Why does Hillary attract more lesbian & gay voters than Barack? Is it racism, or some other bias within our community?

New York Magazine’s Daily Intelligencer does a good job exploring reasons for Hillary Clinton’s popularity among lesbian and gay citizens. In a piece called Why Barack’s Mojo With the Gays Can’t Match Hillary’s, Sean Kennedy writes:

“First, there’s the record: As First Lady, Hillary marched in a gay-pride parade, and she has done so multiple times as a senator. She’s supported AIDS-care funding and an expansion of hate-crimes legislation. And after nearly running his first administration aground by coming out for gays to serve openly in the military, Bill appointed openly gay James Hormel as ambassador to Luxembourg in 1999 during a congressional recess. The Clintons just seemed comfortable around gay people.”

And he considers reasons for Barack’s failure to overwhelm lesbians and gay men:

Obama is handsome and well meaning, but it’s hard for many gay voters to not also see just another straight guy with the messianic ego to think he deserves to lead. And then there’s the hard-to-shake perception that he might be somehow personally uncomfortable around gay people. As part of his building of a coalition of idealistic white liberals and black churchgoers, Obama invited gospel singer Donnie McClurkin, who says his faith cured him of homosexuality, to perform at one of his fund-raisers (though he repudiated McClurkin’s views).”

4 thoughts on “Why does Hillary attract more lesbian & gay voters than Barack? Is it racism, or some other bias within our community?

  • February 10, 2008 at 6:14 pm

    Although your point is well taken that Clinton has won the big blue states that are so critical in the general election, it is sloppy reasoning and overly alarmist to state that all of the Clinton supporters in those states will stay home if Obama is the Democratic nominee.

    First of all many Democratic primary voters have had an extremely hard time making a choice between Clinton, Edwards, and Obama. For once we have faced a surfeit of good candidates. The decision FOR one does NOT necessarily mean a stance AGAINST the other. I — and virtually every other Democrat I know — will be thrilled to have either Clinton or Obama over any Republican, and we fully intend to vote for whichever of them runs against McCain.

    Secondly, the reverse of your alarm is even more likely (and more concerning). And that is that Obama has drawn new and younger voters, by the hundreds of thousands, into the political process this year. They are excited and energized by his candidacy and will be greatly disappointed if he does not win. As a result, I fear a great many of them may return to their disillusionment and apathy. And a mass influx of younger generation voters is exactly what LGBT Americans need if we are ever to attain equal rights in our lifetime. Unfortunately, Obama supporters are the ones who may be much more inclined than Clinton supporters to stay home in November if Obama is not in the race, which doesn’t bode well for Democrats — or for our civil rights.

    I will whole-heartedly vote for either of them and can only hope that every other registered Democrat will do the same.

  • February 10, 2008 at 7:56 am

    Unfortunately, Obama’s camp will hand the election to McCain. Right now, polls show Obama with a slight edge over McCain, but it’s going to be a long time until November, and Republicans are very good at tearing someone down, making things up if they need to.

    Obama is winning caucuses, not primaries. There is a huge difference, unfortunately Obama’s supporters are all so young, they don’t see the bigger picture. They don’t know what that means. He won Idaho, Georgia, Alabama, Virginia, et. al. He might have got the most Democratic votes in those states, but during the general election, those states always go red, so his victory in those states is moot.

    The big blue states, Florida, California, Michigan, New York, et. al. have all gone Hillary.

    These people will stay home on election day, if Obama is the nominee or will cross over to vote for ‘liberal’ McCain.

  • February 9, 2008 at 10:48 pm

    The quote about Obama being handsom and well meaning is preceded in the article by this important point ….

    It’s hard for Obama to match that history, even though his LGBT platform is similarly progressive to Hillary’s. (In fact, Obama’s is actually better, since he supports a full repeal of DOMA, and Clinton just wants to remove many of its restrictions.)

  • February 10, 2008 at 2:39 pm

    massachusetts, california, new york….

    did you just say these people would stay home or vote republican rather than elect obama?

    you are out of your mind. im excited to watch you be wrong in 9 months.

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