Waymon Hudson

Al Gore Supports Full Gay Marriage Rights

Filed By Waymon Hudson | January 23, 2008 8:33 AM | comments

Filed in: Marriage Equality, Politics
Tags: Al Gore, gay marriage, LGBT civil rights, marriage

Al Gore video blogs about full marriage equality for gays and lesbians.

What a different place our world would have been if he had been President...

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Isn't he something?

Al Gore was my no. 1 choice for president in 2008 but after he said he wasn't running, I was forced to look elsewhere and now I support Barack Obama.

I truly think, if Mr. Gore decided and announced at the 11th hour that he was entering the race for president in 2008, he would flatten all other comers and win the election. He was money, clout and an organization just waiting to hear the words, "I declare myself a candidate for president."

And, would a Gore/Obama ticket and administration be the best?

Nice. But would he be saying this if he was running for president? It certainly wasn't his position in 2000.

Maybe it wasn't his position in 2000, but you have to give him credit. He is really at his peak right now (nobel prize, oscar, etc) and he is speaking out plainly on this issue. Instead of going the way of many past politcal figures, he is using his fame and power to try to create change.

And a Gore/Obama ticket? Love it!!

People evolve. People change. Gore deserves props for his growth on the gay marriage issue.

This is the land of the free & home of the not so brave when it comes to candidates running for president & addressing LGBT rights. Of course when you're not running like Gore you can say anything. Where was he when DOMA passed? For the truth about gay marriage check out our trailer. Produced to educate & defuse the controversy it has a way of opening closed minds & creates an interesting spin on the issue: www.OUTTAKEonline.com

What he says in the video is great.

The idea that things would have been so different is pure fantasy.

It's easy for him to say this now because he was not elected and possibly because he has his Nobel prize. He has little to risk/lose by being this objective.

The reality of American politics would not allow him to be as open minded...do you think he knows more about equality and fairness than either Hillary Clinton or Barak Obama?

Yeah, he's had an evolution alright...out of politics. It has a strange effect on the ability to reason and retain integrity.

Where is Hillary Clinton on DOMA?

In the LOGO/HRC fireside chat, all the Dems said they repeal DOMA in its entirety -- execpt, Hillary Clinton.

She would only allow the repeal of Article 3.

Gee, thanks Hill. I've only been "married" to my same gender spouse for 15 years and we so appreciate being made thirdclass citizens under DOMA.

Although a repeal of DOMA also sounds good, there are over 40 states that have their own version and the Federal Govt will still not recognize any relationships between people of the same sex.

It would require an act of Congress to create an institution or extend one that already exists (marriage) in order for change to occur.

Also keep in mind that it would require an act of Congress to repeal DOMA.

Do you envision that happening?

All the Dems say they would repeal DOMA...for the same reason Gore can be so supportive...because they won't have to act on it.

So why is everyone bashing Gore? Shouldn’t we applaud someone who has shown growth in their views on LGBT issues? I understand he didn't take such this stance when he was in politics, but the fact that he is using his clout to speak out about LGBT equality shouldn’t be dismissed. He may not be a politician any more, but does that mean he has no influence and can't be an advocate for our community?

He is in a great position to speak out on many issues and get heard. Why can't our community just be happy to have a high profile, powerful, straight ally? We gripe when we don't have support and then attack when people step up to the plate.

I don't get it.

If repealing DOMA in its entirety requires an act of Congress then, puhleeze!

Can you imagine Pelosi and Reid shepparding this through the ranks?

I can already hear Pelosi, "Well, Wolf, we just don't have the 60 votes. But doesn't my Armani suit look fabulous?"

It's wonderful that Gore has decided to become an ally. Welcome, Al!! We've been holding a seat for you.

I have a problem with this: "What a diferent place our world would have been if he had been President..."

wishful thinking...without all the responsibility of having to take action. "If only Al..." doesn't cut it.

Our citizenship can't hinge on the whims of politicians or we will always lose until they find a way to ensure their own benefit by granting ours.

I love just how vloggy this video is. It coulda totally been done by anyone on YouTube or MySpace....

I like it when famous people get into these new media all the way instead of just doing something at broadcast studio production value and slapping it on YouTube.

I completely agree with you, Patrick. I’m not sure where you got the wishful thinking and no action stuff.

My "if only Al" comment was just meant to show the stark difference between what could have been under someone who is intellectually curious and has the ability to grow in his views, and our current President who barely reads and never really changes his mind once he has "decided".

It was simply a fun moment of "what if", combined with a healthy dose of "Bush sucks."

I'm also one of those people that appreciate someone speaking out on our behalf who don't really have any stake in it. To me, when someone who is respected intellectually (like Al Gore is) speaks out on LGBT issues, it is taking action. He didn't have to say anything. But he did. I think that’s a good thing.

