Okay, so the candidate is Mike Gravel. The Vegas odds makers aren't betting he'll pull off an upset victory in any of the early contests for the Democratic presidential nomination. But, he's about as pro-equality as a candidate for office can be. Nonetheless, he has NOT been invited to a first- of-it's-kind presidential forum on gay issues.
The Human Rights Campaign and Logo Network have teamed up to host a presidential forum on LGBT issues. It will be broadcast live before a studio audience on August 9. So far, the candidate who have accepted the invitation are: Hillary Clinton, Barack Obama, John Edwards, and Chris Dodd.
As Queerty.com pointed out, former Alaska Senator Mike Gravel is not happy about it. They've got a great quote from here and here's just one part of it:
That this kind of censorship should come from the community that I am the greatest advocate. It is not absurd, it's to the edge of stupidity.
I'm gonna have to side with the old fella on this one. What kind of message is the gay community sending to candidates who are supportive if we reward them with a snub? Further, they've invited candidates who have mixed records on issues of equality. Seems a little perplexing to me.
I understand the need to keep these forums to a reasonable standard of political plausibility and the such. But, the fact that Melissa Etheridge is co-moderating the debate with HRC President Joe Solmonese kind of throws that out of the window. I mean, she's great, but moderating a presidential forum? That's a stretch for me when you're excluding candidates with positions like Mike Gravel.
HRC and Logo Network should reconsider their decision.