HOLLYWOOD—Partial transcript of last portion of gay-lesbian-transgender-bisexual Democratic forum.
Our next candidate, New Mexico Governor Bill Richardson, has
served as secretary of Energy, ambassador to the United Nations and is
a congressman representing the 3rd District of New Mexico.
Welcome, Governor Richardson. (Applause.)
MS. CARLSON: Two times in a week.
Governor Richardson, welcome. It’s great to have you with us.
GOV. RICHARDSON: Thank you. Nice to be here.
MS. CARLSON: Jonathan Capehart of The Washington Post has some
questions for you.
MR. CAPEHART: Yes, Governor, thank you for being here.
In response to a question on same sex marriage at the CNN YouTube
debate, you said you would focus less on marriage and more on what’s,
quote, “achievable” in terms of rights and responsibilities for same
sex couples. When will same sex marriage be achievable, and what will
you do to foster an environment where it would become achievable?
GOV. RICHARDSON: Here’s my view. The nation, I believe, is on a
path to full inclusion. A president must lead that effort.
In my judgment, what is achievable is civil unions with full
marriage rights, with domestic partnership. I believe that’s
What we also need to do is redress some of the gross imbalances
of the past. If I’m elected president, I would get rid of “Don’t ask,
don’t tell.” I didn’t vote for it when I was in Congress.
When you have an America that is asking men and women to fight
and die, the last thing you need to do is give them a lecture on
sexual orientation. (Applause.)
Secondly, I would repeal another horrendous initiative that I
voted for and I regret now: DOMA. That would preclude a number of
the full partnership rights that I want to see with civil unions.
And third — and there’s another one that hasn’t been focused on
today — and that’s No Child Left Behind. That has initiatives in it
that hurt diversity education.
That is achievable. Hate crimes laws are achievable. But we
have to bring the country to a position where there is public support.
All my life — as a governor, as a congressman, as the U.N.
ambassador, as the secretary of Energy — I’m known for getting things
done. And I’d like to get into that in some of the questions.
MR. CAPEHART: Governor, what was it about the time — I believe
it was 1996 when DOMA was passed — what was it about that time that
made it possible for you to actually vote for it?
GOV. RICHARDSON: Well, I was the chief deputy whip of the
Democrats at the time.
President Clinton was president. And at that time, the objective in
passing DOMA was to fight a huge assault for a constitutional
amendment in the Congress to ban marriage. It was sort of a cheap
political way to decimate a bad initiative.
Now on “don’t ask, don’t tell,” I reached the point, even though
I was the deputy whip, that I voted against that, because it made no
sense to me. So my point is that we need to bring the country along.
You need to build public support.
You know, I like all these speeches here about how we’re going to
do this or that. But what makes sense is to have a president that on
— not only knows how to lead but how to get things done. And we need
a president too that recognizes that the country is moving in a
journey or a path of more inclusion. States are moving a lot faster.
And a president not only has to guide that but has to lead.
MR. CAPEHART: Governor, as a guest on the Don Imus show, Imus in
the Morning, in March 2006, you were asked by Imus in a gag on a
staffer if that staffer were a, quote, “maricon,” which as you know is
Spanish for faggot. In your response, you repeated the epithet. But
you’ve since apologized and now you question — I’ve seen you question
the timing of this issue coming up.
Do you not believe that you should be held responsible, held
accountable, for using that word, repeating that word?
GOV. RICHARDSON: Sure, you know, and I’m Hispanic. I felt the
sting as a kid of being stereotyped. And I apologized but I meant no
harm when I said that. It was, you know, one of those exchanges that
I was caught off guard.
No, I am not backing off. I apologize, but I think you should
look at my actions and not words.
Let me tell you what I’ve done as governor. All of these issues that
we’ve talked about today, Bill Richardson as governor has done.
