Friday, July 27, 2007

Two Huge Questions for Candidates

Isn't there a single Dem candidate for President with 1) courage, 2) progressive vision, and 3) financial support? After the CNN/YouTube debate-like-object, folks turned away chatting a little about who'd talk to dictators. Yet, the clearest differentiation was what they did and didn't say about same-sex marriage.

The two huge question are still largely unanswered:
  1. How can you claim to be for equal rights and still waffle over SSM or support civil unions?
  2. How quickly will you see that DOMA falls and married people have equal federal rights?
The managing editor of the Washington Blade, Kevin Naff, asks the federal question clearly. An excellent recap of the candidates' equivocation appears in a Huffington Post post by Evan Wolfson, executive director of Freedom to Marry.

Only Dennis Kucinich had clear answers to marriage-equality questions. A variety of his other position are troublesome, but his plain, reasonable and humane approach here must be ice water down the backs of the cowardly competition. It's a good thing for them that he's perceived otherwise as a bit mad.

The theme from the other candidates is that they begrudgingly or willingly favor civil unions, but that marriage equality is outré. Yet, to a one, they claim to favor equal rights and claim to be gay friendly. Could it just be that they see the polls that most American would go with civil unions but a majority (51% to 58% depending on which) still oppose SSM?

Perhaps most irritating is John Edwards' befuddled hypocrisy here. This blogger thinks his wife need to turn him around on this. Wolfson used Johnny's YouTube non-answers to illustrate the problem.

Rev. Reggie Longcrier asked plainly, "Most Americans agree it was wrong and unconstitutional to use religion to justify slavery, segregation, and denying women the right to vote. So why is it still acceptable to use religion to deny gay Americans their full and equal rights?" Edwards failed, badly, and answered like the other top-tier candidates.

He rambled on about his personal conflicts and journey on this. He agreed that no President should use his personal religious beliefs in policy or law.

His response had Wolfson asking:
However, none of what Senator Edwards said answered the basic, and correct, question posed by Rev. Longcrier. Since the Senator rightly agreed that using "religion to deny gay Americans their full and equal rights" is wrong, and also believes, he says, in the provision of all legal rights and responsibilities, then why doesn't he support the freedom to marry under the law?
Next up, Barack Obama was all the more gutless and clueless. He muddled religious rituals with civil marriage. Yet Bill Richardson was to Wolfson's mind the weakest, saying that he'd work for what was achievable.

Nothing on the table is impossible. Achievable occurs when the leaders want something to happen.

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