Elizabeth Edwards: “I’m completely comfortable with gay marriage.”

Wow.

Elizabeth Edwards, starring at the kickoff event of San Francisco’s signature Gay Pride Parade, came out in support of legalized gay marriage today — taking a position which she acknowledged is at odds with her husband, presidential candidate John Edwards.

“I don’t know why somebody else’s marriage has anything to do with me,” she said. “I’m completely comfortable with gay marriage.”

Compare and contrast:

In 2004, aides to Sen. John F. Kerry (Mass.), the Democratic presidential nominee, were so worried about black voters’ feelings about same-sex marriage that they put Bill Clinton on a conference call with 3,000 black pastors so the former president could reassure the pastors that Kerry truly did oppose same-sex marriage.

And contrast a little more:

Democratic political consultant Bob Shrum claims in his new book that during the 2004 elections, Bill Clinton advised John Kerry to support the Federal Marriage Amendment, i.e., the anti-gay amendment to the US Constitution that would have banned gay marriage and vitiated scores of other rights that gay couples may have, including health insurance, inheritance, child custody, parenting, and more. Shrum reports that Kerry refused to endorse the amendment.

I decided to check with Bill Clinton’s office and the Kerry-Edwards 2004 campaign to find out if this is true. Here is what I found.

Jay Carson, spokesman for President Clinton told me:

“I checked and it’s completely untrue. He never advised John Kerry to support the gay marriage ban President Bush was pushing.”

A senior Kerry-Edwards 2004 campaign staffer told me:

“It’s definitely true. Newsweek had reported that Clinton had said Kerry should support some of the state [anti-gay] ballot initiatives. Clinton believed it would be this grand master stroke to neutralize Bush’s base.”

Pillow talk matters. I want my civil rights, I don’t want to be on the receiving end of constant triangulation. Mrs. Edwards will be a force for good, at least as it concerns the civil and human rights of gay and lesbian Americans. As much as I like the man, I can’t say the same about Mr. Clinton. He’s going to be advising Hillary to throw us under the bus. That doesn’t mean Hillary will, but her top two advisers have a history of legislative gay-bashing for political gain. That’s of legitimate concern.


Follow me on Twitter: @aravosis | @americablog | @americabloggay | Facebook | Instagram | Google+ | LinkedIn. John Aravosis is the Executive Editor of AMERICAblog, which he founded in 2004. He has a joint law degree (JD) and masters in Foreign Service from Georgetown; and has worked in the US Senate, World Bank, Children's Defense Fund, the United Nations Development Programme, and as a stringer for the Economist. He is a frequent TV pundit, having appeared on the O'Reilly Factor, Hardball, World News Tonight, Nightline, AM Joy & Reliable Sources, among others. John lives in Washington, DC. .

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