There's an excellent, thought-provoking editorial in today's Bay Area Reporter:
The Human Rights Campaign has been under fire in recent weeks from gay bloggers and media (including this space) for wide ranging issues like failing to publicly acknowledge Republican state lawmakers who are supportive of same-sex marriage; the golden parachute given to former President Cheryl Jacques; and the methods it uses to count its members. As arguably the largest LGBT organization in the country, HRC wields political clout, even if that power has been underemployed during the Bush administration.
Now, however, there is a prime opportunity for HRC to flex its muscle and get its groove back: it should urge the 2008 presidential candidates to agree to a debate that would focus primarily on LGBT issues. With the first debate for the Democratic candidates coming up at the end of the month, and more scheduled, now is the time to create such a forum. And we're not talking about campaign surrogates or the candidates' gay staffers – we want to hear from the candidates.
Beyond hosting pricey dinners and closed-door meetings for its members (like when it gave political cover to Senator Hillary Rodham Clinton, who addressed the group but whose visit was announced only after her appearance), HRC should demand the candidates attend a public forum where our issues are debated. The candidates – at least the Democrats, from what we've seen so far – want our vote ...
Will the leaders at HRC heed the advice of this editorial and organize a gay debate for the candidates? If they do, it would benefit all gays and such a debate might even advance an agenda for equality.