Joe Biden and Sarah Palin Debate Gay Rights


IFILL: The next round of — pardon me, the next round of questions starts with you, Sen. Biden. Do you support, as they do in Alaska, granting same-sex benefits to couples?

BIDEN: Absolutely. Do I support granting same-sex benefits? Absolutely positively. Look, in an Obama-Biden administration, there will be absolutely no distinction from a constitutional standpoint or a legal standpoint between a same-sex and a heterosexual couple.

The fact of the matter is that under the Constitution we should be granted — same-sex couples should be able to have visitation rights in the hospitals, joint ownership of property, life insurance policies, et cetera. That’s only fair.

It’s what the Constitution calls for. And so we do support it. We do support making sure that committed couples in a same-sex marriage are guaranteed the same constitutional benefits as it relates to their property rights, their rights of visitation, their rights to insurance, their rights of ownership as heterosexual couples do.

IFILL: Governor, would you support expanding that beyond Alaska to the rest of the nation?

PALIN: Well, not if it goes closer and closer towards redefining the traditional definition of marriage between one man and one woman. And unfortunately that’s sometimes where those steps lead.

But I also want to clarify, if there’s any kind of suggestion at all from my answer that I would be anything but tolerant of adults in America choosing their partners, choosing relationships that they deem best for themselves, you know, I am tolerant and I have a very diverse family and group of friends and even within that group you would see some who may not agree with me on this issue, some very dear friends who don’t agree with me on this issue.

But in that tolerance also, no one would ever propose, not in a McCain-Palin administration, to do anything to prohibit, say, visitations in a hospital or contracts being signed, negotiated between parties.

But I will tell Americans straight up that I don’t support defining marriage as anything but between one man and one woman, and I think through nuances we can go round and round about what that actually means.

But I’m being as straight up with Americans as I can in my non- support for anything but a traditional definition of marriage.

IFILL: Let’s try to avoid nuance, Senator. Do you support gay marriage?

BIDEN: No. Barack Obama nor I support redefining from a civil side what constitutes marriage. We do not support that. That is basically the decision to be able to be able to be left to faiths and people who practice their faiths the determination what you call it.

The bottom line though is, and I’m glad to hear the governor, I take her at her word, obviously, that she think there should be no civil rights distinction, none whatsoever, between a committed gay couple and a committed heterosexual couple. If that’s the case, we really don’t have a difference.

IFILL: Is that what your said?

PALIN: Your question to him was whether he supported gay marriage and my answer is the same as his and it is that I do not.

IFILL: Wonderful. You agree. On that note, let’s move to foreign policy.


  1. erik says

    Both candidates sickened me with their responses on gay marriage. It was surprising coming from Jesus-freak Palin, but I’m pretty disheartened that Biden didn’t say anything about leaving states to make their own choices or Prop 8 and similar measures.

  2. Blake says

    “Wonderful we all agree the fags can be thrown under the bus, next question!” *audience laughs*

    I know that’s not what Gwen meant to intend but fuck, I almost switched off after that.

  3. Philip Wester says

    He’s playing it up for the Neocons. Both Biden and Obama have repeatedly stated that while they do not personally support it, they believe it’s up to each state to vote forth.

  4. Nicole says

    I think the idea of abolishing the term “marriage” in a legal context is an interesting one, even if it’s not precisely what Biden was angling at. It’d be interesting to limit all terminology only to civil unions, and let the couples work out the name for that union themselves.

  5. Marty says

    whereas I know I should have been upset by the comments, I just wasn’t. Anybody with even a smidgen of understanding of politics and what’s at stake knows this issue needs to be quickly addressed and removed from the discussion which is exactly what happened. Biden/Obama couldn’t take this on, I get it. Let’s move on to the bigger issues at stake. We can fight this later.

  6. yoshi says

    Wow – it blew me away how many people where shocked to find out that Obama doesn’t support same sex marriage … do you people do -any- research on your candidates?

    (btw – believe that the term “marriage” as a legal term should go away)

  7. the queen says

    La Palin was flawless, so proud of her — told ya guys she would do okay… SHE IS WOMAN!!! — so she’s not for gay marriage, nobody else is anyway neither obama nor clinton so who cares — if she says she’s tolerant of queers that’s okay with me which should (but probably won’t since most of you fags are so reactionary) allay any fears of us all being put into concentration camps… oh please, mary!

