The Philadelphia Gay News (PGN) in an exclusive interview with Democratic Presidential hopeful Barack Obama reports:
In this election season, we attempted to bring you the views of both the Democratic and Republican candidates for president — just as we attempted to bring you the views of the top two candidates for the Democratic presidential nomination for the spring primary. The format for both candidates was to be the same: the same questions, with no follow-up questions and the same time limit. And since April, we have repeatedly reached out to Republican Sen. John McCain’s press representative, Jill Hazelbaker, by phone and e-mail.
Once it became clear that McCain would not participate, Sen. Barack Obama’s campaign put no conditions on the interview. Obama spoke to PGN by phone Sept. 16; an audio version of the interview will be posted at www.epgn.com. In his first live interview with local gay press during this campaign, here’s what the Democratic nominee had to say.
PGN: You are the most LGBT-friendly candidate running for president in history. Are you concerned that John McCain and the Republicans might use this as a divisive issue as they did in 2004?
BARACK OBAMA: No. I think they can try but I don’t think it will work for a couple of reasons. Number one, I think that the American people’s attitudes with respect to LGBT issues are continuing to evolve. I think people are becoming more and more aware of the need to treat all people equally regardless of sexual orientation. There are some people who disagree with that, but frankly those folks — many of them — probably have already made their minds up about this election earlier.
While most politicians avoid speaking up regarding gay rights and concerns, for fear of support withdrawal from moralists and shallow-judgmental religious folks, Obama made a clear stand on LGBT issues. This is a very bold move to be doing so close to the elections. If voted into office though, Obama may just pave the way for a society that actually upholds equal rights for all of its citizens, not only in the US but all over the world. While tolerance is widely preached, in actuality, we still see gay people who die from hate crimes. We still see discrimination in the workplace and even at our very homes. And finally we still see the most powerful religious institution, the Roman Catholic church, make public announcements of bigotry such as calling being gay as an "intrinsic moral evil, and thus the inclination itself must be seen as an objective disorder," (Pope Benedict XVI (born Joseph Ratzinger).
Click here to read the rest of the interview and here to listen to the audio-recording.