WASHINGTON (BP)–House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi came out in support of same-sex marriage March 24, becoming the highest-ranking member of either chamber to take that position publicly.
Appearing on FOX News’ “Your World with Neil Cavuto,” Pelosi, D.-Calif., was pressed to give her position on same-sex “marriage.” Her district includes San Francisco, which handed out more than 4,000 marriage licenses to same-sex couples against state law before the California Supreme Court told the city to stop.
“Can same-sex couples marry?” Cavuto asked.
“Yes,” Pelosi replied.
Moments later Cavuto asked, “So what the mayor of San Francisco is doing, you would approve of it?”
“Yes,” she said.
Pelosi’s comments are sure to cause grumbling from more moderate and conservative Democrats, who warned against her election when former Minority Leader Richard Gephardt stepped down in 2002. Rep. Harold Ford, D.-Tenn., ran against Pelosi for the minority position, saying she was too far to the left for the party. But Pelosi beat Ford handily.
Pelosi, speaking on FOX News, said she would use her “leadership to defeat” a constitutional marriage amendment backed by President Bush, which would protect the traditional definition of marriage, thus banning same-sex “marriage.”
The amendment would “enshrine discrimination in the Constitution” against homosexuals, she said.
“I don’t think they should be discriminated [against] in the Constitution,” she said. “And my goal is to defeat that resolution. And I’m not going to be sidetracked by any other questions about ethics.”
The homosexual-themed magazine Advocate reported that Pelosi’s comments broke “weeks of silence” on the issue.
Sen. Ted Kennedy, D.-Mass., recently also came out in support of same-sex “marriage.”
While polling on the issue has been somewhat erratic, a March CBS/New York Times poll showed that 59 percent of Americans favored an amendment — up four points from the same poll in December.
For more information about the debate over same-sex “marriage,” visit