Tuesday, March 18, 2008

With progressive challenger, Kerry’s opposition to marriage equality softens :: EDGE Boston

With progressive challenger, Kerry’s opposition to marriage equality softens :: EDGE Boston

by Laura Kiritsy
Bay Windows
Saturday Mar 15, 2008

Senator John Kerry
In the midst of a re-election challenge from the left in the Democratic Primary this September, Sen. John Kerry has softened his longstanding opposition to same-sex marriage. In a statement to Bay Windows Kerry said that civil marriage rights for same-sex couples are established law in Massachusetts and should remain so. He has also touted his work to sway state legislators to vote against the anti-gay marriage constitutional amendment at last June’s constitutional convention, as proof of his support.

The March 11 statement to Bay Windows from Kerry spokeswoman Brigid O’Rourke stated in part, "In Massachusetts, just last spring Senator Kerry worked with Gov. Patrick and progressive legislators to help defeat a draconian and discriminatory constitutional amendment that would have banned same sex marriage in Massachusetts. Sen. Kerry believes that in Massachusetts, gay marriage is a matter of settled law and there is no reason to change the law."

The statement also notes that Kerry has always believed that same-sex couples "should be afforded the same legal protections and benefits that married couples enjoy," - a reference to his longstanding support for domestic partnerships and civil unions - and that he has consistently opposed federal efforts to ban legal protections for same-sex couples, including voting against the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA) in 1996. Additionally, the statement pointed out that in his 2004 speech accepting the Democratic presidential nomination, Kerry spoke out against the Federal Marriage Amendment, which was supported by his Republican opponent, President George W. Bush........

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