First, let me just ask this question: why can't we have more of these kinds of forums on TV? It's far superior to the bickering when they're all together - giving each candidate 10-15 minutes to take questions alone is a great way to learn more about each candidate.
Obama did fairly well. He's better with these kinds of things than more of a debate-style, yell and bicker event. He talked about how civil rights has always been his biggest issue and it'll continue to be so if he's elected, regardless of whether it's because of race or glbt issues. I wasn't taking notes quite when Obama got on, because I was having trouble connecting, but he was perfectly good.
Edwards on health care - his health plan would be universal and he'd give equality toward everyone regardless of sexuality. Edwards said "that's just wrong," when Melissa Ethridge brought up the 'he said he's not comfortable around gay people' rumor from the worst political consultant ever's book (cough*Shrum*cough). Kids in public schools "need to understand" about gay issues. It's important that kids' peers understand what's going on (because kids are cruel). If you stand by discrimination and hate mongering, it "takes hold." Edwards then took Ann Coulter on and talked about his wife's confrontation with her, "you cannot let these people go on quietly" and continue with what they're doing. Finally, he backed off on faith as a reason for his not being there on marriage equality. If not faith (which is a lame excuse, and I'm glad he realized that) - then what?
Kucinich: essentially, all you need is love. He went all celestial, but is right on the marriage issue. Who cares if someone is gay? Everyone of us who is taking a stand has the potential to help any one of us evolve: the bully pulpit. He'd issue executive orders so that all branches of the government and all government contracts would include provisions for equality. Melissa Ethridge apparently has a man-crush on Kucinich and wants
Gravel: He's not easy to listen to (oratory skills minimal), but he supports marriage equality. He criticizes people for not supporting candidates who are really supporting equality, like Hillary, Edwards and Obama. Marriage is a commitment and if there's anything we need in this world it's more love. America needs to be brought forward to civil maturity through leadership. A leader stands up and actually stands up for something (a poke at the candidates not supporting marriage equality). Use you political capital, because that will earn you even more. You've got to assert your rights: 'gays, come out of the closet, please.'
Richardson: The nation is on the path to full inclusion, the President must lead that path. What is achievable is civil union with full rights. "What we also need to do," is revisit the past. If he's elected President, he'd get rid of DADT. He talks the specifics of why DADT passed. We need to bring people along and build public support. He talks about when he used an hispanic epithet that essentially means "fag" on the Imus show; he apologized for it and pointed to the things he's passed as an elected official. He dodged the question of whether or not he'd sign a bill, if given to him in N Mexico, that legalized gay marriage: he's "not there yet." We have to bring the country on (apparently, with people who don't support the issue??). He doesn't really answer whether people are born gay or not, he 'sees them as people.' He doesn't like to answer questions grounded in science or something he doesn't understand (that's a very close paraphrase there. EEK).
I'm stopping here with Richardson before he hurts himself more. This is getting bad, fast. He isn't confident anymore, so it looks like he knows this is going bad, bad, bad.
Hill: As a member of the Armed Service Committee, why haven't introduced legislation to get rid of DADT? She wants to do it as President because it will fail with the Republican Senate and President. Let's lay the ground work now, when I'm president we'll get it done.
What is the heart of your being against civil marriage? It's a personal decision. She's pro-civil unions. "For me, we have made it very clear in our country that we believe in equality. How we get to full equality is the debate we're having." Apparently, equality can be separate but equal, according to Hill. State rights, she says, just like the South did during the Civil Rights era. Oh - and do those states get a choice on Civil Unions, which she supports? Somehow I doubt she'd push for that. Repeal Section 3 of DOMA, which has to do with benefits, but not all DOMA. Joe Solomnese pushed on the Civil Rights metaphor - she "absolutely" understands it. Ugh, she frustrates me... the gay community is doing everything they should do.
"This has not been a long term struggle yet." WHAT?! My, my, my, my, my... A) apparently she doesn't know how far back the gay rights movement goes back. B) Should I have to wait until 2050 before I deserve to have equal rights? Does waiting a long ass time have to be a part of the process? Is it right, or is it right? She's trying to "change attitudes," but how can she do that when her attitude is where she's at?
That same criticism really applies to all the Big 3, Hillary isn't alone there, but she can certainly be the most frustrating about it at times.