  8. David R. says

    The shockingly good moment was when Biden said this:
    “We do support making sure that committed couples in a same-sex marriage are guaranteed the same constitutional benefits as it relates to their property rights, their rights of visitation, their rights to insurance, their rights of ownership as heterosexual couples do.”

    He used the term “same-sex marriage”—legitimizing it. Yes, then he did some CYA, but I’m OK with that right now. We’ve GOT to win this election.

  9. Mike says

    I think Biden was very crafty in his response… very Clintonian (LOL). He said: “No. Barack Obama nor I support redefining from a civil side what constitutes marriage. We do not support that.” He said he didn’t support “redefining” – my interpretation of that is marriage is marriage – and is neither homo or heterosexual. He then said: “The bottom line though is, and I’m glad to hear the governor, I take her at her word, obviously, that she think there should be no civil rights distinction, none whatsoever, between a committed gay couple and a committed heterosexual couple. If that’s the case, we really don’t have a difference.” That is an EXTREMELY powerful statement. Of course Palin completely dodged the question – she doesn’t support equal rights – that is clear. Biden/Obama do! Why the Biden crafty speak… because they don’t want the right wing to drone on about “gay marriage” for the next 40 days. He basically eliminated it as a campaign issue. Make no mistake, there will be a vast expansion of gay rights during an Obama administration. If McCain gets in and is able to appoint Judges to the Supreme Court we are set back a generation.

  10. AED says

    People seem to be perturbed by Palin’s use of the word “tolerance”. I was more irritated with the fact that she continued to use the word “choice” in reference to homosexuality.

    I will agree with all of you that let’s let marriage be a religious term, and keep it out of legalities. Let gays have civil unions with all of the local, state, and federal rights, responsibilities, and privileges that offers.

  11. Mike says

    One more point… it is simply fabulous that the Republicans are falling all over themselves now saying how “tolerant” they are of gays. Sure, they hate us the same as ever, but it is no longer politically correct to bash gays. That one fact speaks volumes… they are LOSING!

  12. Craig says

    It’s always interesting as a gay man to read comments on gay sites about gay marriage and politicians. On the one hand, we have one politician here saying they will meet us half way (the good) versus another saying a polite “screw you fags.” Yet, many see the good (what Biden said about what is essentially civil unions) as the enemy of the perfect (marriage). Therefore concluding that the good (again Biden’s statement about civil unions) as somehow falsely equivalent to the absolutely bad- what Palin said. I am being a bit unfair to Palin- she did say she would allow us to visit each other when in the hospital. Gee thanks. But the idea that Biden is equavalent to Palin is beyond me. By the way- for those of you who aren’t African American or of another minority group- let me explain something to you. Civil rights are a slow ardious process that take decades, not weeks or years. The gay civil rights movement in that context has been one of the fastest in American history. We took less than 20 years to overturn Bowers with Lawrence compared to it taking almost 100 years to overturn Plessy v. Ferguson with Brown v. Board. I don’t expect you to know Con Law like I do, but I do wish you knew how stupid you sound to not place where we are in context. We have a long fight ahead of us to gain our rights. Let’s keep it real while we are trying to reach for our dreams.

  13. Gregus says

    Thanks for your tolerance. I don’t want you to *tolerate* or ‘put up with’ me, I want acceptance and equality.

    I though Biden did a good job answering in difficult circumstances. As a personal view civil unions (while separate but equal) have done just fine in the UK. No one says did you get a civil union anyway, they just ask if you got married. Biden stated that they would be for civil unions, and for *me* that’s good enough and lot better McCain or Palin would ever accept.

  14. says

    Biden proved conclusively that he does not have a handle on the facts. He is impulsive and he would be extremely dangerous if he somehow found himself in the Oval Office. Palin was the clear winner of this debate.

    Everything has changed given the scope of this financial crisis and therefore none of Obama’s plans, including health care can even be considered. Certainly any tax increase in this environment is out of the question. This country is beyond bankrupt.

    We are at the brink of disaster and neither candidate is qualified to lead this country out of this mess. If the House does not approve this bailout bill Friday morning, the financial Armageddon will begin. But this bill will only be a very short term backstop as the scope of the problem is more in the neighborhood of $5 trillion plus!

