Saturday, May 23, 2015

Obama's interview with the Philadelphia Gay News

Barack Obama says he'd make stopping the persecution of gays part of his human rights policy.

Obama's interview with the Philadelphia Gay News

The Democratic presidential nominee did a brief telephone interview yesterday with Mark Segal, publisher of the Philadelphia Gay News.

According to the transcript provided by Segal, Obama said that he would have no problem attending a gay couple's commitment ceremony, that he wasn't worried about his own personal safety during the campaign, and that he wasn't concerned that Republican John McCain would try to use some of Obama's gay-friendly policies against him.

At one point, Obama was asked whether he would include concerns about abusive treatment of gay men in other countries as part of his human rights policy. Here's Obama's response:

"I think that the treatment of gays, lesbians and transgender persons is part of this broader human-rights discussion. I think it is not acceptable that we would in any way carve out exceptions for our broader human-rights advocacy to exclude violations of human rights based on sexual orientation. I think that has to be part and parcel of any conversations we have about human rights."

During the Democratic primary in Pennsylvania, Obama turned down an interview request from Segal, who supported Hillary Clinton. Look for the full audio version of the interview tomorrow at




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The Inauguration: Jan. 20 blog brings you coverage of President-elect Barack Obama's transition into office.

It's written by political journalists from the Philadelphia Inquirer. Send us your comments -- and news tips -- at this address.

Thomas FitzgeraldThomas Fitzgerald joined The Philadelphia Inquirer in 2000, and has covered Harrisburg as well as city, state and national politics for the newspaper. He was a “boy on the bus” in the 2004 presidential campaign and during primary contests in 2000 and 1996.

Nathan Gorenstein has covered politics and government in the city, state and nation for the Inquirer. He's worked in the city hall bureau, had a stint on the business desk, and once covered the suburbs. After serving as assistant regional editor, he was named editor of the "Politics" web site.

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