In a Time of Universal Deceit, Telling the Truth is Revolutionary.
Thursday, May 23, 2024

A gay time was not had by all

Democratic presidential contenders faced pointed questions on gay marriage and the basis for sexual orientation in a forum that forced candidates to confront politically touchy issues that have vexed a nation. Former Sen. John Edwards found himself discussing whether he is comfortable around gay people — he said he is. New Mexico Gov. Bill Richardson appeared to struggle with a question about why people become gay or lesbian. Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton ended up defending the record of her husband, former President Bill Clinton, on gay rights.

Democratic presidential contenders faced pointed questions on gay marriage and the basis for sexual orientation in a forum that forced candidates to confront politically touchy issues that have vexed a nation.

Former Sen. John Edwards found himself discussing whether he is comfortable around gay people — he said he is. New Mexico Gov. Bill Richardson appeared to struggle with a question about why people become gay or lesbian. Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton ended up defending the record of her husband, former President Bill Clinton, on gay rights.

“We certainly didn’t get as much done as I would have liked,” the New York senator said. “But there was a lot of honest effort.”

Six of the eight Democratic candidates answered questions Thursday on gay rights at the two-hour forum co-sponsored by the Human Rights Campaign, a gay-rights group active in Democratic politics, and Logo, a gay-oriented cable TV channel that aired the forum live.

Organizers said it marked the first time that major presidential candidates appeared on TV specifically to address gay issues. The candidates appeared one at a time in an upholstered chair on a Hollywood studio set and took questions from a panel that included singer Melissa Etheridge.

The candidates underscored differences with Republicans on gay and lesbian rights, but leading candidates also faced aggressive questioning on their reluctance to embrace marriage for same-sex couples.

All of the Democratic candidates support a federal ban on anti-gay job discrimination, want to repeal the “don’t ask, don’t tell” policy barring gays from serving openly in the military and support civil unions that would extend marriage-like rights to same-sex couples.

A majority of Americans oppose nationwide recognition of same-sex marriage and only two of the Democrats support it — former Alaska Sen. Mike Gravel and Rep. Dennis Kucinich of Ohio, both longshots for the nomination.

Barack Obama belongs to the United Church of Christ, which supports gay marriage, but Obama has yet to go that far.

“If we have a situation in which civil unions are fully enforced, are widely recognized, people have civil rights under the law, then my sense is that’s enormous progress,” the Illinois Democrat said.

In a campaign dominated by the Iraq war and terrorism, the forum provided unusually probing talk about issues that alternately touched on questions of tolerance, morality and religion.

Clinton said she made a mistake in March when she steered around a question on whether homosexuality was immoral. She was asked about it at the time after Gen. Peter Pace, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, said he considered homosexual acts immoral and similar to adultery. He later said he should have not expressed his personal views. Clinton later issued a statement saying she did not think being gay was immoral.

“It was a mistake,” Clinton said. “I should have put it in a broader context.”

Clinton was cheered by the crowd when she alluded to the prospect for change at the White House in the 2008 election. Edwards argued that Democrats must speak out against discrimination coming from the Republican right wing.

Unless you speak out against intolerance, it becomes “OK for the Republicans in their politics to divide America and use hate-mongering to separate us,” Edwards said.

Etheridge, speaking to Edwards, said she had heard he once said he felt uncomfortable around gay people — an assertion contained in longtime political strategist Bob Shrum’s book “No Excuses: Concessions of a Serial Campaigner.”

“I’m perfectly comfortable,” Edwards said. “I know where it came from. It came from a political consultant. And he’s just wrong.”

Richardson skirted a thorny debate on homosexuality.

When asked by Etheridge whether “homosexuality is a choice or is it biological?” he said, “I don’t see this as an issue of science or definition. I see gays and lesbians as human beings.”

Richardson later elaborated in a statement issued by his campaign:

“Let me be clear — I do not believe that sexual orientation or gender identity happen by choice,” Richardson said. “But I’m not a scientist, and the point I was trying to make is that no matter how it happens, we are all equal and should be treated that way under the law.”

When Kucinich was asked whether there was anything on the agenda for gay and lesbian rights he didn’t support, he paused and said, “All I can say is, keep those contributions coming … and you’ll have the president that you want.”

