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Kerry allows possibility he could change on ‘gay marriage’

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (BP)–In an interview with the nation’s largest homosexual magazine just weeks before the election, Democratic presidential candidate John Kerry leaves open the possibility that he will change his position on same-sex “marriage” and says he will nominate judges who will fight for homosexual causes.

The interview is part of the Oct. 26 edition of The Advocate, which features Kerry on the cover.

The Massachusetts senator has drawn praise from activists for his opposition to the Marriage Protection Amendment but consternation from some for his stated opposition to same-sex “marriage.”

Asked directly by The Advocate if he “would ever change” his mind on same-sex “marriage,” Kerry left the door open.

“I have my view, and my view is my view,” Kerry said. “I can’t tell you in 20 years or whenever, if someone made a persuasive argument, the world changes. … So I don’t predict the future. What I tell you is that my position is what it is.”

Kerry gave a list of reasons homosexuals should support him Nov. 2:

— He voted against the 1996 Defense of Marriage Act, which gives states the option of not recognizing another state’s same-sex “marriage” law.

— He supports expanding hate crimes laws to include homosexuality.

— He supports civil unions and favors giving same-sex couples all the federal benefits of marriage.

“I am for civil unions,” he said. “Tell me, what presidential candidate in the history of the nation has supported that?’

One of the most important issues for the homosexual community, Kerry asserted, is the federal judiciary.

Nine states are involved in same-sex “marriage” lawsuits, and the Defense of Marriage Act is being challenged in a federal court in Florida. If DOMA is overturned, then presumably all 50 states would be forced to recognize same-sex “marriages” from Massachusetts, the only state where it is legal.

“If [homosexuals] think that they want a Supreme Court with more justices like Clarence Thomas and Antonin Scalia, then they should stay home,” Kerry said. “But if they want a Court appointed by John Kerry that’s going to fight for equality in America and a fair interpretation of the equal protection clause and due process, this is the most important election of our lifetime.”

Homosexuals, Kerry said, must understand the issues.

“I believe this is important for the community like no other race historically, and the leaders of the community need to stand up and say, ‘Hey, folks, let’s pass ENDA [the Employment Non-Discrimination Act], let’s pass hate-crimes legislation. Let’s make sure that there’s a Supreme Court that isn’t going to take rights away that are critical to our ability to make progress.’ That, I think, is what is at stake in this race,” he said.

Underscoring his support for civil unions, Kerry said he believes homosexual couples should receive the same federal benefits that married couples receive.

“I’m for the federal benefits because those are rights,” he said. “Those are not defined by marriage; those are rights afforded by the government. In my judgment those rights should be afforded as a matter of right.”

Kerry also re-iterated his opposition to the Defense of Marriage Act. Asked if it could be repealed, he said, “It’s the law of the land, and you’re not going to repeal that with the current Congress. There aren’t enough votes.”

The military’s “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” policy on homosexuals should be reviewed, said Kerry, who previously has stated his opposition to it.

“It’s not working, and we have to find a way to have equality in participation in the military,” he said. “I’ve committed to find a way to work through the issues.”

On homosexual issues, Kerry said, the choice in the election is clear.

“[I]f people are going to make progress on issues like these, they’d better support people like me who’ve taken risks to stand up for what’s right,” he said. “And when I stood up on that floor on the U.S. Senate and said, ‘That’s gay bashing, and I’m not going to be a part of it, and that’s wrong,’ I hope people will stand up for me in this race and give me the opportunity to fight for things that are right.”

If elected, Kerry said, “We’re going to have a very different debate in this country.”

Although every Democratic candidate since 1992 has given The Advocate an interview, Kerry is the first one to talk to the magazine weeks before the election. The interview was conducted in early September.

“As the Bush campaign has gone out of its way to woo conservative Christians, the Kerry campaign has gone out of its way to reach GLBT [gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender] voters,” the magazine notes.
For more information about the national debate over same-sex “marriage,” visit http://www.bpnews.net/samesexmarriage

    About the Author

  • Michael Foust