Tags: McCain | Still | Opposes | Marriage | Amendment

McCain Still Opposes Marriage Amendment

Monday, 17 April 2006 12:00 AM

Sen. John McCain remains opposed to a national constitutional amendment barring same-sex marriages -- and that could cost him politically.

Republican leaders in the Senate are working to bring the issue to a vote in June, reports the Arizona Republic newspaper.

"The time has come" for Congress to send a marriage amendment to the states, argued a report authored by a Senate committee headed by Sen. Jon Kyl, R-Ariz. The alternative, asserted Kyl's panel, is to risk letting judges decide the issue nationwide.

The upcoming vote is raising questions about what McCain, R-Ariz., will do, and how it may affect his decision to run for president in 2008 and the support he can count on.

McCain has been trying to improve relations with religious conservatives, according to the Republic. For example, McCain has agreed to speak May 13 at Jerry Falwell's Liberty University in Virginia.

Many religious conservatives want the marriage amendment passed. But McCain voted against it in 2004, when the Senate last voted on the measure. It failed.

McCain's office says the senator remains opposed to a national marriage amendment based on federalism - or state's rights - grounds.

"We should not usurp the states' right to regulate marriage until and unless the federal courts deny them that right," a McCain spokeswoman explained.

But she also noted that McCain supports a proposed Arizona ballot initiative. That measure would make same-sex marriages illegal in the state.

Supporters are trying to collect enough signatures to get that measure on the state's November ballot.

Some Democrats are likening McCain's position to that of Massachusetts Sen. John Kerry. When Kerry campaigned as the Democratic presidential nominee in 2004, he argued that states adequately manage their own marriage laws.

"John McCain just got Jerry Falwell's support using John Kerry's position on gay marriage. Either John McCain's just telling people what they want to hear, or he's so muddied his stance, no one understands what it is," Christy Setzer, spokeswoman for the Senate Majority Project, a Washington, D.C.-based Democratic organization, told the Republic.

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Sen. John McCain remains opposed to a national constitutional amendment barring same-sex marriages -- and that could cost him politically. Republican leaders in the Senate are working to bring the issue to a vote in June, reports the Arizona Republic newspaper. "The...
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2006-00-17
Monday, 17 April 2006 12:00 AM
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