A Call for Unity.
By Caroline, Family Equality Council Intern
Disclaimer: This post is my personal political opinion and does not necessarily reflect the views of the Family Equality Council as an organization.
As of last night, Barack Obama has clinched the Democratic Party nomination for President. Regardless of which candidate you originally supported for the nomination, I believe that it is absolutely imperative that we as a community rally wholeheartedly behind Obama’s candidacy.
John McCain’s record on LGBT issues, while admittedly better than some Republicans (he was against the Constitutional amendment banning same sex marriage), is generally dismal. McCain voted for an amendment in Arizona to ban same sex marriage and deny government benefits to unmarried couples, supports the “Don’t Ask Don’t Tell” policy in the military, voted against including sexual orientation in the federal non-discrimination act, voted against including sexual orientation in hate crimes legislation, is against marriage equality, is ignorant on HIV/AIDS issues, and until about a year ago didn't even know what the acronym “LGBT” meant. This is not a candidate for whom LGBT people, families, and allies can vote for in good conscience.
On the other hand, Obama’s record, while not perfect (he does not support same sex marriage, although he believes states should be able to legalize it), is very strong. In February, he penned an open letter to the LGBT community detailing his support for things like federal civil unions, and a non-discrimination act and hate crimes law that include both sexual orientation and gender identity. Furthermore, he wants to repeal “Don’t Ask Don’t Tell” as well as the Defense of Marriage Act. He has shown commitment to working on treatment and prevention of the AIDS epidemic (including thorough comprehensive sex education). Finally, he supports the rights of gays and lesbians to openly adopt.
Our community has real power as a voting bloc. Let’s come together to support a candidate who supports us in return.