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08/20/2008

Gee, what does this family have against our equality?

by Jeremy Hooper

This is a portion of the page on John McCain's website wherein he voices his commitment to "protecting traditional marriage":

Picture 10-87

And here is a flyer that is being distributed by the organization that's trying to ban marriage equality in California:

Picture 8-99

Check out the lower left pic. Same anti-equality mindset, same stock photo.

So why do we show you this? Well for one, it's an odd coincidence considering the literally thousands of stock photos one comes across if they search any of the major images companies for purchasable family pictures. But mainly we point it out because we unapologetically want to remind gay and lesbian voters that this man, John McCain, is not going to be your friend on the marriage equality issue. Not now. Not ever. And if we can use the shorthand of linking one particular stock photo running on both the campaign to elect McCain and the campaign to inscribe bias, we're gonna seize it!

According to new polling, 15% of LGBT voters are still undecided about where to direct their November vote. We say: Take stock of the family portrait. If not the one that is shared by McCain and Prop. 8, than the one that the shared mindset is trying to deny to you and yours!

**Headline note: We of course don't really think that those who posed for this stock photo are necessarily anti-equality.

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Your thoughts

It's very disappointing, seeing as how McCain was the guy who denounced Falwell and the others as "agents of intolerance." :(

Posted by: Chris | Aug 20, 2008 12:57:07 PM

Either this is a good example of outright pandering by the McCain Campaign to the Religious Right or his view shouldn't be surprising given the era he grew up in. Perhaps a bit of both. Indeed, he will not support same-sex marriage. Yet on the most important national issues Obama is simply not the right man for presidency IMO. Ask any Republican and regardless of where they fall on the political spectrum, most will say that indeed the GOP could have picked a better candidate but he is still better than Obama. I do wish the Dems would choose more wisely so the Religious Right can get the pasting at the polls it so richly deserves.

Posted by: John | Aug 20, 2008 1:11:26 PM

But let's not forget that Obama is not pro-equality either. Don't get me wrong, I'm not a McCain fan, but that's for a number of reasons (I used to live in Arizona and I was one of the organizers for Arizona Together Coalition--the group that defeated the marriage amendment in 2006 that McCain endorsed).

But to say that we should vote for Obama simply because McCain is more vocal about his opposition to gay marriage and actually supports various state amendments is flawed logic. Please reference the following post by Melissa McEwan (and replace the word "sexist" with "heterosexist"):

http://shakespearessister.blogspot.com/2008/02/feminism-101-calling-out-fellow.html

I am one of the undecided voters, not because I will ever vote for McCain (I won't...ever...like, EVER ever), but rather because I have watched Obama go from super-progressive awesome hero guy to the typical presidential candidate who panders to the right wing fringe groups who will never vote for him (never...like, NEVER never). In the process, he has alienated people like me who want to believe in him, but fear that he may be yet another "wolf in sheep's clothing" (See: Clinton and DOMA and DADT).

If there were a more convincing argument to vote for Obama other than the fact that he is only slightly better than McCain, I wouldn't have a problem. But I find it difficult to stand behind a candidate who doesn't have my best interest at heart simply because he's up against another candidate who REALLY doesn't have my best interest at heart (See: South Park and Giant Douche vs Turd Sandwich). That is all. End of rant.

Posted by: Michael | Aug 20, 2008 1:29:06 PM

Well Michael, nobody specifically said to vote for Obama. But on that subject: While we are all certainly frustrated with Obama's (and most Dems') stance on marriage, there is a far more logical basis to find hope in his support for the LGBT community than there is in McCain's. It'd be much nicer if we had a clear-cut advocate on who we could pin all of our hopes. But until we get to that day -- and we will get there -- we have to consider where the growth potential lies.

Posted by: G-A-Y | Aug 20, 2008 1:40:21 PM

I would never, ever try to pressure people or make them feel bad about their decisions concerning voting because that is definitely a private, personal choice. It scares me, though, when qualified voters, and in particular gay voters, say they won't vote or that they are undecided about a progressive thinking candidate, especially when the opposition, in this case John McCain, is soooo anti-gay in his beliefs and policies that to have him elected is to ensure another 4 years of the devastating civil rights losses we have been experiencing for the past 8 years. I know some gay people don't care for Obama, and that is definitely their right. I hope those people reconsider voting for the democratic candidate, because regardless of personal feelings about him, he really has spent his entire career working for true equality causes, including issues that directly effect LGBT people. issues.

http://www.lgbtforobama.com/

Posted by: Kristi | Aug 20, 2008 3:14:52 PM

Jeremy, I'm not really convinced that we will get to that day in my lifetime (although I'm about your age). I'll admit that I'm one of the most cynical people on earth, but that's mainly because I've seen too many people promise too many things and never even attempt to deliver.

