Every other living Democratic nominee had previously made their support explicit.
The list includes:
- 1. Former President Jimmy Carter (1976 and 1980). Carter said last year “Homosexuality was well known in the ancient world, well before Christ was born and Jesus never said a word about homosexuality. In all of his teachings about multiple things — he never said that gay people should be condemned. I personally think it is very fine for gay people to be married in civil ceremonies.”
- 2. Former Vice President Walter Mondale (1984). Mondale, who invoked civil rights legend Hubert Humphrey as he campaigned against last year’s proposed Minnesota marriage inequality amendment, said in an e-mail that he not both “opposed the constitutional amendment that would prevent legalizing gay marriage and I supported the legalization of gay marriage adopted this past week in Minnesota.
- 3. Former Massachusetts Governor Michael Dukakis (1988). Dukakis confirmed his support to ThinkProgress in a May 12 e-mail.
- 4. Former President Bill Clinton (1992 and 1996). Clinton announced his support for marriage equality in 2009 and has actively campaigned for it since. Clinton had previously signed the anti-gay 1996 Defense of Marriage Act.
- 5. Former Vice President Al Gore (2000). Gore delivered a “forceful endorsement” of marriage equality in 2008, saying “gay men and women ought to have the same rights as heterosexual men and women — to make contracts, to have hospital visiting rights, to join together in marriage.”
- 6. Secretary of State John Kerry (2004). Kerry told the blog Blue Mass Group in 2008 that he “absolutely” supported civil marriage equality. He explained his evolution in a 2011 Boston Globe op-ed entitled “Politicians have the right to evolve on gay marriage.”
- 7. President Barack Obama (2008 and 2012). President Obama made his historic announcement one year ago, telling ABC’s Robin Roberts: “I’ve just concluded that for me personally it is important for me to go ahead and affirm that I think same sex couples should be able to get married.
Former Senator George McGovern (D-SD), the 1972 Democratic nominee, also endorsed marriage equality prior to his death last year. He told the Daily Republic last May: “I’m a ‘conservative’ when it comes to marriage. I think if two people love each other, are living together and having sex, they ought to get married.”
To date, no living Republican nominee or president has endorsed same-sex marriage.
A reader noted that former President Gerald Ford (R) also supported equal rights for same-sex couples before his death, saying in 2001, “I think they ought to be treated equally. Period.”