Senators Barack Obama and John McCain had a chance to go into some details about their views on marriage equality this Saturday at the Saddleback Church Forum. At the two-hour evangelical mega-church faith forum, the candidates spoke on a number of social issues, including civil rights for LGBT couples.
Both candidates said that they believe marriage is a union between a man and a woman. While McCain stated that he thinks marriage equality should remain an issue decided on by individual states, he would support a constitutional amendment banning marriage for same-sex couples if his home state of Arizona were forced to recognize marriages of same-sex couples. He also expressed support for Proposition 8, the ballot measure in California that would eliminate LGBT couples’ right to marry (if approved by voters in November), and said he believes the Supreme Court in California was wrong to extend full marriage equality to gay and lesbian couples.
Meanwhile, Obama said that although his religious beliefs include the definition of marriage as between a man and a woman, he supports civil unions and opposes a constitutional amendment banning marriage for same-sex couples. Notably, he spoke about the need for gay and lesbian couples to receive the protections offered by marriage, such as hospital visitation rights.
It was good to see the LGBT angle of this story not only in the Associated Press (see above) but also in CNN’s ElectionCenter2008 analysis over the weekend. The candidates’ statements on marriage at the forum have also garnered some blog attention. Hopefully we will see more major media outlets step up to the plate and offer comprehensive coverage of all the major issues, including those affecting LGBT people, as we get closer to the election this November.
Cindi Creager is Director of National News.