Voters in California, Arizona and
Florida are being asked to amend their state constitution to forbid
gay marriage on November 4th. With less than two weeks to
the election, presidential campaigns are breaking their long silence
on the issue.
Both campaigns dispatched their vice
presidential hopefuls to discuss gay marriage during television
interviews this week.
Alaska Governor Sarah Palin spoke
against gay marriage in an interview broadcast on Tuesday's edition
of The 700 Club, where she was asked by David Brody: “On
constitutional marriage amendment, are ... are you for something like
“I am, in my own, state, I have voted
along with the vast majority of Alaskans who had the opportunity to
vote to amend our Constitution defining marriage as between one man
and one woman. I wish on a federal level that's where we would go.
I don't support gay marriage,” Palin answered.
The Associated Press reported
Palin's position to be at odds with Senator John McCain, who voted
against a proposed Federal Marriage Amendment in 2004 and 2006, and
her own previously stated position on such issues.
In voting against the Federal Marriage
Amendment, McCain said he was a “federalist” and believed states
should decide social issues like gay marriage and abortion rights.
Palin has agreed with that position, saying she's also a
But a Newsweek story titled
Making Plans for Palin suggested the Governor is breaking
ranks with McCain in an effort to bolster her chances for a 2012
presidential run. The story highlights five recent statements Palin
has made that are either critical of or at odds with McCain –
criticizing the campaign's pull out of Michigan, disagreeing with
McCain's decision to understate an Obama-Rev. Wright connection,
breaking with her boss on the issue of delisting North Korea as a
state sponsor of terror, deviating on the campaign's use of negative
robocalls, and the gay marriage issue.
In contrast, Senator Joe Biden appeared
Monday on the The Ellen DeGeneres Show, where he told chat show
host Ellen DeGeneres that California's proposed gay marriage ban is
“regressive” and that he would vote against it.
“If I lived in California, I'd
totally vote against Prop. 8,” the Delaware Senator said. “And,
by the way, Barack and I opposed a similar attempt nationally. There
was an attempt to talk about a constitutional amendment which I think
is regressive, I think it's unfair. So, I vote no.”
All four nominees, however, oppose gay
marriage. Obama and Biden have each stated their preference for
civil unions over marriage for gay couples, but do not believe in gay
marriage bans. McCain does not support any form of recognition of
gay unions, but believes individual states should decide the issue.
And Palin believes a federal constitutional amendment that forbids
gay marriage is necessary.
To a lesser extent, gay marriage is
also on the ballot in Connecticut, where a measure seeks to force a
constitutional convention to discuss the issue.
In California, where $45 million is
being spent to decided the issue, voters are being asked for the
first time to take away marriage rights granted to gay couples in May
when the California Supreme Court overruled a 2000 voter-approved gay