I didn't see it. We don't have cable here at Lesbian Central, so we miss out on all sorts of things like The L Word, Queer as Folk and, well, the entire lineupon LOGO. I've never seen The Sopranos or pretty much any of its peers. (Don't cry for us — we trade a cable payment for internet access, dozens of cool magazines and plenty of nice evenings sitting on the porch with popsicles, observing real life on the Northside.)
So, I have a choice. I have been pouring through reports from various blogs and online homosites. I could share my thoughts from that second-hand perspective. But I'm not going to do that. Instead, I'll share my thoughts on the meaning of the event and give you a few links to chew on the content.
First, I'm absolutely pleased this event took place. It is historic and a recognition that our community is a significant voting block. Our responsibility is to use that power effectively. As all politics are local, think back to the ACDC forum in May 2007 (aka “The Big Gay Chat”) We learned quite a bit about the stances of our local politicians on “gay issues” and voted accordingly (i hope you voted!). Now we'll see what happens. County Council Prez Rich Fitzgerald promised a meeting with LGBTQ human services leaders, of which yours truly was included, but so far — no meeting. Dan Onorato is calling for progress on City-County mergers, but not a single line of coverage on what this means for those of us who rely on domestic partner benefits provided to city employees (Hey, Mike Lamb!). Is our community moving on these issues? Has Steel-City Stonewall or Gertrude Stein been talking with County Council members? Who is taking the lead on the meeting with Rich Fitzgerald? And, did anyone ask Beth Pittinger what happened to putting a queer person on the CPRB?
My point is that having an opportunity to hear what candidates for public office have to say about our issues does matter. But what comes next is what matters more. I personally haven't seen any “next” yet from the ACDC event. Even the moderator, Hugh McGough, left public service for the private sector!
As for our Presidential candidates, the general consensus seems to be that they are pretty good across the board on most issues … Don't Ask, Don't Tell; hate crimes protections, non-discrimination. So they want us to be free to be productive members of society without fear of being bashed or denied the right to die in Iraq. Great. And I only mean that to drip with a little sarcasm. It really is great how far we've come on basic issues.
Then there's the marriage issue. More importantly, the states' rights issue. Hillary et al seem comfortable leaving a civil rights decision to the individual voters within each state. It is not a credible position given our state-by-state track record on legislating discrimination, especially around marriage (hello to my friends in marriages of mixed racial heritages). And it is a political cop out.
Anyway, here are a few links for more information on what went down.
Pam's House Blend (including a nice follow up on New Mexico's Bill Richardson saying homosexuality is a choice, perplexing given his good record on LGBT issues)
365gay.com has a nice overview
And you can catch all sorts of snippets from the event at YouTube.
My call after reviewing the materials – Edwards is best on our issues and did a good job tying OUR rights into universal HUMAN rights … like healthcare and he nailed it on homeless LGBTQ youth. I've said all along it will be Edwards with Obama or Clinton as the VP candidate. I've thought that because I know America isn't ready to elect a black man or a woman. I'm starting to think he's our best candidate. I truly believe Edwards has a better grasp of what life is like for those without privilege, especially those enmeshed in poverty. We'll see what happens …
A gentle chastisement for my fellow bloggers here in the Burghosphere … where is your coverage on this historic political event? I have received numerous email messages asking me for my response. Did anyone email dayvoe, the admiral, ms.monongahela or bram? How about Johnny Mac? Might Chris Potter write a column comparing the ACDC event to the LOGO/HRC event? Will Dr. Goddess take a stab at what's happening on LGBTQ issues in the African-American community – would Obama lose or gain local support if he was more openly supportive? There's a lot of chatter among openly gay African-American bloggers about these issues. What does it mean for Pittsburgh?
Some of them might even have cable ….