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Eric Cantor's Wife Supports Marriage Equality: VIDEO


Like so many of his Republican counterparts, Eric Cantor has built his political platform in part on banning gay marriage.

The House Majority leader has been a leader in his party's fight to maintain the Defense of Marriage Act - a position that led Cantor to be heckled last October.

It's a surprise, then, to hear that his wife, Diana Fine Cantor, disagrees with Cantor's right wing stance on the issue. More than that, though, she willingly said so in a 60 Minutes interview this weekend, telling Lesley Stahl, "I do disagree [on gay marriage]. There's really that respect. If I expect him to respect my views that could be different, I certainly need to respect his.

While some political spouses keep their opinions to themselves -- Cindy McCain finally came out for marriage equality over a year after husband John failed to win the White House -- it's refreshing to hear Mrs. Cantor break with their partner on national television.

Watch the video AFTER THE JUMP...

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  1. Minds change over time... It is not so black and white as Kiwi thinks. I know many people who respect gay people, but are not 100% onboard yet with our causes. I hope to change minds, but it could take years.

    Posted by: JP | Jan 2, 2012 2:06:34 PM

  2. JP, minds seldom change if they're not given a REASON to change.

    check it out. this is how we win. as long as you "respect" an "opinion" that is about disrespecting others, an opinion which is indefensible and indeed harmful, you do not do anything to change it.

    if you're not on board with Equality then you don't actually respect LGBT people. fact. this is something people need to address and call out.

    Posted by: Little Kiwi | Jan 2, 2012 2:13:42 PM

  3. With all due respect, that video has nothing to do with this topic. The examples used in the video are turning a family member away from thanksgiving for being gay and causing physical harm to gay people... There is no evidence that Cantor would do either one of those. He has positions which are very much in the mainstream, even if I think he is wrong. You keep talking about disrespect. Please tell me exactly why his wife should leave him... Which exact position?

    Posted by: JP | Jan 2, 2012 2:23:16 PM

  4. when did i say his wife should leave him? i didn't.

    but if you can't understand that the people who oppose LGBT Equality are the people who harbour anti-gay bigotry then I can't help you.

    his wife should in no way be "respecting" his disrespectful beliefs. they need to be called out. it's not a mere "difference of opinion" - it's a specifically harmful opinion that indicates the person doesn't have respect, compassion or empathy for those who are different.

    but hey, like i said, some of you may have no problem dating bigots, nor have the ability to stand up to the bigots in your own family. that's sad.

    Posted by: Little Kiwi | Jan 2, 2012 2:29:43 PM

  5. I gave up trying to understand other people's relationships long ago; the clincher for me was Carville/Matalan. I watched Kantor's promo and skipped the rest of what looked to be a puff piece about one of the most despicable, unprincipled, power-hungry individuals in America. WHEN he gets caught - whether it's sex, money, corruption, or all the above - I won't spare a moment's thought.

    Posted by: Hue-Man | Jan 2, 2012 2:34:34 PM

  6. @Little kiwi, and the others, people like you do more to push back progress than helping when you hold such bitterly uncompromising views. This woman says she supports marriage equality, and yet that still isn't enough for you. Instead of just slamming anyone who doesn't meet your live up to your idealist expectation, how about try to support her in a way that can bring about real change. This woman might not even have been supportive of marriage equality until recently, so is that not at least progress? Besides, arguing with her husband is not going to make him realize how wrong he is on LGBT issues. If you have any hope of educating someone who holds bigoted beliefs, you have to show them respect or else they will never listen. Clearly this is something you have not learned.

