Mike Gravel is a former U.S. senator from Alaska. He is running for president, although he is not on the ballot in Texas, and he is the only Democrat in the race at this time who supports full marriage rights for same-sex couples.
1 Why aren’t you on the ballot in Texas?
We just didn’t have the resources to do it. When the media decided to play me as a noncandidate, it cut out visibility, and the lack of visibility cut out the ability to raise money. It has just been a real struggle. I’m still a candidate, and I will still be spending some time in Texas. I’m hopeful that one of the independent parties will pick up my candidacy after the convention. That might be the Greens, that might be the Libertarians. If the public knew who I was, I would be winning, but that has been determined by corporate media.
2 Talk about being the only Democratic candidate left who supports gay marriage.
I fancy myself the poster boy for the gay comunity. I feel very deeply about the marriage issue, that it’s got nothing to do with religion, it’s about two people in love. If there’s anything we need, it’s more love in our society. The stigma with respect to gays is worse than any other group that’s been denied civil rights. I view this whole issue as civil rights, and that’s the reason I feel so deeply about it.
3 Why hasn’t Barack Obama or Hillary Clinton come out in favor of gay marriage?
They’re afraid politically, which is very sad. They don’t offer leadership, and that’s what they claim they’re going to do when they’re president. If they don’t have the guts to do it in the primary, they’re not going to do it as president. They stay away from all the issues that have any possible negative voting.
4 Do you still feel like your candidacy has been beneficial to the gay communtiy?
I think I’ve helped move the ball down the field, by taking a very, very strong stand on the marriage question and "Don’t ask, don’t tell." It’s by some candidates starting to talk about it that pushes the other candidates in that direction. You do what you have to do and many times conflict disturbs people. A lot of people just don’t want to get involved in conflict. It’s not their nature, so if Hillary will throw a crumb or Barack will give a nod in their direction, they’re happy with that, but that’s not nearly enough.
5 Do you have any predictions about who will win between Obama, Clinton and John McCain?
It looks like Obama’s going to walk away with it at this point. But if I’ve learned one thing in politics, it’s that anything is possible, so you don’t want to count this thing over. A lot can happen between now and November. It doesn’t mater, though. All three of these candidates are for American imperialism and the continuation of the existing industrial-military complex.
Soundout is a weekly column featuring people whose jobs and interests have an impact on the daily lives of members of the LGBT community. It features those who often go unnoticed by the press and community. If you’d like to recommend someone to cover in this column, email@example.com.