    Congress is lying to the voters about any possible recoup or upside in this bailout. The Bear Sterns sub-prime portfolio is costing a $16 billion write-down on mark to market. These assets do not have a shelf life as homes cannot sit empty without massive deterioration. And a great majority of them have been stripped to the bone by thieves or the former homeowner. Many are only worth the value of the land and that is all.

    The Treasury will be asking for considerably more in short order.

  15. alguien says

    i’m of the mind that the legal institution to join a couple would be the civil union-for ALL americans. the institution of marriage would be reserved for the house of worship snd wouldn’t be a legally binding contract. i truly believe that this is the only reasonable way to solve this dilemma-to remove the spiritual portions out of city hall and to take the legal aspects out of the church. this also accomplishes the separation of church and state as well.

    i kind sensed that senator biden was alluding to that when he closed his argument.

  16. says

    Personally, I believe the LGBT community has misguided priorities. So many people are worried about being able to “marry”, they forget that in most states (30 to be exact), we can fired simply for being gay. We need to be focusing our attention on ENDA, not gay marriage (with the exception of fighting proposed amendments/propositions like in California and Florida).

  17. BHcolin says

    marriage/civil unions/domestic partnerships

    I just want equal rights, so for the most part I could care less what you call it. If “marriage” is a religious term then I’d be fine if the churches decide that fate — civil unions/domestic partnerships are for those not having a religious ceremony. But to me then if a straight couple gets married down at city hall by a judge or what have you, then they are not “married” but domestic partners. To me- that’s fair, that’s equal. Everyone gets their civil rights (visitation rights in the hospitals, joint ownership of property, life insurance policies,parental rights, et cetera)
    Is that naive? I mean I have never been that religious (because so often I’m told god hates me) so I wouldn’t get “married” in a church anyhow. Yes, I’ve always dreamed of having a husband — but for some reason husband/wife is deemed a religious term– but if I had equal rights in every other way I’d be able to let go of the term husband.
    And who knows maybe the churches of the world will see fit to amend their terms of marriage that makes it okay for a man and man or a woman and woman to “marry” Because if the churches were to approve then wouldn’t our laws of separation of church and state then mean it’s okay for gay marriage

    Just my thoughts

    and Craig many of us don’t know law like you, but we can still be frustrated. To want equal rights now isn’t stupid. You must admit we live in a different time — a faster paced society, so it stands to reason people wanting equal rights now. One would hope it takes less time for equal rights for gays in America. I wish I was speaking rather than typing to fully explain my thoughts so I just stop.

    I understand Obama/Biden have to downplay their thoughts on gay rights to get elected- don’t like it, wish it didn’t have to be that way but I feel safer and on a better road with them than McCain/Palin. Palin tonight and her “I am tolerant” and “choosing their partners, choosing relationships ” really bother me. I know I was born gay and have a happy life. I didn’t choose being gay no more than Sarah Palin chose to be straight. I remember in 5th grade thinking a boy named Mark was so cute- didn’t know a thing about gay/straight I just knew I liked that boy. It would be a year later until I heard someone call me gay/fag that I even heard the word gay and then I still didn’t know what it meant. I’m 33 now and living the life I was meant to have and I just want to be an equal citizen

    just my thoughts and I wanted to share them

  18. Peter says

    Come on people!
    Joe Biden made the most open and positive statement from a presidential candidate (with any real possibility of winning the election) regarding gay rights in my 52 years. I have heard your complaints that he said that he does not support “gay marriage”. But he DID say that we should have complete equal rights of heterosexual couples.
    Get over yourselves; change takes years. Yeah I want my California marriage to be legal throughout the country, but I am still in awe that I even have a legal marriage at all! So relax; and vote for the person who will best edge us towards our real objectives.

    My objective is that my marriage be a legal US marriage before I die. A vote for John McCain will definitely not get me closer to my goal. Due to the current state of our election process a vote for Ralph Nader or Ron Paul will just be one less vote for Obama. That means that the only option (which I happen to believe is also the best option) is a vote for Barack Obama. He will get the United States closer to recognition of my marriage.

    So continue to fight for our rights, but accept that steps are a necessary process.

    Also, check the dictionary (including Websters), marriage is defined in legal terms. There is no mention of religion. So maybe churches should change their term and let the government keep “marriage”.