    Posted by: Rob | Jan 2, 2012 2:52:28 PM

  7. what's "bitterly uncompromising" about calling out bigotry?

    you don't change a bigots mind by "respecting" their baseless, disrespectful and bigoted views. you change minds when you call it what it is: bigotry. and you let the person know that their bigoted views are indeed negatively affecting how you feel about them.

    i dare say it's a sad world when opposition to baseless anti-gay bigotry is seen as, as you put it, "bitterly uncompromising"

    the bitterly uncompromising one is the one who refuses to address their own prejudices.

    to educate someone and change hearts and minds one must first stop the nonsense that is "respecting bigoted and disrespectful beliefs"

    Posted by: Little Kiwi | Jan 2, 2012 3:04:00 PM

  8. Kiwi, you know that I have respect for your intellectual and literary talents, but you must also know what I'm going to say here. Advocating that people cause family fights (or family divorces) over political issues is very poor political strategy. If the Cantors were just dating instead of married I could see your point. But married people need to put their families first - their own families.

    You say that you didn't advocate that Mrs. Cantor divorce her husband. What then should she do? Push him on this issue and risk causing fights that could end up leaning to adultery (and God knows Republicans are good at it!) or divorce? I can't imagine anything more likely to make borderline voters virulenty ANTI-gay then to hear that one family after another is breaking up because one spouse supports gay marriage and one does not. You always ask straight people "How does gay marriage adversely affect YOU?" Well, now they'll be able to show that the issue has DIRECT harm.

    Think of it this way. Your cause already has an advocate inside of Eric Cantor's home. Apart from seeing him change his position completely, what more could you ask for? If there's anyone who could get a person to change his mind over time it would be a spouse. The glass is half full, isn't it? You get my point.

    Posted by: Mary | Jan 2, 2012 3:37:07 PM

  9. Time to switch to de-caf Little Kiwi.

    Posted by: Mastik8 | Jan 2, 2012 3:43:50 PM

  10. yes Mary, but you therefore have no problem with people having "family fights" due to bigotry. congrats, you're intellectually mediocre.

    "i know you hate black people, and our son married a black girl, but you have a right to your opinion so that's ok"


    and weak.

    how, in any way, does this show that gay marriage causes anti-gay bigots direct harm? they're suddenly "harmed" by being seen in a negative light for harboring bigoted beliefs that lead to harm against others?

    as usual, Mary, you make no sense.

    you seem to be saying she shuold not call out her husband's bigotry. for her not to do so would be for her to prove that she's not only afraid of her husband, but that she fears he disapproves of gays more than he cares about her respect for him.

    learn to discern, folks

    Posted by: Little Kiwi | Jan 2, 2012 3:44:16 PM

  11. Re: Respect. People who are pushed, push back. Telling someone that they are wrong, disagreeing with them, causes people to defend their position, even when they are clearly wrong (ego defense and all that). Pretty basic interpersonal communication stuff.

    That having been said; on a personal level, I cannot imagine not sharing core values. I would not be with a partner who did not share my core values when it comes to civil rights. I would not be with someone who would not learn to challenge pre-conceived ideas and prejudices (because we all have prejudices, but we can learn to think and do differently). And I have disowned family members who have refused to learn.

    Posted by: TJ | Jan 2, 2012 3:51:01 PM

  12. @Mary: "You say that you didn't advocate that Mrs. Cantor divorce her husband. What then should she do?"

    At the very least? Refrain from saying that she "respects" her husband's bigoted views. Perhaps she meant "understands," which has a different connotation.

    I don't believe anyone has suggested that another's marriage end over this issue, but if it did, I would place the blame squarely in the bigot's corner. Accomodationist tactics don't work. Martin Luther King never said "don't stir up trouble at Woolworth's or the bigots will hate us more."

    Posted by: Acronym Jim | Jan 2, 2012 4:03:24 PM

  13. Oh, spare me the hypocrisy. If she really supported marriage equality, she would say on national TV that she doesn't understand why he opposes civil unions.

    This is just another Stepford wife doing her Republican duty to humanize her bigot-for-life. I don't bloody care about her views.

    Posted by: BobN | Jan 2, 2012 4:11:21 PM

  14.'re worried that people will be "more anti-gay" when they find out that families are being torn apart due to family members standing up for Human Equality?

