During the HRC/LOGO Presidential Forum John Edwards was asked:
MR. SOLOMONESE: Susan Stanton is in our audience tonight. She was, for 17 years, the city manager in Largo , Florida . She did her job well; she was respected and admired. And when it was revealed that she was transgender, she was fired. So my question for you is if a member of your staff came to you and told you that they were transgender and that they were thinking of transitioning, how would you react to that? And who in your life has influenced what your reaction might be? MR. EDWARDS: I would — I would support them in every possible way, including on a personal and an emotional level, provide every bit of help and support that I possibly could in going through what they were going through.
And, by the way, can I say about the first point you made in your question, it’s the reason we need powerful employment nondiscrimination laws in the United States of America so that people cannot be fired.
Yet, as I look at the list of John Edward’s GLBT supporters 1, 2 it doesn’t seem to include anyone that is transgender. Both Hilary Clinton and John Edwards have formal GLBT committees that include transgender people. Maybe Joe should have asked him if he’d hire someone that’s transgender (or announce transgender supporters).
In other news on the forum, Hillary Rosen recently stated that:
Despite some advice that the only issue worth discussing at the forum was marriage because it was the only issue the major candidates didn’t agree with us on, we quickly decided that we wanted a broader focus. These candidates were unlikely, in our view, to come to this forum and be blown away by the cogent arguments of our panelists and change their position in favor of same sex marriage. “
She went on to say:
“We wanted a discussion of transgender issues since we knew it was unlikely to come up anywhere else.”
Who’s fault was it that only one transgender question was asked (for that matter, a lack of questions on HIV/AIDS, DADT, and other important GLBT issues)?
“As we saw in their responses, whether deliberate or not, the candidates often tried to run out the clock on their answers. Each interview went by so fast that we found our selves in the control booth cursing as we gave Margaret her time signals.In the end, the only thing I can really regret is that we didn’t have more time. There was so much more to ask about and so much more to hear.”
Can you really put all the blame on the candidates? It’s not the candidates fault that only one transgender question (and a softball question at that) was asked. The moderator of the forum is there to MODERATE when the candidates are trying to run out the clock. The moderator gets her cues from the “control booth.” If Hillary wants someone to blame, she need only look in the nearest mirror.