Okay, so who caught the HRC/Logo debate last night? I did, and it really solidified a few things for me. First of all, Dennis Kucinich and Mike Gravel are the only candidates that truly supported the gay community 100%. Here is my rundown and analysis, in order of candidate’s appearance:
Obama: Clearly interesting, well spoken, and distinguished. He weaseled out of the question, “Do you feel the gay community’s struggle can be equated with the civil rights struggle of the 1950s and 1960s?” and did not really answer it. He also said he supported everything up to but not including the word marriage. Kudos for bringing up the internal homophobia that the black community does have, but that shouldn’t give you votes automatically. Overall grade: B+
Edwards: Was the only candidate to bring up – on his own – the fact that gay couples face immigration issues that straight couples don’t. Touched on HIV/AIDS and other health concerns. Defensive, but rightly so, when questioned about a comment that he wasn’t comfortable around gay people. Overall grade: B+
Gravel: While Gravel is a hometown favorite of mine (he and I consider ourselves Alaskans, though neither of us live there anymore), his communication is a bit off. While he supports everything that the HRC does, and he said that people his age who don’t support gay marriage are just plain wrong, he did seem a bit rusty. Still, a very good and progressive guy. Overall grade:B
Kucinich: What can I say about the candidate that most reflects what progressives aspire? Unlike Melissa, I will fawn just a little bit on him. He is a wonderful, excellent, eloquent candidate. No other candidate is preaching love; just Kucinich. His performance actually wooed my non-political partner to sit up, take notice, and changed his mind on who he is supporting. The only thing that stood out was a pregnant-pause after he was given the floor to make his final comments. Thing is, it made me realize he’s more human than any other candidate. He wanted to say what was right and appropriate, and did not come across sounding like a prepared, sanitized text. Overall grade: A
Richardson: Oh lord. Alec Mapa said it best. When Richardson took the stage, all of the energy just LEFT the room. I couldn’t even watch him, though I made myself. He really lost points when he said that he thought homosexuality is a CHOICE, not something you are born with. Yes, he has done a lot for New Mexico. However, he did not make any friends at the debate. Overall grade: D
Clinton: The overall feeling that I got from Hillary was that I was being patronized. Again, Etheridge said it best when she said that during Bill Clinton’s campaign, gays and lesbians were courted and put on a pedestal. But as soon as he was elected and inaugurated, they were tossed off the pedestal and thrown under a bus. Clinton’s overall attitude was almost like the GLBT community owed her a favor of a vote. That really turned me off. I admired her in the past; now I am disgusted by her. Overall grade: D
The website gay.com was holding a poll about who won the debate. Last night, I couldn’t believe I saw Hillary winning, but at least Kucinich was coming in a close second. Today, however, Clinton holds a huge lead. Can my GLBT brethren be so gullible and fall for her “you owe me” attitude?