What if John Kerry came out for gay marriage and nobody noticed?
That’s essentially what the Boston Glove revealed on Friday when it reported that the Massachusetts Democrat and 2004 Democratic presidential nominee first told the paper back in March that he supports same-sex marriage as part of a survey the Globe did of the state’s congressional delegation.
But when the paper reported that at the time, it accidentally left Kerry’s title and first name out of the story, so his reversal on the issue went under the radar.
Then, Kerry penned a July 10 Globe op-ed, citing his own journey to gay marriage backer and defending President Barack Obama’s “right to evolve” on the issue. That didn’t seem to get much attention either.
Only on Friday did the Globe publish an interview with Kerry on the topic under the headline, “Kerry acknowledges gay marriage change.”
Kerry told his hometown paper he is now for gay marriage but denied he is trying to squelch publicity surrounding the change.
“What was the question? ‘Do you support gay marriage?’ What was the answer? ‘Yes,’” he said. “I mean, I can’t – I’m sorry the Globe didn’t write more about it or say something about it, but that’s not my doing. I said ‘Yes.’ And then I voluntarily, spontaneously wrote an op-ed, because I thought it was important for people to understand the value of the journey that I took.”
Kerry’s evolution removes him from what had been a tricky political spot: a liberal senator representing the first state to legalize gay marriage without being for them himself. The July 10 op-ed and Friday’s story follow New York’s high-profile legalization of gay weddings.
The White House on Tuesday announced it is supporting legislation to repeal the Defense of Marriage Act, which defines marriage as between one man and one woman for federal purposes. Obama supports civil unions, not gay marriage, but said his position is “evolving.” Seventeen U.S. senators now support gay marriage.
Kerry told the Globe that since Massachusetts legalized gay marriages, his Catholic church-fed fears that same-sex marriage would cause damage turned out to be unfounded.
“I don’t think it hurts the things I thought it would; lesson learned,” he said. “You evolve with these things. You see through experience what happens. The sort of concerns I had - that somehow it would have some impact on the quality of church teaching, or that I wasn’t honoring that - I think is just not borne out by experience. Period.”
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