An August 28th The Associated Press article titled McBama agenda: Common ground between candidates, misrepresents both Senator John McCain's and Senator Barack Obama's positions on gay issues.

The AP piece, written by Calvin Woodward, attempts to make the case that both men share common ground on many issues. The story leads the reader to believe that both candidates share a similar outlook with regard to gay & lesbian rights due to the fact that they both oppose gay marriage.

“Both say gay marriage should be left to the states and oppose a constitutional amendment to ban it. President Bush, in contrast, proposed such a ban but did not push for one. McCain has obliquely endorsed at least some of the rights inherent in gay civil unions while Obama has expressed strong support for those rights. Both say they oppose gay marriage,” Woodward writes.

McCain, in fact, has endorsed a federal constitutional amendment to ban gay marriage. He said in early March that he would support an amendment if the Supreme Court required states to recognize gay marriages performed in other states; that is, if his first line of defense – state bans – failed. “I believe that states like mine and other states should amend our state constitutions,” he said on Fox News' Hannity & Colmes. “And I will stick to that position until such time, if ever, a higher court says that my state or another state has to recognize the other sta – another status of marriage. ... I'm committed to maintaining the unique status of marriage between man and woman.”

Additionally, McCain not only endorsed but campaigned for a constitutional ban on gay marriage and civil unions in his home state of Arizona in 2006. The measure was rejected by voters, the first to do so, but opponents of gay marriage in the state have returned with a new version for the November ballot.

Openly gay Conn. State Rep. Jason Bartlett, a DNC delegate, disagreed with the notion that the two candidates share common ground, saying, “Everything that I've heard come out of his [John McCain's] mouth has been homophobic, and to try to suggest that just because the two of them oppose gay marriage that they both have the same position on the [gay & lesbian] issues is absolutely ridiculous”

Indeed Obama favors civil unions over marriages, but does so for more pragmatic reasons, not personal bias. In stark contrast to McCain, Obama recognizes the need for some legal protections for gay couples in loving relationships.

McCain believes that gay rights, particularly in the areas of marriage and adoption, need to be halted, in some form – he simply happens to prefer the state level. Whereas, Obama endorses gay rights, as is evident in his recent Democratic nomination acceptance speech in Denver: “I know there are differences on same sex-marriage, but surely we can agree that our gay and lesbian brothers and sisters deserve to visit the person they love in a hospital and live lives free of discrimination.”

One is mistrustful of gay voters, while the other seeks them out.