John Edwards Won’t Fire “Pro-gay” Bloggers

Via TPM Muckraker, a statement from John Edwards on the bloggers that Catholic wingnut Bill Donahue demanded he fire:

Edwardsdonohue“The tone and the sentiment of some of Amanda Marcotte’s and Melissa McEwen’s posts personally offended me. It’s not how I talk to people, and it’s not how I expect the people who work for me to talk to people. Everyone is entitled to their opinion, but that kind of intolerant language will not be permitted from anyone on my campaign, whether it’s intended as satire, humor, or anything else. But I also believe in giving everyone a fair shake. I’ve talked to Amanda and Melissa; they have both assured me that it was never their intention to malign anyone’s faith, and I take them at their word. We’re beginning a great debate about the future of our country, and we can’t let it be hijacked. It will take discipline, focus, and courage to build the America we believe in.”

Did John Edwards Cave to Right-Wing and Fire Pro-gay Bloggers? [tr]
Catholic Leader Demands John Edwards Fire “Pro-gay” Bloggers [tr]


  1. John says

    Only one candidate will win the 2008 Presidential election …that’s how it works (2000 election excluded.

    John Edwards has a good chance to win, and he surely is the least likely of the currently ‘viable’ candidates to sell out the gay community.

    I’m supporting him for President. Look into his background and you might do the same.

    Sorry if this violates any terms of comments.

  2. Zeke says

    John, I think Obama is a viable candidate and I think he is no more likely to sell out the gay community than Edwards.

    Gen. Wesley Clark, though many may not consider him viable, has a better record of statements in support of gay issues than either Obama or Edwards.

    As far as Edwards’ response to the wingnut, theofascist Donahue, I feel that it would have been entirely appropriate for Edwards to have pointed out the hypocrisy of Donahue’s complaints in light of the countless homophobic, anti-Semitic, anti-Muslim and anti-Protestant rants that he has made on various television and radio programs.

    The video and audio evidence to back up this counter point against Donahue is unlimited and easily accessible.

  3. Jonathon says

    I am deeply and personally offended by Donahue and his ilk. He has made OUTRAGEOUS comments about the gay community, about Jews, etc. and yet has the gall to demand that John Edwards (who is not even of the same political party as Donahue) fire staffers because they wrote some things that offended Donahue’s papism.

    I have been waiting to see what Edwards would do, and while I am pleased he hasn’t fired the staffers I think that his response is weak and reinforced Donahue’s view that the staffers’ blog postings were insulting to religious individuals (and that itself is a reach, IMHO).

    And Zeke, Obama has already sold out the gay community. He has said that “his Christian faith dictates that marriage should be between a man and woman.” (,1,7098310.story?coll=chi-news-hed)

    He also says (in the same article), “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.”

    (Just for the record, Jesus is not recorded as saying anything about homosexuality or gay relationships. I also can’t recall him saying much about hetero marriage either.)

    Obama goes on to talk about civil unions, etc. but his rhetoric makes it clear what he thinks of our relationships.

    I have no problem voting for a black person to be president (assuming that he or she is qualified), but Obama will never get my vote. If he’s too chickenshit to stand up for my civil and human rights then he can go fly a kite.

    I don’t know yet if I will support Edwards or not. The jury is still out for me. But if General Clark runs I am all for him. He seems to have much more progressive and practical views than any other Democratic candidate I have seen so far.

  4. Mike says

    Thank you John Edwards! Stand up to these bullies from the pulpit, and its not as if they were going to vote for or endorse you to begin with. Smart, sensitive and good looking, what else could you ask for from a Presidential candidate?

    Nothing would please me better than a Edwards/Clark ticket. Sorry, Hillary and Obama do nothing for me on any level.

  5. Zeke says

    Jonathan, actually Obama’s stated position on marriage equality is identical to that of Edwards. Both have said that they currently believe that marriage should be reserved for man/woman but both have also said that they are open to the fact that they may be wrong and reserve the right to change their minds in the future.

    Not a perfect statement from either, but a damn bit better than the stated positions of most politicians at their level.

    Additionally, Obama is a member, and a minister, of the United Church of Christ; the ONLY mainline Christian denomination to fully endorse marriage equality. I feel good knowing that the spiritual counseling that Obama will seek out, on the issue of marriage equality, will more than likely come from his AND MY gay friendly UCC church.

  6. Zeke says

    By the way, Edwards has some UCC connections too.

    He chose to give his MLK Jr. Day speech at The Church on the River UCC in Manhattan. Another VERY gay positive congregation lead by the AMAZING, radically inclusive pastor Forbes.

  7. Jonathon says

    Zeke, glad to know it. I just have never had a good feeling about Obama, and when he references his religion as a basis for making a stand on marriage equality it offends me.

    HIS religion should not dictate what my human and civil rights are.

    I know that Edwards isn’t great on marriage equality either, and I criticize him for that too.

    What I would love to hear from a politician running for president is this:

    “I am not gay nor am I part of a same-sex relationship, but I understand that same-sex couples want to protect their relationships and their families as much as I want to protect my own. I support equality under the law, as laid out in our Constitution. This issue isn’t about whether or not you or I approve of homosexuality, it is about whether or not we respect and recognize the rights of ALL Americans or if we relegate millions of Americans to second-class status based upon who or what they are. I stand with the Constitution. I stand for the equality of all Americans, period.”

