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October 30, 2007 03:50 AM UTC

How Obama inspired me to write my first post

  • by: faren fleming

For the past 4 years, I have been watching the political landscape for the Presidential campaign develop.
In my work, I also get to talk to a lot of politicos and hear their opinions. Usually, I’d rather discuss string theorey or metaphysics than politics, but today I feel compelled to share my opinion on Barack Obama.

I have been a fan of Barack’s and considered him in my top three choices. The others being John Edwards – (yes, I am friends with Wade Norris and that comes with the territory, and I like the guy.)and I also love Hillary Clinton (how could you not!) I plan to work with all my heart and soul to see that whoever gets the nomination becomes the next President, so for me, the choice was an easy one, until now.

As it stands, I feel compelled to speak out to Obama fans, his campaign and hopefully to Barack himself.

You have inspired me to write my first blog, but unfortunately you inspired me to write about how dissappointed I am with the stance that you have taken in regards to homosexuality. You see, as a proud gay black man, it was offensive to me and my friends in the GLBT community to hear about Rev. Mcclurkin being put on your official gospel tour.

I believe that I am created in God’s image and that my homosexuality is part of who I am. It is not a choice or a sin that I need to be delivered from, nor am I, in any way, offensive to God. I AM That I AM and that’s all there is to it. As a matter of fact,if you’re opposed to overpopulation and abortion, did it ever occur to you that gays and lesbians might be mother natures last line of defense?

However Senator, your choice to embrace this singer seems to indicate that you agree with and support his point of view, and that’s fine for a private citizen but not for anyone that wants to be the President for All Americans.

The GLBT community and the Human Rights Campaign spoke to you about this issue, it seems that you triangulated and weighed the gay supporters against the black supporters in the party. That sounds alot like the divide and conquer strategies of the republicans.

I was looking to you for change, for hope that one day I’ll live in a country where my rights as a citizen are not curtailed by whom I choose to love.

If indeed you do get the nomination, my plan has not changed, I will carry your banner and speak your praises from one end of this state to the other and do everything I can to see that you are elected President of the United States,  because in the end all that matters is getting America back on track and moving forward. It’s just, well ….. I just hoped …..that’s all.


11 thoughts on “How Obama inspired me to write my first post

  1. Aristotle and I had a small discussion on this on another thread. Obama has already stated that he does not agree with McClurkin’s views.

    He was also on MTV this evening where he said:

    Obama also reiterated his support for civil unions for same-sex couples, giving props to the younger generation for being more open to change, and saying that as one of the younger candidates in the race, he wants to be a part of that process. “Part of my job as president I think is to deliver a message that everybody is part of the American family,” he said. “Not just some people. And obviously as somebody who is African-American – my mother is from Kansas, my father was from Kenya, I grew up in Indonesia, I have a sister who looks Spanish, I’ve got a brother in law who is Chinese-Canadian – I’m very sensitive to making sure that everybody feels a part of America. And that’s one of the things I think I can bring to this presidency. The day I’m inaugurated the country will look at itself differently and I think be more tolerant.”

      1. I’m not Barack Obama. I’ve posted what he said, that he doesn’t agree with McClurkin’s views, and what he said at the MTV Dialogue, because I see it as being relevant to this discussion. I’m not in denial of anything. I absolutely do know that becuase of McClurkin’s views, which Barack does not agree with, many in the LGBT community are offended, and I hope that he corrects that.

        I disagree with McClurkin and if I was running the campaign, I’d have told him that he either needs re-evaluate his own position, or find another campaign to go work on. But Im not running the campaigng, I’m just a supporter. I’m also not going to throw the candidate I most closely associate with and believe in under the bus, over one issue.

        You take a lot of shots at other candidates, to defend John Edwards. I could say a lot of things about him, but who’s the going to benefit? John has made mistakes and said things that the LGBT community were also offended by, and hasn’t always done what I believed he should have to correct himself, because no one is perfect.

  2. From The Obama campaign’s response to my nasty email

    Dear Friend,

      Thank you for sharing your strong objections to past statements of one of the performers on the recent South Carolina gospel tour.  I appreciate the opportunity to address your concerns directly because I strongly disagree with Pastor McClurkin’s deeply hurtful and offensive statements about sexual orientation.

      I have always clearly stated my belief that members of the LGBT community are our brothers and sisters and should be provided the respect, dignity, and rights of all other citizens.  I have consistently supported gay rights throughout my career, and I will continue to work for an open, tolerant society where people of all sexual orientations are protected and their contributions are valued.

      To honor my commitment to promoting tolerance on the gospel tour, I asked Rev. Andy Sidden, an openly gay South Carolina pastor, to open the tour and offer a prayer.  I’m glad he joined us, because we have to speak to people we disagree with in order to confront issues that are important to gay and black communities, like the HIV/AIDS epidemic.  I have spoken directly to African-American religious leaders about the need to overcome the homophobia that persists in some parts of the Black community, and I will continue to be outspoken on this issue.

      More broadly, we need to create a productive dialogue between people of opposing views, and I had a good conversation about this with Joe Solmonese, President of the Human Rights Campaign.  After our conversation, Mr. Solmonese issued a statement that said, in part:

      I did thank [Senator Obama]…. for his willingness to call on religious leaders to open a dialogue about homophobia. We hope that Sen. Obama will move forward and facilitate face-to-face meetings with religious leaders, like Rev. McClurkin, and the GLBT community to confront the issue of homophobia.

      We also call on all of the presidential campaigns to look within their ranks of supporters and make the same commitment to engage in a dialogue among differing views around issues of equality and fairness for our community.

      A group of LGBT and religious leaders have also embraced this opportunity to open a dialogue, and you can find an open letter from them below.  I’ve said before that America’s diversity is its greatest strength.  In order to confront the challenges of our day, we must be able to get past the divisions which have upheld our progress in the past.  I am committed to building those bridges to a better future.

      Thank you again for contacting me and sharing your concerns.


      Barack Obama

    There is also an addendum letter from Religious, Human Rights, and LGBT leaders issuing their continued support for Barack Obama.

    Before the Blogfather Kos dictated that Obama’s campaign has imploded, he should have taken a few deep breaths, written the campaign, and asked for an explanation. That would have been the sensible thing to do, but I guess that’s sometimes too much to ask.

    I hope these letters and links I’ve provided will help you understand where Barack stands on the issue.

    1. Thank you all so much for your comments and looking into this issue more closely with me. I care a great deal about this 2008 race for the White House and any information I can get to diffuse disparity regarding anyone of our candidates on the campaign trail will be most helpful.

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