Gay Marriage

Where the Forerunners Stand


Giuliani: on his website states he believes marriage is between a man and a woman, but that he supports domestic partnerships for legal and personal matters.[1]


McCain: on his website states he believes marriage is between one man and one woman and this union is the foundation of civil society.[2]


Obama: on his website lists family as one of his issues, but does not mention marriage, therefore it is not known how he stands on gay marriage.[3] However Obama opposes creating an amendment that defines marriage as between a man and a woman. Though states his belief that marriage is between a man and a woman and believes same-sex couples should be embraced as part of the community.


Clinton: on her official website she does not have a family section that discusses her views on gay marriage, however from other sources her stance can be found.[4] As of 2006 it can be said that Hillary believed in civil unions to protect the rights of homosexual couples.


Edwards: on his own website he does not have a family section so there is nothing stated on whether he is for or against gay marriage. [5] However, on the website it states that 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.

The Way the Senators and Represenatives Voted

In 2006 Hilary, Barak, McCain, Edwards, and Brownback voted on a ban for gay marriage. If the vote was a yes, then they want to ban gay marriage. If they voted no, then they do not want to ban gay marriage.[6]

Clinton: No

Obama: No

Edwards: Yes

Brownback: Yes

McCain: No

Morality and Gay Marriage

The Democrats' Views

  • Edwards cites personal, religious conflict with the issue, having been raised in a Southern Baptist church[7]
  • Obama mentions religious affiliations, marriage is "something before God," "between a man and a woman," but would respect the "basic" rights of gays and lesbians; that is, he supports civil unions[8]

The Republicans' Views

  • Fred Thompson: Christian leanings, but focuses on terms like "tradition" rather than directly citing Bible or moral beliefs; says we shouldn't create "special categories"; would defer judgment to the states[9]
  • In response to General Pace's comments made against homosexuality[10], Republican presidential candidates Hunter and Brownback didn't hesitate to agree[11][12]

General Language Patterns

In general, as would be expected, religiously conservative candidates do not stray from wordings like the "sanctity" of marriage as a patented response to the question on gay marriage. This was not universally true of Republicans, of course. By the same token, certain prominent Democratic candidates showed degrees of ambivalence and seemed genuinely conflicted, as evidenced by much stammering when openly asked about the issue. This could be a reflection of the uncertainty or conclusion on the part of the public at large, as Fred Thompson's comments on creating a "special category" for gays might reflect a conspiratorial inkling in Americans' minds about the chimerical "gay agenda." The issue needs clarification, and that means that politicians largely need to be clearer.

From A Feminist Perspective

  • As the feminist dialogue continues to address the privileges afforded to men within each institution available to them, the time has come to discuss the denial of the rights to individuals as well as access to basic, constitutional institutions is long overdue. The basis on which these individuals are denied access to marriage, a fundamental constitutional right, is that of their sexual orientation. If extended to the GLBT community, the right to marry would be non-threatening and would serve only to secure human rights for all. Because of the latent fear of same-sex commitment, the current discussion has shifted and now involves considering same-sex “unions” as a substitute for same-sex marriage. While some may argue that recognition of same-sex commitment in any shape is viable progress, separate but equal will never be fully equal. Across history, including the 1896 decision and aftermath of Plessy v. Ferguson, issues of segregation have served only to divide and oppress minority groups from majority groups.
  • If the right of marriage was extended to all citizens, not exclusively to heterosexual citizens, it would serve to radically change the face of our communities. Citizens will be free to marry any person they choose, regardless of gender. Same-sex couples will experience less discrimination because of their status. This potential change in the law would begin a spiraling change in the way that our culture views GLBT lifestyles as well as gender roles in general.
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