  19. says

    What amuses me about this whole “sanctity of marriage” debate is that heterosexuals are the very ones who have destroyed that sanctity and made a mockery of the institution in the first place. With the exception of my parents who have been married for 47 years, my extended family (cousins, aunts, and uncles) have all been married more than once. Whether it’s spousal abuse, cheating, coming out the closet or whatever reason, the divorce rates are exceptionally high convincing me that the religious right’s offense to ‘gay marriage’ is nothing more than a joke. I say strip the religious aspect out of it and what you really have is a union. One that affords the same rights as heterosexuals when it comes to taxes, property rights, child custody etc. without the interference of the states and/or family members who may have ulterior motives by injecting themselves into your personal matters where they shouldn’t have any legal rights. Oh well, in a perfect world.

  20. says

    You reject her “tolerance” Isn’t tolerance part of acceptance? WShy should people “accept” you if you cannot do the same?
    Enough with Obama secretly wants to give us the same rights. That’s a load of crap. Stop deluding yourselves. He wants the gay version of jim crow and y’all will eat his crumbs like slavish lap dogs.

  21. nic says


    “La Palin was flawless…” “Biden proved conclusively that he does not have a handle on the facts.”

    i’m not clear in which alternate universe you two are living in, but those of us who are not driven by ideology can objectively say that there was no “knock-out punch” delivered by either participant.

    joe biden talked above palin to address mccain: palin tried to be folksy. they both succeeded. what remains to be seen is which approach is more welcomed by americans in general. early polls suggest that “folksy” lost.

  22. erik says

    Craig and Yoshi, my beef wasn’t that Biden embraced the “good” over the “perfect”. It was that Biden left out all trace of nuance in the Obama/Biden ticket’s approach to gay marriage. I am fully aware that they support civil unions and full rights for same sex couples outside of marriage. However Biden’s response was utterly black and white; no mention of the role of states in making their own decisions and no smack down for the constitutional amendment fanatics. A little of that would have gone a long way to distance himself from Mrs. Tolerance.

  23. says

    “Well, not if it goes closer and closer towards redefining the traditional definition of marriage between one man and one woman. And unfortunately that’s sometimes where those steps lead.”

    Note to Sarah: that’s where those steps lead because that’s how you achieve equality. As with everything else in the debate, she was unable to articulate policy because policy was not part of her dutifully memorized talking points or folksy expressions. Because of the poor format of the debate, Gwen didn’t moderate the topic as she should have, but let’s be clear: The Obama ticket is the most gay friendly one in history, and the McCain ticket isn’t even close.

    Johnny Lane, your comment is so ludicrous on its face that it doesn’t merit a response. Biden more dangerous and less in control of the facts than Palin: As If.

  24. beaner873 says

    I personally was gratified to hear what Senator Biden had to say about the issue as it pretty much exactly conforms to my views on the issue. My thought has always been that I don’t care what you call the union of two people, be it marriage, civil union, whatever, so long as we are given the same exact rights as those given the legal status of “married”. To me this is something no more and no less than an issue of Equal Protection under the law as granted to us by the Fourteenth Amendment of the United States Constitution. To have anything less is to recall the days of “separate but equal” that I am pretty sure (if I remember from law school correctly) was declared to be unconstitutional by the US Supreme Court in the case of Brown v. Board of Education.

    As to my view as to what you want to term a same sex relationship under the law, I am not going to try and force the word marriage down other people’s throats. The word itself is steeped in 1000’s of years of cultural significance, both religious and social. Socially, I would like to think that people would warm to the idea of using the word marriage to apply to all persons, but that sort of cultural change is going to take time. Religiously, I do not expect my Church (Catholic, btw) sanctify my union with another man in my lifetime. Again, change takes time and the Catholic Church abhors changes perhaps more than any other institution in human history.

    I sometimes think that the gay community tends to be very short-sighted in the long-term process that it is going to be to have full acceptance for gay rights. Think about it…..the 13th Amendment (abolisishing slavery) was passed more than 140 years ago and yet to this day, the issue of African American civil rights remains an issue (and justifiably so), whether legal, social, or economic. Clearly, a systematic change in a people’s ideology and thoughts is not an overnight process. Why should we expect out struggle to be any less arduous?

