John Edwards drops the ball on gay marriage.

After the Super Bowl, I was channel surfing and came upon C-Span’s Road to the White House coverage just in time to see John Edwards equivocating his ass off about gay marriage. He was addressing students at Dartmouth College when he was asked his stance on Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender rights and gay marriage. Here’s the clip, followed by my response.

Right off the bat he starts talking about how he grew up in a Southern Baptist church in North Carolina and how, as a result of that, he feels morally conflicted about some of these issues. Guess what, John? That doesn’t matter. The Declaration of Independence is pretty clear about the fact that “all men are created equal.” That means that every single right that heterosexual people have, homosexual people are also entitled to. Period. End of story. I’m actually glad he chose to bring up religion. More on that in a moment.

Then he goes on to say that because of his beliefs he’s not for gay marriage. Who gives a damn what you’re for? As a United States Senator you take an oath of office which begins this way:

I do solemnly swear (or affirm) that I will support and defend the Constitution of the United States against all enemies, foreign and domestic; that I will bear true faith and allegiance to the same; that I take this obligation freely, without any mental reservation or purpose of evasion; and that I will well and faithfully discharge the duties of the office on which I am about to enter: So help me God.

See, John. You made a promise to your God to defend the Constitution. The Constitution says gay people have the same rights as you. So, if you don’t defend the rights of homosexuals to get married, you’re going back on a promise that you made to God.

He goes on to mention that his daughter, who is 24 years old, thinks that this is ridiculous. She told him that this will disappear with her generation. I’ve often said the same thing about this issue. I firmly believe that one day in the not too distant future, we will look back at how we handled this and be profoundly ashamed. The problem is that the people of my generation and Cate Edwards’ generation aren’t in power. The people of John Edwards’ generation are. And every day that gay people in America are denied their basic civil rights is national embarrassment.

Then he starts talking about civil unions. Nothing pisses me off more than this. Any politician who utters the phrase civil unions or domestic partnerships will not get my vote. (You listening Obama?) It’s transparent, pandering bullshit. Politicians use this phrase so they won’t alienate the more conservative voters. Then they do exactly what Edwards did next which is talk about how he supports all anti-discrimination laws. Guess what John? You just admitted that you believe in discrimination. You either believe that gays have the EXACT SAME RIGHTS AS YOU DO or you don’t. There is no middle ground.

I love how at the end of the clip he says he’s not uncomfortable talking about it. Right. You’re a white Southern Baptist presidential candidate and you’re not uncomfortable talking about LGBT issues. That’s like me saying I’m not uncomfortable talking about my mother-in-law’s menopause.

It doesn’t matter how old you are. It doesn’t matter where you grew up. It doesn’t matter what your “internal conflict” is. You either defend their rights or you don’t. It’s sad that someone who has so many good things to say on so many issues ended up being such a coward on this one.

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