What a stand-up guy. He’s always got his hand out for the “green.” But he is NOT there to stand up for those to whom he has his hand out.
This newspaper ad has gone “viral” in the gay community, across the nation. Below, from the original San Francisco Chronicle article. First, The Advocate story, “Obama Snubbed Newsom During S.F.’s Gay Marriage Fight,” on a tumultuous time for San Francisco mayor Gavin Newsom and for the gay community — and that now infamous snub by Barack Obama (anyone care to speculate why the snub?), confirmed firsthand by former San Francisco mayor Willie Brown:
During his Senate run for Illinois, Democratic presidential candidate Barack Obama is said to have declined to have his picture taken with San Francisco mayor Gavin Newsom, who at the time was in the center of a national turmoil over his decision to allow same-sex marriage in the city.
The San Francisco Chronicle reported Tuesday that the snub took place at a fund-raiser in 2004 hosted by former San Francisco mayor Willie Brown.
“I gave a fund-raiser, at his [Obama’s] request at the Waterfront restaurant,” Brown told the Chronicle. “And he said to me, he would really appreciate it if he didn’t get his photo taken with my mayor. He said he would really not like to have his picture taken with Gavin.”
While the Obama campaign has denied the rumors, Newsom’s staff has corroborated the event. In a Reuters interview in January 2007, Newsom alluded to the event when asked about his thoughts on potential Democratic candidates Obama, Hillary Clinton, and Al Gore. He was also asked about his peers’ reaction to his allowing same-sex marriages, which some allege helped Republicans by introducing a wedge issue in an election year. …
From the San Francisco Chronicle on February 5, 2008:
Seeing Mayor Gavin Newsom on the national stage with former president Bill Clinton on Monday night is a reminder of how political winds can change. On the eve of the biggest night of the presidential primaries, Newsom shared the spotlight during a town hall meeting staged and broadcast on cable TV and satellite radio by the Hillary Rodham Clinton campaign.
But just four years ago, current Democratic presidential candidate Barack Obama is said to have declined to have his picture taken in San Francisco with Newsom, who was then at the center of a national uproar over his decision to allow same-sex marriage in San Francisco.
“I gave a fundraiser, at his (Obama’s) request at the Waterfront restaurant,” said former San Francisco Mayor Willie Brown. “And he said to me, he would really appreciate it if he didn’t get his photo taken with my mayor. He said he would really not like to have his picture taken with Gavin.”
Today, of course, Obama’s people are backpedaling away from that account like crazy. His deputy campaign director, Steve Hildebrand, who lives with his partner as an openly gay man, calls it “a ridiculous story.”
“Barack Obama gets his picture taken with gay people all the time,” Hildebrand said. “Including me, his deputy campaign manager.”
But insiders at City Hall, both current and former members of Newsom’s staff, recall the incident well. And you can bet that Newsom hasn’t forgotten it either. …
Hillary Clinton? Her support for the community is well-known. Here’s but one example, a 2007 press release from the campaign:
On the eve of the 38th anniversary of Stonewall, Hillary for President announced the formation of “LGBT Americans for Hillary,” a national steering committee of over 65 leaders in the lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) community. Members of the steering committee include LGBT elected officials, activists from national LGBT and Democratic Party political groups as well as leaders from the worlds of business, entertainment and sports. This leadership committee will work with the campaign on several areas including political outreach, communications, policy advice and counsel, and fundraising.
“I’ve seen how Hillary Clinton’s experience, commitment, and leadership have made a difference for the LGBT community,” said New York City Council Speaker Christine Quinn. “From her efforts to defeat the Federal Marriage Amendment to standing up for our rights in employment practices, there is no one else in this race who will fight harder for the LGBT community. She’s ready to be our next president and I look forward to organizing the LGBT community on her behalf.”
The list of supporters on the steering committee demonstrates the history of friendship that Hillary Clinton has had with this community and the depth of her support among LGBT leaders. It includes people like former U.S. Assistant Attorney General Eldie Acheson, who went to college with Hillary Clinton, and Neel Lattimore who worked for her as First Lady as well as film/TV writer and producer Greg Berlanti who met her last week and signed on as a supporter immediately. The list also includes prominent LGBT activists who have been leaders on issues important to the community, including three retired members of the military who have worked to overturn the Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell policy, advocates in the fight against HIV/AIDS, and the attorney who argued and won the landmark Supreme Court case, Lawrence v. Texas.
“Her commitment to repeal Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell, and her steadfast work to improve access to care and treatment for people living with HIV/AIDS are just two of the reasons why I support Hillary Clinton for President,” said Jose Zuniga, President of the Chicago-based International Association of Physicians in AIDS Care. Zuniga, who attained the rank of Sergeant, was honorably discharged from the U.S. Army in 1993 after coming out as a gay man. He served as a military medic during Operations Desert Shield and Desert Storm, and had been named the Sixth US Army’s Soldier of the Year six weeks prior to his discharge.
Hillary Clinton has worked to advance the cause of equality for LGBT Americans for many years. As president, Clinton has pledged to end the divisive leadership of the past six years and work with the LGBT community to make sure that all Americans in committed relationships have equal economic benefits and rights. She also will work to end discrimination in adoption laws. As a U.S. Senator, she has worked to expand federal hate crimes legislation and pass the Employment Non-Discrimination Act, and will sign the legislation into law once she is in the White House. She will also put an end to the failed policy of Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell.
“I am proud to have the support of such distinguished leaders in the LGBT community,” said Clinton. “Together, we can move our nation closer to the promise of fairness and equality that all Americans deserve.”
Already, Hillary for President has been actively reaching out to earn the support of the LGBT community. In March, Clinton addressed the Human Rights Campaign’s Board Meeting and Equality Convention — the only candidate to accept their invitation. Her LGBT supporters have hosted two fundraisers for her campaign, one in Washington, D.C., on May 23, 2007, and one in Los Angeles last Friday. Hillary for President has a full-time staff person, Mark Walsh, solely focused on LGBT outreach.
“Hillary Clinton has precisely the priorities our nation needs at this time — a strong defense with a balanced hand to guide it, a will to strengthen education and health care, a fair tax system and a balanced budget – and equal treatment of every American under the law,” said Elizabeth Birch, former executive director of the Human Rights Campaign. “The LGBT community has seen many hard political years. It is time for a renaissance for our nation and for our community.”