Number one, I passed a hate crimes act that was based on non-
discrimination, on partnership, on — I was the first governor to
include transgender. Number two — (applause) — I also passed
partnerships, domestic partnerships avoiding discrimination. I pushed
that and got it done. I’m the only governor that called a special
session to expand domestic partnership. We didn’t get it done in the
last session in New Mexico; we will get it done in this next one.
I’ve appointed Cabinet members that are gay and lesbians. All through
my administration I have been inclusing — inclusive of the
So, you know, you can talk about what mistakes people have made.
I’ve made plenty. And I’ve probably said things that I regret across
the board. But we should look at what we’ve done. It’s not just the
speeches and the 10-point plans, but what we’ve done. And as a
governor, as a congressman 15 years on gay issues, I was there.
I was there at the United Nations, too. You know, we should talk
about human rights around the world, the Iraqis that are being
discriminated and targeted today. We should talk about international
issues relating to HIV and AIDS. I was there. I have fully funded in
my state HIV, AIDS initiatives across the board.
I think — so, you know, when you ask me a question like that —
which I accept, obviously — you should look at my record. Action
speaks louder than words.
MS. CARLSON: Yeah. Governor, I think everyone gets one mistake
on Imus. (Laughter.) (Applause.) Since I myself made one.
Before I go to Joe, I wanted to — you’re said you’re calling a
special session for domestic partnerships in —
GOV. RICHARDSON: No. I did.
MS. CARLSON: Oh, you did. And how did it go?
GOV. RICHARDSON: It didn’t pass.
MS. CARLSON: Yeah. Why did —
GOV. RICHARDSON: We lost by one vote.
MS. CARLSON: So I now know the answer to my question of why you
didn’t call a special session for same sex marriage because you can’t
get domestic partnership through.
GOV. RICHARDSON: No. Here’s another thing that I did, all
right? How many states don’t have DOMA? There are six; New Mexico is
one. I kept it off, I fought it. So I’ve done it, too — DOMA. It
isn’t in New Mexico, it isn’t in five other states, it’s in the rest
of the country. I kept it off. I kept it off. We killed it, so
shouldn’t that count for something? (Laughter, applause.)
MS. CARLSON: Indeed. We’re going to count it, okay?
GOV. RICHARDSON: All right.
MS. CARLSON: Joe — Joe’s going to count it.
MR. SOLOMONESE: That certainly does count, and you were such a
champion on attempting to get domestic partnership done in New Mexico.
But following up on the point that you made about the states
moving in the right direction and the will of the people needing to be
there, if the New Mexico legislature handed you a marriage bill, would
you sign it?
GOV. RICHARDSON: (Short pause.) The New Mexico legislature, I
am pushing it very hard to expand domestic partnership. It’s the same
thing, Joe. It’s a question of going through a path that is
Now, you know, I’ll give the most flowery speeches like several
that have done here. I am in this business to get things done, to
lead, to pass legislation, to bring coalitions together, to bring the
MR. SOLOMONESE: And you have been a hero on a number of issues.
I think what we’re trying to get a sense of here is, when you say
the country needs to come along, we need to move people and it’s
happening in the states, then if it’s happening in a state and the
legislature hands you that piece of legislation, in your heart, where
are you on that issue in that sort of a circumstance?
GOV. RICHARDSON: Well, you know, in my heart, I’m doing what is
achievable. And I’m not there yet. And the country isn’t there yet.
New Mexico isn’t there yet. We have to bring the country on. We have
to move in the direction of making this happen.
That doesn’t mean that I’m closed on this issue. It means that
you do what is achievable.
MR. SOLMONESE: I want to get to one of the other issues that you
mentioned. Under our current immigration laws, one spouse can sponsor
another to become a U.S. resident. Same-sex couples are not covered
by this law. What would you do to help binational couples, couples
who are playing by the rules, gay and lesbian couples who are playing
by the rules, but whose families are being torn apart by the current
GOV. RICHARDSON: Well, I believe that when you have expansion of
domestic partnership, of civil unions, it should be to all people,
regardless of where you are — overseas, underseas, anywhere.
