In Thursday night’s debate between vice presidential candidates Gov. Sarah Palin and Sen. Joe Biden, gay rights surfaced briefly enough for both VP nominees to agree that they did not support same-sex marriage. The issue, which has been used to motivate the conservative base in past elections, has flown under the radar in this year’s presidential campaign.
Biden appealed to supporters of gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender rights by saying same-sex couples should enjoy the same protections as married couples, such as access to their partner in a hospital.
For her part, Palin alluded to having gay friends and said she would be “tolerant” of gay and lesbian Americans.
According to the CNN transcript of the Biden-Palin debate:
But I also want to clarify, if there’s any kind of suggestion at all from my answer that I would be anything but tolerant of adults in America choosing their partners, choosing relationships that they deem best for themselves, you know, I am tolerant and I have a very diverse family and group of friends and even within that group you would see some who may not agree with me on this issue, some very dear friends who don’t agree with me on this issue.
But in that tolerance also, no one would ever propose, not in a McCain-Palin administration, to do anything to prohibit, say, visitations in a hospital or contracts being signed, negotiated between parties.
McCain also submitted written answers to questioned posed by GLBT weekly The Washington Blade on Wednesday, but didn’t veer far from his previous statements, reiterating his belief that the U.S. military’s Don’t Ask-Don’t Tell policy is working and his opposition to a federal amendment banning same-sex marriage.