Democratic U.S. Senate candidate Barack Obama said Friday that his Christian beliefs dictate that marriage should be between a man and a woman, although he supports civil unions that give legal rights to gay and lesbian couples.
Republican candidate Alan Keyes accused Obama of trying to have it both ways on the issue. "I think what we are seeing on this issue is deceit,'' said Keyes, who has made his opposition to gay marriage a cornerstone of his campaign. "He is deceiving the voters.''
Throughout the campaign, Obama has said that he opposes gay marriage but is in favor of civil unions. During a taping of WBBM-AM's "At Issue,'' he was asked his personal views on gay marriage. "I'm a Christian, and so although I try not to have my religious beliefs dominate or determine my political views on this issue, I do believe that tradition and my religious beliefs say that marriage is something sanctified between a man and a woman,'' Obama said. But the Democratic state senator added that he does not understand people who say gay marriage somehow threatens the sanctity of marriage as an institution.
Here's the thing.
In this terribly obnoxious campaign, sometimes, it seems like this is the best we're going to get. Aside from openly gay politicians, and a few people in safe liberal seats (of which there are precious few), very few national politicians will be willing to go on record supporting gay marriage.
Obama said decisions on gay marriage should be left to the states, and he opposes a constitutional amendment barring the act.
Rick Garcia, political director for the gay rights group Equality Illinois, said it is disturbing that Obama gives such nuanced responses when he's far enough ahead in the polls that he could take a stand for gay marriage.
Of course, taking a stand for gay marriage would presume that he supports such, and he's already said, quite clearly, that he doesn't. Since he feels the issue should be left to the states, he'd probably vote against a constitutional amendment, but that's about as far as that goes.Posted by iain at September 24, 2004 11:01 PM