Election 2008 | Elizabeth Edwards | John Edwards | News | Talk Shows | Television

John Edwards on Wife's Gay Marriage Position: "She Actually Says What She Thinks"

John and Elizabeth Edwards were on The Tonight Show last night and the presidential hopeful told Jay Leno that he does have a difference of opinion with his wife when it comes to gay marriage.

EdwardsElizabeth Edwards appeared at a breakfast event for the Alice B. Toklas Lesbian Gay Bisexual and Transgender Democratic Club at San Francisco's Gay Pride last week and told reporters after her keynote speech: "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."

John Edwards told Leno: "It's not the only thing we disagree about. She actually says what she thinks...A lot of people I love and care about feel the same way Elizabeth does. I'm very strong about ending discrimination against gay and lesbian couples. But I'm not quite where Elizabeth is yet."

Saying what you think. Now that's refreshing!

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  1. I'd say that John needs to sit down and let his more intelligent, better half run for president.

    Posted by: Michael W. | Jun 26, 2007 9:44:28 AM

  2. Can we vote for Elizabeth? Candidates' wives are often smarter and more capable candidates.

    Posted by: sam | Jun 26, 2007 9:52:02 AM

  3. This is such bullshit. An obvious attempt to play to both sides--Edwards gets to be officially against gay marriage, while his wife winks to the gays that she's got our backs. The troubling thing is Elizabeth Edwards explanation for why her hasband "isn't quite there yet." It's because of his strict Southern Baptist upbringing. Excuse me, but do we really need a president who can't see past his own childhood experiences, formative as they might be?

    I'm not a one-issue voter, and don't care much one way or the other about gay marriage, but I also don't like being played.

    Posted by: Christopher | Jun 26, 2007 9:56:37 AM

  4. Well the only issue I have is that he is getting it both ways...he probably personally does feel the way Elizabeth feels but knows he'll himself lose votes if he says it out loud. Whereas his wife can say it and be a champion of women b/c she is outspoken and doesn't tow the ideological line. Smart political move but I wouldn't put entirely too much faith that it is anything beyond that. It seems to me most gays are split on who to vote for among the Democratic candidates. Winning them over would be a huge plus when it comes to winning a state like California or New York in the primaries. John is smart because he is keeping his distance while still making his ticket appealing. Gays are hardening to Obama and Clinton simply because there isn't much being said about us by either of them. I liked John Edwards in 2004 and he's starting to grow on me again for 2008.

    Posted by: Carrie | Jun 26, 2007 9:56:52 AM

  5. I wish her a full recovery from her cancer and a long life ahead, but on "gay marriage," Elizabeth Edwards is mis-guided in her perception. It's not about not throwing toys in another's yard, etc. It's about what the foundation of America was (and still should be) built upon and a society that maintains structure, regimen and discipline.
    America is rapidly becoming a country where anything goes, for anyone, at anytime at its own peril.

    Posted by: Stephen | Jun 26, 2007 10:00:03 AM

  6. I'm sure once John Edwards sees a little spike in his ratings among the other Democratic contenders, then he will change his tune a little bit and start aggressively seeking the "gay vote"....

    Posted by: Steven | Jun 26, 2007 10:12:32 AM

  7. Stephen,

    Funny, I don't recall the words "structure," "regimen," or "discipline" appearing anywhere in the Declaration of Independence, Constitution or Bill of Rights. I'm quite sure, however, that "freedom," "liberty," and "created equal" all appear. Frequently.

    Posted by: 24play | Jun 26, 2007 10:30:06 AM

  8. Stephen, you are dead wrong.

    Gay marriage, or "gay marriage" as you put it, is all about the metaphorical not-throwing-crap-in-other-people's-yards.

    And your last statement is probably making Cole Porter laugh his spiritual ass off.

    Posted by: Rey | Jun 26, 2007 10:32:55 AM

  9. Oh jeez Stephen, move to China if you want structure, discipline and regimen...this is America, where FREEDOM is the priority. Is your last name Bush?

    Posted by: Wayne | Jun 26, 2007 10:34:27 AM

  10. I'm disappointed in John Edwards. He needs to provide a better explanation for his views. A Southern Baptist upbringing is no excuse. Hundreds of thousands of people grow up in fundamentalist religions yet are able to overcome the narrow viewpoint of those religions and embrace modernity. John Edwards had my support when he ran for VP, and I am tempted to vote for him in the primaries, but I need more from him on gay marriage. Unless he's able to see that we're all citizens and that we're just as equal as heterosexuals are, then he can't count on my vote our my financial support.

    Sorry if that comes across as a "one-issue voter" opinion, but I am just not going to provide any support whatsoever for any politician who doesn't support equality for all Americans.

    Posted by: Jonathon | Jun 26, 2007 10:43:36 AM

  11. Edwards & the Missus on Leno? What, was Fox all booked up that day?

    Posted by: zabadak | Jun 26, 2007 11:03:42 AM

  12. When John Edwards was growing up, his church was against inter-racial marriage too. I suspect he won't be troubled by that these days.

