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Obama Snubbing GLBT Press?

Barack Obama'08On April 4th the Philadelphia Gay News ran an interview with Presidential hopeful, Senator Hillary Clinton. The Q&A touched on many issues important to the GLBT community. Such as DOMA, gays in the military, services for GLBT youth and seniors, benefits for GLBT couples, positive GLBT lesson plans in schools and the murder of gay men through out the Middle East, Africa and Asia. Senator Clinton’s responses were nothing new. They were everything we want to hear from our candidate. What we didn’t hear was Senator Barack Obama’s opinion on the issues.

I know what you’re thinking ‘how could such a prestiges paper like the PGN forget to include Senator Obama in a Q&A on GLBT issues?’ Well, the 32 year old publication didn’t forget the Senator from Illinois. Senator Obama chose not to take part in the article. Many of his advisers and finical bakers, including Senator Bob Casey, supported the newspaper’s interview request. But Obama still declined.

PGN and the National Gay Newspaper Guild are starting to doubt Obama’s support of the GLBT community, since he has routinely snubbed local gay media. Obama has not granted a formal interview to any local gay press in 1,528 days, when he spoke to the Windy City Times during his Senate race in 2004.

Mark Segal, publisher of the PGN, said, “Senator [Barack] Obama’s lack of dialogue with the local gay press is disappointing. The local gay press often is to the LGBT community what churches are to the black community.”

What’s even more shocking for such a progressive inclusive Presidential candidate, is his utter lack of professional respect for the gay press. PGN offered equal time to Republican candidate Senator John McCain. McCain’s campaign declined the invitation respectfully. “It’s a sad day when we are treated with more respect from the Republican candidate, John McCain, than a Democratic senator,” said Segal. “With McCain, his top press representative called us back within three hours. It took seven weeks for Obama’s representative to acknowledge.”

I fear for Senator Obama’s chances here in Indiana. Most of the GLBT community knows very little about his policies and pledges. Right now the community in Indiana is blindly giving their support to Senator Clinton. She has been the only one to step out of the shadows and pledge support for the advancement of GLBT rights. I know that if Obama would just meet with us and show interest in our issues, he would win our loyal support.

Side Note: I have requested an interview and press credentials while Senator Obama is stumping in Indiana. I’ll let you know what happens.

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