In a statement clearly aimed at the leading Democrats in the field, he said his support for same-sex marriage was “a question of whether you really believe in equality.”

Human Rights Campaign President Joe Solmonese, who was on a panel posing questions to the candidates, said in a statement, the forum “was an important night in the fight for equality.”

“Unfortunately, we have more work to do,” Solmonese said. “The overwhelming majority of the candidates do not support marriage equality. While we heard very strong commitments to civil unions and equality in federal rights and benefits, their reasons for opposing equality in civil marriage tonight became even less clear.”

Of the eight Democratic candidates, two did not attend, Sens. Joe Biden of Delaware and Chris Dodd on Connecticut.

Logo, available in about 27 million homes, wanted to hold a second forum for Republican candidates but GOP front-runners showed no interest, channel officials said.

35 thoughts on “A gay time was not had by all”

  1. Carl,

    You know some say the Nazi’s did not lose the 2nd world war per say,,, but just moved their organization to the US. That the whole failure by the Germans to win the war was a preplanned diversion to lead the world into believing the idea that the rising idea of fascism and nazism was a failure and that the root of that system was crushed and wiped out.
    Its really a theory worth studying seeing how this country
    has been going in a path much the same to the germans prior to the war. Just at a slower pace.

  2. Yo…pondering-it, …

    I can see by the followup commentary that people missed my point about using the Caligula~Incitatus connection to shock them into the absolute reality concerning the triviality of the gay rights, civil union, marriage, tax advantage issues in these highly dangerous times.

    Bushco isn’t out of office yet…! If people people have been paying attention these Fourth Reich mattoids have virtually gutted our Constitutional freedoms since 9/11. Everyone has no doubt read the “duty” laundry list of what those egregious acts of treason have been.

    Many of the top Nazi’s as well as our nation’s leaders at this point in time are gay, but many if not most are hiding in the closet.

    They preach anti-gay rhetoric, or legislate in an anti-gay manner publicly, but “after dark” they are skulking about in the shadows because they don’t want to be tainted by such a tag.

    These are the same sob’s that line up with Bushco forcing endless legislation down our collective throats that have taken our freedoms away. It seems the only right left is “the right to shop until you drop”. Open up your mouth about anything else and you’ll have someone in authority telling you that you are violating the Patriot Act or some other law or statute that’s anathema to freedom.

    People generally hear the story about how the Nazi’s rounded up the Jews; but guess what folks, they rounded up Catholics, Protestants,dark-skinned non- aryan looking gypsies, “gays”, and even some of our servicemen suffered immolation in the camps that were simply thrown in the boxcars with the rest of the “catch”. The gays were targeted simply because they were gay and were not incidental catch.

    The top Nazi’s although many of them gay were publicly hyper-homophobic which fits a general pattern of many that are hiding in the closet in our nation’s capital. With crazies like this in authority; ie., Buscho, “we the people” are in grave danger regardless of our social, or psycho-sexual predilictions or status in society.

    So for those of you that feel insulted by my “shock” article, rest assured you’ll be more than shocked if you find yourselves shackled inside a modern steel box car along with 142 other souls that lost sight of the goal; ie., restoring America’s Constitutional guarantees as first and foremost; ie., a “relentless” un-compromising mission I might add…! Americans need to start asking the candidates the hard questions as I’ve outlined. Will you rescind the Patriot Act, the Military Commissions Act, retore “habeas corpus”, “posse commitatus, close GITMO, and extract us from Iraq…?! If they are evasive on “any” of these questions, then we “do not” want them in the Whitehouse…period!

    I know many people refuse to believe that our government would turn on it’s own people and re-create a corporatist, fascist, Fourth Reich world paradigm, but that’s where we’re headed, while everyday in everyway they are slatheering us with teflon to facilitate our slide into their engineered “hell on earth”…! The implementation of the NWO is a reality and their plan is to turn America into “their” AmeriKa, simply a minor plantation in the greater global plantation it’s inhabitants simply serfs or worse slaving away for their benefit. Disrespect my thougths on this subject at your own peril!

