NASHVILLE, Tenn. (BP)–With little fanfare, former Vice President Al Gore posted a video online Jan. 17 announcing his support for “gay marriage,” becoming perhaps the most well-known political figure yet to back such relationships.
Gore joins a number of prominent Democrats who support “gay marriage,” including House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and U.S. Sens. Ted Kennedy of Massachusetts and Russ Feingold of Wisconsin.
“I think that gay men and women ought to have the same rights as heterosexual men and women — to make contracts, to have hospital visiting rights, to join together in marriage, and I don’t understand why it is considered by some people to be a threat to heterosexual marriage,” Gore said in the video posted on Current.com. The news website Politico.com reported about the video Jan. 23. “… Shouldn’t we be promoting the kind of faithfulness and loyalty to one’s partner regardless of sexual orientation?”
Gore’s new position on the issue isn’t a huge surprise. In March 2006 he spoke at a gala dinner in Los Angeles for the Human Rights Campaign, the nation’s largest homosexual activist organization. Although he didn’t explicitly state his support then for “gay marriage,” he came close.
Saying there are “many kinds of love,” Gore in his 2006 speech referenced the “gay marriage” ceremonies performed at San Francisco in early 2004, and then said, according to a transcript: “[S]ome reacted with hatred and anger. What I saw that was just overwhelming was the love, the joy, the purity of the excitement that that love was being honored.”
After his defeat for the presidency in 2000, Gore and wife Tipper released a book, “Joined at the Heart: The Transformation of the American Family,” that included profiles of homosexual couples as well as traditional families.
Gore’s announcement on the Internet comes days before he speaks at a meeting of mostly moderate/liberal Baptists in Atlanta Jan. 30-Feb. 1. Called the New Baptist Covenant, the meeting also will include former Presidents Carter and Clinton.
MD. GOVERNOR FOR ‘GAY MARRIAGE’? — Democratic Maryland Gov. Martin O’Malley, who has been in office just over a year, prefers civil unions but would be open to signing a bill legalizing “gay marriage” if it came to his desk, spokesperson Rick Abbruzzese reportedly told the homosexual newspaper Washington Blade in early January. Abbruzzese said O’Malley would “look at” whatever bill the governor received.
“I think he thinks there is a possibility of forming consensus on this issue during the upcoming session,” Abbruzzese told the Blade.
Homosexual activists in Maryland are pushing for a “gay marriage” bill after the state’s high court in September issued a decision saying the issue was one for the legislature, and not the courts, to decide. Supporters of “gay marriage” had hoped the court would take the initiative and change the law.
The homosexual group Equality Maryland told the Blade that it had persuaded some members of the state House and Senate to back such a bill. But the group suffered a loss Jan. 12 when State Sen. Gwendolyn T. Britt, 66, died of apparent heart failure. She was the senate sponsor of the gay marriage bill and a strong supporter of Equality Maryland causes.
Homosexual activists say that before O’Malley was elected governor, he privately told people he was for “gay marriage.”
WASH. BILL COULD BE EXPANDED — Washington state’s domestic partnerships law has been in effect for only six months, but some legislators already are wanting to expand it — with the ultimate goal, they say, being legalized “gay marriage.”
The law as currently written grants same-sex couples some, but not all, of the state legal benefits of marriage. The bill by Sen. Ed Murray and Rep. Jamie Pedersen, both Democrats who are openly homosexual, would expand the bill to grant an additional 170 benefits and responsibilities of marriage, the Associated Press reported. Democratic leaders support the bill, Murray and Pederson said, and Democrat Gov. Chris Gregoire hasn’t seen the bill but in general supports expanding the law, AP said.
“Our hope is that having these discussions is going to allow us in the next several years to have a vote within the Legislature on marriage equality for gay and lesbian Washingtonians,” Murray told AP.
Joe Fuiten, senior pastor of Cedar Park Church in Bothell, Wash., said expansion of the law is a bad idea. He also fears it would lead to “gay marriage.”
“Marriage is about a family and children,” he said, according to the Seattle Post-Intelligencer. “There is lots of evidence that children deserve a mother and a father, and you can’t replace one of the genders and raise children.”
Washington’s domestic partnerships are unlike Oregon’s domestic partnerships, which grant all the state legal benefits of marriage.
Michael Foust is assistant editor of Baptist Press.