Thursday, August 9, 2007

Gay Issues: A Presidential Forum

The American public was privileged tonight to hear from the presently-leading Democrats concerning their policies and platforms regarding same-sex relationships and other related implications. As I sat in front of my live stream, online version of this monumental interview process, I found myself alternating between inward grimaces of awkwardness and outward eruption of chills as the various candidates expressed their opinions both with their oral and bodily language. It was a fascinating night, and I wish to share it with you. As this is my blog, however, I reserve the conceited right to parade my opinions openly, and thus, ensuing are my opinions of each of the candidates regarding their comments on tonight's interview. (Note that I have alternated the order of my opinions from the order in which the candidates interviewed on the show. This is done primarily for impact; what's a blog if the "best for last" theory is abandoned? :) )

1) Perhaps the most lauded of the candidates were Dennis Kucinich and Mike Gravel, both of whom had the demeanor of friendliness and were similarly welcomed by the audience and hosts with much amiability. These men, in my opinion, represent the ultimate ideal and final product in American legislation regarding same-sex issues. They are the only two Democratic candidates in favor of the full-fledged "gay marriage," including all of the rights, as well as the societal meanings, of the word. They both referenced "love" as an important consideration in these issues, citing that what America needs desperately is a dose of love to replace the brooding fear that seems to overshadow us. When Kucinich noted that he would have suffered devastation if he, after meeting his wife ("the love of [his] life"), had been restrained from marrying her and consequently consummating their relationship simply due to societal notions, I was thrilled by his understanding and empathy regarding this issue. I thought that these men's attempts were noble, right, and strong, which unfortunately translates in the political world as "not a prayer for election." Electing these men is not currently feasible with the American public, but they are representative of progression, hopes, and soon-to-be achievements.

2) Bill Richardson, in my opinion, delivered the worst answers of all the featured candidates. He indicated that he believed homosexuality was a choice, and although he repeatedly attempted to credit himself with his prior legislation, I don't believe that he would take much action relating to gay issues if he won the coveted seat. The other candidate that I believed to be bluffing was John Edwards, who faced similar difficulties in his interview. Both of these men acted somewhat awkwardly, and both seemed to be lacking any genuine interest, only feigning (or perhaps embellishing) to appease the lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgendered crowd in front of whom they appeared. I seriously doubt that either of them consider these issues to be the core of their campaigns (or their souls, for that matter), and this was evident by their demeanor and words tonight.

3) Hillary Clinton was rather impressive. She was certainly the most honest and blunt of the candidates, and after hearing multiple excuses and cover-ups, it was refreshing to hear a candidate candidly answer questions. Clinton, instead of excusing a weak past of little activity relating to gay issues, was honest about her past and present intentions. Her character was strong yet attractive, and although she didn't provide the audience or moderators with optimal answers, her decisiveness was electrifying, and all responded well.

4) Lastly, I would like to give my personal endorsement for Senator Barack Obama, a man in whom I have great "hope," as he would be pleased to hear. While the paradigms and aims of Kucinich and Gravel were inspiring, voting for them feels somewhat like throwing a penny into a toilet and really hoping to have the wish granted. Unfortunately, in our bipartisan political system, being too extreme on either end is almost a determining factor for failure. Obama knows this, and because his intent is to win, he has embraced the necessary evil of staying somewhere within the middle. His speech, as always, came like fire off of his tongue to ignite within me a renewed sense of vision and aspiration. Relative to gay issues, Obama appears to be very sincere in his desires for full equality, and although he is against gay marriage, he supports same-sex civil unions that grant full rights to the participants. Although very tactful (which is, perhaps, one of his greatest strengths), I felt the message that he is withholding the semantics of "marriage" to appease less liberal voters, although his heart, and his policies, are behind the rights of gays. I think Obama has vision, and as he stated, he is hopeful, even to the criticism or chagrin of "more experienced" politicians. And don't you think we could all use a dose of hope?

Share with me your opinions; I largely ignored other comments made about AIDS, "don't ask, don't tell," and other issues noted tonight, so please feel free to share with me anything and everything.

And happy voting!


-L- said...

I didn't see it, so it's good to hear your assessment. I have a lot of respect for people who believe differently than me on a lot of issues. So, it's always slightly irritating to me when candidates are so enthusiastically dogmatic about seemingly every single issue. They have to be, I guess. It goes with the territory.

Secret Lover said...

Now, just imagine that equal sign inside a heart.

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