and lesbian families by passing the "Uniting American Families Act". Barack and Hillary both oppose the Act. Get this: based on "national security" concerns. Where have we heard that crap before? Go see for yourself; look at their responses to the HRC questionnaire. That is if you can even find the actual responses any more since the Hillary-loving HRC staff appears to have taken it down and only shows their white-washed summary of the responses in tabular form without any of the details which are what really tell the full story. The same thing goes with Hillary's response to repealing DOMA.

Seventh, Edwards supports federally funded needle exchange. Hillary does not, saying that there is not the "political will" to pass it. I thought that she said she wanted to be a leader and that she knew how to work in Washington.

Eighth, during the 2004 campaign, Bill Clinton took it upon himself to call John Kerry to tell Kerry to support the anti-gay Federal Marriage Amendment. Kerry refused to throw us under the bus, but Clinton showed (yet again) what he's made of and where his principles are. And the saddest part is that Hillary boasts that he would be one of her top advisors. With "friends" like that ...

You know the old saying, "Fool me once, shame on you. Fool me twice, shame on me." The Clintons have fooled us time and time again. Barack has now shown his true colors as well.

I believe that Edwards is the best Democrat in the race and, fortunately, he's also the most electable!

Posted by: Win in 08 | Oct 31, 2007 7:06:43 PM

While I will support whichever candidate gets the Democratic nomination in the general election [even Barack "Pay No Attention To The Antigay Bigots In My Big Tents VIP Seats" Obama], I continue to feel that Edwards has gotten a bum rap due to those who have successfully been manipulated into perceiving his support for gay issues is somehow weaker than the other Dems. Was I the only one suspicious that it was a Black minister who asked ONLY Edwards about any religious connection to nonsupport for gay marriage during the YouTube debate? Where are we to think that the opposition of Hillary and Obama came from—boxes of Cracker Jacks?

Two facts:

1. Marriage equality is a dog that will not hunt for any viable candidate in this election cycle. We should move on because time wasting on mourning it [it's not dead only moot for now] distracts from celebrating the fact that we have never had more support from more candidates at anytime in America's history. As better as 2004 was than 2000, it looks like the Dark Ages compared to this season:

2. Each of the three leads, Hillary, Obama, Edwards have exactly the same position on every other gay-related issue.

Federal benefits for same gender couples? CHECK!
Domestic Partnerships? CHECK!
Oppose US Constitutional amendment? CHECK!
Gay adoption? CHECK!
Gays in military? CHECK!
Immigration [partner] rights? CHECK!
Better funding for HIV/AIDS? CHECK!
Oppose Bush antigay choice for Surgeon General? CHECK!
Gay hate crime laws? CHECK!
Gay & T federal job protection [ENDA]? CHECK!
Funding comprehensive sex education? CHECK!
Personally hugging every gay man and woman in America? Uh, no.

The Repugs? They oppose virtually everything the Dem candidates support vis-a-vis gays AND are getting WORSE. Their phony "pro-gay" candidate, Giuliani, continues to slither further and further back. He is now saying that he WOULD support an amendment to the US Constitution banning marriage equality if "too many" judges rule marriage equality okay. Just today, Thompson said that he is personally against not just "gay marriage," but "civil unions," and "domestic partnerships." Though he jawed something about state's rights, too.

[Some Obama supporters and his own official campaign literature suggests some magic superiority in his support for the repeal of all of federal DOMA. Look deeper, however, and you'll discover that his campaign sent Harvard law professor Lawrence Tribe out to the media in August to condemn Hillary for her "symbolic insult" to gays for not supporting repeal of DOMA Section 2 BUT while revealing that Obama still supports a state's right to ban marriage equality if they choose. Which, of course, makes his support for repeal merely "symbolic." Edwards also supports full DOMA repeal but also supports state's rights. The different is that he isn't playing word games about it like Sen. Obama. Just like his and his campaign's talking out of both sides of their mouth about professional gay bashers like Donnie McClurkin, they want to have it both ways about DOMA/state's rights.]

Posted by: Leland Frances | Oct 31, 2007 7:08:20 PM

Because I have already addressed above the DOMA issuesas put forth by Win 08, save one, I will just add the following which is meant to encourage people to emphasize the positives of those they support without attacking others, though at times I agree it can't be helped—particularly when it involves shedding light on their own attacks.

Unfortunately, he [?] misunderstands what Hillary said about the compromise of DOMA. She talked about offsetting a POTENTIAL attempt to amend the Constitution not one already introduced in Congress.

To continue to attempt to be fair to everyone, Obama's and Hillary's positions on immigration, at least in the HRC questionnaire WIN 08 mentioned, are clearly pro benefits for real same gender relationships and say NOTHING about national security:

"HRC QUESTION: Would you support the Uniting American Families Act which would enable an American citizen to petition for immigration sponsorship for a same-sex partner, and the INS would treat the relationships between opposite and same-sex couples in the same manner under the immigration code?

OBAMA ANSWER: Support. As someone who believes that homosexual couples should have the same legal rights as married couples and that our immigration laws should unite families, I support the Uniting American Families Act in concept. But I also believe that changes need to be made to the bill to minimize the potential for fraud and abuse of the immigration system."

"HILLARY'S ANSWER: Support.In the current immigration debate, I'm fighting to ensure our immigration policies respect and reunify families that have been waiting for years. While I'm supportive of this proposal in principle, I have been concerned about fraud and believe implementation of this provision could strain the capacity of our Citizenship and Immigration Services."

Whatever happened in the past, and I would disagree with some of your characterizations, ALL THREE CANDIDATES EQUALLY support ending DADTDP. I’ve helped raise money for SLDN, and would again, but, unfortunately, they’ve used a lot of “relative truth” in attempting to overthrow DADTDP. I’m old enough to have worked against the antigay military policy that preceded it so I know it WAS worse. Clinton tried to admit gays by Executive Order with virtually no help being offered by gay professional groups and Congress and the Pentagon bent him over, spread his cheeks, and the bastard child called DADTDP was born. Less ugly and mean than its older siblings [no locking gays up in military psych wards anymore], but still something that must be terminated.

And, careful with the Bill Clinton told Kerry to support a constitutional ban story. I believe Clinton has denied it [and Kerry had almost as many faces of his own on gay issues in 04 as Obama] and the source was Bob Shrum, the same guy who smeared Edwards as allegedly “uncomfortable with gay people” in NINE YEARS ago. I don’t believe Shrum about either claim—the "greatest losing Presidential campaign advisor of all time” has more axes to grind than the Spanish Inquisition. At least he’s had the decency to say that he no longer believes Edwards is that way, but, typically that disclaimer has gotten far less press than the original claim.

Thanks.


Posted by: Leland Frances | Oct 31, 2007 8:43:46 PM

I was an Edwards supporter in 04 and I haven't left him yet. He has something your rarely see in the political world, honesty. Great article, hope more than 3 people have read it.

Posted by: TxWhtBoy | Nov 1, 2007 10:38:35 PM

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