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Kerry talks to the gay press

Kerry talks to the gay press

On Thursday, September 9, Democratic presidential nominee John Kerry became the first major party presidential nominee to grant the gay media an interview during the general election campaign. Kerry had two separate 15-minute interviews with gay journalists. One with Lisa Keen, a veteran gay journalist and independent freelancer based in the Boston area, and the other with The Advocate's news features editor, Chad Graham. The Advocate interview with Kerry will appear as a cover story in an issue due to hit stands on October 12. Keen's article has appeared in the Michigan gay paper Between The Lines and other local and regional gay publications around the country. Here's some of what Kerry had to say to Keen during the interview in Des Moines: Between the Lines: You voted against the Defense of Marriage Act, and you've spoken out against the Federal Marriage Amendment. In both cases you described it as "gay bashing for political gain." Many of us feel that the constitutional amendments to ban same-sex marriage in Massachusetts and Missouri also constitute gay bashing for political gain. I'm curious why you haven't spoken out against those two? Kerry: Well, I think there's a distinction. I don't think that's gay bashing. It's, obviously, a position that people in the GLBT community disagree with--I understand that. But I think that, historically, the definition of marriage and the application of marriage laws has always been state defined. It is up to the states, not the federal government. That's why I viewed the federal efforts, as specifically targeted, as gay bashing, because they were usurping into a territory that they didn't belong. There was no need to do that. Under the Constitution, no state has to recognize another state's decision, and it's up to the states. BTL: You have supported the idea of providing federal benefits through civil unions. Kerry: Yes. BTL: How would you go about making that happen, as president? Kerry: You have to fight for it. You have to introduce it. BTL: You would introduce legislation to make that happen? Kerry: That's equal protection under the law.

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