    I am not saying that we should sit back and be complacent…..we need to be vigilant in our efforts to maintain the forward flow of thoughts and ideas to push towards equality. But trying to push for something (such as the term marriage, which like it or not, a majority of Americans do not want to grant us) too fast is only going to backfire.

    With that in mind, of the two speakers last night and throughout this campaign, I have heard only 1 ticket for forward thinking…and that is Obama/Biden.

  25. BC says

    So first its Palin hates gays. And now, since she moved A LITTLE BIT to a tolerance point of view, we’re still mad? Come on. Cut people some slack. Of course we want acceptance and basically for people to leave us alone, but the fact that “Jesus-Freak Palin” has moved to say she is very tolerant is progress. I think she was very honest. Why would we want a politician to go against their own personal values, whether we agree with them or not. Honestly, it irritates me more that the Democratic nominee is against gay marriage than that the Republican nominee is against it. It doesn’t make sense. I have friends who believe the way Gov. Palin believes, but we are still friends because we agree to disagree. Should I not be friends with them because they don’t think I should get married? No – they’re entitled to their own opinion.
    And on the “choice” issue. We do choose WHO we want to be with. We do choose if and when we accept who we are and come out. We do not choose to be gay, but we do choose EVERY DAY how we live our lives.

  26. noah says

    For goodness sake! Biden said that he and Obama support FULL legal equality for gay and straight unions!!

    Marriage? Civil Union? BFD if federal forces all states to recognize your civil union as on equal status.

    As someone also stated, the majority of American GLBT people can lose their jobs because of their orientation!

    Obama/Biden are pro-ENDA and McCain/Palin are not!

  27. says

    “I have friends who believe the way Gov. Palin believes, but we are still friends because we agree to disagree. Should I not be friends with them because they don’t think I should get married? No – they’re entitled to their own opinion.”

    Of course they’re entitled to their bigoted opinions, but that doesn’t mean we should elect them president or vice president. I couldn’t care less what Sarah Palin personally thinks of me, but I don’t want hers and McCain’s anti-gay policies (that go well beyond the marriage issue) in the White House. Why is it so difficult for some gay people to recognize clear policy differences?

  28. Superman says

    This debate over our rights will be dragged on for countless more years if we leave it to two political parties to toss it back and forth like a softball. At some point, a strong third party will have to emerge to effect serious changes in our government and our society.

    In the meantime, voting for the Democratic candidate does seem to be the more natural and logical choice in order for gay rights to take a few steps forward. A Republican government will seek to block any gains in equality and call these actions morally justifiable. Haven’t we seen enough of this during the last 8 years?

    I’m tired of being labeled immoral, and I’m tired of being marginalized. To some, gay rights is not one of the “bigger” issues. To me it is. Being gay is who I am. It is how I was born. It is what defines me. For any candidate or political party to ignore this–to ignore millions of other Americans who are gay–is not merely a political platform, it’s blatant tyranny.

  29. MAJeff says

    ” It doesn’t make sense. I have friends who believe the way Gov. Palin believes, but we are still friends because we agree to disagree. Should I not be friends with them because they don’t think I should get married?”

    You know, when I have “friends” who think like Palin, that being gay is wrong, and that go to churches that think I can pray it away, that don’t think our families should be treated like families….well, yeah, they’re out of my life. I’ve told a number of people that, “If you think that my having sex and preferring men makes me a sinner, if it’s morally wrong, if I’m somehow broken because of it, I don’t want you in my life.”

  30. rudy says

    [Excerpt from my comment in the post-debate thread.] As for her declaration that she would not judge me or my family: go to hell! I do not give a rat’s ass what she thinks of the state of my soul or social standing but I will not tolerate or abet her efforts to deny me and my brethren the fundamental human right to form my family with someone I love. She is more dangerous than an outright bigot because she cloakes her bigotry in the veil of “tolerance”. I will not settle for being tolerated by her and her ilk. I demand that they respect my rights to live my life as I am, i.e., as a full citizen of this country with inalienable rights. Tolerating me is worse than hating me because it denies your inherent bigotry.

    We have had eight recent years of being tolerated as the house faggot in private while our rights were trampled in the political arena. I would much rather be hated in private by individuals and have the backing of Constitutional rights in public. Think what you will, have any opinion that you devise, but respect my basic human rights by protecting my minority family from the tyranny, nee tolerance, of the majority.

