John Edwards: “Vote for me, I’m a Bigot”

24 07 2007

Last night’s democratic debate was mostly a bunch of politicians dancing around questions (save for Mr. Kucinich). 

But here’s the exchange that really pissed me off most:

COOPER: This next question is for Senator Edwards.

QUESTION:I’m Reverend Reggie Longcrier. I’m the pastor of Exodus Mission and Outreach Church in Hickory, North Carolina.

Senator Edwards said his opposition to gay marriage is influenced by his Southern Baptist background. Most Americans agree it was wrong and unconstitutional to use religion to justify slavery, segregation, and denying women the right to vote.

So why is it still acceptable to use religion to deny gay American their full and equal rights?

(APPLAUSE)

EDWARDS:I think Reverend Longcrier asks a very important question, which is whether fundamentally — whether it’s right for any of our faith beliefs to be imposed on the American people when we’re president of the United States. I do not believe that’s right.

I feel enormous personal conflict about this issue. I want to end discrimination. I want to do some of the things that I just heard Bill Richardson talking about — standing up for equal rights, substantive rights, civil unions, the thing that Chris Dodd just talked about. But I think that’s something everybody on this stage will commit themselves to as president of the United States.

But I personally have been on a journey on this issue. I feel enormous conflict about it. As I think a lot of people know, Elizabeth spoke — my wife Elizabeth spoke out a few weeks ago, and she actually supports gay marriage. I do not. But this is a very, very difficult issue for me. And I recognize and have enormous respect for people who have a different view of it.

COOPER: I should also point out that the reverend is actually in the audience tonight. Where is he? Right over here.

Reverend, do you feel he answered your question?

(APPLAUSE)

QUESTION: This question was just a catalyst that promoted some other things that wrapped around that particular question, especially when it comes to fair housing practices. Also…

COOPER: Do you think he answered the question, though?

QUESTION: Not like I would like to have heard it…

(LAUGHTER)

COOPER: What did you not hear?

QUESTION: I didn’t quite get — some people were moving around, and I didn’t quite get all of his answer. I just heard…

COOPER: All right, there’s 30 seconds more. Why is it OK to quite religious beliefs when talking about why you don’t support something? That’s essentially what’s his question.

EDWARDS:It’s not. I mean, I’ve been asked a personal question which is, I think, what Reverend Longcrier is raising, and that personal question is, do I believe and do I personally support gay marriage?

The honest answer to that is I don’t. But I think it is absolutely wrong, as president of the United States, for me to have used that faith basis as a basis for denying anybody their rights, and I will not do that when I’m president of the United States.

You can read the full transcript here.

So basically Edwards is saying that he is bigoted and that he is capable of doing things he finds morally objectionable.  I’m all in favor of a person who is able to recognize the line between politics and religion, but I’m more in favor of not putting someone with absurd, irrational personal views on morality into the white house.

 Here’s the right answer to the question of gay marriage:

COOPER: Our next question is on a topic that got a lot of response from YouTube viewers. Let’s watch.

QUESTION: Hi. My name is Mary.

QUESTION: And my name is Jen.

QUESTION: And we’re from Brooklyn, New York.

If you were elected president of the United States, would you allow us to be married to each other?

COOPER: Congressman Kucinich?

KUCINICH: Mary and Jen, the answer to your question is yes. And let me tell you why.

Because if our Constitution really means what it says, that all are created equal, if it really means what it says, that there should be equality of opportunity before the law, then our brothers and sisters who happen to be gay, lesbian, bisexual or transgender should have the same rights accorded to them as anyone else, and that includes the ability to have a civil marriage ceremony.

Yes, I support you. And welcome to a better and a new America under a President Kucinich administration.

(APPLAUSE)

Right on, brother.

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3 responses

24 07 2007
Stephen

It is thoroughly upsetting to me, as a gay American, that the people who are supposed to be leading the way in terms of progressive social policies are doing anything but. They like to dance on the word ‘marriage’ and say that ‘civil unions’ are exactly the same under the rule of law. And that may well be, under the rule of law. But the rule of law says lots of things that society ignores because it’s socially a faux pas or it’s uncomfortable to think about.

This issue was used by the Republicans in 2004, and then again by the Democrats in 2006. The Republicans painted me as a child-molesting sicko, the Democrats painted me as a victim of a huge government conspiracy. Why the fuck can’t they treat me like an American, and stop playing linguistic games?

I’m tired of being told that “civil unions” are equal to “marriage” but then be told that boy-girl relations are “marriages” but other kinds of love are “civil unions.” Yeah, equal until you have to think of your own marriage as a civil union. John Edwards, like any other empty suit, has no right to tell me what is and what is not moral. And in 2008, it still won’t be up to him to legislate that.

31 07 2007
Kate

I just wonder how much calculation goes into statements like Edwards’. Does he really believe that gay marriage is wrong, or is it all just a calculation to appeal to America? I also just continue to wonder why anyone really cares what other people choose to do.

Stephen, I am sure that you are a lovely person, but why should I or John Edwards or James Dobson, or anyone else care whether or not you marry a boy or a girl. They don’t care if you decide to smoke, or drink, or buy a gun, or adopt a dog, or call your mom. Just as long as you pay the appropriate taxes. And I don’t care what you do either.

Though you really should call your mom.

1 08 2007
Mitchell

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