Leonardo"s Notebook by Mattheus Mei

I have been impressed with the urgency of doing. Knowing is not enough; we must apply. Being willing is not enough; we must do.

Thursday, May 01, 2008

Q-Notes talks with Obama and Clinton

Q-Notes the LGBT newspaper in NC endorsed John Edwards for President. The newspaper has received from scrutiny as of late for opting not to endorse either of the remaining two candidates. They did however sit down with both and have the opportunity to pose questions to them.

Some highlights.

From Clinton:

"I have long been on record supporting equality in benefits and eliminating discrimination against gays and lesbians. I support repealing the provision of the Defense of Marriage Act that may prohibit the federal government from providing benefits to people in states that recognize same sex marriage. I strongly support ensuring people in stable, long-term same sex relationships have full equality of benefits, rights, and responsibilities."

"I support repealing the “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” policy. Courage, honor, patriotism and sacrifice - the traits that define our men and women in uniform - have nothing to do with sexual orientation. I’m concerned that the military is discharging people with critical skills - including desperately needed Arabic language skills. Our close allies, Great Britain and Israel, have changed their policies to allow gays to serve in the military without dire consequences. This is a matter of national security and I will fix it."

Notice, as Daily Kos pointed out, that she's for federal recognition but did not mention the repeal of the interstate commerce clause of DOMA that would allow couples to marry in Massachusettes and have that recognized by the state of ... North or South Carolina.

From Obama:

I have had a clear and long-standing commitment to LGBT equality. I worked for
many years as a member of the Illinois Senate to enact a fully inclusive
anti-discrimination law, the Illinois Human Rights Act, which protects against
discrimination based on sexual orientation or gender identity in the workplace,
housing and places of public accommodation. We succeeded in enacting that law
just as I was leaving for the U.S. Senate. I support the complete repeal of the
federal Defense of Marriage Act and the complete equalization of rights and
benefits for same-sex couples at the federal level. I will work to eradicate the
Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell policy and enact the Matthew Shepard hate crime law and a
fully inclusive Employment Non-Discrimination Act.

And Obama adds an interesting caveat: The second thing I will say relates to the priorities of people who advocate for the LGBT community. I have always said that I don’t think that the LGBT community should take its cues from me or some political leader in terms of what they think is right for them. Real change comes from the bottom up, not the top down. As your President, I will fight to make LGBT equality a reality at the federal level. But it is the LGBT community that has to decide what is in their best interest, and to help make it happen by engaging actively with the political process.

It's worth noting that according to CNN both Democratic candidates are in favour of Civil Unions and oppose a federal ammendment to Same Sex Marriage.

In Charlotte North Carolina this weekend the most visible LGBT events will be TakeOver Charlotte which is supporting Hillary Clinton where professionals meet at a designated location for happy hour. The Obama campaign is having a Friday rally and has sponsored and is participating in the AIDS Charlotte AIDS walk. Clinton's campaign is also participating in the AIDS walk followed by a Saturday evening after party at liasons.

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