Any truly progressive candidate gets shot down before he/she even gets a chance to explain the reasoning behind his/her point of view (see: Dennis Kucinich). Or they're stuck at a level of government such that they lack the ability to really do much more than make a really fun speech (see: Lloyd Doggett, Raul Grijalva, Gabrielle Giffords, Andrew Rice, etc.).

I'm somewhat tired of having to gamble on "growth potential," that hasn't necessarily materialized in previous candidates with similar potential. And with our largest lobbying organization (HRC) throwing a large portion of our community under the bus (transgender people) while generally being asleep at the wheel and acquiesing to everything in the hope of gaining something at some point in the future, it doesn't appear that there's any motivation for any of these candidates to change their minds.

And I apologize if I sound angry. I'm not angry, I'm just upset and discouraged and frustrated. It doesn't make any sense that we've had this colossal failure of leadership on all levels from all angles, and yet nobody calls it what it is.

They say, "This is just the way things are."

I say, "Fail. Leadership fail. Government fail. Lobby fail. Voter fail. Complete and total epic fail."

If I didn't have to work two jobs at 70+ hours a week to keep my head above water, I would consider running for office myself.

Posted by: Michael | Aug 20, 2008 3:34:32 PM

I think Michael said it best for me and I would think a lot of the undecided GLBT voters out there. I know I will probably (like 99%) vote for Obama, and I know I will never vote for McCain, but it is hard to stomach saying it right now so far ahead of the election. So yes, I will vote for Obama but I cant with a good conscious go out and say he is the best person for the job, better than the other guy yes, but I am just too disillusioned with our political system at the moment to be happy about voting that way.

Posted by: Randy | Aug 20, 2008 3:57:24 PM

"I hope those people reconsider voting for the democratic candidate, because regardless of personal feelings about him, he really has spent his entire career working for true equality causes, including issues that directly effect LGBT people. issues."

I would give him a second look if he were more like Joe Lieberman on defense matters. Believe me, I'd love nothing more than to see the Religious Right take it on the chin yet defense is my #1 issue. It takes priority IMO over every other concern I have because it's not just about myself, but everyone I care about. The other issues are important and I have disagreements with both of them yet these all pale in comparison to defense. Obama is a lightweight on defense during a very critical time and his past associations with people like Bill Ayers makes me seriously question his judgment. Does McCain have a stellar record? No. Yet since I have choose between these two, I'll go with the one that has the experience and record the other lacks to be Commander-in-Chief. Pity really since my #1 gay rights issue is the repeal of DADT, which McCain unwisely supports. I suppose the most we can hope for is the Democrat-controlled Congress with a larger majority after November (such as Mark Warner, whom I'm going to happily help send to the Senate even though I oppose the DNC in many other areas) can force the matter. Then again, given their own poor record on this I'm not too encouraged.

Posted by: John | Aug 20, 2008 6:54:01 PM

Michael, I think that this year is going to be very interesting. Interesting because I think that we are going to see a large number of voters who have never stepped up before (and this is just me checking the thermometer from the ass of the electorate with my rose colored glasses). But the outcome could be some indication that a breakaway candidate could make headway, and might embolden movements which actively seek the other 50% of the population that doesn't usually vote.

John, I think it is important to point out that Obama was the only one of top three presidential candidates to get Iraq right, when he voted against a war in Iraq. And, I certainly don't feel any safer since the Iraq war began. I also am very concerned about McCain's current saber-swooshing in the direction of Iran.

Posted by: Dick Mills | Aug 21, 2008 5:37:22 AM

How hilarious would it be if one or all of them were gay, bi, or pro-gay?

Posted by: GreenEyedLilo | Aug 21, 2008 12:22:10 PM

Dick: Well this is probably not the best forum for debating the merits of both candidates, but I will say that I disagree with you. Obama is not someone I believe would make a good Commander-in-Chief, which I consider to be the most important responsibility of the presidency. Beyond this, I posted more at my own blog and we can discuss it there further if you like instead of taxing Jeremy here.

http://averagegayjoe.blogspot.com/2008/03/why-i-cannot-vote-for-obama-part-2.html

GEL: I'd rather not think of either man in their birthday suits doing God-knows-what, especially McCain. Sorry Johnny...

Posted by: John | Aug 21, 2008 12:52:27 PM

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