McCain makes dubious references to gays

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His running mate had a “news flash” for the media Wednesday night, and John McCain had one for LGBT Americans on Thursday: “Education is the civil-rights issue of this century.” It was the second thinly veiled dig at gays and lesbians the Arizona senator made as he accepted the Republican Party’s nomination for president in St. Paul, Minnesota, bringing the 2008 Republican National Convention to a close.

For anyone still wondering, on the left or the right, where the one-time moderate now stands on two of the most divisive social issues of our time, McCain made his beliefs clear before a hall of enthralled Republicans at the Xcel Energy Center: He supports a “culture of life” — and judges “who dispense justice impartially and don’t legislate from the bench.” The latter reference, though coded in the language of “activist” judges, was an obvious swipe at same-sex marriage, in a year when the California Supreme Court ruled in favor of marriage equality (and when that state and two others, including McCain’s home state, face ballot initiatives over the issue).

The speech, complete with several diversions by protesters — including a man two tiers above a media work section holding a sign that said YOU CAN’T WIN AN OCCUPATION — capped a week with few outright jabs at gay marriage from convention speakers, in marked contrast to the Republicans’ 2004 convention, when the Federal Marriage Amendment was frequently cited for political gain. Except for a remark by McCain’s former rival Mike Huckabee about not changing “the very definition of marriage from what it has always meant throughout recorded human history,” there was an utter lack of rhetoric on gay issues — contrary to the strong statements of support heard at the Democratic convention in Denver last week.

Read the the full story from the Advocate here.

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