    Posted by: anon (gmail.com) | Jun 26, 2007 11:07:25 AM

  13. I just love this woman. She is such an inspiration to everyone and her views are just perfect. I wish she would run against Liddy Dole in NC for Senate '08. She probably wouldn't win, but God I just love this woman.
    I believe she is genuine.

    Posted by: juliana | Jun 26, 2007 11:09:10 AM

  14. As a politician, Edwards will only be for gay marriage when the majority of other straight folks are for it. Until then he must be a good little politician and ride the fence. Tyranny by the majority persists. Don't you find it offensive when straight people discuss our future? How fucking dare they?

    Posted by: Bill | Jun 26, 2007 11:11:40 AM

  15. While a candidate that vocally supports gay marriage has a decent shot of winning the democratic nomination, I'd fear that he/she would not fare as well in the general presidential election. I'll gladly settle for a candidate with an impassioned wife, even if he isn't yet ready to commit to the idea, rather than another one that invokes the word of God as justification for suggesting discriminatory constitutional amendments.

    Also, I really want a puppy with floppy ears.

    Posted by: David | Jun 26, 2007 11:15:44 AM

  16. I'm with David on this one which is why I said I'm starting to like Edwards more. Regardless of what he believes, coming out for gay marriage is suicide in the general election and means a win for Republicans (again). I think by having his wife come out for it, it is a bit of a political maneuver to say, you're safe with me. I'm not sure we can logically ask for more and expect him to win, no matter how badly we want it. Has Clinton or Obama bothered to give us the "you're safe with me"? And if it matters so much and he should risk political suicide for it, why aren't you all supporting Kucinich who is the only candidate to say he supports full marriage equality for gays?

    Posted by: Carrie | Jun 26, 2007 11:25:05 AM

  17. Carrie is much more eloquent than me. I agree with her 100%. I don't think for a second that this wasn't an extremely calculated move on Edwards part. And while it might come off as a bit underhanded for his wife to make the comment, at least someone in the Edwards camp is keeping the conversation alive. And really, that's what will matter. Statement of fact that there is still a ways to go on the gay-marriage front, but no one is going to move anywhere if we don't continue with the conversation. Maybe he doesn't openly support it yet, but at least he's willing to talk about it with a seemingly open mind, and on national television too.

    I bet Carrie also likes puppies with floppy ears.

    Posted by: David | Jun 26, 2007 11:34:27 AM

  18. I agree David, it's a slippery slope but the sad reality is most of American's aren't ready to accept gay anything, especially Republicans.

    BILL, I LOVE you quote: "Don't you find it offensive when straight people discuss our future? How fucking dare they?" That is a perfect summation for the struggles in any civil rights movements. I say we get a gay Mayor or Senator in office, "undercover" as straight, and then start campaigning to take away heterosexual marriage LOL.

    Posted by: Cory | Jun 26, 2007 11:34:52 AM

  19. A spoonful of sugar helps the pee-arr message go down on you. It's both interesting and depressing that our particular demographic is just as easily played as every other.

    Posted by: Princess Superstar | Jun 26, 2007 12:15:17 PM

  20. Princess,

    The sad thing is not that teh gehz are as easily played as every other demographic, it's that people like David and Carrie are GRATEFUL for being played.

    Posted by: 24play | Jun 26, 2007 12:57:39 PM

  21. So, all of you who are bitching because John Edwards can't say *exactly* what you want to hear and still win... who ARE you going to vote for? Mike Gravel? Hillary? Stay home and not vote? Give me a break.

    Posted by: ck | Jun 26, 2007 1:12:24 PM

  22. America, "Have It Your Way!'
    Or was that Burger King?

    In mentioning structure, discipline and regimen I am not negating freedom and liberty. Not one iota.

    I AM however, trying to get across that we seem to all want it our way, and the law, morale and wisdom can go to h*ll.

    Posted by: Stephen | Jun 26, 2007 1:24:08 PM

  23. Stephen, what "morales" are you talking about? Because it sounds like you're saying that same-sex marriage is immoral. And "wisdom"?? What the hell does that mean? Wisdom would be granting equal rights to everyone, not just heterosexuals. I respect your right to have a differing opinion, but I don't agree with it one iota.

    Posted by: Wayne | Jun 26, 2007 1:36:33 PM

  24. Stephen,

    All we want is the same basic freedom to marry—with all the attendant rights AND responsibilities—that every other American over a certain age enjoys.

    We are trying to change existing marriage LAWS because they are clearly as unjust as laws forbidding mixed-race marriages were 40 years ago. The WISDOM of supporting all families should be obvious. And finally, receiving full marriage rights would certainly improve our MORALE.

    So what's your problem?

    Posted by: 24play | Jun 26, 2007 1:49:39 PM

  25. I really do enjoy being played. It sort of gets me off. Especially when I am apparently grateful for being force-fed messages that have clearly been crafted for my pleasure. I'm definitely too stupid to understand that so thanks for pointing it out. Shame on me for trying to extract some sort of positivity out of a completely depressing demonstration of political craftsmanship.

    I'm also ridiculously ugly, so while you bash my lack of intellect and my inability to read into a campaign move, please realize I am already at a tremendous disadvantage.

    Posted by: David | Jun 26, 2007 4:37:38 PM

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