Obama argues for civil unions for gays

Obama argues for civil unions for gays

LOS ANGELES (AP) - Senator Barack Obama says he wants to tap into the "core decency" of Americans to fight discrimination against gays and lesbians.

Obama was among the six Democratic presidential candidates who took part in the first major forum specifically to address gay issues.

The two-hour forum, held in a Hollywood studio, was co-sponsored by the Human Rights Campaign, a gay-rights group active in Democratic politics, and Logo, a gay-oriented cable TV channel.

All of the Democratic candidates support a federal ban on anti-gay job discrimination, want to repeal the "don't ask, don't tell" policy barring gays from serving openly in the military and support civil unions.

Only the long-shots support gay marriage: Dennis Kucinich and Mike Gravel.

New Mexico Governor Bill Richardson said the nation is on "a path to full inclusion."

Senators Joe Biden and Chris Dodd did not appear.