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Houston GLBT Caucus Endorses Obama

by: Houston GLBT Political Caucus

Fri Feb 29, 2008 at 00:16 PM CST

( - promoted by Phillip Martin)


After decades of fighting for equality in the face of discrimination, the LGBT community recognizes, perhaps more profoundly than anyone, the "fierce urgency of now."   We long for transformational change.  We deeply desire a united country, where we can share openly and honestly with our neighbors.  That is why the Houston GLBT Political Caucus is proud to join the unprecedented, diverse, hope driven coalition that is emerging across this nation to elect Senator Barack Obama President of the United States.

Despite overwhelming schedules, both Senator Clinton and Senator Obama had the humility to answer all of our tough questions, fulfilling the same process that every candidate, from precinct chair to U.S. Senator, had to complete in order to secure our endorsement.  After engaging in these historic conversations, the Houston GLBT Political Caucus board has voted to endorse Barack Obama:

• Focused on Victory: Through our presidential screening process, Barack Obama and his campaign demonstrated that he's a strong campaigner with a compelling message and superior organization.  As with every primary election, the Houston GLBT Political Caucus is intensely focused on victory.   Our goal is to enact specific policies that include employment non-discrimination, judicial fairness for LGBT families, and marriage equality.   We stand with Barack Obama because we feel he is best positioned to enable us to achieve these goals.  We are confident in his ability to win the general election.   The Caucus has endorsed over 40 progressive candidates in Harris County, and we believe that Barack Obama's nomination will help us win these crucial local races.    

• Joining a Historic Coalition: The LGBT craves unity with our neighbors.   Barack Obama has inspired young people all over this country, and we want to stand with next generation.   Barack Obama has reached out to rural voters better than any progressive candidate in recent memory, and we are deeply gratified to finally join hands with our heart-land neighbors.   Barack Obama has become the voice for immigrants, people of all races, workers, farmers, and the creative-class.  From H.I.V. /AIDs to worker's rights, the LGBT community shares the needs and issues of minorities, people from every corner of this nation, and we trust Obama will deliver the change we all need.  

• A President for Every American Family:  The Caucus Screening committee had a very substantive conversation with Barack Obama.   In his answers, Obama proved that he has a keen insight into LGBT issues, constitutional law, and civil rights.  We know he is listening to us, and we trust that a President Obama will be a leader for all of America's families, including LGBT families.  


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Omama Is Full Of Hot Air (1.00 / 3)
Barack Obama is full of hot air....

Get a load of this website that exposes his empty promises


Um (0.00 / 0)
How is this related to the journal posted? (Oh yeah, it's not)

Now, a very great man once said that some people rob you with a fountain pen.

[ Parent ]
Question... (0.00 / 0)
First of all, I congratulate the Caucus Board on their ability to screen the candidates themselves.  That's awesome!

Also, members gave The Caucus Board permission to endorse in any race before the primaries.

According to their website, they had six board members in 2006.  (Don't know how many board members they have now.)

I wonder if these six board members had made up their mind on whom to vote for and endorse before the screenings actually happened...

If so, should I trust the endorsement for this important race from these six individuals made on behalf of an entire organization when the outcome could have potentially already been predetermined?...

Just wondering...

This endorsement is VERY IRONIC considering .... (3.00 / 1)
"As God Is My Witness": Obama Snubs Newsom, Gays


Our endorsement (0.00 / 0)
Let me tell you a little more about the Caucus vetting process:

first, the screening is administered by a special committee that includes board members but is not limited to the board.  If I remember correctly, there were ten people on the committee.  These folks score each candidate separately on an objective, numerical scale, immediately after each candidates respective interview.    

Second, before screening, both campaigns were asked to provide answers to our presidential primary questionnaire.  At this round we ask questions about viability and political startegy, as well as questions about general LGBT issues.  Eventually both campaigns responded with excellent answers.  In regards to Obama, I will say that the committee was impressed with his desire to fully repeal DOMA.  He also demonstrated a very keen understanding of constitutional law and civil rights.  We were also extremely impressed with his campaign's organization and punctuality.

Next, the committee had a face-to-face interview with Tobias Wolf, Obama's LGBT policy director.  We had a phone conversation with Mark Walsh, Clinton's person for LGBT outreach.  These meetings were very helpful, as our eventual time with both candidates was limited.

Finally, the screening committee interviewed Senator Clinton and Senator Obama on conference calls. We focused our questions on issues of gender identity and expression, because our community is deeply concerned about the exclusion of transgender workers from ENDA.  We also talked about health care for LGBT familes, the 2010 census, and "don't ask don't tell" and it's relationship to military recruitment on college campuses.  

I'm sharing all this, because I don't want people to assume that our endorsement was predetermined or simply based on viability.  Both candidates impressed us.  They were both judged on the merits of their answers to tough questions about LGBT policy at the federal level. After thoughtful deliberations, the committee weighed recommending one of three options: no endorsement, endorse Clinton, or endorse Obama.  In the end,  the Board very enthusiastically chose OBama.    

What about our issues? (0.00 / 0)
How do you justify your endorsement when Senator Obama refused to be photographed with one of the most significant advocates of our community, Gavin Newsom.  Senator Obama is willing to use people like Mayor Newsom to raise money and then refuses association.  If he is willing to do this to one of our straight allies, I believe he will do the same with us.  

I have added the direct link to the newspaper article about this incident so no one can claim it is just a push piece.  Please read for yourself at the San Francisco Chronicle. http://www.sfgate.com/cgi-bin/...

[ Parent ]
Additional Questions... (0.00 / 0)
Thank you very much for the fast reply.  I appreciate it.

Can you also provide the average scores from these ten (?) screening committee members given to each candidate?

Furthermore, can you provide details on how the six (?) board members voted (i.e., can you say how many voted to not endorse, endorse Sen. Clinton or endorse Sen. Obama)?

Thanks for providing details on Obama's strengths.  Can you tell us if out of those six (?) voting board members any of them changed their minds based on the questionnaires and interviews (e.g., from undecided to Sen. Obama/Sen. Clinton or from Sen. Clinton/Sen. Obama to Sen. Obama/Sen. Clinton)?


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