Tuesday, August 14, 2007

Setting the Dem 2008 Agenda, à la Tom Lang

Anyone feeling a letdown after June's amendment victory can feel revitalized by taking it to Dem candidates for President 2008. Tom Lang at Know Thy Neighbor told us that he and co-founder Aaron Teleos have shifted to the election. He's calling for progressives and GLBT activists to contact the candidates.

Over at Left Ahead! in our weekly podcast, we had a good session with Tom as the guest. You can listen to the cast there or download it here. Tom comes in early for the hour-long session. The download is 14MB in MP3 format.

Tom is decidedly not burned out or folding his tent. He sees a lot to be done. By the bye, there are different strategies, but according to a Bay Windows interview, MassEquality's Marc Solomon says that the amendment victory does not mean his organization is going away, even after it helps the pro-marriage-equality legislators in upcoming elections.

Tom was on with the usual suspects, Ryan Adams, Lynne Lupien and me. He shared our distress that even at the LOGO/HRC forum, the leading Dem candidates for President failed to come out plainly for equal rights and marriage equality.

This shows that this is the time and that there is a real need for activists to call, write or even visit the candidates. They need to know that they can't count on GLBT or progressive voters (and he cited a 90% voting rate by GLBT citizens) if they equivocate on equality or make vague civil-union mentions.

He has little patience with Hillary Clinton's hairsplitting on portions of DOMA, instead of the obvious trash-it position. I'm with him. The leading candidates all seem to read the same polls that say the majority of Americans are already supportive of civil unions. I see the leadership position as saying the push should be for marriage equality. Only trailing candidates Dennis Kucinich and Mike Gravel are there already.

Checking the websites of the candidates shows scant civil rights, gay rights, marriage equality or similar positions or platforms. With over a year before the election, this is a great time to put that political energy to work.

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