    I suppose it doesn't bother you one bit to accept the reality that being anti-gay is what tears families apart. No family has ever been torn apart because a family member is LGBT - they only get orn apart because other members are anti-LGBT.

    this is continuously lost on you.

    this in no way would show that "gay marriage has a negative effect on straight people" , only that anti-gay prejudice has a negative effect on EVERYONE. which it does.

    being gay harms no families. being anti-gay harms all families.

    it speaks volumes about your lack of character, and faith in the good in mankind, that you think people, when faced with such a hypothetical family dialogue, would choose to be anti-gay, rather than to choose to embrace understanding and diversity and be Pro-Equality.

    i'm greatly relieved to know you will never have children of your own, Mary.

    Posted by: Little Kiwi | Jan 2, 2012 4:19:37 PM

  15. Sue Ellens comment is spot on. This is an attempt to get the message out to Republican wives that A) Your husbands bigotry is not a deal-breaker for your relationship and B) Being pro-equality is not a reason to not vote Republican. Both messages are garbage.

    Posted by: RDUB | Jan 2, 2012 4:28:04 PM

  16. i'm always puzzled by those that say "gays like you are going to turn more people away from our cause"...

    really? why, then, are there no anti-gay people in my life? at all. in any way. not in family, not in friends, not in my church community, not in my extended social and work circles.

    i don't say what i do, in the way that i say it, because everyone around me is Pro-Equality. Everyone around me is pro-Equality because i do what i do, in the way that i do it.

    that's why i keep doing it. it gets results. if it didn't work i'd still have anti-gay people in my life. they're not anti-gay anymore.

    for too long people were social pariahs for being LGBT.

    Mary's argument might as well be "integration totally made victims out of white people who hate black people because they were then unjustly vilified simply because they hate black people."

    wrong. they're vilified because they're bigots. gay marriage won't negatively affect anyone's lives. beign anti-gay will negatively affect everyone's lives.

    Posted by: Little Kiwi | Jan 2, 2012 4:28:40 PM

  17. "sure, my husband hates jews, but him hating jews and passing legislation to keep jews as second class vilified citizens isn't as important as me keeping my mouth shut in order to not cause problems"

    what a cowardly way to live and think. the problem will not be the woman who addresses the fact that her husband's bigoted beliefs are embarrassing, harmful and indicative of his lack of compassion for others. the problem is the bigoted man who refuses to check his ego and work on his bigotry.

    "i respect my husband's disrespectful and prejudiced beliefs"

    great, lady. enjoy giving the eulogy at your son's wake.

    Posted by: Little Kiwi | Jan 2, 2012 4:31:46 PM

  18. @Joey, Have fun persuading people. "We are making great progress, but it will only continue if we persuade the opposition, not turn our backs on them." Screw them. Fundamental rights are not possessions of any particular group, so the gays don't need to kowtow to anyone for them. The gays deserve to be treated equally under the law, and if a group of voters doesn't like that, too bad. The federal court system is more powerful than ignorant, anti-gay opposition, and is proving to be more reliable.

    Read more:

    Posted by: FlexSF | Jan 2, 2012 4:41:55 PM

  19. if you can't have an honest and direct discussion with a loved one about how their intolerant, bigoted and prejudiced chosen beliefs are something that troubles you, then you are admitting that you fear that your partner in life hates _____ more than they love you.