    Sorry Craig, but having taught Con Law I [Federalism] and II [Civil Rights], I am thankful that I do not “know [sic] Con Law ‘like’ [you] do… .” You are correct to place the struggle for basic human rights, already acknowledged in the Consitution, into context but you are cowardly to give up and resign yourself to a “long fight ahead”. You also lost the argument when you resorted to Plain’s rhetorical faux cutesiness by “keep[ing] it real”.

  31. Richard says

    Would SOMEONE please locate Palin’s “gay” female friend (“for over thirty years”) and interview her??

    What a fucking joke.

    If I heard one more “bless his heart” or “two mavericks” or another dropped “g” I would have put my foot through the screen…

    Don’t CHA know?

    Mr. Ehrenstein? May I rephrase?

    “She is PALIN!!!. She is CUNT”

  32. Louis says

    Gays were thrown under the bus by both VP candidates last night. Oh, and about taxing health benefits…right here, baby, my partner is taxed on my portion of the domestic partner health benefit…there is nothing new about taxing this, Joe. Suddenly it’s an outrage that straights would have to pay too????

  33. Robert says

    I, personally, am rather irritated that Ifill brought this up at all. It has not been a driving issue in this campaign as it has been in past elections, and I thought it was irresponsible of her to stoke the fire of a “cuture” war issue when it doesn’t need to be one. Also, I found it noteworthy that both candidates seemed a bit uncomfortable with the conversation, which indicates just how far we haven’t come.

    All in all, I’m clear that in regard to our rights, Obama-Biden are generally right-headed, and McCain-Palin are neanderthals.

  34. Leland Frances says

    Those who understand the meaning of quotation marks around words will not be offended when I write certain words. I am not responsible for the stupidity of those who don’t understand it.

    “Porch niggers” were those slaves who, for whatever reason, got a little better treatment than “field niggers.” They were allowed the privilege of getting closer to Massa and his family, figuratively and literally onto Massa’s porch.

    “House niggers” were allowed even closer. John McShame’s chief of staff, and, Sarah Palinolithic’s lesbian friend are “house niggers.” But Massa John & Miss Sarah would apparently permit, in their superior “white” “we decide” way, and many of you would clearly “clap yo hands” and accept, bent over with your cheeks spread, to be mere “field niggers” re civil unions. For what Ifill, Biden, and Palin failed to mention is that Massa John CONDEMNED even civil unions when New Hampshire instituted them because they “came too close” to the White Man’s marriage.

    Yes, progress is incremental, but there are increments that are acceptable and there are others so slow that only a “particpatory nigger” [a term from not actual slavery days but the 60s] would accept them. If you are willing to allow someone else to control even what WORDS you can use, deny them to you while using them themselves, i.e., “marriage,” then you are a “participatory nigger.”

    Yes, just as slaves understood that their survival to a better day required their accepting some things temporarily, the wise among us accept that voting for Obama/Biden who would open up the “house” to us [civil unions/gay adoption/pass ENDA & hate crimes legislation/repeal DOMA and DADT], if not treating us ENTIRELY as equals YET, is rational. Actually a better analogy are those who supported ending slavery but were not yet ready to allow emancipated blacks to vote [and black women (as those white) didn’t get the vote until 50 yrs. after black men].

    Yes Obama/Biden fall short, but they are closer than any candidates before them and only the politically suicidal would vote for anyone else. Make no mistake, whatever his/her pretty words [one “tolerates” a toothache not PEOPLE who have done nothing wrong], McCain/Palin ARE AGAINST civil unions, gay adoption, passing ENDA & hate crimes legislation, and repealing DOMA and DADT. To them we are nothing more than “field niggers” and should, in their minds, remain that way in perpetuity.

    And we WILL if they’re elected because they will stack the Supreme Court with Troglodytes who will keep us shackled until all of you are old men…or dead.

  35. JeffRob says

    Thanks, Craig, for your insight. The best on this thread so far, by far.

    I was really irritated by the whole exchange, and I can understand why any level-headed person would have been. The fact that the topic of Us would create such an awkward moment isn’t surprising, in fact it’s completely status quo, but it is maddening, pathetic and childish.

