Barack Obama/on homosexuality and gay rights

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Barack Obama, U.S. Senator (D-Ill.)
This article is part of the
SourceWatch and Congresspedia coverage
of Sen. Barack Obama (D-Ill.) and
the 2008 presidential election
Main article:
Democratic ticket "top tier"


George W. Bush spiritual advisor = Obama endorser

On January 19, 2008, George W. Bush's spiritual advisor, Rev. Kirbyjon H. Caldwell, Senior Pastor of Kingdom Builders of Windsor Village United Methodist Church in Texas,[1] endorsed Barack Obama[2] and "will campaign on his behalf." Caldwell heads the Metanoia ministry, "a program created to provide Christ Centered instruction for those seeking freedom from homosexuality, lesbianism, prostitution, sex addiction and other habitual sins."[3][4]

Rev. Caldwell accompanied Obama on his weekend campaign tour [see below] in Columbia, S.C., in late October 2007.[5]

Related external articles

Obama won't pull anti-gay bigot from campaign event

Obama refuses to pull Donnie McClurkin,[6] "a black preacher who sang at the Republican National Convention in 2004, [who] has gained notoriety for his view that homosexuality is a choice and can be 'cured through prayer', a view ridiculed by gay people",[7] from his Embrace the Change campaign gospel concert tour[8] October 26, 27 and 28, 2007, in Charleston, Greenwood, and Columbia, South Carolina, respectively.[9]

"Obama released a statement[10] denouncing McClurkin's views, but did not say he wouldn't appear with him."[11]

Also appearing with Obama are the gospel singers sisters duo Mary Mary.[12] Jasmyne Cannick wrote October 23, 2007, that Mary Mary "made it crystal clear earlier this year in an interview with Vibe Magazine[13][14] how they felt about gays. When asked how they felt about homosexuality and having a gay following they likened gays to prostitutes and murderers."[15]

National LGBT Leadership Council

On August 20, 2007, Obama announced the formation of his National LGBT Leadership Council:[16]

  • Stampp Corbin, National LGBT Liaison, Obama for America; Former Human Rights Campaign Board Member; High Tech Entrepreneur
  • Terje Anderson, VT, Former Executive Director for the National Association of People with AIDS
  • Tom Barbera, NH, Board Member, Bay State Stonewall Democrats and Vice Chair, SEIU National Lavendar Caucus
  • Paris Barclay, CA, Emmy Award Winning Producer and Director
  • Michael Bauer, IL, Community Activist
  • Tommy Bennett, IL, Radio Personality, Tom Joyner Show
  • Rosalyn Bugg, CA, Community Organizer
  • Phil Burgess, IL, National Director, Pharmacy Affairs, Walgreens
  • Ed Butler, NH, State Representative
  • Beth Bye, CT, Connecticut State Assemblywoman
  • Thomas Chaderjian, IL, Stonewall Democrats
  • Gary Cloutier, CA, Councilmember and Vice Mayor, Vallejo
  • Jon Cooper, NY, Suffolk County Legislature Majority Leader
  • Craig Covery, MI, Councilman, Ferndale City
  • Terry Crow, MO, Attorney
  • Chris Diebel, IA, Business Leader
  • Karla Drenner, GA, State Representative
  • Bevan Dufty, CA, San Francisco Board of Supervisors
  • Rick Garcia, IL, Director, Equality Illinois
  • Carlos Garza, IA, Chair, Des Moines Pride
  • Richard Gordon, Supervisor, San Mateo County Board of Supervisors
  • Nancy Greaney, NH, PFLAG New Hampshire
  • Greg Harris, IL, State Representative
  • Wendy Howell, VT, Community Organizer
  • Chris Hughes, IL, Founder, Facebook; Obama Campaign Director of Online Organizing
  • Harold Janeway, NH, State Senator, PFLAG Member
  • Vincent Jones, CA, Executive Director, Center for Health Justice
  • Nicole LeFavour, ID, State Representative
  • Ed Lehman, CA, Union Organizer
  • Robert Lilligren, MN, VP, Minneapolis City Council
  • Gordene Mackenzie, MA, MA Transgender Political Coalition
  • Sharon Malheiro, IA, Activist
  • Timothy Patrick McCarthy, MA, Harvard University
  • Darryl Moore, CA, Berkeley City Council Member
  • Ed Murray, WA, State Senator
  • Nancy Nangeroni, MA, MA Transgender Political Coalition
  • Michael Noll, CA, Vice Mayor, Signal Hill
  • Renae Ogletree, IL, Community Organizer
  • Paul Provost, MN, Business Manager
  • Rebecca Prozan, CA, Chair, Alice B. Toklas Club
  • Nicole M. Ramirez, CA, City Commissioner, San Diego
  • Tonyia M. Rawles, CA, Bishop-Elect, Unity Fellowship Church Movement
  • Donna Red Wing, CO, Activist
  • Dr. Penny Robbins, IL, Reverend
  • Gene Robinson, NH, Bishop
  • Robert Ryken, IL, Attorney
  • Deborah Shore, IL, Commissioner, Chicago Metropolitan Water Reclamation District
  • Stephen Smith, CA, Former DNC Member
  • Eric Tabor, IA, Chief of Staff, Attorney General Tom Miller
  • Maxim Thorne, NJ, Former Executive Director, Head Start New Jersey
  • Dr. Leanne Tigert, MA, Minister
  • Lew Todd, NY, Founding Member, Stonewall Democratic Club, Gay Activists Alliance, National Gay Task Force
  • Tom Tunney, IL, Chicago Alderman
  • David Upthegrove, WA, State Representative
  • Tawnee Walling, NH, Director of Seacoast Outright
  • Gene Webb, IL, University of Chicago
  • Richard A. Wilson, IL, Chair, National Lesbian and Gay Law Association
  • Tobias Barrington Wolff, PA, University of Pennsylvania Law School

