Giuliani: A "Gay Leader"?
What was most striking about this week's televised presidential forum on gay rights issues wasn't who showed up -- Sen. Hillary Clinton, Sen. Barack Obama, former senator John Edwards -- but who didn't.
Missing in action were all the Republican candidates, who declined invitations to the event.
Not even Rudy Giuliani was there, and as mayor of New York City he championed a bill giving same-sex couples equal rights under the law. He's dressed up as a Rockette. He's marched in gay pride parades. At the aftermath of the Sept. 11 attacks, when his then-wife Donna Hanover kicked him out of Gracie Mansion, he slept in a spare bedroom of an apartment belonging to his two gay friends.
Hours before the televised gay rights forum, a YouTube video titled "Gays for Giuliani: 'A Gay Leader'" made the rounds on some prominent blogs. Less than a minute long, the video features two gay men thanking Giuliani for everything he's done for gays. With the theme song of "The West Wing" playing in the background, Giuliani is quoted telling Fox News: "I'm in favor of civil unions." It's done very tongue-in-cheek, and it could hurt Giuliani, who leads the Republican field in the latest Washington Post/ABC News poll, especially among conservatives.
As of 12 a.m. Friday the video -- created by Ryan Davis, a 25-year-old gay New Yorker -- has been viewed more than 16,200 times.
-- Jose Antonio Vargas
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