by Rex Wockner
Barack Obama answered several written questions from the gay newspaper Washington Blade on Sept. 10.
"Michelle and I have been blessed with many openly gay and lesbian friends and colleagues whom we have been close to for many years," the Democratic presidential candidate said. "While that fact has made the issues facing the LGBT community more personal, the fundamental reasons I have for supporting equality are greater than any individual. …We need to end the divisive politics of George W. Bush and pursue policies that treat all of us, regardless of identity or background, with dignity, equality and respect."
In response to another question, Obama said: "A college professor of mine helped me to see the lives of LGBT people from a different perspective. He was the first openly gay professor that I had ever come in contact with, or openly gay person of authority that I had come in contact with. And he was just a terrific guy. His comfort in his own skin and the friendship we developed helped to educate me on a number of these issues."
And Obama vowed, "If elected, I would call on Congress to enact legislation that would repeal DOMA and ensure that the over 1,100 federal legal rights and benefits currently provided on the basis of marital status are extended to same-sex couples in civil unions and other legally recognized unions."