Controversy: Council adviser Michael Bauer

Michael Bauer, a "top Democratic fundraiser in Chicago and gay activist, considers himself one of Obama's top gay backers nationally."[17]

During the March 2007 Democratic presidential debate, Obama stumbled in his "initial statements when asked whether he believed gay acts are immoral, a view asserted a few days earlier by Gen. Peter Pace, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, when asked by the [Chicago] Tribune about the military's 'don't ask, don't tell' policy." Bauer said at the time that "the senator's initial responses to the morality question left him shaken and disappointed" and "declined to comment for the record on whether Obama's stance would hurt his fundraising among gays, lesbians and progressives."[17]

As a result, in August 2007 Bauer became "part of Obama's National LGBT Leadership Council", "advising him on gay issues," Tahman Bradley wrote in August 2007 for the Political Radar Blog.[18]

Bradley identified Bauer as a registered lobbyist with Res Publica Group, "a Chicago based firm that serves corporate and noncorporate clients." No federal lobbyist registration for Bauer exists with Res Publica, although he is registered as a lobbyist with the state of Illinois.[19]

"The Obama campaign lists Bauer as a community activist," Bradley wrote.[18]

Identified in a May 2007 Chicago Sun-Times article as a consultant to Res Publica, Bauer was considered a possible liability to the Obama campaign:[20]

"One faction wants Obama to oust fund-raiser Michael Bauer from his finance committee and from a panel that advises the campaign on gay and lesbian issues.
"The other faction respects Bauer as a nationally known fund-raiser who serves on U.S. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi's finance committee as well as Obama's and Sen. Dick Durbin's. He was a delegate to the 2000 and 2004 Democratic National conventions.
"Bauer’s critics note he is serving the seventh month of a nine-month suspension of his law license for taking $300,000 from his nieces' and nephew's trust fund. The nieces and nephew sued to have Bauer removed as trustee, saying he would not tell them what he did with the money. Bauer was never charged with any crime.
"During the same time he was taking money from the trust fund, his donations to national and local candidates totaled $300,000. But Bauer said the trust fund money went into his failing court-reporting business, not into donations."

The Sun-Times added that Bauer "rival" and "strong Obama supporter" Rick Garcia of Equality Illinois, "one of seven politically active gays who told the Sun-Times Obama should dump Bauer", said that he had "conveyed my concerns" about Bauer "to Obama’s people as far back as a year ago and as recently as April [2007]."[20]

"'It’s like the [Tony] Rezko thing: It’s association with someone he perceives might be able to do him some good, but somebody who has a tarnished image,' said Louis Weisberg, founding editor of the gay-oriented Free Press. 'Between Rezko and Bauer, I wouldn’t vote for Obama. I question his judgment.'"[20]

In spite of appeals from members of the gay community, "Obama is standing by Bauer, who raised $60,000 for him this year," the Sun-Times said in May 2007.[20]


See also


  1. Meet the Pastor: Kirbyjon Caldwell,, accessed January 21, 2008.
  2. Ruth Rendon, "Reverend, friend of Bush calls Obama electable," Houston Chronicle, January 19, 2008.
  3. Metanoia Ministries,, accessed January 21, 2008.
  4. owl06, "McClurkin Redux," MyDD, January 21, 2008.
  5. "Despite Protests, McClurkin's Guest Star Turn For Obama a Crowd Pleaser," The Trail Blog/Washington Post, October 29, 2007.
  6. Donnie McClurkin in the Wikipedia.
  7. Katharine Q. Seelye, "Obama Criticized Over Singer," The Caucus Blog/New York Times, October 22, 2007.
  8. "Embrace the Change! Gospel Concert Series,"
  9. "Obama Campaign Launches Unprecedented Gospel Concert Tour,", October 16, 2007.
  10. Alex Okent, "Statement on Reverend Donnie McClurkin,", October 22, 2007.
  11. Chadwick Matlin, "Obama's Gospel Gaffe," Slate, October 23, 2007.
  12. Mary Mary in the Wikipedia.
  13. Clay Cane, "Crossed that River: Mary Mary Interview,", March 7, 2007. The exact quote was: "They can come to the concert; I'm going to hug them just like I hug everybody else. They have issues and need somebody to encourage them like everybody else - just like the murderer, just like the one full of pride, just like the prostitute, everybody needs God."
  14. Clay Cane wrote a draft of the same article, which he published on his website December 8, 2006, entitled "Mary Mary Slams Gays."
  15. Jasmyne Cannick, "Obama: Blacks, Gays, and Homophobic Gospel Singers,", October 23, 2007.
  16. "Obama Announces National LGBT Leadership Council," FemmeNoir, August 20, 2007.
  17. 17.0 17.1 John McCormick and Manya A. Brachear, "Stumble over gay issue dogs Obama. Democrats try to keep base, centrists happy," Chicago Tribune, March 22, 2007.
  18. 18.0 18.1 Tahman Bradley, "Obama Has Lobbyist Advising on Gay Issues," Political Radar Blog, August 9, 2007.
  19. Lobbyist Search: Michael Bauer, Illinois State Government, 2007.
  20. 20.0 20.1 20.2 20.3 Abdom M. Pallasch, "Caught in a feud. Should Obama dismiss a tainted fund-raiser?" Chicago Sun-Times, May 27, 2007.

External articles