The Democratic nominee for President of the United States has said that gay rights issues are used to divide Americans and he is proud to have been endorsed by the Human Rights Campaign.

HRC is America’s most prominent lesbian, gay, bisexual and trans rights organisation.

Its president, Joe Solomonese, said he was proud to support Senator Obama for President.

“We have just witnessed a historic primary contest in which two champions of our community demonstrated that they hear our voices and share our dreams,” he said, a reference to Hillary Clinton, who has suspended her campaign for the White House.

“For millions across this country, their candidacies, as the first woman and the first African-American to be top contenders for the nomination of a major party, have already been life-changing, inspiring, and groundbreaking.

“They are, quite simply, heroes to anyone fighting for equality.

“I’ve been consistently impressed by Senator Obama’s willingness to speak about GLBT issues in front of diverse audiences.

“Matters of life and livelihood for GLBT Americans are on the line in this election and after eight years of an anti-gay stranglehold on the Presidency, Senator Obama’s message of fairness and acceptance is a breath of fresh air.”

While Senator Clinton was perceived to be the front runner among gays, with some commentators highlighting the fact that she mentioned gay people twice in her concession speech, the Obama campaign has moved quickly to secure the votes of her supporters.

“The Human Rights Campaign has been at the forefront of the fight for GLBT equality and opportunity, and I am proud to have its endorsement,” Senator Obama said.

“Too often, the issue of GLBT rights is exploited by those seeking to divide us.

“But at its core, this issue is about who we are as Americans. I look forward to working with HRC to end discrimination against GLBT Americans and to ensure that all of our citizens are treated with dignity and respect.”

Senator Obama is on record as supporting federal benefits and protections for same-sex couples, a fully-inclusive Employment Non-Discrimination Act and hate crimes legislation, comprehensive sex education, the repeal of the military’s “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” policy, and increased funding for HIV/AIDS.

“It’s wrong to have millions of Americans living as second-class citizens in this nation,” he said.

Last week HRC’s political action committee attacked the record of his Republican opponent in the November election.

They released a report entitled Senator John McCain: A Record of Opposing the Interests of GLBT Americans.

“As the general election nears, Senator John McCain will tout his reputation as a maverick, an independent and a moderate,” HRC said.

“But a review of Senator McCain’s record paints a different picture.”

The full report and a summary can be viewed online here.

“We’ve witnessed President Bush over the last seven years repeatedly side with ultra-conservatives and the religious right at the expense of protections for GLBT Americans,” said Human Rights Campaign vice president David Smith.

“Judging by his record, a McCain presidency would be another four years of more of the same.

“Similar to Bush, Senator McCain opposes equal benefits for same-sex couples; opposes the Employment Non-Discrimination Act to prohibit discrimination against GLBT Americans in the workplace; opposes expanding the hate crimes act to include sexual orientation and gender identity, and supports the military’s discriminatory “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” policy.”

Americans will vote for their next President on November 4th and he will take office on 20th January 2009.