    Carl Nemo **==

  3. Isn’t it a bit silly to complain about the relative unimportance of gay rights in the discussion of a story about presidential candidates meeting with gay rights political organizations? If this is such a minor issue, then why even read the story and several pages of comments? If you think there are more important issues then there are many other threads in ReaderRant. I’m sure you can find one that will be on-topic for your favorite issue.

    Why shouldn’t potential voters ask the candidates about their positions on an issue important to them? How can anyone else decide for them that their issue is “minor”? How condescending is that? Just try changing all instances of “gay” to “black” in the comments and see how they sound then.

    And I find it absolutely preposterous that for quite a few years we have had states in which you CAN have sex with your horse, sheep, or whatever but you are not allowed to join the person you want to spend the rest of your life with in marriage!

  4. SEAL, We need this discussion badly because a large portion of Americans are being discriminated against. I too was insulted by the comparison between Nero sleeping with his horse and Americans having natural freedoms.

    I was not married in a church or by any member of the clergy and had a civil ceremony in the home of a Judge in Palm Springs, standing around his lovely pool. Believe me, when the marriage was over, it was legal enough to have to go to court to get it legally dissolved.

    I want that same legal action to be possible for all Americans. First we must declare a separation of church and state. If people want a religious ceremony they can do it. I like the idea of a civil ceremony and later at any time anyone can renew their vows in front of a minister or rabbi.

    SEAL, the Constitution was not written to tell anyone what not to do. The Constitution gives us the freedoms from the Federal government and our social laws are therefore from the individual states. The freedom with this information is we can move to or from any state that we choose. Trying to get all Americans to live by the same rules is nothing but a dictatorship run by one political party after another. My dream would be to insist that the Constitution free all Americans from the consequences of the religious books that continue to discriminate the people based on their Gods.

    This is not an issue in Europe. Most Europeans feel Americans are weak and rather stupid trying to rule by the bible.

  5. Want some real honesty?

    I didn’t watch the debate because I don’t give a damn what any of the candidates feel about gay marriage. I don’t give a damn what gays think about it either. And I sure as hell don’t give a damn what the evangelicals think about it. It is not a subject for dicussion and I am fed up with all the noise about it. The framers of the constitution eliminated any controversy about this and other similar subjects when they created the Bill Of Rights. Every citizen has the same rights. End of discussion.

    Carl Nemo is absolutely right. Concentrate upon electing officials that will restore this nation to being governed by the constitution and the gay issue, along with almost every other problem, will automatically be resolved. There are so many federal and state laws that violate the constitution the document has become nothing but a piece of paper. Bush was correct when he uttered that statement. They must all be abolished. Elect people who will do that.

    BTW, that includes preemtive war. It is unconstitutional for us to be an agressor nation.

  6. It is not a “gay issue” for gays to have the right to marriage, it is what you call a core issue. The issue is not about marital rights it is the most funamental question of them all — must government treat all its citizens eqaully or not?

    I am not asking for any rights you do not already have. That may see peripheral to you, it is not to me. I will not settle for being second class.

    I wonder if those who question the importance of equal rights for all have ever been second class citizens. If so, did you think it was out of place to seek full equal rights because of the economy, the dismal record of every administration during my long lifetime, or some other more important issues?

    If not, if you are a part of the “majority” or “normal” then I say it is not for you to prioritize my rights. Those rights are not given by you, the government or anyone else. These are my inherent rights, and are not open to debat.

  7. Thanks yarply for your thoughtful support. You got the point! They’l all be Squeezin’ the Charmin, Mr. Whipple-like as Bushco flushes everyone down into their NWO/AIPAC/MIC “hell on earth”…! 😐

    Nemo **==

  8. Hi Phil…

    My point was not to insult, but to “shock” people into the grim reality that these lesser rights and privileges won’t mean a tinkers damn if you’ve lost your core rights guaranteed by the Bill of Rights and the Constitution.

    So fine, let’s say that gays and people get everything they want from these lying duplicit pols concerning their needs, but they’ve lost their precious core rights for all time and all places as Americans as we have under Bushco up to this point in the past 6.5 years.

