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Wednesday 08 October 2008

Gay issues in Vice-Pres debate (+VIDEO)

Posted in: International Daily News
By Daily News Staff - 4th October 2008

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At their only US Vice-Presidential Debate yesterday, Democratic VP nominee Joe Biden and Republican VP nominee Sarah Palin took the same stance on gay marriage, but not in a way LGBT voters might like.

Debate: Joe Biden & Sarah Palin

When asked if they support gay marriage, Biden was first to reply: "No. Barack Obama nor I support redefining from a civil side what constitutes marriage. We do not support that. That is basically the decision to be able to be left to faiths and people who practice their faiths, the determination, what you call it."

Palin agreed: "Your question to him was whether he supported gay marriage and my answer is the same as his and it is that I do not."

The two candidates also spoke about civil rights for same-sex couples, and agreed that they should have the same rights as heterosexual couples. Palin responded by saying that she was "tolerant" of same-sex couples, but that she would not support expanding rights "if it goes closer and closer towards redefining the traditional definition of marriage."

She added, "And unfortunately that's sometimes where those steps lead."

Both candidates' comments during the debate sparked criticism from Amercian LGBT equality activists.

Evan Wolfson of concluded that while gay-related questions in the debate highlight the wrongness of discrimination, the bad news is that "while one party's positions are immensely better than the others, both candidates failed to support full equality for America's gay families.

"The worse news is that the real and immense difference between their actual positions – one supporting actual movement toward equality and fairness, the other offering bland assurances belied by actual policy positions deepening discrimination – may have gotten lost."

The section of the Vice Presidential Debate about gay issues can be viewed on the video clip below.