Mondale, Dukakis Back Marriage Equality, Joining Every Living Democratic Presidential Nominee

Former Vice President Walter Mondale and former Massachusetts Governor Michael Dukakis told ThinkProgress this week that they support marriage equality. With their endorsements, every living former Democratic presidential nominee is now on record in support of same-sex marriage.

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.”