Monday, July 23, 2007

The Democrats on gays at the Youtube debate

At the Democratic Youtube Debate, which aired tonight on CNN’s Situation Room with Anderson Cooper, Americans were allowed to submit their questions to the Democratic candidates via Youtube.

Rev. Reggie Longcrier of Hickory, NC submitted the following video to Jon Edwards:

Senator Edwards said his opposition to gay marriage is influenced by his Southern Baptist background. Most Americans agree it was wrong and unconstitutional to use religion to justify slavery, segeragation, and to deny women the right to vote.

So why is it still acceptable to use religion to deny gay Americans their full and equal rights?

Edward responded:

I think Rev. Longcrier asks a very important question, which is, fundamentally, whether it’s right for any of our faith beliefs to be imposed on the American people when we’re President of the United States. I do not believe that’s right. I feel enormous personal conflict about this issue. I want to end discrimination, I want to do some of the things I just heard Bill Richardson talk about; standing up for equal rights, substantive rights, civil unions, what Chris Dodd just talked about, and I think that’s something everybody on this stage will commit themselves to as President of the United States.

But I personally have been on a journey on this issue. I feel enormous conflict about it. I think as a lot of people know, Elizabeth spoke at, my wife Elizabeth out a few weeks ago, and she actually supports, uh gay m-marriage [stutter], I do not, um this is a very difficult issue for me and I have enormous respect for people who have a different view of it.

Anderson Cooper, being a good moderator, pressed Edwards to answer the question, asking bluntly, "why is it OK to quote religious beliefs when talking about why you don’t support something?"

Edwards responded:
It’s not. I’ve been asked a personal question, which, I think is what Rev. Longcrier is raising. The personal questions is, do I believe, do I personally support gay marriage. The answer to that is I don’t. Uh, but I think it is absolutely wrong as President of the United States for me to use that faith basis as a basis for denying anybody their rights. And I will not do that when I am President of the United States.

Edwards still did not respond to Rev. Longcier' s question! From what I've taken from his response, Edwards believes that religion should not be used to discriminate and that he is against discrimination, but he still thinks it's right to discriminate against gays by keeping them from marrying.

Anderson Cooper then pressed Barack Obama on the issue (presumably because he is the only black candidate), saying, "the laws banning interracial marriage in the US were ruled unconstitutional in 1967—what is the difference between the ban on interracial marriage and a ban on gay marriage?"

Obama responded:

Well I [stutter] I think it is important to pick up on something that was said earlier by both Dennis and by Bill and that is that we’ve got to make sure that everybody is equal under the law, and the civil unions that I propose would be equivalent in terms of making sure that all the rights that are conferred by the state are equal, uh, for same sex couples as well as for heterosexual couples.

With respect to marriage it’s my belief, uh, that it’s up to individual denominations to make a decision as to whether or not they want to recognize a marriage or not. Uh, but, in terms of, you know, the rights of people to uh, transfer property, to have hospital visitation, all those civil rights that are, uh, conferred by our government, those should be equal.

Doesn't Obama, of all people, realize that separate is never equal? I wonder when gays will finally wake up and realize that none of the mainstream candidates support their full equality. Gays donate and vote for Democratic candidates overwhelmingly. When will gays stand up and hold the Democrats accountable?

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