MR. SOLMONESE: (Chuckles.)
GOV. RICHARDSON: So there’s a bill in Congress, which I have
already said I would support, to include — because it’s currently in
the immigration issue — I know of friends of mine that have partners
in Mexico, that — when I signed in New Mexico an executive order
expanding domestic partnership, one of my constituents has a partner
in Mexico, and my own constituent, because of the immigration law, and
his partner cannot come together. I think that’s wrong. I think
MS. CARLSON: Thank you, Governor.
MS. ETHERIDGE: Thank you.
Do you think homosexuality is a choice, or is it biological?
GOV. RICHARDSON: It’s a choice. It’s —
MS. ETHERIDGE: I don’t know if you understand the question.
(Soft laughter.) Do you think I — a homosexual is born that way, or
do you think that around seventh grade we go, “Ooh, I want to be gay”?
GOV. RICHARDSON: Well, I — I’m not a scientist. It’s — you
know, I don’t see this as an issue of science or definition.
I see gays and lesbians as people as a matter of human decency. I see
it as a matter of love and companionship and people loving each other.
You know I don’t like to categorize people. I don’t like to, like,
answer definitions like that that, you know, perhaps are grounded in
science or something else that I don’t understand.
MS. ETHERIDGE: Well, it’s hard when you are a citizen of a
country that tells you that you are making a choice when you were born
that way, and your Creator made you that way. And there’s a document
that was written 200 years ago that says you are entitled to certain
rights that you are not given.
How can there be anything other than absolute equal rights for
GOV. RICHARDSON: Well, that’s — that’s always been my view, as
I said. As a Hispanic, I grew up with people thinking because of my
darker skin and my — you know, I didn’t — I wasn’t fully speaking
English at a time, that I was not equal. So I understand that issue
of inequality, and so across the board I’ve always felt that every
human being desires the same rights, desires the same niche in our
society. And you know, I’ve — all my life I’ve striven very hard to
deal with the civil rights issue, on immigration issues affecting
families. I’ve always held these ideals very high, and my record
speaks for it.
MS. ETHERIDGE: I’ve lived in your state. I’ve lived in Santa
Fe, beautiful, beautiful place. How’s the bark beetle infestation
GOV. RICHARDSON: It’s still a problem.
MS. ETHERIDGE: Yeah.
GOV. RICHARDSON: They’re still a problem.
MS. ETHERIDGE: That’s — environmentally, I hope you can do
MS. CARLSON: Governor Richardson, can I interrupt the bark
I wanted to ask you, people who are opposed to equality for gays
and lesbians say it’s a lifestyle choice and that it can be cured or
changed, and it’s just chosen, it’s not how you’re born.
So therefore you don’t get equal rights because, you know, you’re just
choosing to be a certain way.
What do you say to those people that would take away rights
because it’s just like, you know, choosing anything else and you can
choose back if you want? Why should it be a civil right?
GOV. RICHARDSON: Well, I don’t think it’s a matter of
preferences. It’s a matter of equality. I would say that, you know,
gays and lesbians — I’ve seen some of those — I’ve gotten a lot of
letters, because I’ve been very outspoken on this issue, that gays and
lesbians are seeking special preferences. I don’t believe that’s the
I think it’s a matter of full equality. And this is why in my
public life, I not only have spoken about these issues, I’ve done it.
That’s the point that I’m trying to convey, that I have issues
relating to domestic partners, issues relating to hate crimes, issues
relating to signing executive orders to protect all state employees,
issues relating to “don’t ask, don’t tell.” I will strive to move
this country in the direction of full equality for everybody.
MS. CARLSON: Thank you, Governor. We’re just about out of time.
Would you like to make a closing statement? If you want to address
the bark beetle, you may. (Laughter.)