    Having said that, I am really proud of Joe Biden, and with the exception that I would love to legally marry my husband in Illinois, I agreed with him completely.

    But we can not forget, folks, that the ill-intended framing by conservatives in the 90s of our entire movement as the “fight for Marriage” has been the largest burden in gaining the acceptance we deserve in the hearts and minds of a majority of Americans.

    This is not our fault whatsoever. Conservatives succeeded in changing the conversation from simple equality to the integrity of the “most ancient and sacred institution on Earth”, which is just too much for a lowly human rights movement to overcome.

    So the solution, I submit to you, is pretty much exactly the platform Obama and Biden have taken on. Lets get this conversation back to where it should be- about our rights as humans to love and be committed to our partners in substantively the same way as everyone else. Our basic dignity can simply not wait for us to gain the nationwide official definition of marriage.

    The Democrats have not thrown us under the bus. They’re the only ones inviting us onto the bus. Sure, I want “marriage” rights, but I want to have legal rights as partners much, much more.

  36. Luisa says

    Hey David Ehrenstein, do you want to be called “faggot”?
    Then stop calling women “cunts”!
    I think we can agree that Sarah Palin is not the right person to be vice president, but shouldn’t we be able to have this discussion without denigrative language?

  37. Clementine says

    Tolerated = we’re ok so long as we know our place and stay in it, like Mammy cooking pies in the kitchen.
    Craig is right. We have a long way to go; even longer if McCain and Palin are elected.

  38. InAZ says

    If we can’t agree that tolerance is a good thing, then the gay rights movement has lost its way. Tolerance is the foundation for everything. It appears to me that Palin is more tolerant of people she disagrees with than many of the people posting comments here. Without tolerance there can be no communication with those with whom we disagree. If we can’t communicate – what is left? Violence?

    We can disagree with Palin’s views without needing to demonize her. I have not heard her try to demonize us.

    If we attempt to deny Palin or any other individual the right to their own religious beliefs, then we are no better than those that try to deny us rights.

    Politically there is little difference between Obama’s position and McCain’s. I give McCain somewhat more credit for holding a position of tolerance that is probably out of step with a large portion of his base.

  39. rudy says

    Nic has once again gratuitously insulted a commenter; thereby, proving her point. He shows that he cannot engage in rational discussion but always resorts to the rathole of cowardice: name calling. (I would use the term ‘ad hominem attack’ but someone who has not mastered capitalization cannot be expected to understand the correct term for his consistent use of logical fallacy.) What a childish and loathsome creature he despires to be. While it is best to ignore linguistic bullying, nic needs to be called out for his demonstrably inappropriate behaviour. He displays not a shred of decency, much less wisdom or insight.

  40. Vi Agara says

    IFILL: Let’s try to avoid nuance, Senator. Do you support gay marriage?

    BIDEN: No. Barack Obama nor I support redefining from a civil side what constitutes marriage. We do not support that

    So I ask why so many here want to vote Obama and create the USSA? Because you are commies?

  41. Derrick from Philly says

    Federal judges will decide the issue of gay marriage rights and civil unions. Judges appointed by Barack Obama NOT McCain and his fundie sidekick.

    There aint no more commies, VI AGARA.


    fundamentalist Christians who believe that God loves Americans more than children suffering all over the world are demons. They are either liars or psychologically dishonest (in denial).

  42. Vi Agara says

    Check out ACORN’s website for the latest on the radical left that wants a communist state and government in the USA. Obama used to work with them.

    You really need to deal with ACORN sometime to see what I mean.

    Oh and ACORN is all for gay rights. Of course.

    Be careful who you vote for.

  43. 24play says

    Hmmmm, the Repiggie trolls like Vi Agara [sic] and Nobama really seem to be hitting ACORN pretty hard.

    Must be some fabulously exciting news stories up on the freeper sites about them this week. Oh yeah, Google says:

    Michelle Malkin
    Jewish World Review

    All over it in the past few days.

  44. says

    “Politically there is little difference between Obama’s position and McCain’s.”

    There is, Inaz, educate yourself. No one is depriving Palin of her religious views, and no one will deprive us of our right to vote against her and them.

    And, Vi, no one is paying attention to your communist fear-mongering because it is ridiculous. You don’t support Obama; so tell us again why McCain is better without resorting to commie nonsense?

