Al Gore Backs Gay Marriage

Tue. January 29, 2008 12:00 AM by

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Los Angeles, CA - Former Vice President Al Gore is making his opinion clear. He believes gay & lesbian American citizens should have the same right to marry as heterosexuals. During a speech captured on video, Gore said he does not understand why gay marriage is "considered to be a threat to heterosexual marriage."

The video, posted on Gore's web site Current TV, features Gore sharing his views on equal rights for homosexuals during a recent speech. "I think that gay men and women ought to have the same rights as heterosexual men and women, to make contracts, to have hospital visiting rights and to join together in marriage," Gore stated.

With current frontrunner Democratic presidential candidates Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama saying as little as possible on the subject of gay marriage, the former Vice President's comments could be construed as a jab against their avoidance of the issue. Clinton, Obama and former North Carolina Senator John Edwards have voiced support for increased rights for GLBT people, but have refused to actually endorse equal marriage rights. Edwards' wife Elizabeth is in support of same-sex marriage, but she is not the one running for President.

In the video, Gore voiced disappointment in those who are not supportive of equal marriage rights. "I don't understand why it is considered by some people to be a threat to heterosexual marriage to allow it by gays and lesbians. Shouldn't we be promoting that kind of faithfulness and loyalty to one's partner regardless of sexual orientation?"

Gore's endorsement of same-sex marriage is a step up from his earlier position in support of domestic partner benefits for gays and civil unions—but not gay marriage. During his run in the 2000 presidential race, Gore stated he was in opposition of "changing the intstitution of marriage as it is presently understood—between a man and a woman."

In 2006, Gore spoke about the gay marriage ceremonies in San Francisco in 2004, saying "Some reacted with hatred and anger. What I saw that was just overwhelming was the love, the joy, the purity of the excitement that that love was being honored."

"It is that love, after all, that is at the heart of why everybody is here," said at a gala dinner for the Human Rights Campaign. "That is what must be honored and respected. Your right to fall in love with who you fall in love with. And your right to expect that that will be recognized with the same dignity and honor that love is recognized for other couples."

Gore was heavily lobbied by supporters to join the 2008 presidential race and for a while seemed to be considering the prospect. However, the Nobel Prize winner eventually decided to remain focused on his environmental and human rights work. Gore has yet to endorse any nominee for this year's race.

Written By Ann Turner

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