In an interview with a homosexual magazine published yesterday, Sen. John Kerry was caught in two apparent flip-flops on same-sex marriage.
Confronted with his previous statement of support for Missouri’s ban on same-sex marriage, the Democratic presidential candidate told Between the Lines magazine his position was based on the assumption the measure, passed in August by 71 percent, also barred civil unions.
But that amendment, in fact, does not address Vermont-style civil unions at all.
The interviewer, Lisa Keen, noted in the text that it was only after the Sept. 9 conversation with Kerry that she learned the Missouri initiative does not explicitly ban civil unions, unlike measures in Michigan and Ohio.
Also, in his attempt to dismiss the necessity of the Federal Marriage Amendment, Kerry contradicted a previous assertion about states rights. On the previous occasion, in 1996, he used the opposite interpretation of the Constitution to disparage the Defense of Marriage Act.
The apparent flip-flops were noted by the American Family Association, a group battling against moves to establish same-sex marriage.
Kerry’s conversation on the Missouri amendment went like this:
Between The Lines: I know you supported the Massachusetts amendment and it does provide for an alternative of civil unions.
BTL: But the Missouri initiative which just recently passed, and a number of those that are coming up this November – Michigan, Ohio, and others — are written such that they would eliminate even recognition or security through civil unions.
BTL: I think in Missouri, you said after that vote that —
Kerry: I did. And I was not aware. I was unbriefed and I thought it was the same amendment we had in Massachusetts. And that’s very simple. I just thought it was a simple prohibition and not one that excluded civil unions. Obviously, it’d be inconsistent. I am for civil unions and, therefore, I would not have voted for that had I been there. … I just didn’t know it went as far as it did and, obviously, I don’t support it.
In an Aug. 7 story, the Los Angeles Times noted “Kerry said in an interview published yesterday that he would have voted for the gay-marriage ban passed overwhelmingly this week by Missouri voters.”
In the same Between the Lines interview, Kerry contradicted himself on the rationale for opposing the Defense of Marriage Act, which protects a state from having to recognize a same-sex marriage license issued in another state.
In 1996, Kerry told the Advocate, a leading homosexual publication, the Constitution “unequivocally” requires states to recognize other states’ same-sex marriage laws.
“The misnamed and misguided Defense of Marriage Act [DOMA] is as unconstitutional and unnecessary as it is mean-spirited and malicious,” Kerry said.
“The authors of the bill mistakenly claim that Congress has the authority to allow one state to ignore a legally recognized marriage in another. But the U.S. Constitution is unequivocal on this point: ‘Full Faith and Credit shall be given in each State to the public Acts, Records, and judicial Proceedings of every other State.’ …DOMA does violence to the spirit and letter of the Constitution by allowing the states to divide.”
In yesterday’s interview with Between the Lines, however, Kerry argued against the necessity of a Federal Marriage Amendment by stating the opposite, asserting, “No state has to recognize another state’s [same-sex marriage] decision.”
“I think that, historically, the definition of marriage and the application of marriage laws has always been state defined,” he said. “It is up to the states, not the federal government. That’s why I viewed the federal efforts, as specifically targeted, as gay bashing, because they were usurping into a territory that they didn’t belong. There was no need to do that. Under the constitution, no state has to recognize another state’s decision, and it’s up to the states.”
The interview story began with Keen writing, “No major party presidential nominee has ever granted the gay media an interview during the general election campaign.”
The article noted that during Kerry’s first Senate term in the 1980s, he authored a comprehensive “gay civil rights bill” and continued to support measures favorable to the homosexual-rights movement.
The Human Rights Campaign, the story noted, says Kerry’s record of support in Senate votes since he entered Congress in 1984 averages 96 percent, but in each of the last four sessions of Congress, it has been at 100 percent.