McCain Tells Ellen DeGeneres: You Shouldn’t Have The Right To Get Married

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"McCain Tells Ellen DeGeneres: You Shouldn’t Have The Right To Get Married"

Yesterday, Sen. John McCain (R-AZ) taped an interview with Ellen DeGeneres, which airs today. Ellen, who recently announced that she plans to take advantage of the California Supreme Court’s recent gay marriage ruling and wed her longtime girlfriend, actress Portia di Rossi, pressed McCain on his stance on gay marriage.

McCain said that he opposes gay marriage, but said couples should be able to allowed to enter into legal agreements:

McCAIN: Well, my thoughts are that I think people should be able to enter into legal agreements, and I think that is something that we should encourage, particularly in the case of insurance and other areas, decisions that have to be made. I just believe in the unique status of marriage between man and woman. And I know that we have a respectful disagreement on that issue.

DEGENERES: Yeah, I mean, I think that it is looked at, and some people are saying that blacks and women did not have the right to vote. Women just got the right to vote in 1920, blacks didn’t have the right to vote until 1870, and it just feels like there’s this old way of thinking that we’re not all the same. We are all the same people. All of us. You’re no different than I am. Our love is the same.”

The audience was largely silent for McCain’s remarks, but cheered loudly after Ellen spoke. Watch it:

[flv http://video.thinkprogress.org/2008/05/ellenmccaingm.320.240.flv]

Even this stance may have been pandering to Ellen’s audience. In the past, McCain has been even more radically conservative, opposing civil unions:

– In 2005, he supported an Arizona amendment that would change the state’s constitution “to ban gay marriages and deny government benefits to unmarried couples.” [LINK]

– On Nov. 19, 2006, ABC’s George Stephanopoulous asked McCain, “So you’re for civil unions?” McCain replied, “No.” He instead said they should be able to only “enter into contracts” and “exchange powers of attorney.” [LINK

-- In 2007, McCain said he was opposed to New Hampshire's bill legalizing civil unions for same-sex couples. "If I were a citizen of New Hampshire, I would oppose it," he said. "Anything that impinges or impacts the sanctity of the marriage between men and women, I'm opposed to it." [LINK

In 2006, he also told the late Rev. Jerry Falwell that would support a federal constitutional amendment banning gay marriage, even though he opposed such a measure in 2004.

Digg It!

Transcript:

DEGENERES: So let's talk about it. Let's talk about the big elephant in the room. So, by the way, I was planning on having a ceremony anyway this summer, even though it wasn't legal, but I feel that at least I get to celebrate my love. And then, it just so happens, I can now legally get married, as everyone should.

McCAIN: And I saw where even registered you.

DEGENERES: Yeah, yeah. Illegally registered me. But, yeah. So, I'm obviously excited, and to me, this is only fair and only natural, and what are your thoughts?

McCAIN: Well, my thoughts are that I think people should be able to enter into legal agreements, and I think that is something that we should encourage, particularly in the case of insurance and other areas, decisions that have to be made. I just believe in the unique status of marriage between man and woman. And I know that we have a respectful disagreement on that issue.

DEGENERES: Yeah, I mean, I think that it is looked at, and some people are saying that blacks and women did not have the right to vote. Women just got the right to vote in 1920, blacks didn't have the right to vote until 1870, and it just feels like there's this old way of thinking that we're not all the same. We are all the same people. All of us. You're no different than I am. Our love is the same.

(APPLAUSE)

To me, what it feels like, just -- I will speak for myself -- it feels like when someone says you can have a contract, and you'll still have insurance and you'll get all that, it sounds to me like saying, "You can sit there, you just can't sit there." That's what it sounds like to me. It doesn't feel inclusive; it feels isolated. It feels like we aren't owed the same things and the same wording.

McCAIN: Well, I've heard you articulate that position in a very eloquent fashion and we have a disagreement and I, along with many many others, wish you every happiness.

DEGENERES: So you'll walk me down the aisle? Is that what you're saying?

McCAIN: Touche.

Update

Brave New Films has put together a video on McCain’s gay marriage flip flops.

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