Earlier this month, Sen. John McCain (R-AZ) took an extreme position on gay adoption, telling the New York Times he believes in “traditional” families even if it means leaving children in orphanages. “I think that we’ve proven that both parents are important in the success of a family so, no I don’t believe in gay adoption,” he said.
But in follow-up statement, McCain aide Jill Hazelbaker backtracked, stating, “McCain could have been clearer.” She added that the senator would support gay adoption if there were no alternative:
However, as an adoptive father himself…he recognizes that there are many abandoned children who have yet to find homes. McCain believes that in those situations that caring parental figures are better for the child than the alternative.
Interviewed on ABC today, however, McCain reverted to his original radical position, telling George Stephanopolous that he does not support gay adoption in any circumstance:
McCAIN: I think that family values are important, when we have two parent — families that are of parents that are the traditional family.
Q: But there are several hundred thousand children in the country who don’t have a home. And if a gay couple wants to adopt them, what’s wrong with that?
MCCAIN: I am for the values that two parent families, the traditional family represents.
McCain didn’t acknowledge that a two-parent family can also consist of same-sex parents. Unlike his spokeswoman, he also didn’t recognize that rejecting adoptions by same-sex parents means leaving thousands of children with no parents. As Winnie Stachelberg and Robert Gordon noted, about 130,000 children wait in the foster care system each year for a permanent home. And every year, half of these children are never placed.
In the interview, McCain repeatedly said that he is “for the values and principles that two parent families represent.” He also said preserving traditional families is “not the reason why I’m running for president of the United States.” Just seconds later, however, he reversed course and bluntly stated, “I’m running for president of the United States because I want to help with family values.”