Michael Crawford

My Questions for the Presidential Candidates

Filed By Michael Crawford | July 20, 2007 6:20 AM | comments

Filed in: Marriage Equality, Politics
Tags: HRC, Logo, presidential debates

The Human Rights Campaign and Logo are sponsoring a forum for the Democratic presidential candidates on August 9th and like any good gay, I have a few questions that I want to ask. The forum will be televised live on Logo. It's important to note that while the presidential candidates from both the Democratic and Republican parties were invited, not one Republican has thus far accepted the invitation to appear.

HRC and Logo are figuring out how they will take questions from the members of the LGBT community, but I am an impatient kind of gay and want to put my questions out now.

Please add the questions that you would like to see asked in the comments section.

1. Each of you has said that you support repeal of Don't Ask, Don't Tell which bars openly gay Americans from serving in the military. What specifically would you do to overturn this discriminatory law that has resulted in thousands of qualified soldiers being kicked of the military simply for being gay or lesbian?

2. Each of you have expressed similar views on LGBT civil rights, with the exception of Mike Gravel and Dennis Kucinich who support marriage rights for same-sex couples, tell us why we should vote for you over one of the other candidates?

3. Every day, LGBT youth are subject to harassment and violence in schools. Explain to these young Americans, some of whom will be voting for the first time in November 2008, what specifically you will do to help reduce the level of anti-gay bias in schools?

4. Our current president has nominated people to positions in his administration like Dr. James Holsinger who have strong records of anti-gay bias. Will you commit to appointing people who are committed to protecting the rights of all Americans including including those of us who are LGBT?

5. The Employment Non-Discrimination Act and the federal hate crimes bill have languished in Congress for years despite the fact that a majority of Americans support both measures. Will you expend political capital to make both bills law so that LGBT Americans do not have to fear being fired from their jobs or being physically attacked for being gay?

6. If one of your children came to you and explained that he or she was gay or lesbian, how would you explain your belief that same-sex couples should not have the same rights and responsibilities of marriage that opposite-sex couples have?

7. HIV/AIDS continues to have a huge impact on communities of color and among gay and bisexual men. How would you ensure that every American who is HIV+ gets the medications that she or he needs to fight the disease regardless of ability to pay?

8. LGBT people in countries such as Iran, Latvia and some African nations are subjected to governmentally sanctioned mental and physical abuse. Will you make human rights for LGBT people a part of your foreign policy efforts? And if so, how?

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In the words of Sen Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.): "Our immigration laws treat gays and lesbians in committed relationships as second-class citizens, and that needs to change." What steps will your administration take ammend the immigration and nationality act in an effort to end this federal discrimination against same sex partners by extending the same rights which allow US Citizens in heterosexual relationships to sponsor their non-US Citizen partner to enter the United States?

Jennifer, that is a great question. We definitely need passage of the Uniting American Families Act.

I'd like to know their priorities... My question would be:

What would be the first thing you'd do as President that would directly improve my life as a gay man in the United States? What is at the top of your priority list? And why? Because it would be the most politically expedient or because it's the most important?

That's a great question Bil. Another question is what action will you take on day one by executive order to provide protections for LGBT people?

Since everyone is talking about Hillary's fashion sense, I would ask all of the male candidates who styles them. Because that's all queers care about anyway, right?

JK - Michael and Bil already asked a lot of really good questions.

Bruce Parker | July 21, 2007 7:47 AM

I think I would be happy if someone would just say the word "transgender" outloud on stage during the debates. I mean really could they just say it?

I am assuming the gay organizations organizing the debate and the gay blogosphere will not exerting their influence to make sure that some transspecific questions get asked. This assumption makes me sad.

Bruce, both ENDA and the federal hate crimes bill include trans specific language. I am sure that the moderators will be asking questions about those bills in a way that mentions the T along with the LGB.

There is also nothing wrong with using the growing power of the LGBT blogosphere to demand that questions that include transgender Americans be asked.