The Corner

Kerrys On Marriage

Tim, Thanks for reminding me about that Ladies’ Home Journal interview. I was reading it right after Kerry didn’t show for the FMA cloture vote and couldn’t help but notice the perfect timing of a cell-phone call he received during it. Unfortunately for him, though, Teresa didn’t cut him a break.

Salvatore: Every major civil rights movement in this country has eventually prevailed. Looking through the prism of history, do you feel that same-sex marriage is inevitable in America as a legal right?

Senator Kerry: I can’t predict what’s inevitable in America. I think it’s important to protect people’s rights. And in my own personal judgment–somebody may deem me wrong, I may be wrong–but my judgment is that balance of respecting rights and tradition–[his cell phone rings.] excuse me one second.

Salvatore: Mrs. Heinz Kerry, is your opinion about same-sex marriage different from your husband’s?

Mrs. Heinz Kerry: I wish there was another word other than “union” or contracts” that signifies such a relationship. To me, a marriage has always been Mom and Dad. On the other hand, you have children who are adopted, and/or are the children of same-sex marriages–moms and moms or dads and dads–and that’s a dilemma. And I’ve been thinking about that. So it should be acknowledging a formality that’s not just a contract. But as a mother, I would like to be able to open my arms to someone that my child or children loved, whether or not they were what I would normally expect them to be. And I would not like to feel stigmatized by my friends. I would like my children not to suffer from it. I’d like them to be as welcome and as happy and as much a member of the family as anyone else. I speak as a mother. And that’s all I think we owe to one another–respect and dignity and civil rights, and peace.

Salvatore: Senator, you were saying?

Senator Kerry: It’s not too dissimilar. Teresa raises an interesting question. Civil union is a way of respecting the rights in the fullest way, providing you have federal assumption. Marriage, in the way we’ve thought of it in terms of men and women, is a way of respecting a traditional value that has great meaning across the country. I’ve thought of it as a fair way of respecting both.

Mrs. Heinz Kerry: The problem is the kids.

Senator Kerry: Sweetie, I understand. But–

Mrs. Heinz Kerry: For a little kid who goes to school and feels like your mom and mom are not married–

Senator Kerry: Yeah, but not all things apply to all people, anyway.

Mrs. Heinz Kerry: No, but something else. Another word. First of all, I don’t think the country is even ready to discuss this properly. It’s foreign to a lot of us. And so for the time being, I would say, absolute civil rights, absolute respect, absolute dignity. And I wish we could find something that held sacred the commitment, in a way that didn’t shake anybody else’s foundation.

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