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
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
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
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.