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Elizabeth Edwards Declares Support for Gay Marriage

Following the Alice B. Toklas Lesbian Gay Bisexual and Transgender Democratic Club breakfast event which I posted about on Friday, Elizabeth Edwards made it clear that her position on gay marriage differs from that of her husband.

EedwardsSaid Edwards: "I don't know why somebody else's marriage has anything to do with me. I'm completely comfortable with gay marriage...If he's pleasant to me on the street, if his children don't throw things in my yard, then I'm happy. It seems to me we're making issues of things that honestly ... don't matter."

Edwards made a keynote address to 300 at the breakfast, marking the first time a presidential candidate or spouse has ever appeared at a San Francisco Gay Pride event. Mayor Gavin Newsom, District Attorney Kamala Harris and City Attorney Dennis Herrera were also in attendance.

During the stump speech, she reiterated John Edwards' position on the issue: ''John believes that couples in committed long-term relationships should enjoy the same rights, benefits and responsibilities regardless of whether they are straight couples or same-sex couples. He supports civil unions.''

Edwards made it clear afterward that her views are further evolved than her husband's: "John has been pretty clear about it, that he is very conflicted. That's up against his being raised in the 1950s in a rural southern town. I think honestly he's on a road that a lot of people in this country are on. ... They're struggling with this. Most of the gay and lesbian people I know ... have seen their friends and family walking down that same road. It's frustrating, I know, but it's a long distance from where we are now to the pews of a Southern Baptist church. So, John's been as honest as he can about that."

Elizabeth Edwards supports same-sex marriage [sf chronicle]
Mrs. Edwards Comfortable With Gay Unions [nyt]
(image: sf chronicle)

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Comments

  1. I don't understand. Was Elizabeth raised by Auntie Mame?

    Meantime, it was 40 yrs ago yesterday that Jack met up again w Ennis & rekindled "a love that will never grow old".

    Posted by: zabadak | Jun 25, 2007 8:28:18 AM


  2. And her views matter why? She is not the one running for office.

    Posted by: ousslander | Jun 25, 2007 8:31:23 AM


  3. Ousslander, so you're saying that a president's wife would have no influence over his policies?

    Posted by: dan | Jun 25, 2007 9:05:49 AM


  4. ousslander -

    It's called "pillow-talk." The significant others of anyone, including politicians, have an influencing effect. Maybe she can help move him to a more perfect stance.

    Posted by: nycredneck | Jun 25, 2007 9:06:30 AM


  5. It's political. The candidate's wife can say things that it's not expedient for the candidate to say.

    Some equal rights people will be pacified, gay marriage moderate opponents can rationalize, and some fundies will say "Good for Edwards, not listening to his woman!"

    Posted by: karashi | Jun 25, 2007 9:27:42 AM


  6. She is just trying to get votes, they don't support gay marriages any more than Bush does. She uses the term straight and same sex couples, so that says normal and abnormal couples, see they don't want our country tainted with this any more than the church does. Its wrong no matter how you look at it.

    Posted by: Greg | Jun 25, 2007 9:29:13 AM


  7. "I don't know why somebody else's marriage has anything to do with me. I'm completely comfortable with gay marriage...If he's pleasant to me on the street, if his children don't throw things in my yard, then I'm happy. It seems to me we're making issues of things that honestly ... don't matter."

    Mars. Edward, as the saying goes "means well," but her remarks are deeply condescending. Her "comfort level" is not the issue.

    Not at all.

    Posted by: David Ehrenstein | Jun 25, 2007 9:29:36 AM


  8. GREG,
    ***They don't support gay marriages any more than Bush does.***

    The stupidity of that remark is beyond astounding but somehow I think that explains why 25% of the gay population voted for Bush in 2004. None so blind as those who will not see and all that...

    Posted by: beergoggles | Jun 25, 2007 9:49:32 AM


  9. Pulling out all the stops for "DAMAGE CONTROL"

    Bob Shrum quotes Edwards as saying in 2004 "Those people make me uncomfortable." in refference to his stance on gay rights. Edwards campaign staffer Hickman has admited that YES those words were said by edwards. They are just taken out of context.