    It would be nice if people were as rabidly obsessed about my aforementioned questions concerning our core rights as opposed to these lesser issues. Rest assured if the war was summarily stopped, our Constitutional rights and the Bill of Rights restored and indemnified then all these other issues would resolve themselves within a comfortable margin. I guarantee!

    We don’t know each other personally, but I can assure you I’m a “broad-spectrum” guy with zero discriminatory thoughts towards anyone regardless of their psycho-sexual predilictions. My main focus is to maintain our core freedoms for all time and all places…!

    My intent is to hopefully shock even the gays and the right-to-lifer’s and every citizen/patriot to the critical situation we have concerning the permanent loss of our core rights.

    Carl Nemo **==

  9. Maybe some people shouldn’t have full rights in your world. But I see nothing in the Constitution that excludes gays from the same rights as everyone else.

    As soon as you show me that clause I will concede your right to discriminate against me.

    As soon as you show me that clause I will concede your right to discriminate against me.

    shouldn’t have full rights in your world.

    your right to discriminate against me.


    Your words not mine. Excuse me for thinking when you said,Maybe some people shouldn’t have full rights in your world and As soon as you show me that clause I will concede your right to discriminate against me, That you were talking about and to me. My mistake.

  10. Carl,, I totally agree.

    Our country is being torn apart and lost and yet we are being side tracked by issues such as these.
    Some may think these are important issues,, and morally they are right, but when your country is going down the crapper you should not be arguing about what type of toilet paper is the softest.

  11. Is this s#*! so all fired important that this has become topic number 1? Now our (orchestrated) “debates” have been designed to placate special interest groups.

    This week we’ve celebrated the Flintstones by having a “gay old time.” Next week I want debate on the economic plight of the forgotten NFL heroes of days gone by and the week after that, how about Special Olympians and their physical deficiencies. Next we can pander to the Native Americans, descendants of the boat people from Africa (Reparations anyone???) and on and on it will go.

    It seems to me that (those of us who were born here or are here legally) are all Americans. Forget htis hyphenated stuff: African-American, Jewish-American, Native-American, Gay-American, Chinese-…. well you get the idea – and there are problems, which face ALL OF US – and must be dealt with – by ALL of us – TOGETHER.

    If we pander to this weekly “reality show” – then we really are in deep doo-doo – and none of us will have a “gay old time.”!

  12. Carl Nemo, pardon me, but it is insulting in the extreme to equate to any extent Caligula or animal/human sex and gay marriage. It is not a raid on the treasury for you to have tax and 2000 other benefits from marriage is it? then why is it if I want the same benefits?

  13. Please do not mischaracterize my statements. I accused you of absolutley nothing. I did not say you couldn’t discuss what you wanted.

    What I said and will repeat is that I do not think you would want your basic rights “discussed” as though they were up for grabs.

  14. Well Carl, As you, I didn’t listen to the airing either, but must say, seeing that we are supposed to have a separation between church and state it seems to me it would be hard, even impossible for anyone in the government to promise anyone the right to marriage, seeing that marriage is a religious institution, instigated by the authority of God through his priest.

    It seems they could only say they would recognize that marriage legally if the people in question were married under some religious system which condoned thoughs types of marriages.

    Now determining what god one believes in, gay marriage might be allowed,,,,, I do not know. But according to Jewish, Islamic and Christian beliefs gay marriage is not allowed or condoned scripturally. But that is the difference between church and state, what the states may allow, the church or the various religions might not, depending again in what ones beliefs are and what religion you follow.

    This is a really touchy subject,,, As I am sure you know,, and I am taking a chance of being banned from this site for even discussing this, for some will take issue with what I say.

    But according to what Kucinich said; I would help to create a culture in America so that people could be whoever they are, because if America is about anything, it has to be about a chance for people to live out their dream and to express their own authenticity…..[(express their own authenticity?)(Whatever that means, maybe be true to themselves?] That would go both ways because people have the right to believe gay marriage is wrong also,, as some believe drug use and pornography is wrong.{But just because one believes these things are wrong does not mean they automatically hate thoughs who do them.( there is a difference.) But even hate might be a protected right,,,who knows, as long as you do not hurt others in your hate. (Really,, the one who hates hurts himself much more spiritually that he does the other. But that is another subject…)

    But That is what true freedom is all about.

