Tuesday, March 25, 2008

Does he get extra credit just for saying the word "gay"?

Barack Obama in Oregon:
"We argue about gay marriage. You know, in the meantime the planet is, you know, potentially being destroyed. We've got a war that is bankrupting us. And we're going to argue about gay marriage? I mean, that doesn't make any sense."
Um, actually, I think gay marriage is kinda worth arguing about. I mean, I understand that it is a divisive issue, but there are a lot of problems in the world that need our attention on which there is not universal agreement: the war in Iraq, poverty, hunger, the environment — so why single out the discussion on gay marriage as the one that "doesn't make any sense"?

I promised earlier that I would never again use the phrase "throw them under the bus" but it sure would be appropriate here ... My civil rights seem to be wearing tire treads ....

ht/to PageOneQ


Anonymous said...

the more he talks, the more loose-lipped he gets.

sure- i want a great environment for my family to live in, but i want an EQUAL environment

Harvest & Co said...

Obama's point here is NOT to single out gay marriage at all but to prioritize issues. Yes, there are [unfortunately] bigger priorities than gay marriage so not all issues can be given the same focus. And finally arguing and talking about gay marriage without proper follow-up action like it's been done for years is DREAMING. I bet this is not what you want either.

Sara said...

well, seeing that I HAVE gay marriage in my state and I think it is pretty important.

more important than ending the war? nope.

but after that? yep. I think it deserves equal consideration.

when our country gives people different rights based on religious beliefs... well that is a fundamental violation of the constitution.

I think that's important.

m. cacioppo said...

what a stupid thing to say. way to marginalize the gays AGAIN barack. i'm so sick of you!

thanks for posting this. i hadn't seen it yet.

Sue J said...

Well, Harvest & Co., the problem is he did single out gay marriage as an issue that should not be a priority. Of course I don't want endless arguments on the issue, but a good leader isn't afraid of debate on important issues.

I don't know what your personal situation is, but I would repeat what Sara said in her comment:

when our country gives people different rights based on religious beliefs... well that is a fundamental violation of the constitution.

Sorry, I still think that's worth arguing about.

Mauigirl said...

Here is what I expect he meant, based on the fact he referred to the "last few election cycles" - that the Republicans try to focus us on all of these "values" issues and try to distract people from other issues. I'm sure he could have substituted "abortion" for "gay marriage" in the sentence. He also referred to "immigration" which is definitely a Republican issue. He also said it was something that people talk about but then don't do anything about.

I think he was referencing all of the hype the GOP always digs up to get their hardcore right-wing Christians to the polls..."Oh no, don't vote for a Democrat, they promote the GAY AGENDA!"

It isn't fair to judge Obama by these sound bytes we see on the news and then jump to conclusions as to their full meaning (ditto for Hillary - how many freakin' times did we have to watch her "tear up" in New Hampshire???).

Personally I would like ANY candidate to come right out and say "Yes, I will work to pass an ordinance that will give gay people the same rights everyone else has and allow them to marry." NONE of the current candidates have the courage or inclination to do that. Not Hillary, not Obama. And certainly not McCain.

I believe (correct me if I'm wrong) Kucinich was the only one who supported full marriage rights, which was one reason I favored him before he was knocked out of the race.

Hillary and Obama's positions are the same on gay marriage; they believe in civil unions. However, interestingly, Obama's website had a section for GLBT but I couldn't find anything on Hillary's site. I found the information about her position on gay marriage elsewhere. So I don't quite understand the strong support for her vs. Obama when both have similar positions and Obama seems to give it a bit more importance on his website, for what that's worth.


Sue J said...

Mauigirl, I believe you're absolutely right, that Kucinich is the only one who supported gay marriage. I am disappointed in both Clinton and Obama on this issue.

I was a Kucinich supporter, too -- that must be why we agree on so much.

You have a valid point about not judging any of the candidates on these 45-second clips. I watched this one several times before deciding whether to write about it or not. I do understand the larger point he was trying to make -- we have urgent and potentially disastrous issues to confront and we should not be distracted from them.

Gay marriage may not be urgent, but as someone who is denied my right to marry based on the prevailing religious beliefs, I don't think it deserved to be held up as an object of ridicule.

Harvest & Co said...

The young Obama can be awkward in his speech sometimes, he's a human being afterall!, and we shouldn't make conclusion too fast indeed.
At this point, nobody (Obama/Hillary/Kucinich) really formally denies the gay marriage issue. But addressing it in a hurry is useless and hopeless when:
-the country is about to go bankrupt,
-the dollar buys less food than ever,
-people loose their home because of unscrupulous banks,
-there is no TRUE (fair and genuine) health care system,
-oil is killing our wallet AND planet Earth because of unscrupulous speculators,
-over 4000 soldiers died in Irak for... umm i still have to figure it out.
I could write a laundry list of MAJOR issues that need to be addressed FIRST.
I believe Obama and Hillary have a more genuine speech and agenda than any past Presidentials.
Let's forgive him for a sec. We will judge on RESULTS.

Mauigirl said...

Sue, I can understand your reaction to his kind of offhand dismissal of the issue, and agree he could have made the same point without twice using that example.

I think the thing is, these candidates (I'm sure Hillary too) are making speeches every day and they are tired. Since videos now picks up every single thing they say and if anything is in the least bit "off" gets said, there are a lot of YouTube videos posted highlighting things that we never would have even heard in the past. Every little speech in every little town is getting more scrutiny than ever before. So yes, it was thoughtless, but I don't think intentional.

Mauigirl said...

Oops, videos now pick up, not picks up. Not my best grammar in that sentence either, speaking of being tired!

Sue J said...

I think we're all getting tired! But I'm also getting weary from the politicians using the gay community when they need us, only to toss us aside when we're inconvenient.

I think this struck me especially hard because Obama aggressively courted the gay community before the Texas and Ohio primaries, putting out ads in the local gay press expressing his undying support.

I understand there's a long list of urgent problems in this country, and gay marriage is down the list. That's fine. I agree. But Obama basically said take it off the list, which dismisses an entire population that he courted for votes when he needed them.

Obama and the gay community kind of have a love/hate thing going on.

'Cause we love the drama!

Mauigirl said...


You're right, this is true about politicians tossing the gay community aside when they don't need them.

In a way, the Republicans using the Christian right to get elected by promising to go after "values" issues but in reality not really doing anything about them once they're in office, is very similar to the Democrats promising the gay community to address their issues and doing nothing about them once in office.

I never really forgave Bill Clinton for caving on the military - agreeing to "Don't ask, don't tell" was really wimpy of him. Harry Truman racially integrated the military with an executive order and just did it. Clinton didn't have the courage to do the same for gays.