Michael Bedwell | January 23, 2008 6:32 PM

Screaming and pounding head on desk]: Is engaging one’s brain before speaking against the law now? Has the power and breadth of such free search engines as Google suddenly become unavailable in certain parts of the country? Why has the ease with which one can hide behind his or her computer connection increased by geometric proportions the tendency of so many to trash people; for even many gays to rush to the kind of judgment that they condemn Fred Phelps for; to be so eager to practice McCarthyism [Further alleged proof that Hillary Clinton is the Anti Christess is that she supported Barry Goldwater. What? Harvey Milk did, too? Never mind.] Does no one read books on gay history anymore even though they like to assume positions about it?

While this is an evolution, BEFORE he won a Nobel Prize; BEFORE he won an Oscar; when he WAS running for President, Al Gore said:

“Gov. Bush [takes the position] that all crimes are hate crimes. Well, is shoplifting a hate crime? There are crimes committed by people who have various motivations, and all crimes are wrong. But crimes that are motivated by hatred are different. They are intended to have more than one victim. They are intended and aimed not only at the victim who is initially singled out. They are intended to intimidate and dehumanize an entire group of people, to give expression to the hatred that corrodes the soul.” - Speech at a Philadelphia church, Nov 6, 2000

“I did support DOMA. But I think that we should find a way to allow some kind of civic unions.” – Wake University Debate, Oct 11, 2000.

“On gay rights, Gore said he strongly favors ending discrimination against gays and lesbians. ‘I just think we’ve come to the point in our nation’s history where it’s time to take that step. It’s indefensible. Let’s just leave people alone and stop discriminating against them because of who they fall in love with’. He said he supported civil unions like those recently approved in Vermont.” - NY Times, Sep 27, 2000

“Q: Do you support California Prop 22? If passed, only marriages between a man and a woman would be recognized.

GORE: I oppose it. Under current California law, only marriages between a man and a woman are recognized. Frankly, I think that we should have legal recognition for domestic partnerships that have legal protections. I do not favor changing the definition of a traditional marriage as it has always been understood between a man and a woman. But this Knight initiative, Prop 22, is in part a kind of a mean-spirited wedge initiative and I just think it’s time for us to put this discrimination against gays and lesbians behind us. I think that it’s time just to leave people alone because of the way God made them and stop the discrimination.” – LA Debate, Mar 1, 2000

“Gore suggested his mind was made up by the fatal bludgeoning of Pfc. Barry Winchell in his barracks on July 5. Prosecutors said Winchell was targeted because he was rumored to be gay. ‘In light of the Winchell case and other evidence, I believe the “don’ ask, don’t tell” policy should be eliminated’, Gore said today. ‘Gays and lesbians should be allowed to serve their country without discrimination’.” - ABCnews.go.com, “Daily news” Dec 13, 1999

“Q: In 1996 you were prepared to fly to Washington to break a deadlock on the Employment Non-Discrimination Act. In the end it didn't come to that, and the bill was defeated. But it came very close.

GORE: I was ready. I was ready. It was thrilling because many were expecting the margin of defeat to be much larger. I spent a lot of time, day and night, in conversation with senators about the need for that bill. Many members of the Senate were wrestling with their conscience. There were some genuine profiles in courage on that vote. It came so close that even the loss was a moral victory.”

Q: At several stops on your tour to announce your candidacy, you've been heckled by AIDS activists. They are concerned about the availability of AIDS drugs in Africa. Many people are also concerned that nearly two decades into the epidemic, Americans are becoming complacent about it.

GORE I feel very strongly that we have to move aggressively to have adequate budgets, and that means increased funding for the Ryan White CARE Act. We have increased it 240% over the last six years and are proposing another increase this year. We increased the prevention budget by 34% research by 65%. I want to build on those increases. I've been involved in stepping up clinical trials for new anti-HIV drugs and working out partnerships to make the whole process far more effective. Twelve years ago I called for a Manhattan Project on AIDS. ! feel strongly we have to counter the sense of complacency as well. It's in the community as well.

Q: Many Americans were deeply affected by the slaying of Matthew Shepard last year. How did you react to it? There have been so many instances of antigay violence; what made this one stand out?

GORE: Evil has a face that's recognizable when close at hand. Evil sometimes gives a sign of its presence. The horrific image of Matthew Shepard suffering on barbed wire was an image that clearly manifested the presence of evil among us. It represented a malignant hatred that consumes the hater as well as the hated. It has a life of its own, and it cannot be tolerated. If it is tolerated, it grows and spreads. That's one reason I support hate-crimes legislation. Those who say there is nothing special or different about hate crimes compared to crimes motivated by larcenous intent or carelessness or whatever are not really opening their hearts to the truth. Hate crimes killed 10,000 people in Kosovo, thousands in Rwanda, many tens of thousands in Bosnia, 7 million in the Holocaust. Hatred always has the potential to threaten peace and security in any society. Whenever it is manifested, it deserves a forceful response. Tolerance of intolerance is a violation of the commandment to love thy neighbor. I was particularly horrified by the twisted soul who carried the hateful signs in view of Matthew Shepard's family across the street from the memorial service. It was breathtakingly cruel-and a clear demonstration of how malignant evil can be. – “The Advocate,” Sept 14, 1999

As we know, George Bush fils, took mostly the opposite positions, and, by simply claiming that he was a “compassionate conservative” came close enough to winning the election—with the help of approximately one out of every four self-identified gay voters—that the Supreme Court was able to hand it to him on a silver platter without riots in the streets. Even after proving that he was the gay indifferent demagogue that the other 3/4ths feared, even after endorsing a US Constitutional amendment ripping gay equality from its pages, at least one out of every five self-identified gay voters kept him in the White House in 2004.