    This country was founded under the belief of freedom of religion, free-speech, the right of the people to be secure in their homes, life liberty and the pursuit of happiness. I believe these things are good and right But there are some things I believe are wrong,, as I am sure you and others have things you believe are wrong. That’s the way things are,, and the way they always will be, I guess until the end. Lets just hope we don’t kill ourselves or each other by then.

    By the way; the “Don’t vote it only encourages them”…

    I like it.

  15. What’s next…?! Possibly zoophiles will want to establish a union between they and their horse,dog, goldfish or to whatever other societal madness might occur relative to life-partnering needs…?! :))

    We’re dead broke as a nation…plain and simple! We are engaged in a war based on cooked intelligence courtesy of the Wolfowitz-Feith-Cheney rogue intelligence pipeline that’s costing us 12 billion per “month”. We don’t have a viable national health care program at this time and people are obsessing about civil unions with it’s associated rights; ie., access to the public treasury without question ad nauseam ad infinitum! I’m not anti-gay per se but we as a nation have to finally draw the line in the sand. Madness seems to be the order of the day!

    Caligula slept with his horse Incitatus, although they never consumated a union, but who knows possibly modern man, woman, horse/pet associations should have some
    merit when it comes to acquiring benefits courtesy of the U.S. taxypayer…no?!

    I hate to say it folks, but all this nonsense is indicative of the “twilights last gleaming” and the absolute dissolution and terminal decay of this once great Republic; ie., it’s b.s., plain and simple. People need to focus on the ball; ie., their Constitution, their Bill of Rights and other issues have been gutted as guarantors of our continuing freedom! Instead “pinheads” are obsessing about “gay rights”…”a woman’s right to choose” and a host of these other back-burner issues.

    I say, first focus on the truly important issues! Ask the candidates if they are going to repeal the Patriot Act, the Military Commissions Act and to restore “habeas corpus” and “posse commitatus”? Are they going to summarily end our involvement in Iraq and close GITMO…?! These are the key, core questions that they need to be hammered with relentlessly. Possibly Kucinich and Ron Paul are the only two that have brought these issues up ?! It seems the rest are nothing but foot soldier facilitators for the NWO/AIPAC/MIC agenda.

    Carl Nemo **==

  16. Just to make my position clear: There is nothing wrong with being gay and expressing that orientation in any sort of romantic and/or sexual relationship with another consenting partner. Sexual orientation should not limit civil rights. Many people fix on a sexual orientation early in childhood, while others discover their’s later, but it doesn’t matter: Even if we have a choice, we should all be free to make it.

    On the other hand, there are a large number of people in the US who see their anti-gay discrimination as inherent in their First Amendment rights. Difficult dilemma, since people do have a right to their own opinions (even if those opinions are idiotic).

    Marriage is being “defended” because it is one of the strongest links between church and state that is still in effect. Maybe the best we can do is to get the government out of the religious ceremony business by removing the legal status of marriage, giving all current marriages an additional civil union status.

    Then any new couple who wanted the legal benefits would have to file for a civil union. (Just like getting a marriage license.) Any couple who also wanted to be married by a religious official could do that, but it would have no effect on their legal rights, income tax filings, etc. Then some religious groups could forbid same-sex marriage, others could allow it, and everybody could learn to live with the result.

  17. Hi yarply…

    I didn’t listen to the airing, but I suspect now that he’s going for the high stakes; ie., the presidency he’s being somewhat careful. Here’s what Kucinich had to say in 2003 when questioned concerning this issue.
    Extracted from “On the Issues” at

    Allowing gays and lesbians to marry

    Q: What is your position on gay rights?
    A: I would help to create a culture in America so that people could be whoever they are, because if America is about anything, it has to be about a chance for people to live out their dream and to express their own authenticity. And so, gays, lesbians, bisexual, transgender people under my administration would have full participation, and they would also have the right to marry.

    Source: CNN “Rock The Vote” Democratic Debate Nov 5, 2003
    It’s too bad he didn’t reply in kind at this event too. Who knows maybe he forgot this previous “lie”…:)) Just being cynical on my part.

