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.