NASHVILLE, Tenn. (BP)–The wife of 2008 Republican presidential nominee John McCain has joined a California campaign supporting the legalization of “gay marriage,” although McCain himself says his traditional position on the issue has not changed.
Cindy McCain followed her daughter Meghan’s lead and took part in a photo shoot for the NoH8 Campaign, an organization that was set up following the passage of California Proposition 8 in 2008 and which posts photos of famous and non-famous people who support the redefinition of marriage. In the photos each person is seen with “NoH8” written on a cheek and with duct tape over their mouth — supposedly symbolizing their voices not being heard.
Prop 8 overturned a state Supreme Court ruling that had legalized “gay marriage.”
The name of the organization has frustrated conservatives because, they say, it falsely implies that all opposition to “gay marriage” is based on hate.
“That’s a slogan that collapses the distinction between hatred and disagreement, which insults and stereotypes 7 million Californians who voted for Prop 8 — not to mention Mrs. McCain’s husband, who campaigned for Arizona’s marriage amendment,” Brian Brown, executive director of the National Organization for Marriage, said in statement.
Cindy McCain, the campaign said on its website, voluntarily approached NoH8.
“Although we had worked with Meghan McCain before and were aware of her own position, we’d never really thought the cause might be something her mother would get behind,” a campaign statement said. “We have a huge amount of respect for both of these women for being brave enough to make it known they support equal marriage rights for all Americans.”
McCain’s office released a statement saying he respects his family’s views but that he “believes the sanctity of marriage is only defined as between one man and one woman.”
Up for re-election this year, McCain, a Republican senator from Arizona, supported passage of Proposition 8 in 2008 and also recorded a TV ad in 2006 backing a proposed constitutional marriage amendment in his home state. Toward the end of the commercial, McCain appeared, saying, “I’m John McCain. Please join me in voting yes on Proposition 107.”
His 2008 presidential campaign website included a statement about the family which read, “The family represents the foundation of Western Civilization and civil society and John McCain believes the institution of marriage is a union between one man and one woman. It is only this definition that sufficiently recognizes the vital and unique role played by mothers and fathers in the raising of children, and the role of the family in shaping, stabilizing, and strengthening communities and our nation.”
It’s not the first time someone close to McCain has come out for “gay marriage.” Steve Schmidt, chief strategist for McCain’s 2008 campaign, said last year he backs “marriage” for homosexual couples.
“It wasn’t my place in the campaign to debate issues with him that he had a firm opinion on,” Schmidt told the Washington Blade newspaper.
Michael Foust is an assistant editor of Baptist Press