I’m not very shy in my support for Barack Obama. I’ve discussed on the pages of this blog and on other blogs how I chose to support him for the Democratic nomination, and was (initially) chided and even derided for my choice because of his spotty public support for gay-related issues.
Truth be told, it has been rather hard to pinpoint Obama’s views on some of the more “hot-button” issues. He hasn’t done interviews with the gay press, save for an appearance on Logo’s Democratic debate; and the mentions he has made have been vague, at best.
Still, I sensed a truer honesty coming from Obama, rather than the “Rah-Rah, I’m in your corner” tactic used by Hillary Clinton. To me, her overly vocal support borders on pandering. It’s almost TOO much. I certainly appreciate her support, and recognize that she has done good things in her time as a Senator, but really, saying things like “I want to be first U.S. president to march in gay pride parade” just seems a bit forced to me.
Obama, however, has a more honest approach. While he doesn’t believe that gay marriage is the answer, he supports civil unions. He supports equality in terms of benefits for partners of gay people. He supports the repeal of “Don’t Ask Don’t Tell,” and gives very good reasons why it should be repealed. To me, his views and beliefs seem much more realistic and doable than those of his opponent. As a gay person, I expect the Democratic candidate to represent me, but I also expect him or her to be realistic about what they can do. A president can have all the great ideas in the world, but the president doesn’t make all the end decisions– despite what Bush may want us to believe. Obama is thinking about this, and knows what can pass and what can’t. Rather than make empty promises, he’s giving realistic promises. I like that.
Obama sat down for an interview with The Advocate recently, where he discusses these issues and many more. That interview was published today on their website. If you haven’t read it yet, it’s worth a look.