The Campaign Spot

Big Winner in the “Gay Debate” — Dennis Kucinich?

LOGO, the sponsor and organizer of last night’s Democratic debate focusing on gay issues, has spoken: “Dennis Kucinich Is Fantabulous!”

You would think I was making fun of them, but I’m not. That’s the actual headline.
On the post-debate coverage on the channel, comic Alec Mapa — they had a comedian doing ? — described Kucinich  as “magical… He led our own little gay church revival! Hurrah!”
LOGO watchers were less pleased by Barack Obama.
Perhaps a big reason for the Kucinich love was that he and Gravel support same-sex marriage, while the rest, as the LOGO folks put it, “insist civil unions are good enough.”
I guess one of the reasons I didn’t cancel dinner plans to watch the “candidate forum” — not a debate, again — live was because there was, once again, little disagreement. Among the big three, the usual stands they’ve articulated elsewhere — opposition to don’t ask, don’t tell, support for civil unions, delicate refusal to support gay marriage, etc.

Interviewer: Senator Clinton, could you tell us what is at the heart of your opposition to same sex marriage?
Clinton: Joe, I prefer to think of it as being very positive about civil unions. (laughter) You know, it’s a personal position. You and I have talked about it, I’ve talked about it with a number of my friends across the country. For me, we have… made it very clear in our country that we believe in equality. How we get to full equality is the debate we’re having. I am absolutely in favor of civil unions with full equality. Full equality of benefits, rights and privileges. And I’ve also been a very strong supporter of letting the states maintain their jurisdiction over marriage and I believe that was the right decision, for a lot of reasons. Because it’s easy again to forget, just two and half years ago, we were facing all of this referenda that were enshrining discrimination in state constitutions. And a lot of people tried very hard to fight against them and prevent them from being passed, but unfortunately, they were. Now two and a half years later we’re beginning to see other states take different approaches. And what we were able to do, and I really give HRC [Human Rights Campaign, not Hillary Rodham Clinton] a lot of credit, for your leadership on this, in stopping the Federal Marriage Amendment which gave the states the breathing room to make different decisions. So I want to proceed with equalizing federal benefits, I want to repeal Section Three of DOMA which stands in the way of the extension of benefits to people in committed same sex relationships, and I will be very much in favor of doing that as president.

You realize that Hillary’s position of leaving marriage in the hands of the states is absolutely indistinguishable from the position of Vice President Dick Cheney, recognized by many Democrats as the Source of All Evil ™.
Here’s what I don’t get. If somebody opposes gay marriage and civil unions, the most prominent gay commentators declare that position homophobic, hateful, absolutely unacceptable, etc. If somebody – most often a Democrat – opposes gay marriage but is okay with civil unions, the gay community is likely to embrace them, vote for them, donate to them, volunteer for them, etc. They see those positions as different as night and day, and all I see is night and dusk.

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