  45. Michael Krans says

    What the fuck does Biden mean by “That is basically the decision to be able to be able to be left to faiths and people who practice their faiths the determination what you call it”??? It doesn’t even make sense.

  46. HereWeGo says

    Leland Frances, you are by far the most ignorant idiot I’ve ever come across online.

    Guess what jackass, you’re not a slave, you never were. We (gays) are not suffering the way slaves did, not even 1/10th of the way they did. How dare you even try to compare a minor civil rights issue to something of that magnitude and to use the disgusting words of that era as if that some how drives your misguided point home.

    You know what won’t get us our right to marriage any faster? Comparing ourselves to those who suffered unimaginable pain in the past.

    Do not EVER compare not being allowed to marry or getting fired from a job for being gay to BEING FORCED TO WORK FIELDS LIKE AN ANIMAL WHILE BEING BEATEN AND FED FROM A TROUGH unless you WANT to sound like a complete idiot.

    It’s no secret that a large majority of the gay community is also racist so for you to even go there just speaks volumes of how little sense you actually have.

    It’s funny how morons try to downplay slavery but sympathize with the suffering of the jews. Both were tragic events, but slavery was much worse, death would’ve been a gift to those people(my ancestors) who suffered so horribly for so long.

    You should really feel ashamed for even posting that trash, but I’m sure you’re too dumb to even grasp what I wrote. Crying shame. I almost tend to hope for our(gay) rights to be taken away even further just because of people like you, but then I’d be no better than you so I’ll just hope you wise up, and stop misrepresenting us all with your racist tirades that make no logical sense.

  47. says

    the VP debate was stunning. Palin did a decent job faking about 20% of the questions and didn’t even bother answering the other 80%.

    i couldn’t help thinking of the end of the movie Billy Madison, when the Principal says to Adam Sandler, “Mr. Madison, what you’ve just said is one of the most insanely idiotic things I have ever heard. At no point in your rambling, incoherent response were you even close to anything that could be considered a rational thought. Everyone in this room is now dumber for having listened to it. I award you no points, and may God have mercy on your soul.”

  48. jimmers says

    I must disagree with Clementine — tolerance is not the same as acceptance. Tolerance is doing your best to ignore an unavoidable nuisance. I tolerate rush hour traffic because I have no choice. Professing tolerance is also a safe political way to avoid saying she is not accepting. I am not saying she doesn’t have a right to her religious viewpoint; but someone with a religious viewpoint that marginalizes a large segment should not be running for a major public office.
    More disturbing was her phrase ‘choosing relationships that they deem best for themselves’. She actually thinks this was a choice! (sure, I want to sleep with men and risk being beaten up, hated and fired. Sounds like a great lifestyle). But is this kind of ingorance surprising coming from a woman who thinks global warming is a myth, polar bears are not endangered, and people coexisted with dinosaurs?

  49. Clementine says

    I think Jimmers confused my comment with Inaz’s.
    And to Inaz: What is next is not violence, but peaceful protest. Something we somehow have forgotten how to do, since the Act Up days. I marched and protested, along with thousands of others, against Anita Bryant in Atlanta over 30 years ago when she spoke to the Southern Baptist Convention. We, along with a nationwide boycott of Florida orange juice, put her out of business. We should be a lot farther along than being tolerated by now.

  50. 1fanboy2many says

    Middle-aged, gay, white, blue-dog liberal here. I hate to play the age, sex, race, partisan card, but I’ve got to ask… Does anyone worry about the invisibility of the black gay man in his community? It just seems that gayness is just ignored in the black community. Isn’t this the community that brought us the phrase ‘Down Low’? I can’t go back to being tolerated and ignored! We’re here, we’re queer, get use to it! I think most Americans are more comfortable with us. Knowledge is power and denial is just a river. As for tolerance, that’s for people sitting atop a high horse with nothing better to do than judge those below. I have no faith in either candidate, they both seem prehistoric. I do have faith in American’s ability to accept and protect. I just hope this is the last time a President even has to talk about this.

  51. David R. says

    Note to HEREWEGO: avoid picking slavery over the holocaust as the more heinous. It only makes you look insecure, petulant, mean-spirited, and ignorant. To paraphrase Tolstoy, they are each heinous in their own way.

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