August 02, 2007

Calling Out the Presidential Candidates

That's what Matt Foreman, Executive Director of the National Gay & Lesbian Task Force, did in this post on the Task Force's blog, OutSpoken. Here are some excerpts.

The Democratic candidates for president, as a group and individually, express more support for lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) issues and legislative and policy initiatives to improve our lives than any prior set of presidential candidates in the history of American politics. These new standards of support for LGBT people are worthy of our applause, our appreciation and our accolades.

Since 1980, we have suffered the gross indignities of defamations and slanders from a ravenous and rapacious right-wing anti-gay movement, a veritable industry churning out anti-LGBT propaganda at every turn. We endured the AIDS epidemic and the Reagan administration’s cruel indifference while our people fell to illness and then to death. We saw the U.S. Supreme Court uphold state laws that branded us criminals for our sexuality. We have been clubbed by an onslaught of ballot questions that put our lives up to popular vote. Time and again, we’vebeen thrown under the political bus by politicians either in the White House or those who want to get there.

All of this misery has been exacerbated exponentially by the spinelessness or unwillingness of all but a few national leaders to take a stand for us and denounce the animus unleashed on us. Many of our “friends” have simply looked the other way.

We bear our scars and yet remain unbowed. But, we are still waiting for the country’s political leadership to defend our right to live and thrive as a matter of principle, not parse our dreams as a matter of misguided political calculation.

We deserve and we must demand from the Democratic 2008 presidential candidates the simple and straightforward statement that our humanity requires full respect and fair treatment by all and, further, an equally simple and straightforward condemnation of those who seek to use our lives for political gain. This needs to be said in front of all audiences — not just in front of us.

We need leadership. We need strength of vision. And we need to know that the promises of reform come from the candidates' understanding of LGBT people as inseparable from the national community in which we live. There can be no more equivocating or silence about the goodness of our personhood, our families, our relationships. Period.

There's plenty more to read in the full blog entry. It's time for the Deomcratic party to stop taking the GLBT vote for granted and earn it. It's also time for someone, anyone with even the slimest chance of getting elected (sorry, Dennis Kucinich, that leaves you out) to take a stand based on what's right, not what polls the best.

They would have my vote and enthusiastic endorsement. At this point, I'm waiting but not holding my breath.

1 comment:

  1. Unfortunately, it seems that most politicians seeking any office, much less the Presidency, tend to do what looks good politically instead of what is morally right. Sad commentary on our system,'s true.