Tim Kaine Won’t Say He’s for Marriage Equality

Former DNC Chair Tim Kaine, who's running for Senate in Virginia, and, as The Hill notes, is "a strict Catholic who is running in a swing state," was asked if he supported same-sex marriage today, and did a fancy dodge:

Kaine"The underlying issue is, should committed couples have the same legal rights and responsibilities? and the answer to that is an unequivocal yes," he said. "I believe in the legal equality of relationships. The debate about 'Is it marriage, is it a civil union, is it domestic partnership?' — I kind of let that one go, and say the legal issue is, Should committed couples be treated the same by law? And I think the answer is yes. Just as we do now, churches would be able to make their own decisions about which relationships they'd want to celebrate — that wouldn't change — but as a matter of law I do fundamentally believe that couples should be treated equally."

When asked if he believed if marriage equality is a civil right, he reframed the issue.

"Relationship equality is a civil right, I believe that," he said. "The legal issue, the issue for policymakers is should we treat people the same? And I believe we should. There should be a license that would entitle a committed couple to have the same rights as a married couple. Again, I think the labels actually get in the way of the issue.

"What you call it and how you label it and how you describe it is not unimportant, it is important. But I think the most important issue, really, is the issue of legal equality, relationship equality," he said.


  1. says

    @PHOENIX JUSTICE yeah we banned those at our site… sorry Mittens you are not going to place your face all over the gay community/

    Tim Kaine is laughable and the modern day stereotype of the typical Democratic hack. No straight answers just more babble, why is it so hard to say YES or NO. When you vote on this issue the ballot does not ask you about the all the details but just a simple YES or NO.

    You guys want to know how you can tell a politician is lying? …. If they move their lips.

  2. fkia says

    I was always told democrats were pro gay. Why don’t they vote for gay marriage? Isn’t “evolving” the same as flip flopping. Wasn’t Obama for gay marriage until he ran for prez? If Obama comes out for gay marriage before November, I’ll vote for him. Otherwise I’m skipping that part of my ballot. Look at all those crooked democratic legislators from NY that are all going to jail after they voted against gay marriage a few years ago. If you want to blow your load all over these creeps then thats your choice. I don’t know how they can live with themselves, taking money from gay people then throwing their religion in our faces.

  3. dms says

    See NC for why a politician would be ambivalent about this issue.

    We need to stop relying on politicians to lead and lead by example. How many gay people to you know who are not out to their families. Or out at work. Or open about their feelings about gay people. Only when we demand equality by teaching people that being gay is not a choice and is ok will the culture of hatred change.

    And to all those polls that say half of americans support gay marriage? I think NC is far more representative of the challenges we face for full acceptance. And politicians know that.

  4. TampaZeke says

    And who cares which water fountain you have to drink out of as long as they both supply the same water, and who cares if you have to sit in the back of the bus as long as you get dropped off at the same place at the same time as everyone else? Why make such a big deal about those insignificant details right Mr. Kaine? You sound more like a Dixiecrat than a Democrat!

  5. Francis says

    Tim Kaine runs in my state, a state that has a similar ban against marriage equality as North Carolina and supports Bob McDonnell at a over 50% clip. Outside of NOVA and Richmond, the state is horrifically homophobic. So no, he cannot say “Yes, I am for gay marriage”. He can’t do it and retain his seat. Does that mean I excuse his weakness, excuse the DNC in general? No. I don’t excuse it. But, at the end of the day, outside of the West Coast, most of the Northeast and some big cities in-between, this is a LOSING issue, and it is a losing issue in every single swing state. At the end of the day, politicians want to keep their jobs and will do everything to ensure that.

    The vote today in North Carolina better come as a very real reality check, boys and girls. We have made gains, but most of those gains have been with groups that are traditionally gay accepting in the first place. We have a lot of work to do and a lot of minds to change. We can’t wait for young people to grow up. We have to start fighting and changing hearts and minds starting now.

  6. Jason says

    The more we (supporters of gay rights) back politicians into a corner to unequivocally support same-sex marriage, the more we damage our cause. These things happen by degrees, over time, and in many parts of the country (Virginia included) the people are uncomfortable electing someone who takes such a strong stance. Tim Kaine can do more for our cause IN office than he can when he loses the election because we made him take an unpopular position on a divisive social issue.

    Be realistic people, not everyone in the country agrees with us. We are forcing the leaders who agree with us out of office, where they can’t do anything for us. The guy has gone on record to support equal rights, let that be enough in a state like Virginia!

    The same goes for Obama’s reelection. If we force him to support gay marriage, most political experts agree he will certainly lose a number of the swing states. How does that help our cause? It teaches politicians that supporting gay marriage is political suicide.

  7. Malcolm says

    Exactly. He is running in Virginia, a state that has one of the very most severe anti-gay constitutions in the nation, thanks to voters specifically doing so. He is wise not to support same-sex marriage. He wants to win.

  8. Patrick says

    If you want a Supreme Court that will eventually establish and gradually expand a base level of federally guaranteed equality, skipping the vote for president is a good strategy.

  9. k says

    Well said, Jason and Malcolm. In a sense, getting something accomplished through the political process(or being elected)is like a chess game. Or maybe even a poker game. Unfortunately the games must be played, always keeping the endpoint in sight.

  10. says

    Great article, I think you covered everything there. . . I would say freelancing is quite hard especially if you are not used to working on your own, can be quite hard to motivate yourself also. . . we all know what it is like to stare at the monitor.

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