GOV. RICHARDSON: Before I do that, I want to just say to
Melissa, I admire your efforts on behalf of fighting your fight
against breast cancer. I loved your movie, “Inconvenient Truth,” the
Oscar you got.
MS. ETHERIDGE: My movie? (Laughter.) Thank you.
GOV. RICHARDSON: Just tell Al Gore not to run, please.
(Laughter.) I’m moving up. I’m moving up. I don’t —
MS. ETHERIDGE: You’re moving up. You’re getting there. All
right. He says it’s too soul-sucking. He won’t do it again. So —
GOV. RICHARDSON: I want to lead this country because I believe I
have the most experience and because I represent change. I also
believe I’m electable.
Now I notice how a lot of these candidates have talked about all
the things that they want to do and where they stand.
I want you to look at my record as a governor, as a congressman, and
see what I have done. The full range of issues that have been
discussed here, I’ve delivered on as a governor. And I would do the
same as president.
The issue is, how can we bring this country together to achieve
the goals of full equality? And the best barometer of that is your
record, not your speeches. The best barometer of that is who has
delivered, not your 10-point plans.
And with that closing, I ask for the support of the many people
here that support in this country full equality. (Applause.)
MS. CARLSON: Thank you, Governor. Thanks.
GOV. RICHARDSON: All right.
MS. CARLSON: Last and not least, Senator Hillary Rodham Clinton.
She was the first lady of Arkansas and later first lady of the United
States. She was elected to her first term as a senator from New York
in 2000 and re-elected last year.
Senator Hillary Rodham Clinton. (Cheers, applause.)
Senator Clinton, welcome.
SEN. CLINTON: Thank you.
MS. CARLSON: I don’t know if Senator Edwards is still here, but
from the last debate, let me go on the record. I like the coral
SEN. CLINTON: Thank you. (Laughs.)
MS. CARLSON: Joe is our first questioner for you, Senator.
MR. SOLMONESE: Senator, thank you for being here tonight.
You’ve said in past settings like this and all across the country
that you would like to repeal “Don’t ask, don’t tell.” Now, since
2003, you’ve sat on the Senate Armed Services Committee, the committee
that would decide this issue. Why haven’t you introduced legislation
to repeal this policy?
SEN. CLINTON: Well, Joe, first, thanks for doing this and thanks
for everybody being here and having this forum.
I think the very simple answer is we didn’t have a chance with
the Republican Congress and George Bush as president. And I want to
get it done when I’m president. I want to do it and have it be
successful. I don’t want to try, in a Republican Congress, with a
very negative president, and have it defeated.
We’re talking, now that we have a Democratic Congress, about what
steps we can take to sort of lay the groundwork so that when we do
have a change in the White House, which can’t happen too soon, to suit
me — (cheers, applause) — we will — we will be able to move on
But I just want to sort of put it into a broader context, because
it’s one of my highest priorities. I came out against don’t ask/don’t
tell in 1999. It was a transitional action that was taken back at the
beginning of my husband’s administration because at the time, there
was such a witch hunt going on.
And we’ve got some veterans over here. I saw Staff Sergeant Eric
Alva, who I have met before at HRC — (cheers, applause) — and I was
so glad to see him when I walked in. And you know, for people who
don’t know Staff Sergeant Alva’s history, he was the first Marine
wounded in Iraq, recipient of a purple heart.
And 15 years ago, he could have both been refused the opportunity
to serve, but if he had gotten into the military, under the rules that
existed at the time and the attitudes that were prevalent, he could
have been court-martialed or even accused and threatened with criminal
action if he didn’t reveal names of those with whom he might have had
relationships who were serving in the military.
I think — you know, we have moved a long way on this and other
issues, but I think it’s important to recall how much of an advance
don’t ask/don’t tell was at the time. However, it was not implemented
appropriately. It was still used to discharge a lot of patriotic men
and women who were serving our country, often at great cost, in the
middle of a war where people were being told, “We don’t need your
services anymore,” including, you know, linguists and translators and
other specialty services.
