NASHVILLE, Tenn. (BP)–Leading Democratic presidential candidate John Kerry opposes same-sex “marriage” but has yet to favor a solution in stopping its legalization.
The landmark decision by the Massachusetts high court Feb. 4 to legalize same-sex “marriage” put state lawmakers in a corner, but it also put Kerry — a U.S. senator from Massachusetts — in the spotlight.
Public opinion polls show that around 60 percent of Americans oppose same-sex “marriage.” Presumably, Massachusetts will make history in mid-May by becoming the first state in the nation to issue marriage licenses to same-sex couples.
While Kerry has said he opposes same-sex “marriage,” he is on record as opposing both the Defense of Marriage Act and a federal marriage amendment to the Constitution. Additionally, according to his website, since 1995 he has a 100 percent rating from the Human Rights Campaign, the nation’s largest homosexual activist organization.
NBC News reported the day of the ruling that Kerry — who leads the delegate count among Democratic candidates — was huddled with his advisers and was not talking about the issue publicly.
He did release a statement that said in part: “I believe the right answer is civil unions. I oppose gay marriage and disagree with the Massachusetts Court’s decision.”
But the court’s ruling certainly was not good news for the Kerry camp. NBC called the issue one of several “potential potholes” he could face in seeking the presidency.
In 1996, Kerry was one of only 14 senators to vote against the Defense of Marriage Act, which was signed by President Clinton and gives individual states the right not to recognize another state’s same-sex “marriage.” Consequently, 37 states have passed such laws.
In addition, Kerry opposes the federal marriage amendment, which has been introduced in Congress and would protect the traditional definition of marriage within the U.S. Constitution.
Conservatives fear that Kerry’s hands-off approach is playing right into the hands of homosexual activists, who have been vocal in their attempt to legalize same-sex “marriage” through the court system.
Meanwhile, President Bush may be on the verge of supporting a constitutional amendment. The New York Times reported Feb. 5 that conservative groups have been told by the White House that Bush eventually would support an amendment. Focus on the Family’s James Dobson told his radio audience Feb. 4 that Bush is “now prepared to throw the weight of his presidency behind the Federal Marriage Amendment.”
Bush issued a statement after the ruling that stopped just short of endorsing an amendment.
“Today’s ruling of the Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court is deeply troubling,” the statement read. “Marriage is a sacred institution between a man and a woman. If activist judges insist on re-defining marriage by court order, the only alternative will be the constitutional process. We must do what is legally necessary to defend the sanctity of marriage.”
A Bush endorsement of an amendment would draw a clear distinction between the president and Kerry, assuming Kerry is the Democratic nominee. While some political observers say the economy and the war in Iraq will overshadow any marriage debate, others say that same-sex “marriage” — especially if it is legalized in Kerry’s home state — will be an issue.
Civil unions also could be an issue. While Kerry endorses the legalization of civil unions, Bush has indicated that the issue should be left up to the states. He opposed civil unions while he was Texas governor.
In an interview with the homosexual magazine “Advocate” last September, Kerry said the issue of same-sex “marriage” has been overemphasized.
“[T]here are a lot more important things to fight about in this country,” he said. “I think we have to advance rights. People are overly focused on an issue that is not as burning as getting couples a thousand different rights — from the ability to visit a partner in the hospital to inheritance.”
Kerry also implied that he believes the nation eventually will embrace same-sex “marriage.”
“[T]he first step is to achieve the rights for everybody,” he said. “Once you have achieved civil unions, it’s quite possible we will go through an evolutionary process.”
He also seemed to indicate that he eventually could support same-sex “marriage.”
Advocate writer Chris Bull asked Kerry, “When you say it’s ‘the way I’ve seen the issue,’ it sounds like you might be open to changing your position.”
Kerry replied, “Will I come to a different view sometime down the road? Who knows?”
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