Recently I received an email from a commenter who said something to the effect of "I just can't support a candidate who doesn't support gay marriage." I whole-heartedly agree with the commenter that who a person marries is none of my business, and I fully support gay marriage.
John Edwards does not.
But neither do Hillary Clinton or Barack Obama. Obama says because he is a Christian he cannot support a practice that goes against his fundamental beliefs. Hillary has been a little more muddled on the issue saying in the past that children are "better off if they have a mother and a father" and that traditional marriage should be "strengthened." Hillary supporters should also note that during her husband's presidency, she supported the Defense of Marriage Act.
Dennis Kucinich supports gay marriage but it's not enough for me to vote for him, at least not at this point in my life. Vote for Nader and you get burned. I've learned this. Plus, he loses me on the "I've been visited by aliens" issue.
So where does John Edwards stand on gay rights? Here is what you need to know:
Edwards opposes same-sex marriage, but he does not think the Constitution should be amended to define marriage as between a man and a woman. He supports civil unions.
On 2/24/04 Edwards said in response to President Bush's proposed Constitutional amendment, "I am against the president's constitutional amendment on gay marriage...I don't personally support gay marriage myself. My position has always been that it's for the states to decide."
Edwards supports the repeal of the Defense of Marriage Act.
Edwards supports giving same-sex couples the same rights to adopt children as heterosexual couples. He also says both members of a same-sex couple should be able to form a legal relationship with their children.
Edwards supports the rights of gays, lesbians and bisexuals to serve openly in the United States Military. He says, "The military ought to treat all service members equally and in a way that promotes national security, without regard to sexual orientation."
Though John Edwards doesn't support gay marriage, Elizabeth does. Kicking off this year's San Francisco Gay Pride Parade she said:
"I don't know why someone else's marriage has anything to do with me. I'm completely comfortable with gay marriage."
I wish John Edwards shared his wife's view, but knowing Elizabeth feels differently makes a difference for me. She may be at odds with her husband, but for me, knowing that helps to "soften the blow."