    Now, of course I realize that neither Obama, nor Hillary, nor Edwards, etc. will ever say such a thing. But it would be the right thing to do and it would be a better answer than “well, my religion says….” We are not a nation of theocratic rule; we are a nation of laws, created by democratically-elected representatives and upheld by judicial review. In other words, our rights and laws are not left to the interpretations of a few who claim to speak for God. One’s religious perspective is irrelevant on this issue, insofar as it affects the rights of others. Those whose religion forbids same-sex relationships should not have the right to impose their beliefs on the rest of us. They are free to follow their beliefs, but they are not free to force me to comply to them.

  8. Zeke says

    Jonathan, I certainly see your point and share your concerns, however, I don’t think I’ve heard anyone who didn’t, in some way, attribute their feelings against gay marriage, to a religious conviction.

    I have no doubt that Edwards reservations are a direct result of his religious convictions AND political posturing. If I’m not mistaken, he has admitted to the former on the record.

  9. Joe T. says

    Not because Donahue said anything, but Marcotte still should have been fired (or not hired in the first place). She actually posted on her own blog, just last week, that the Duke boys were guilty of rape (I guess she never watches “60 Minutes”), then when she was called on it she rushed back to delete the statement. Having someone like that associated with your campaign can’t be useful (aside from her anti-male rantings and ravings using the most vulgar language), but I think now he had to retain her so it didn’t look like he was caving in to right wingers. At least, now that she works for him, she will have to behave herself with what she writes, so…in a sense…she’ll be castrated.

  10. says

    Why do any of us care about John Edwards? He’s so wishy washy, it isn’t even funny. He makes John Kerry look like a straight talker… John Edwards isn’t going to lift a finger for our community and his statements on glbt issues have confirmed that time after time after time.

    We’d do well to find ourselves a better candidate, who at the *very* least will vehemently support civil unions.

  11. akaison says

    if edwards had fired these peo it would have been the equivalent of swiftboating kerry. I dont give a shit about the comments they made. they could have said the pope is a pedophile, I would still say they shouldn’t be fired. why? because enough with letting right wing nut cases rule this country. at least with the kooky left I can afford my healthcare.

  12. rudy says

    Political reality check (from someone who made a great deal of money calling the last election 100% correctly): Hillary is going to be the Dem’s nominee. She has a solid 30% devoted to her; they who are most likely to vote in the PRIMARIES. Edwards is yesterday’s news and tagged as a loser with the elitist yet fumbling Kerry. On Obama: there is no way this country will elect a president whose name is Hussein (even if it is his middle name). There is simply too much ingrained prejudice in the most likely voters. They will lie to the pollsters and say they would consider a black man but they will go into that booth and vote against him. There is a similar situation on the Repub side. Mitt Romney stands no chance of getting the nomination because he is a member of a religion that is considered a cult by the Repub base. In addition he is tagged as a flip-flopper (a la Kerry) for his previous support of gay rights and abortion. John McCain is too volitile and has never appealed to the Repub base (who vote in the PRIMARIES). Moreover in tacking to the right (by kissing up to Falwell et al.) McCain will lose support from moderates and independants. I do not believe that Giuliani plays outside NYC. He is too ethnic, too (nominally) Catholic, has two nasty divorces that will make tabloid coverage, and has long supported gay rights (he lived with a gay couple when he walked out on his second wife) and abortion. He is anathema to the Repub base. Giuliani and McCain are also incredibly thin skinned. Each will surely have a “Macaca” moment during the campaign. Jeb Bush? God forbid! What is this country turning into, a low rent version of the War of the Roses? More to the point, his Mexican wife will not let him run and his drug addicted daughter would make tabloid fodder. Colin Powell? Again, his wife will not let him run. Wesley Clark? What is his base? It is too thin and lacking in financial power. I believe the ’08 election will be won by the party that puts aside ideological purity (I am looking at you Move.on dot fools and you Repub Christionists) and selects an electable nominee. Hillary is by far the biggest money raiser for BOTH parties. Put her name on a solicitation and the money rolls in for both the Dem’s and the Repub’s. But she never breaks above 40% support nationally. She has die hard supporters but an equal number loath her and her husband with an illogical hatred that cannot be overcome nationally. The winning candidate must appeal to the large moderate middle in this country: strong on defense, parsimoniuos on social spending (that is reality folks), and highly suspicious of governmental intrusion into personal behaviour issues (e.g., abortion and gay rights). This coming election is going to be interesting. For clues to its outcome I am looking to Nancy Pelosi as a woman with national power. Her performance (and this is what it is) will have a direct effect on Hillary’s chances. If the war in Iraq is still being fought (and I believe it will be) there is very little chance that this country will elect a woman. The only chance of that happening would be if Hillary were to run against Condi. That will never happen. Condi has three strikes against her: she is (1)female; (2) black)and (3) lesbian (the least well-kep secret in DC). A key indicator will be financing. Hillary will eventually suck up all the big money available from the Dem’s. I am not sure who could/will command the same financial backing from the Repub’s. (I have a hunch many will sit this one out as the top 5% in wealth have made previoiusly unimagined profits the last six years and may simply keep their financial powder dry this coming election cycle.) Well, too long a post but politics used to be my vocation but is now only an avocation.

    Encourage everyone you know to get involved and to vote. Gays will get our rights only when the majority (who even now support us) translate that opinion into ballot performance.

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