Barack Obama “has been weathering a small storm lately in the lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender community for declining interviews with gay and lesbian news media. But the criticism could soften after he granted an interview to The Advocate and discussed his views on many gay issues, including the military’s policy of “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell,’’ for gay members of the armed forces. “I reasonably can see “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” eliminated,’’ Obama told the magazine, although he added that he wouldn’t make the issue “a litmus test’’ for the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff. (The Swamp blog in the Baltimore Sun)
What the commentators said
Obama has “sometimes seemed oddly deaf to the gay and lesbian community,” said David Usborne in the London Independent’s On the Campaign Trail blog. This is especially strange “for a candidate so intent on bridging the political and social divides in America.” His interview with The Advocate was “a good tweak—and it seems to have worked.” But it’s only his third interview with a gay publication of this campaign. Hillary Clinton has been “far more accessible,” and Obama might regret making lesbians and gays feel left out.
“If gay voters actually look at Obama’s record, they’ll be reassured,” said Andrew Sullivan in his blog at The Atlantic. He has gone farther than any politician in history in openly “defending gay equality” before black audiences. “On every gay issue he's as good as, if not better than, Clinton. And he does not have her and her husband's long record of betrayal either.”
Obama should be careful about such a clear move to the left, said Christian Broadcasting Network correspondent David Brody on CBN.com. “He’ll need to track towards the middle to win but McCain and the Republican National Committee will try and paint him as the most liberal guy out there. In addition, Obama has an appeal to some Evangelicals but too much pro-choice, pro-gay rights talk will turn them off . . . along with some of the African American vote.”