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    July 18, 2008

    McCain on all sides of gay adoption

    Posted by: Chris

    Straight_talk_banner I recently posted about John McCain's slipperiness on gay issues -- rather than outright flip-flops, the presumptive GOP nominee tries to stake out positions on both sides. It's classic political pandering, but McCain isn't particularly good at it. On most issues -- from gay rights to immigration to taxes to Iraq -- he ends up displeasing everyone equally.

    This week McCain tried the same gambit on gay adoption as he has on marriage. Declaring his opposition and then later attempting a clarification that undercuts his own view. First, in a New York Times interview, he aligned himself with President Bush, who backs Florida's law that blocks even single gay adults from adopting:

    Q: President Bush believes that gay couples should not be permitted to adopt children. Do you agree with that?

    Mr. McCain: I think that we’ve proven that both parents are important in the success of a family so, no I don’t believe in gay adoption.

    Q: Even if the alternative is the kid staying in an orphanage, or not having parents.

    Mr. McCain: I encourage adoption and I encourage the opportunities for people to adopt children I encourage the process being less complicated so they can adopt as quickly as possible. And Cindy and I are proud of being adoptive parents.

    Q: But your concern would be that the couple should a traditional couple

    Mr. McCain: Yes.

    After gay rights groups raised the alarm, the McCain campaign issued a clarification that not only framed the issue, like marriage, as one best left for the states, but also backed off implicit support for far-reaching bans like Florida's:

    “John McCain could have been clearer in the interview in stating that his position on gay adoption is that it is a state issue, just as he made it clear in the interview that marriage is a state issue,’’ Tucker Bounds, a campaign spokesman, said in a statement.“He was not endorsing any federal legislation.’’

    “Senator McCain’s expressed his personal preference for children to be raised by a mother and a father wherever possible,” Mr. Bounds said in the statement. But the statement added, “He recognizes that there are many abandoned children who have yet to find homes. John McCain believes that in those situations that caring parental figures are better for the child than the alternative.”

    That clarification pleased some gay conservatives like Dale Carpenter and Log Cabin, but it's unlikely to do much for independent gay and non-gays alike who mostly see McCain pandering out of both sides of his mouth.

    Conservative Christians are similiarly left dissatisfied because they also know a pander when they smell one.

    But this is likely the best those on both sides of the gay Culture Wars will get from John McCain. He'll say he's against discrimination in any form and yet refuse to back any legislation to outlaw it. He'll say gay marriage is wrong and back some efforts to ban it but not others.  He'll say children shouldn't be adopted by gays but he'll back only some efforts to block that.

    It's all one big muddle, which is unlikely to energize gay rights foes or win over many of us who care about the issue from the other side. So much for the maverick Arizona senator and his "straight talk express."



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    1. Lucrece on Jul 19, 2008 2:25:43 AM:

      I'm appalled by how some find his flip-flop to be redeemable.

      Basically, he says were the next best thing, the paltry alternative in case the shining heterosexual model is absent. Nevermind the fact that studies currently point that we may turn out to actually be better parents than heterosexuals.

    1. Andoni on Jul 19, 2008 8:08:47 AM:

      I wish someone would ask him, if he believes these matters (like marriage be left up to the states), then if a state says they want gay marriage, would he honor --- for federal benefits, the will of the people of that state by ensuring that the federal government recognizes those marriage? After all it was the will of the people of that state....and as he said these matters should be left up to the states, not the federal government.

      Then if he doesn't give any answer short of an absolute 'NO" to the previous question, the follow-up question is, then do you support the repeal of the Defense of Marriage Act?

      If he truly believes what he says on marriage -- that it's a state issue, then the federal government should be out of deciding who can marry or not, and he should be FOR repealing DOMA.

      Does anyone believe he is really sincere in his statements that marriage is a states issue?????

    1. Andoni on Jul 19, 2008 8:22:12 AM:

      P.S. Repealing all of DOMA will do nothing to harm those states that do not want gay marriage for their state. They have all passed Constitutional Amendments to their state constitutions or very strong laws against same sex marriage. Repealing DOMA does nothing to harm these states or leave them exposed. They are well protected as is. DOMA is unnecessary for them.

      All DOMA does now is to actively deny equal rights to gay couples who are legally married in CA, MA, and NY.

      DOMA actively denies what is clearly a state's right to people in states where their states have lawfully decided this is what they want.

      This is opposite of state's rights issues during the Civil Rights Era. Then the federal government remained silent on state laws that discriminated, saying it was states' rights. Here IT IS THE FEDERAL GOVERNMENT THAT IS DISCRIMINATING AGAINST STATES THAT WANT TO DO THE RIGHT THING.

    1. Kary on Jul 19, 2008 10:52:13 AM:

      Isn't it revealing that the Log Cabin Republicans are pleased with this statement, which in essence says gay parents are better than dying in the street. I'll say it one more time: gay Republicans should either go straight, or go Democratic. If neither, then they should simply shut the fuck up.

    1. Hawyer on Jul 19, 2008 11:30:39 PM:

      One more time:

      As a Southerner who remembers the civil rights movement QUITE well - I am sick to death of hearing all of that Republican schlock about "State's Rights" - which - let's face it - is unvarnished code for "the states' right to enact and enforce legislation which discriminates against politically unpopular groups."

      For that, you didn't hear Lyndon Johnson extol the virtues of States Rights regarding racial integration and equality. He knew that was sheer bullshit. Ever since Lincoln freed the slaves and Southern legislatures promptly legislated them back into slavery - no serious statesman has advocated leaving such matters up to the states. And to advocate such is shameless kicking the ball down the street to the smirking state legislatures who fucking love to play target practice with out lives.

      That's why only the Federal government can enact and enforce laws regarding universal civil liberties. Forget the states - except with rare exceptions. If my math is correct 3 states divided by 50 = 6% of the states now have positively addressed gay equality. And that looks to be about the size of it.

      It is the Federal government that has its foot on our neck - not the states. Thus repeal of DOMA is crucial - without which there is every loophole to continue relegating us to 2nd class citizenship.

    1. Hawyer on Jul 19, 2008 11:54:29 PM:

      As to gay adoption ---

      Well, I suppose in a idyllic world, every child would be delivered to a married committed heterosexual loving couple, conceived in the missionary position, with the lights out, and duly reared in a God-fearing church-going nuclear family, where daddy worked and mommy kept a pristine house - and both parents checked homework assignments every night.

      But that scenario has utterly nothing to do with the political question at hand: in today's world where close to 75% of children (in certain ethnic groups) are born out of wedlock - to mothers who are financially and educationally incapable of rearing children an any socially acceptable context - are politicians really ready to split hairs over the sexuality of ready and willing adoptive parents - except to demagogue the status of gays? Of course not!

      Forget about clinical studies that have found utterly no difference between the outcome of children raised by gay couples.

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