    When the Edwards camp does damage control they really pull out the stops.

    Never trust them, but hopefuly there damage control gets people talking on the subject.

    Posted by: anon | Jun 25, 2007 9:59:48 AM


  10. "If he's pleasant to me on the street, if his children don't throw things in my yard"

    Interesting how this comment was viewed by someone as condescending. I viewed it as refreshingly honest. Most Americans decide what is offensive or not based on how it affects their everyday lives. I think that is the point she was making, albeit a bucolic one.

    It never ceases to amaze me how critical some people will be of a straight person showing support to the gay community. Either they aren't sincere, or they don't fully understand the issue, or they're just trying to get votes, or they didn't phrase their support in just the right way... etc etc etc.

    It would refreshing if the detractors would be as honest and simply say: "I'm a gay republican, so nothing she says impresses me".... or "I'm a xenophobic gay who distrusts all straight people."

    Those of us in the center appreciate her comments.

    Posted by: mark m | Jun 25, 2007 10:12:32 AM


  11. This is all of a piece whereby she can pander to a gay audience and he a mainstream audience. Talk about talking out of both sides of your mouth!

    Posted by: anon (gmail.com) | Jun 25, 2007 11:13:22 AM


  12. Nicely said Mark. I am not a huge fan of Edwards myself, but I do appreciate her honesty. That said, this is politics and an interesting move by the campaign.

    Posted by: JB | Jun 25, 2007 11:20:15 AM


  13. I liked Elizabeth Edwards before and I like her even more now!

    Posted by: juliana | Jun 25, 2007 11:30:50 AM


  14. Greg said, 'She uses the term straight and same sex couples, so that says normal and abnormal couples'

    How else exactly would you have a conversation about two groups of people whose legal rights differ? How else exactly would you point to a legal discrimination between two groups without identifying the groups? What the hell's she gonna say? "John believes that couples in committed long-term relationships should enjoy the same rights, benefits and responsibilities regardless of whether they are Group A couples or Group B couples?" Or does A coming before B in the alphabet imply secondary social status as well? Come on, can the tortured English-major deconstructionist crap and focus on what matters.

    Posted by: Michelle | Jun 25, 2007 12:18:22 PM


  15. So, John Edwards thing we should have all of the rights of marriage, but none of the dignity?

    Thanks John--it was the very least you could have done for us.

    Posted by: Raphael | Jun 25, 2007 1:55:25 PM


  16. My god, what's with all the negativity directed toward her for supporting gay marriage. What is with all of you?

    I'm glad someone is saying outright that they support gay marriage. The few others who do are considered kooks.

    Why are you all being so nasty to someone who just said she has no problem with gay marriage?

    Posted by: Daniel | Jun 25, 2007 3:40:02 PM


  17. Gavin Newsom apparently refused to be photographed with her while she was there:

    http://sfluxe.com/2007/06/25/snub/

    Posted by: Damion | Jun 25, 2007 5:28:17 PM


  18. Well, that's real sweet of Elizabeth to say that she supports gay marriage. Unfortunately, it's her husband who wields the power here and he's said he is not in favor of gay marriage. Would some politician please stop hiding behind polling numbers, saying what s/he thinks will garner the most votes and kindly give me the same rights enjoyed by the rest of the American population?!

    Posted by: peterparker | Jun 25, 2007 7:05:47 PM


  19. Judging by some of the shit you pissy queens are saying here, I am not so sure I want to support yoru sorry rights either. And I am gay. I would however support the gays who get it takes a village- including folks who you sometime have to convince. That's a lot better than the GOP which has already made up its mind to hate us. But I guess thats what you want. Put them all in the same pile, and that way you can justify your shit.

    Posted by: akaison | Jun 25, 2007 10:31:00 PM


  20. JOhn Edwards needs to stop having Mommy speak for him. He should be the one speaking at the Gay pride events. He is such a sissy!

    Posted by: slugger | Jul 1, 2007 7:22:09 PM


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