Sen. Barack Obama (D-IL) bought advertising in the gay press in Texas and Ohio. But not everyone was impressed.
LOS ANGELES — In late February, Sen. Barack Obama’s (D-IL) presidential campaign announced it would be advertising in the local and regional LGBT press in Texas and Ohio, two key battleground states in the Democratic presidential primary.
The freshman senator from Illinois also penned an “open letter” to the LGBT community. In it, Obama wrote “I’m running for President to build an America that lives up to our founding promise of equality for all — a promise that extends to our gay brothers and sisters. It’s wrong to have millions of Americans living as second-class citizens in this nation.”
Duane Wells, a columnist with the site GayWired.com, isn’t too happy about Obama’s recent letter or his gay ad buys. In fact, Wells named Obama the “hypocrite of the week” on Feb. 29.
“Where was all this love, respect and concern for the gay community back in October 2007, when the junior Senator from Illinois was actively courting the conservative African-American vote in South Carolina with his pal and supporter, ex-gay minister Donnie McClurkin,” asked Wells. “Where were the ads in the local gay press in South Carolina talking about what a friend the Senator was to the LGBT community?”
In his column, Wells attributed the difference in Obama’s actions to conservative South Carolina, “an area where such pronouncements might not have been so well received by the stridently homophobic demographic whose support the Obama campaign needed to defeat Hillary Clinton in that state’s primary.”
The “ex-gay” Donnie McClurkin situation was closely watched by LGBT activists and community members across the Carolinas and the nation. Q-Notes covered the controversy last fall. For the Obama campaign, the South Carolina gospel tour turned into an unfortunate set of decisions that continues to haunt them in their interactions with the LGBT community.
Wells concluded his column by naming Obama “Hypocrite of the Week” and criticizing the candidate’s Texas and Ohio activities.
“Sorry Mr. Obama, this is where the rubber hits the road. Prior to your cowardly actions during the South Carolina primary, the LGBT community willingly accepted you at your word, believing that you would be a true friend, despite your limited record of support on gay and lesbian issues.
“But that was then and this is now.
“Because he did nothng when he was asked to take action on behalf of an issue of importance to the LGBT community, and yet now asks the LGBT community to accept him as a friend and support his political ambitions in Texas and Ohio, Senator Barack Obama is the Hypocrite of the Week.”