    Posted by: Little Kiwi | Jan 2, 2012 4:54:45 PM

  20. To Zabelfish: Cantor's whole "gay-bashing as public policy" thing aside, if he is an ineffective representative, voters in his district must stop rewarding him by sending him back to Congress. Talk to all those you cite as feeling that he is unattached and non-responsive and decide among yourselves who would be a more responsive representative - begin promoting that person now, don't wait for the next election cycle. Personally, I believe this "60 Minutes" puff-piece was simply a way to manipulate his public image for the 2012 campaigns by softening his bigotry with his wife's "enlightened view" of same-sex marriage. McCain and Cheney both tried this tack - both remain bigoted in my opinion. Help us all by sending this guy out of the public policy arena. Lee

    Posted by: Lee | Jan 2, 2012 5:05:59 PM

  21. Maybe they have those conversations in private. Maybe she is influencing him in private. That would really be great for their marriage if she went on National TV saying she doesn't respect her husbands views. Some of you are so naive.

    Lets recap... she supports gay marriage, but we are upset with her because she loves her husband and respects his views.

    Don't throw the word bigot out either because it means different things to different people. Every family has some family member with various prejudices.

    These rigid doctrines of associations only with perfect people would destroy every family relationship and many friendships.

    I'm happy for you if all your family and friends support 100 percent of gay rights initiatives and always have... I just think if that is the case, you don't live in the same word as most Americans.

    Posted by: JP | Jan 2, 2012 5:18:29 PM

  22. Let me ask you all this questions, I ran in to it last year. One of my best friends (gay) tied the knot over the summer. I went of course but his 1st cousin did not. He said he loved him and wanted him happy but did not agree with same sex marriage. They have not spoken since. Some people agree that the cousin should be able to have his opinion and not go with out recourse, most believe it was total disrespect and I love you to a point. How would people handle that situation?

    I have to tell you, I would be hurt and don't know if I could put that relationship back together. Things do hurt families, sometimes there's no getting around it. I couldnt have a relationship with a guy who thinks we should settle for civil unions. (their are some out there)
    I know off topic, just a question

    Posted by: George M | Jan 2, 2012 5:32:29 PM

  23. By the way, my opinion is that Cantors wife publicly supporting gay marriage is positive for the advancement of gay rights. Winning over some republicans is crucial to future victories. I also agree with Lee that we need to focus on electing better candidates where possible to replace people like Cantor.

    Posted by: JP | Jan 2, 2012 5:34:13 PM

  24. "Every family has some family member with various prejudices."

    speak for yourself. my family doesn't do bigotry. i've been Out since my teens and there was indeed a lot of work done with extended family - but my family all possess strong hearts, minds and spines. we don't tolerate anti-gay bigotry or racism or prejudices, even from other family members. if "family is important" then it is up to the prejudiced member to change, not the non-prejudiced ones to sit like doormats and "respect" the prejudice. prejudice doesn't deserve respect.

    and my family lives in Canada. i guess that explains it, eh?

    "rigid doctrines"? "destroy every family relationship"? what are you talking about? it's not the opposition to bigotry that destroys family relationships, IT'S THE BIGOTRY.

    the problem is her intellectually dishonest stance, once that i hear repeated by Americans far too often: "respecting" an opinion that is inherently disrespectful, harmful, and prejudicial.

    he is a bigot. those that oppose LGBT Equality are bigots. if people dont' want to be called bigots then they can stop being bigoted. duh.

    prejudice and bigotry are like drug abuse or alcoholism: you don't support the 'afflicted' person by saying "i respect your addiction, you keep drinking. i respect it"

    you let them know that you'll work with them to help them change and see the light and find new understandings, but you will not under any circumstances allow them to sit there and keep guzzling booze.

    truly. we talk, and we help people work toward understanding. that does not happen, however, when one pathetically slinks back like a coward and claims to 'respect' those bigotries.

    jeez, some of the commenters on here sound like those GOProud boys who think their parents love them and accept them as gay, even though they're against gay marriage. they're wrong, you know. only anti-gay people are against gay marriage.

    Posted by: Little Kiwi | Jan 2, 2012 5:37:35 PM

  25. @George... I would not remain close with a cousin who refused to attend my wedding, but I would still be cordial at family functions.

    Posted by: JP | Jan 2, 2012 5:38:13 PM

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