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Minority Polls: Clinton Shouldn't Resign

Gay & Black Support for President Strong

Community Leaders: 'He's Been There for Us'

Compiled by Badpuppy's GayToday

Lisa Keen and Lou Chibarro, Jr., in a September 18 report for The Washington Blade, a prestigious gay newspaper, write that the majority of gays, like two-thirds of the respondents in national polls, do not want President Bill Clinton to resign. They say:

"The majority of Gay people, too, would like to see Congress get back to business on the more critical affairs of state. According to a Blade survey of 149 Gay and bisexual men and women this week (reached by phone and through the distribution of questionnaires at Gay businesses), only 20 percent believe Clinton should be impeached in light of what they've heard thus far from the Starr Report. Asked if Clinton should resign, 34 percent said yes. Those percentages are more supportive than those found in polls by mainstream media outlets this week but similar. (On average, the media polls of the general population found that about 34 percent of Americans believe Clinton should be impeached. When polls ask if people think Clinton should resign, about 35 percent of Americans say yes.) Only 28 percent of Gays surveyed and 41 percent of the general population say they want impeachment hearings."

The Blade quoted a 24-year old lesbian: "Leave the man alone. This is a clear example of our society not being able to deal with our hang-ups around sexuality. We have real problems in this country that need public attention, but the president's penis is not one of them."

GayToday's senior editor, Jack Nichols, was quoted in Sunday's edition of Gannett's Florida Today:

"The Republican Congress seems poised to dump on America even more titillating details about Monica the Mouth, a ditzy career girl/blackmailer, maybe even a plant, who chased a president who couldn't shake her after their first unfortunate dalliance. As for Ken Starr, he lied early on about those grand jury leaks he made himself, so he can take his hypocrisy—and so can all the other Republican moralist-politicians now telling about their dalliances—and stick it." nichols.gif - 24.50 K Gay Today's Jack Nichols

Members of the black community too, have expressed their support for the embattled president. Representative John Lewis says he's been struck by the universality of support Clinton has received among African-Americans in Atlanta. He said: "People say, 'Take care of the President, take care of my man."

Black Georgians, Lewis told The New York Times, "don't want to see him resign. They don't want to see him impeached. They just want us to leave him alone because there's this deep feeling in the black community that this President has been there for us."

ebirch.gif - 5.61 K Elizabeth Birch Human Rights Campaign director, Elizabeth Birch, expressed similar sentiments. Her organization's political dinner held over the weekend in Washington, welcomed Vice-president Al Gore as its keynote speaker. Of Clinton, Birch said: "His actions were reckless, and this has caused some anger and anxiety in our community…But we still need this president. He has gone out on a limb for our community more than any other president."

In a private letter made public, The Reverend Mel White, Justice Minister for the gay-inclusive Universal Fellowship of Metropolitan Community Churches, addressed a correspondent who'd expressed his unhappiness with the president:

"You write about your 'disappointment' with Mr. Clinton. I've been disappointed with Mr. Clinton for almost six years. Even though he has done more to help us than any other President, he has also broken promises and even worked against us (for example, in signing DOMA). melwhite.gif - 28.71 K The Rev. Mel White

I suppose I was naive to believe he would be more, would do more, that he would follow his heart and act with courage and integrity. Too much to ask of a President? I suppose, but it still seems reasonable to ask it. Now, however, we are faced with a difficult choice.

The religious "right" has hated Clinton (and tried to depose him) from the beginning. And one of the primary reasons was Mr. Clinton's sympathy for God's lesbian and gay children. Mr. Clinton has paid a price to be our friend. We must not forget that.

This moment is not about 'a return to morality in the White House.' It is about the fundamentalist's determination to gain power over the nation, to superimpose it's fundamentalist values on us all. They've tried everything to destroy Mr. Clinton. In his lies about Lewinsky, they finally found a way to remove him from office or to terminally damage his presidency.

I don't approve the President's sexual failures. I'm sorry that he lied. I can't defend him or defend his actions, but there is a greater evil here, greater even than sex and lies...It is the evil of fundamentalism with its urge to purge, using the President's sin to replace him with someone who will invariably work to end our rights and drive us back into the closet, if not worse.

It's a tragic moment for us, in spite of my determination to be hopeful in all things. To deny this tragic moment is to play Pollyanna's "glad game." The fundamentalists have won a powerful victory by using the President's own sin to destroy his presidency. Now, if we turn against the President, who has apologized and asked for forgiveness, we ally ourselves with our adversary."

Gay Republican organizer Rich Tafel, director of Log Cabin Republicans, is expressing a contrary view, however. He is pondering, according to the Blade, whether to "ask for Clinton's resignation or impeachment."

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