Lane Hudson

HRC and Logo exclude Pro-Gay Candidate

Filed By Lane Hudson | July 11, 2007 12:47 PM | comments

Filed in: Politics
Tags: Barack Obama, Chris Dodd, Hillary Rodham Clinton, HRC, John Edwards, Presidential Politics, Queerty

Okay, so the candidate is Mike Gravel. The Vegas odds makers aren't betting he'll pull off an upset victory in any of the early contests for the Democratic Presidential nomination. But, he's about as pro-equality as a candidate for office can be. Nonetheless, he has NOT been invited to a first of it's kind Presidential Forum on gay issues.

The Human Rights Campaign and Logo Network have teamed up to host a Presidential Forum on LGBT issues. It will be broadcast live before a studio audience on August 9. So far, the candidates who have accepted the invitation are: Hillary Clinton, Barack Obama, John Edwards, and Chris Dodd.

As pointed out, former Alaska Senator Mike Gravel is not happy about it. They've got a great quote from him and here's just one part of it:

That this kind of censorship should come from the community that I am the greatest advocate. It is not absurd, it’s to the edge of stupidity.

I'm gonna have to side with the old fella on this one. What kind of message is the gay community sending to candidates who are supportive if we reward them with a snub? Further, they've invited candidates who have mixed records on issues of equality. Seems a little perplexing to me.

I understand the need to keep these forums to a reasonable standard of political plausibility and the such. But, the fact that Melissa Etheridge is co-moderating the debate with HRC President Joe Solmonese kind of throws that out of the window. I mean, she's great, but moderating a Presidential Forum? That's a stretch for me when you're excluding candidates with positions like Mike Gravel.

HRC and Logo Network should reconsider their decision.

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Logo based their decision on who to invite by setting a $100,000 fund threshold. This choice unfortunately excludes Gravel. If, however, they were to lower this threshold to include Gravel, they would have to include some wacky fringe candidates in order to maintain a semblance of fairness. Though I admire Gravel and support his stance on equality, I also understand and support Logo's decision. They can't allow one person the exception without opening to all... Well, I guess they could, but that would seem to be following a policy of exclusion... What do you suggest? Asking only pro-equality candidates? Then what would be the point of the debate?

Using the choice of moderators as an argument for who should be debating doesn't even make sense. Perhaps if the moderators are going to comment on the issues, too, but that is not the case.

Gravel IS a "whacky and fringe candidate"...