Gore/Obama a dream ticket? Only if Obama wakes up and is more advanced now than Gore was even nine years ago.

As for federal DOMA, for the 87th-million time: Section 2 DOES NOT forbid states from recognizing same gender relationships if they want to. AND, though Edwards and Obama do support repealing toothless Section 2, they support a state’s right to refuse to recognize same gender relationships based on pre-DOMA, “state’s rights” tradition. Sum? All three Dem leads have the same functional position where it matters. You're going to have to make your choice on something else.

Three gay history books we respectfully suggest:

"Out for Good: The Struggle to Build a Gay Rights Movement in America" by Dudley Clendinen and Adam Nagourney


AND, though it has some relatively minor factual errors,

"Out of the Past: Gay and Lesbian History from 1869 to the Present" by Neil Miller

AND, by Bilerico contributor Eric Marcus,

"Making Gay History: The Half-Century Fight for Lesbian and Gay Equal Rights" [“interviews with 60 people from high-profile leaders to little known men and women who contributed to the movement in ways both large and small”—including Al Gore]


*cries* Why Florida!?!?

Sadly, no democrat in the race is as openly accepting and logically thought-provoking. And on a sadder note, if we run a write-in campaign, we are only peeling away votes from the democratic candidate and pushing a republican into the White House.

Yep, Michael, it is easy to play internet research expert and find all kinds interesting statements:

"At the outset of his Congressional career in 1976, Gore called homosexuality "abnormal." In 1980 he voted for an amendment prohibiting the Legal Services Corp. from assisting homosexuals whose rights were denied because of their sexual orientation. As a senator, Gore repeatedly backed anti-gay measures devised by Jesse Helms that sought to deny legal protections for gay people, and supported an amendment to use HIV tests to discriminate against immigrants and people seeking health insurance. Even worse, Gore voted with Helms to restore the anti-gay sodomy law in the District of Columbia after the local city council tried to repeal it."


"Despite their outreach, however, neither Gore nor Bradley has been willing to take the courageous positions that could inspire genuine enthusiasm among lesbian and gay voters. True, both Gore and Bradley have endorsed the Employment Non-Discrimination Act and national hate-crimes legislation. But, so far, their campaigns have shied away from the bold stances--support for gay marriage, for federal domestic partnership protections, and for a dramatic redirection of health care and research funding priorities to reflect the concerns of gay men and lesbians."

" As an example, both men supported the 1996 federal Defense of Marriage Act, designed by the Christian right to bar lesbians and gays from marrying and to stir up anti-gay sentiment at the state and national levels. When asked during their June tours of California about an upcoming state vote on an anti-gay marriage ballot proposal, both candidates shied away from the issue. Gore produced nothing more than a pledge to study the California initiative before taking a stand.

National Gay and Lesbian Task Force political director Rebecca Isaacs calls Gore's position "incredibly unhelpful and disappointing." Similarly, when Gore proposed in May to direct more federal dollars to "faith-based" groups, lesbian and gay activists joined People for the American Way and the Interfaith Alliance in raising serious concerns about whether taxpayer dollars would end up funding religious organizations that promote anti-gay messages."


There are others, but they are from right wing and or LCR sites and my browser won't speak to me if I continue.

I also read lots of things Gore has said/done that are supportive...some of which were borne of political expediency and some were post 2000. He has developed a positive view of LGBT issues.

BUT - I have serious doubts that they would have occurred had he been elected in 2000. Blogs in particular overflow with lamentations about how things might have been if he took the Presidency, but the truth is that we have no idea how things would have gone. Don't forget who his VP candidate was.

It is striking to read about Bradley and Gore battling over issues like marriage and ENDA over 8 years ago. It's too bad the conversation hasn't evolved in 8 years while state after state takes action against us...and candidates haven't had very much to say about that have they?

Maybe in 8 years we'll hear something enlightening from Obama or Clinton.

I think both Patrick and Michael are correct.

Gore was not a gay rights supporter to start with. However, by the time he ran for President, he was/is a supporter.

I see that evolution as a positive and not something to be held against him. I wish he'd assumed the Presidency as he was elected in 2000. I, like Waymon, think the country would be a zillion times different than it is now. Would he have more than likely gone more centrist to govern? Probably. But what if he hadn't?

We'll never know.

But I LOVE the idea of a Gore/Obama ticket. It gives me goosebumps to think I might love my country again.