    Carl Nemo **==

    p.s. My favorite political bumper sticker …”Don’t vote it only encourages them”…! 😐

  18. When Kucinich was asked whether there was anything on the agenda for gay and lesbian rights he didn’t support, he paused and said, “All I can say is, keep those contributions coming … and you’ll have the president that you want.”

    What a clever way to side step the issue.

  19. Oh excuse me, did I say ANYTHING anti gay??? AT ALL.
    I believe you are being irrational as I said NOTHING
    against gays and never said anything about someone being able to discriminate against you or others. Why the attack? I was just explaining why some may be very cautious about what they say in politics. That is what this story is about isn’t it? My point was,, and you helped I believe, make my point, was that some do not tolerate open discussion and resort to attacks and made up accusations against people for their views.
    As I said, I didn’t say ANYTHING against gays yet you accuse me of discrimination.

  20. My blood runs as icewater when I hear candidates obsessing on relative minor issues in these highly dangerous times. None of them except for Kucinich wants to restore this country to what it was prior to Bushco’s Constitutionally destructive agenda during the past 6.5 years.

    Gay rights and a Woman’s Right to Choose are important, but based on what’s happened to our basic rights and guarantees under the Constitution these are simply superficial and secondary to restoring our freedoms by rescinding the Patriot Act, rescinding the Military Commissions Act, restoring “habeas corpus” and “posse commitatus” to our body of law. The war in Iraq needs to be summarily shut down and GITMO closed. This is just a basic shopping list, but it must be done. If these issues are summarily addressed then Gay Rights and the Right to Choose will simply fall into place as a given.

    I like Steve Horn’s idea of Kucinich as a write-in candidate in November 08 in the event he doesn’t get the nomination. I’m supplying a link to Dennis Kucinich “On the Issues” so folks can know first hand where this guy stands on “all” the issues. “On the Issues” information is avaible for all the candidates from this same source.

    Carl Nemo **==

  21. Do you really think there is a shortage of antigay comments in the world? I have been around a long time and there has never been a day when somewhere I have not heard or read something that says there is something wrong with me because I am gay or that for one reason or another I should not have the same rights as other Americans.

    How would you like it if all “yarply” people cannot marry other yarplys, cannot hold hands or kiss in public, are despicable unholy people, etc etc?

    No, that is not the way we should talk about each other, not the way a citizen is to be treated under our Constitution, and would be intolerable in a decent world.

    My rights ought not be up to you or others to vote on. Either we are a nation of equals or not. Now if you want to debate that, go ahead. Maybe some people shouldn’t have full rights in your world. But I see nothing in the Constitution that excludes gays from the same rights as everyone else.

    As soon as you show me that clause I will concede your right to discriminate against me.

  22. Maybe the candidates are afraid of offending gays and their friends if they are opposed to their life style. Many,, if they disagree with the homosexual lifestyle or believe it is wrong are labeled homophobic. Its like labeling someone racist because they are against the activities of illegal aliens, Or an antisemitic because they are against Israeli policies in the world. Its easy,, if you do not wish others to hear what someone says and to censor their opinions to just label them and shut them out of discussions on the subject, or as “some” web sites do, ban them from the sites discussion areas. Yes its really comical to watch some which say they are for free speech ban and censor others because they have a view which others wish not to be heard. Saying you are for free speech and yet to not allow open discussion is hypocritical but as in politics its a factor which ordinary people and the people running for office have to deal with. Their is a difference between being against something and the hate of the people involved in it. Evidently the candidates realize this but know that “some” cannot tell the difference so they have to watch what they say,, on many subjects.

    There is a new hate term out,,, Its called antiyarply. You are antiyarply if you disagree and are intolerant of my views.

    I would suggest if one is to have a real discussion on a subject like this the Capitol Hill Blues Policy on readers comments should be somewhat suspended to a more tolerant set of rules. Otherwise through fear of being banned real discussion on this subject will be stifled.

  23. In case you wonder why a “gay debate” at all, the Los angeles Times reports today that 92 of gay men and 91% of lesbians voted in the last presidential election.

    Twice the rate of other citizens!

Comments are closed.