Compiled by Howard Israel
“I was aware that I was attracted to men by age eight, even though I did not have any gay sexual experiences until I was 19. Meanwhile, despite having no sex or even a clear understanding of what homosexuality meant, virtually everyone that I encountered, including my dear parents, made a point of telling me that homosexuality was dirty, sinful and a phase that would pass. Sadly, even though I now know better, and am fully aware of the overwhelming evidence as to the underlying neurobiologic predisposition to gayness, I have never been able to entirely shake this feeling of guilt and wrongdoing. Future generations should be spared. Right now, I’m interested in seeing that good science prevails over outdated, misguided psychology and false-headed thinking that homosexuality is a conscious choice.”
– Jerome Goldstein, M.D., neurologist, an internationally respected headache researcher, gay activist and lecturer on the innate biology of gayness, in an interview titled “Born that gay,” Salon.com, Sept. 12.
“McCain has accepted a crude and backward Republican platform that is the most homophobic in the party’s history – a document that rants about ‘the incompatibility of homosexuality with military service,’ endorses ‘a constitutional amendment that fully protects marriage as a union of a man and a woman, so that judges cannot make other arrangements equivalent to it,’ and that, in a section hailing the party’s commitment to individual rights, pointedly avoids denouncing discrimination against gays and lesbians. The great tragedy of John McCain’s current candidacy is that everyone who knows the man, while he is not in the camp of the haters who have come to dominate his party, the senator lacks the courage to challenge them.”
– John Nichols, associate editor of The Capital Times (Madison, Wisc.) commenting on the character of John McCain, GOP presidential candidate, in an opinion column titled “Gay friend knows a better McCain,” The Capital Times, Sept. 9.
“Michelle and I have been blessed with many openly gay and lesbian friends and colleagues whom we have been close to for many years. While that fact has made the issue facing the LGBT community more personal, the fundamental reasons I have for supporting equality are greater than any individual. I am running for president because I believe that we as a nation need change. 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.”
– Barack Obama, Democratic presidential candidate, agreed to respond in writing to a series of questions, appearing in print titled “Obama pledges ‘equality for all,'” Washington Blade, Sept. 10.
“He was one of those unusual, straight young men who was secure enough in his sexuality that he was not fearful of being associated with me, whether that involved taking a class or just talking socially. He was remarkable in that he was not intimidated by a publicly gay figure and, in fact, was interested in learning from me, whether formally or informally. That required an extraordinary kind of confidence in an 18 or 19 year old – the kind that comes from somewhere deep inside, that was still finding its way into his adult personality.”
– Lawrence Goldyn, an openly gay political science professor who served as a mentor and friend to many of the school’s minority students, talking about his former student, Barack Obama, in an interview, Washington Blade, Sept. 10.