But in 1999, you know, it just struck me that it wasn’t working
and that what we need to do was to try to move us toward using the
Code of Military Justice and judge people on conduct, not status. No
matter whether you’re, you know, gay or straight, that’s the way it
should be, it should be even-handed across the entire services.
We’re beginning to see some changes.
I remember very well the intense debates about this back in ’93, and
honestly, it was so emotional in the military and in the Congress that
— the Congress did pass a law, so we have to get the law repealed.
But now it’s beginning to change. Former Joint Chiefs of Staff
Chairman General Shalikashvili has just come out in favor of a change.
I’ve noticed General Powell, who was adamantly against my husband’s
efforts back in ’93, has begun to say, you know, maybe we should
rethink this. So I think we will lay the groundwork, but then when
I’m president, we’ll get it done, and I’m looking forward to doing
MS. CARLSON: Thank you —
MR. SOLMONESE: Changing tracks, talk to us about what is at the
heart of your opposition to same-sex marriage?
SEN. CLINTON: Well, Joe, I prefer to think of it as being very
positive about civil unions. (Laughter.) You know, it’s a personal
position, and you and I have talked about it. I’ve talked about it
with a number of my friends here and across the country. And, you
know, for me, we have made it very clear in our country that we
believe in equality. How we get to full equality is the debate we’re
having, and I am absolutely in favor of civil unions with full
equality — full equality of — of benefits, rights, and privileges.
And I’ve also been a very strong supporter of letting the states
maintain their jurisdiction over marriage, and I believe that was the
right decision, for a lot of reasons. Because it’s easy, again, to
forget that just two and a half years ago we were facing all of these
referenda that were enshrining discrimination in state constitutions.
And a lot of people tried very hard to fight against them and prevent
them from being passed, but unfortunately, they were.
Now, two and a half years later, we’re beginning to see other
states take different approaches. And what we were able to do — and
I really give HRC a lot of credit for your leadership on this — in
stopping the federal marriage amendment gave the states the breathing
room to make different decisions. So I want to proceed with
equalizing federal benefits. I want to repeal Section 3 of DOMA,
which stands in the way of the extension of benefits to people in
committed, same-sex relationships, and, you know, I will be very
strongly in favor of doing that as president.
MR. SOLMONESE: I wonder, Senator, if you can sympathize with the
frustration of this argument that it’s a states’ rights issue; it’s a
— in the civil rights struggle, this argument that it was a states’
rights issue was something that was typically used against people
working against us, as sort of a red herring. And so can you see
where this argument as –marriage as a states’ rights issue would
resonate the same way in our community?
SEN. CLINTON: Absolutely. And you know, Joe, not only that; I
really respect the advocacy that the community is waging on behalf of
marriage. I think you’re doing exactly what you need to do and should
do. And I really am very much impressed by the — you know, the
intensity and the persistence of that advocacy.
But this has not been a long-term struggle yet, and I think it’s
really clear that, you know, people in the states are moving much more
rapidly to deal with the inequalities than you would find at the
federal level. When you and I were plotting strategy to beat the
Federal Marriage Amendment, the reason we were plotting strategy is,
we were worried it was going to pass.
And you know, again, I mean, this was a terrifying prospect, that
we would have enshrined in the Constitution, for the first time ever,
discrimination. And we were, you know, very clear about what we
needed to do to get the votes in order to prevent this mean-spirited,
divisive effort, led by Karl Rove, to politicize the hopes and dreams
of, you know, so many of our fellow Americans. And we were able to
But I don’t know that we could have defeated it if we had not had
I mean, that is something that, you know, has provided a great
protection against what was clearly the Republican strategy, lest by
George Bush, led by the congressional Republicans, to just cynically
use marriage as a political tool.
MS. CARLSON: Do you think that’s going to come up this time —
SEN. CLINTON: No.
