Advocate: I know you’re in a difficult position here trying to balance these two constituencies -- but by keeping McClurkin on the tour, didn't you essentially choose your Christian constituency over your gay constituency?
Obama: No, I profoundly disagree with that. This is not a situation where I have backed off my positions one iota. You’re talking to somebody who talked about gay Americans in his convention speech in 2004, who talked about them in his announcement speech for the president of the United States, who talks about gay Americans almost constantly in his stump speeches. If there’s somebody out there who’s been more consistent in including LGBT Americans in his or her vision of what America should be, then I would be interested in knowing who that person is.
One of the things that always comes up in presidential campaigns is, if you’ve got multiple supporters all over the place, should the candidate then be held responsible for the every single view of every one of his supporters? And obviously that’s not possible. And if I start playing that game, then it will be very difficult for me to do what I think I can do best, which is bring the country together.
I've been a little taken aback by the vehement response of many gay people to this McClurkin business. I think it's been blown up, but I have to say it's good to see gay voters finally demanding real accountability from politicians they support. Now let's see if they can keep that vigilance up with Clinton, whose substantive record on gays and lesbian rights - from DOMA to the military ban - is far worse than Obama's.