ELECTION 08: McCain supports, Obama opposes Calif. marriage amendment
SAN FRANCISCO (BP)--Republican John McCain says he supports a proposed constitutional marriage amendment in California and Democrat Barack Obama says he opposes it, putting the two men on opposite sides of a contentious issue that is certain to draw nationwide attention this fall.
McCain's campaign sent a statement June 26 to ProtectMarriage.com, the pro-family campaign behind the effort to pass the November ballot initiative known as Proposition 8. The statement came weeks after a previous statement about his position on an amendment was criticized as less-than-clear.
"I support the efforts of the people of California to recognize marriage as a unique institution between a man and a woman, just as we did in my home state of Arizona," McCain said, referring to a 2006 vote on an amendment in Arizona. "I do not believe judges should be making these decisions."
If passed, the amendment would overturn a May 15 California Supreme Court ruling that legalized "gay marriage." ProtectMarriage.com posted McCain's statement on its website.
"As a leader in the United States Senate and the presumptive Republican presidential nominee, Senator McCain's position will be an important factor to millions of Californians," ProtectMarriage.com Chairman Ron Prentice said in a statement. "... We look forward to working with Senator McCain and many other elected leaders to accomplish this. We hope that U.S Senator Barack Obama will join Senator McCain in endorsing the initiative, and would welcome his support as well."
But Obama publicly stated his opposition to the amendment shortly after McCain released his new statement. As reported by homosexual media, Obama made his position known in a letter to the Alice B. Toklas LGBT Democratic Club, a San Francisco-based organization that works to influence the Democratic Party on homosexual issues.
"I oppose the divisive and discriminatory efforts to amend the California Constitution, and similar efforts to amend the U.S. Constitution or those of other states," Obama said. "For too long, issues of LGBT [lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender] rights have been exploited by those seeking to divide us."
Additionally, Obama's wife, Michelle, spoke at a gathering of homosexual Democrats June 26 and underscored her husband's opposition to the proposal (see below).
For information about the amendment, or to donate to the amendment campaign, visit ProtectMarriage.com (out-of-state donations are legal).
MICHELLE OBAMA ADDRESSES GAY DEMOCRATS -- Michelle Obama received a standing ovation when she spoke at a dinner held June 26 by the Gay & Lesbian Leadership Council of the Democratic National Committee. The wife of Democrat Barack Obama, she touted her husband's record on homosexual issues.
"Barack is not new to the cause of the LGBT [lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender] community," she said, according to a transcript. "It has been a conviction of his career since he was first elected to public office."
She contrasted the choice between Obama and Republican John McCain and argued that Obama would deliver a "world where together we work to reverse discriminatory laws like DOMA and Don't Ask, Don't Tell" and "a world where our federal laws don't discriminate against same-sex relationships." DOMA is the Defense of Marriage Act, a law that gives states the ability to prohibit the recognition of "gay marriages" from other states.
"[H]e opposes all divisive and discriminatory constitutional amendments -- whether it's a proposed amendment to the California and Florida constitutions or the U.S. Constitution," she said. "Because the world as it should be rejects discrimination."
DOBSON RECONSIDERING POSITION ON MCCAIN? -- Focus on the Family's James Dobson may be reconsidering how he'll vote in the presidential election in light of his strong opposition to Democrat Barack Obama. Dobson appeared on Sean Hannity's radio program June 24 to criticize Obama's use of Scripture. In the past, Dobson has said he would vote but possibly not for president, and if he did, it would be for a third party candidate. Hannity asked him if he was reconsidering.
"Sean, I'm going to waffle on you here," Dobson responded. "The last time I was on your program you asked me that question and I said I definitely will vote. I think we have a God-given responsibility to vote. I am not going to tell people how I'll vote. I think you just heard how I feel about Obama. And I have major concerns about McCain, too. He's better than Obama but I have major concerns.... This is a private matter for me."
Hannity then asked, "Will you announce it before the election?"
"I don't really know whether I will or not," Dobson replied.
Michael Foust is an assistant editor of Baptist Press.