MS. CARLSON: — when the Republicans are running? Is it dead as
SEN. CLINTON: You know, Margaret, that’s what I am — you know,
I’m very — I’m very optimistic because I think that —
MS. CARLSON: I haven’t heard it yet.
SEN. CLINTON: I — I don’t hear it either, and I’m as — don’t
tell anybody, but I’m running for president — (laughter) — and so
I’m traveling around the country a lot —
MS. CARLSON: “Don’t ask, don’t tell.” (Light laughter.)
SEN. CLINTON: Yeah, that’s right. And I — you know, I don’t
hear it, I don’t feel it, I don’t see it; even with the Republicans
with their various forms, you don’t get the sense. Why? Because a
lot of people who were in favor of that constitutional amendment knew
better. That was a strictly cynical political ploy on their part, and
they were successful, unfortunately, in a lot of states. But I think
that now people are starting to say, well, you know, maybe we don’t
want to do that, and because the Democratic Congress won’t bring up
the amendment, there’s really nothing for them to be rallying around.
MS. CARLSON: Thank you, Senator.
MS. ETHERIDGE: Senator, I have a personal issue here. I
remember when your husband was elected president. I actually came out
public — publicly during his inaugural week. It was a very hopeful
time for the gay community. For the first time, we were being
recognized as American citizens. It was wonderful. We were very,
very hopeful, and in the years that followed, our hearts were broken.
We were thrown under the bus. We were pushed aside. All those great
promises that were made to us were broken.
And I understand politics. I understand how hard things are, to bring
about change. But it is many years later now, and what are you going
to do to be different than that? I know you’re sitting here now; it’s
a year out — more than a year. A year from now, are we going to be
left behind like we were before?
SEN. CLINTON: Well, you know, obviously, Melissa, I don’t see it
quite the way that you describe, but I respect your feeling about it.
You know, from the moment that Bob Hattoy spoke at the Democratic
Convention, through the appointments that were made both to positions
in Cabinet agencies as well as in the White House, to the ongoing
struggle against Gingrich and the Republican majority, I think that we
certainly didn’t get as much done as I would have liked, but I believe
that there was a lot of honest effort going on by the president, the
vice president and the rest of us who were trying to keep the momentum
You know, I remember when I was running for the Senate as first
lady marching in the gay pride parade in New York City, and to a lot
of people that was just, you know, an unbelievable act, you know, and
MS. ETHERIDGE: Why not be the leader now?
SEN. CLINTON: Well, I think — I think I am a — I think I am a
leader now. And I think that we are doing a lot to not only talk
about laws, as important as they are, but to really try to change
attitudes and persuade people that they should be more open, more
respectful, more accepting.
If I were sitting where you’re sitting, with all you have gone
through in the last 14 years, I’m sure I would feel exactly the same
way because, you know, not only did you bravely come out, but you’ve
had health challenges and so much else.
And so time can’t go by slowly. You want things to move as quickly as
possible, which I, you know, understand and wish could happen as well.
But as president, I think I have an opportunity both to reverse
the concerted assault on people. It wasn’t just on people’s rights;
it was on people. It was pointing fingers; it was demeaning; it was
degrading; it was mean-spirited. And that will end. That is going to
be — that is over. And when we began to — (applause).
MS. CARLSON: Senator, we’re almost out of time, believe it or
SEN. CLINTON: Oh, I can’t believe it.
MS. ETHERIDGE: I know.
MS. CARLSON: Time flies when you’re having a good time, but
Jonathan — (cross talk, laughter). To be continued, Melissa.
MR. CAPEHART: Real fast, Senator, Joint Chiefs Chairman —
former Joint Chiefs Chairman Peter Pace called homosexuality immoral.
And when you were first asked about it, you said, quote, “I’m going to
leave that to others to conclude.” The next day, after much
criticism, you finally said you did not think that homosexuality was
immoral. Why didn’t you say that the first time?
