- ‘Welcome to the edge of freedom’: Biden’s boots touch down in DMZ
- Obama: Hole U.S. ‘digging out of’ requires billions more in unemployment benefits
- Obama’s regulatory agenda will cost U.S. economy $143B next year: report
- Patriot Act author on James Clapper: Fire, prosecute him
- Russia P.M. Medvedev: No amnesty for political prisoners
- Michigan GOP Senate hopeful reminds government is the ‘servant’
- Christmas, by Congress: Members mull a 15-cent tax on trees
- U.S. unemployment falls to five-year low of 7 percent; 203K jobs added
- World mourns Nelson Mandela and celebrates his life; burial set for Dec. 15
- Bill O’Reilly reminds: Nelson Mandela ‘was a communist’
Democratic hopefuls set for gay-issues forum
NEW YORK (AP) — The homosexual rights movement reaches a milestone today when its agenda is the subject of a televised Democratic presidential candidate forum. Yet many activists — craving bolder support for same-sex couples — view the unprecedented event with mixed emotions.
Though pleased that all the candidates of a major party are courting their votes and endorsing the bulk of their political wish list, they are frustrated that none of the front-runners is calling for legalization of same-sex “marriage.”
The forum, to be held in Los Angeles, is co-sponsored by the Human Rights Campaign, a homosexual rights group that has become increasingly influential in Democratic politics, and by Logo, the homosexual-oriented cable channel that will provide a live telecast and Internet simulcast. Every Democratic candidate except Delaware Sen. Joseph R. Biden Jr. and Connecticut Sen. Christopher J. Dodd plans to participate.
Human Rights Campaign President Joe Solmonese will serve as a panelist, along with singer Melissa Etheridge and Washington Post editorial writer Jonathan Capehart.
“I hope we can get genuinely heartfelt answers,” said Mr. Solmonese, who wants the leading candidates to explain why they remain wary of same-sex “marriage.”
Organizers say the forum marks the first time that major presidential candidates will appear on TV specifically to address homosexual issues.
“Simply seeing the candidates step on a stage to speak to a national gay television audience may be as moving as anything they say,” said Logo’s president, Brian Graden.
Logo, available in about 27 million homes, offered to hold a second forum for Republican candidates, but the Republican front-runners showed no interest, said Logo’s general manager, Lisa Sherman.
The Democrats will appear sequentially at 15-minute intervals during the two-hour forum, never sharing the stage with one another.
All of them support a federal ban on job discrimination against homosexuals, favor repeal of the Pentagon’s “don’t ask, don’t tell” policy and support civil unions that would extend marriagelike rights to same-sex couples.
But thus far, only two long shots — Ohio Rep. Dennis J. Kucinich and former Alaska Sen. Mike Gravel — have endorsed nationwide recognition of same-sex “marriage,” which a majority of Americans oppose.
“No viable mainstream contender for president is going to support gay marriage in this election cycle,” said Ethan Geto, an adviser to New York Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton. “I hope that’s going to change in the next couple of elections.”
Mr. Geto suggested that Mrs. Clinton’s hesitancy on same-sex “marriage” stemmed from her religious upbringing. Yet he also described her as a passionate supporter of other homosexual rights causes who is willing to raise those issues even before non-homosexual audiences.
One of Mrs. Clinton’s chief rivals, former North Carolina Sen. John Edwards, has acknowledged wrestling with his stance on same-sex “marriage.”
“I feel enormous conflict about it,” he said in a televised debate in July. “This is a very, very difficult issue for me.”
- Bill OReilly reminds: Nelson Mandela was a communist
- Kill team: Obama war chiefs widen drone death zones
- Obama administration issues permits for wind farms to kill more eagles
- Spike in battlefield deaths linked to restrictive rules of engagement
- Activists urge Obama to go rogue, sidestep Congress
- Craigslist killers: Police say newlyweds stabbed man for thrills
- Obama: Hole U.S. 'digging out of' requires billions more in unemployment benefits
- Rush Limbaugh: Obama trying to make Mandela death about himself
- Obamas call to close Vatican embassy is 'slap in the face' to Roman Catholics
- Colorado judge: Bakery owner discriminated against gay couple
Independent voices from the The Washington Times Communities
Classical music and the performing arts: news and reviews you can use.
Covering the world of soccer, including the World Cup, Major League Soccer, D.C. United and the English Premier League and other interesting sporting events.
Entertainment News and Reviews from Washington, D.C. and beyond.
Great discoveries in the world of restaurants and chefs fulfill the quest for delicious food and cooking.
White House pets gone wild!