Bil Browning

Elizabeth Edwards steps into the wading pool

Filed By Bil Browning | June 25, 2007 11:43 AM | comments

Filed in: Marriage Equality, Politics
Tags: civil rights, Democrats, election 2008, Elizabeth Edwards, gay pride, John Edwards, marriage, presidency

Elizabeth Edwards, wife of presidential candidate John Edwards, came out in favor of same-sex marriage yesterday after a speech at the Alice B. Toklas Lesbian Gay Bisexual Transgender Democratic Club in San Francisco. Mrs. Edwards was attending a breakfast event to kick off San Fran's gay pride parade.

"I don't know why somebody else's marriage has anything to do with me,'' she said. "I'm completely comfortable with gay marriage.''
But that position differs markedly from her husband, the former North Carolina Senator. Edwards said her husband, though having a '"deeply held belief against any form of discrimination,'' supports gay civil unions, but does not support gay marriage.

"John has been pretty clear about it, that he is very conflicted,'' she said. "That's up against his being raised in the 1950's in a rural southern town. I think honestly he's on a road with a lot of people in this country are on....They're struggling with this. Most of the gay and lesbian people I know... have seen their friends and family walking down that same road.

"It's frustrating, I know,'' she added, "but it's a long distance from where we are now to the pews of a Southern Baptist church. So, John's been as honest as he can about that.''

She said that she has come to the conclusion that the marriage of another couple "makes no difference to me,'' just as it would make no difference in her views of a neighbor if he painted his house a different color.

"If he's pleasant to me on the street, if his children don't throw things in my yard, then I'm happy,'' she said. "It seems to me we're making issues of things that honestly... don't matter.''

While it's refreshing to see someone involved in presidential politics other than Dennis Kucinich and Mike Gravel support same-sex marriage, let's not forget the major difference between the three. Mrs. Edwards isn't running for President - her husband is. Her support wasn't exactly enthusiastic either... "Makes no difference to me" isn't whole-hearted support.

Now that Elizabeth has dipped her toe in the wading pool that is same-sex civil marriage, let's see if John follows her lead. After all, this is a presidential campaign. Anyone who thinks that her statement wasn't cleared with the campaign beforehand is living in a fantasy land. I'll be impressed when her husband gets off the "road" and starts helping to build the community. Until then, I'll be in the deep end of the pool swimming laps while Elizabeth sits on the edge with one foot in the water fanning herself with her (perfectly legal and government endorsed) marriage license.

Recent Entries Filed under Politics:

Leave a comment

We want to know your opinion on this issue! While arguing about an opinion or idea is encouraged, personal attacks will not be tolerated. Please be respectful of others.

The editorial team will delete a comment that is off-topic, abusive, exceptionally incoherent, includes a slur or is soliciting and/or advertising. Repeated violations of the policy will result in revocation of your user account. Please keep in mind that this is our online home; ill-mannered house guests will be shown the door.

Good on Elizabeth. I know here in NC, we all are scratching our heads over John's gay marriage thing and then he says his daughter is trying to set him right. It seems Elizabeth has been working on the boy as well.

Well written Bil and I am pleased to see that you rationally assessed Mrs. Edwards. No spouse of a Presidential candidate makes any statements without the permission of the campaign. John Edwards does not support gay marriage. Although he says homosexuality is not a sin, he hesitates, dare I say waffle, when giving that answer. He is fishing for gay support without actually sitting at the table with us. Gay Americans need to be very attentive to these tactics. John Edwards may half heartedly say he supports civil unions but he did nothing about it while in the Senate and there is no reason to believe that would change if he became President. In fact here is the scenario. President Edwards to senior Congressional Democrats: "I think we oughta have civil unions for the gays." Congressional Democrats: "Nope, won't work." President Edwards: "Well, at least I tried."