SEN. CLINTON: Well, it was a mistake, Jonathan. Because what I
went on to say after what you quoted was to launch an attack on “don’t
ask, don’t tell.” You know, because my view was that as a chairman of
the Joint Chiefs, he had absolutely no right to say what he said. I
disagreed with him profoundly.
But what was really offensive is that he was in a position of
responsibility that had a direct impact on the lives of, you know,
hundreds of thousands of these young people in the military. So I
went right at him on “don’t ask, don’t tell.” And I, you know — you
know, you say these things. You know, somebody sticks a microphone in
front of you. And I thought, well, that’s — you know, that was
pretty good. And my friends started calling me and saying, well, you
know, that wasn’t very good. (Laughter.)
So I said, you know, “Oh, you’re probably right.” So I immediately
got the first opportunity I could to, you know, say the whole thing.
So I just was — I was focused on one aspect of what I thought
was really over the line. You know, Joe Blow, Joe Schmo walking down
the street can say, “Here’s what I believe.” You say, “Oh, well, who
cares?” The chairman of the Joint Chiefs says it, that has a direct
impact on policy. And that’s what I went after. But I — I should
have put it in a broader context.
MR. CAPEHART: Senator, would you put someone —
MS. CARLSON: Senator, we — well, we are just about out of time,
Jonathan. I’m really sorry.
MR. CAPEHART (?): Who’s anti-gay?
MS. CARLSON: I’m sorry; what, Jonathan?
MR. CAPEHART: Would you put someone on the bench who is known to
SEN. CLINTON: No. And that’s why we shouldn’t. (Cheers,
MS. CARLSON: Senator —
SEN. CLINTON: It’s one of the reasons why I’m against Southwick
for — (inaudible word) — judge.
MS. CARLSON: Senator, you told the AFL-CIO on Tuesday night,
“I’m your girl.” Do you want to express those same sentiments here?
SEN. CLINTON: I AM your girl! Absolutely! (Laughter, cheers,
MS. CARLSON: And you do get a closing statement, short though it
SEN. CLINTON: Well, you know, I want to be a president who
really does move forward the agenda of progress and equality in our
country. That’s what I have tried to do my entire life, you know, for
35 years. You know, this country, with all of its flaws, which we can
see manifest — it doesn’t move fast enough, it doesn’t do what we
want it to do — has demonstrated extraordinary resilience and a lot
of movement forward. And I think that we will see that as the years
unfold. And I want to be a part of that.
But I come to these issues, you know, not as a senator or as a
lawyer or as a presidential candidate, but as a friend of a lot of
members of the LGBT community who have, as my — who are my age, who
have suffered through a long period of, you know, coming out, of
having to face families, of having to deal with all of the issues that
we know occur.
And I want to be a president who can clearly say to the American
people, you know, these are our friends, our children, our parents;
these are people who we want to support as they live the best lives
So it’s very personal for me. And we are not going to agree on
everything, but I will be a president who will fight for you, will
work to end discrimination in the employment area, end “don’t ask,
don’t tell,” finally get hate crimes through, do a lot of what we need
to do on HIV/AIDS and so much more. And I really hope that we can be
partners in trying to make our country a little bit better and a
little more progressive for all of us.
Thank you. (Applause.)
MS. CARLSON: Senator, I wish we had more time. Thank you.
SEN. CLINTON: (Laughs.) Me too! Yeah, me too!
MS. CARLSON: That concludes our forum, but the campaign is only
heating up from now to Election Day 2008. Stay informed, follow the
campaign and join with LGBG Americans across the nation to debate the
issues at visiblevote08.com and at hrc.org.
On behalf of Logo and the Human Rights Campaign Foundation, thank
you to our panelists: Jonathan Capehart, Melissa Etheridge and Joe
Solomonese. And thank you, Senator Clinton and here in Los Angeles
and at home, for joining us.
Right now, CBS News on Logo reports live from right here in this
studio with a post-forum wrap-up. Stick around for the interviews and
Thank you and good night. (Applause.)