Thursday, July 15, 2004

Kerry/Edwards: Divorced from Gay Marriage

When Gavin Newsom was running against Matt Gonzalez, he was a darling of the most powerful Democrats in the nation and received the badly needed political and financial support to defeat Gonzalez' extremely popular insurgent campaign. That was then, and this is now, when John Kerry and John Edwards, the standard-bearers of the Democratic Party establishment in 2004, won't come near Newsom, because they won't touch gay marriage even with a barge pole:
These days, Gavin Newsom seems to be everywhere -- well, almost everywhere. . . .

In fact, just about the only place you didn't see Newsom -- during this gayest week of the year -- was next to John Kerry, when the Democratic presidential nominee-to-be was in San Francisco for a million-dollar fund-raiser at the Westin St. Francis.

It's not that Newsom wasn't invited to the breakfast blowout. In fact, the late-arriving Kerry made a point of acknowledging both Newsom and his father, retired appellate Justice Bill Newsom, from the stage. But by then the mayor had already come and gone, as if by design -- thereby avoiding the glad-handing and joint photo op that usually accompanies such events.

Newsom freely admits, "It's been a little awkward with the Kerry campaign," adding that "the last thing (Kerry) needs is being seen close to me."


"Because you'd all ask about 'the issue' -- gay marriage," Newsom said. "And I don't think this candidate wants to answer that question." (Phillip Matier and Andrew Ross, "Mayor in Every Corner but One: Newsom Stays Away from Kerry to Avoid Awkward Questions," San Francisco Chronicle, June 27, 2004)
Not coincidentally, the only senators who abstained from voting on the Federal Marriage Amendment -- which "lost in the Senate by a stunning, bipartisan vote of 50-48" according to the Human Rights Campaign (Human Rights Campaign, Email, "Victory on Federal Marriage Amendment in Senate!" July 14, 2004) -- were John Kerry and John Edwards:
U.S. Senate Roll Call Votes 108th Congress - 2nd Session
as compiled through Senate LIS by the Senate Bill Clerk under the direction of the Secretary of the Senate

Vote Summary

Question: On the Cloture Motion (Motion to Invoke Cloture on the Motion to Proceed to Consider S. J. Res. 40)
Vote Number: 155
Vote Date: July 14, 2004, 12:13 PM
Required For Majority: 3/5
Vote Result: Cloture Motion Rejected
Vote Counts:
YEAs 48
NAYs 50
Not Voting 2

Not Voting - 2
Edwards (D-NC) Kerry (D-MA)

"U.S. Senate Roll Call Votes 108th Congress - 2nd Session"
Contrast Kerry and Edwards' cowardice with Ralph Nader's principled support for gay marriage:
Nader's Support of Gay Marriage Sets Him Apart
Activists Say They're Disappointed by Kerry, Edwards

Liberal activists have urged allies on the left to ignore Ralph Nader’s bid for president to concentrate opposition to George W. Bush. But Nader favors gay marriage, an issue that energizes many liberals but is opposed by the leading Democratic contenders for president.

Whether that schism peels votes away from the Democrats in the November election is impossible to predict. But the differences could pose a tough choice for voters who believe that the time for gay marriage has arrived, and see in Nader the only candidate advancing the position.

The Democratic front-runners, Sens. John Kerry of Massachusetts and John Edwards of North Carolina, say that while they support civil unions for gay couples, they oppose granting them the right to marry. The issue has come to the fore this month with a Massachusetts Supreme Court ruling favoring same-sex marriage and the city of San Francisco’s decision to grant gay couples marriage licenses. . . .

On NBC’s "Meet the Press" on Sunday, Nader said, "of course," when moderator Tim Russert asked if he’d support gay couples marrying.

"Love and commitment is not exactly in surplus in this country," Nader said. "The main tragedy, what undermines marriage, is divorce." . . .

. . . [F]or voters who support gay marriage, the support for civil unions by the likely Democratic nominees could seem like a sellout, now that San Francisco has pushed the issue of marriage.

In California, support for gay marriage rose from 38 percent in January 2000 to 44 percent this month, according to a poll released last week by the Public Policy Institute of California. But among Democrats, the rise was even higher: 57 percent said same-sex couples should be allowed to marry, up from 49 percent in 2000.

"We don’t really know how this will play out between now and November, but it is an issue that could come back to help Ralph Nader and hurt the potential Democratic nominee," Public Policy survey director Mark Baldassare said. (emphasis added, Chuck Raasch/Gannett News Service, "Nader's Support of Gay Marriage Sets Him Apart," The Detroit News, February 24, 2004)
All self-respecting queers should vote for Nader/Camejo.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

From an email I received:
"Reports say that both Kerry and Edwards would have
returned for an actual vote on the amendment itself,
but were not going to be there for procedural votes
like this one. The last time Kerry flew into town for
a vote on something, the Republicans delayed the vote
for a day just to keep Kerry off the trail. Of course,
Kerry said, "I'm not playing that game," and left
without voting."

Although I'm sure K&E were happy to avoid the subject. Again.