Thursday, Nov 14, 2019
 
search SGN
Thursday, Nov 14, 2019
click to go to click to visit advertiser's website

 


 


 
Cost of the
War in Iraq
(JavaScript Error)
click to go to advertisers website
 
Polling would-be presidents on marriage
Polling would-be presidents on marriage
by Chris Crain - SGN Contributing Writer

When Al Gore quietly announced his support for Gay marriage last week in a homemade video posted on his Current TV network, one thing was clear: He has abandoned all thought of entering this year's presidential contest.

That's because the received wisdom in U.S. politics today is that backing Gay marriage is the kiss of death for any candidate seeking national office. Doubt that's really why Gore took until now to finally come out of the marriage closet? Consider what filmmaker Rick Jacobs, a close Gore associate, wrote in the Huffington Post after last week's endorsement. He recounted a story from a full two years ago about how Al Gore was struggling backstage at a Gay rights gala with whether to announce his backing before going out to receive an award.

That conventional wisdom is also why only the marginal presidential candidates from 2004 - Dennis Kucinich, Al Sharpton and Carol Moseley-Braun - and 2008 - Kucinich again and Mike Gravel - took the Gay marriage leap.

Polls show as much as one-third of the public is already there on the issue, with another third supporting civil unions as a marriage equivalent. But that doesn't capture the intensity of Gay marriage opposition, including among some of those civil union supporters - especially in a number of the crucial "battleground states."

As bleak as that seems for this year's election, Gay marriage isn't an issue to be decided as part of the presidential race anyway. States have been defining just who can marry since long before same-sex couples wanted to tie the knot. The exception has been where the definitions adopted by the states ran afoul of the U.S. Constitution, and while we might agree that excluding Gay couples does exactly that, Gay activists have wisely decided against pressing that argument, in court or in politics, for fear of inciting a federal marriage amendment.

To the extent Gay marriage is a federal issue, all three leading Democrats have said they will back federal recognition of Gay marriages and civil unions. Doing that will take repealing Section 3 of the Defense of Marriage Act, something all three say they support.

But Barack Obama and John Edwards will go one step further than Hillary Clinton. They say they'll back full repeal of DOMA, including the other half of that infamous law, which says any state can refuse to recognize Gay marriages performed in any other state.

Hillary Clinton won't go that far and has defended her husband's decision to sign DOMA as a necessary bulwark against a federal marriage amendment way back in 1996. She says repealing all of DOMA would make that amendment a real possibility all over again.

Edwards agreed with Senator Clinton as recently as 2004, saying in a nationally televised interview during that year's presidential primary that he agreed with that half of DOMA. John Kerry, the party's eventual nominee that year, was even worse - backing constitutional amendments in Massachusetts and elsewhere that would either overrule the judiciary or prevent them proactively from ruling in favor of same-sex couples.

Two candidate questionnaires turned in by Obama in his 2004 campaign for the U.S. Senate said he also agreed with DOMA, but he wrote a letter to Chicago's leading Gay newspaper in January 2004 making clear that he believed the statute was discriminatory when it was enacted and should be repealed in full.

Those differences seem minor when compared to the leading Republicans going into next week's Super Duper Tuesday voting. Mitt Romney has earned the special enmity of Gay Republicans by abandoning his moderate record on Gay rights as part of reinventing himself for conservative GOP primary voters.

On Gay marriage, however, he's been consistently awful. As governor of Massachusetts, Romney tried as many crafty ways to evade the state Supreme Court's landmark Gay marriage ruling as Arkansas Gov. Orville Faubus did years ago in opposition to racial desegregation decisions.

Gay voters remember John McCain for calling out Pat Robertson and Jerry Falwell as "agents of intolerance" during his 2000 presidential primary race against George W. Bush. But don't let the "straight talk" fool you; he's only marginally better than Romney.

Romney supports a federal marriage amendment, while McCain does not. But both are also opposed to other, lesser forms of recognition for Gay relationships. McCain went so far as to support Arizona's brutal 2006 ballot measure that would have banned Gay marriage, civil unions and even domestic partnerships. To date the Arizona measure is the only one to be defeated at the ballot box, showing just how far outside the mainstream McCain is, even in the red state he calls his home.

Chris Crain is former editor of the Washington Blade and five other Gay publications and now edits GayNewsWatch.com. He can be reached via his blog at www.citizencrain.com

click to visit advertiser's website

click to visit advertiser's website
click to visit advertiser's website
click to visit advertiser's website
click to visit advertiser's website
click to visit advertiser's website
click to visit advertiser's website
click to visit advertiser's website
click to visit advertiser's website
click to visit advertiser's website
Seattle Gay Blog post your own information on
the Seattle Gay Blog



click to visit advertiser's website

copyright Seattle Gay News - DigitalTeamWorks 2007