Magazine article The Advocate (The national gay & lesbian newsmagazine)

Committed to Equality: Why Is Massachusetts Gubernatorial Candidate Robert Reich the Only Pro-Gay Politician to Officially Support Gay Marriage? (Marriage)

Magazine article The Advocate (The national gay & lesbian newsmagazine)

Committed to Equality: Why Is Massachusetts Gubernatorial Candidate Robert Reich the Only Pro-Gay Politician to Officially Support Gay Marriage? (Marriage)

Article excerpt

It's not unusual for politicians to woo gay voters with appearances at pride events, but celebrants at Boston's gay pride parade on June 8 were bowled over when Massachusetts gubernatorial hopeful Robert Reich told a crowd of several thousand that he endorses full marriage rights for same-sex couples. It's the furthest a gubernatorial candidate has ever gone in supporting equal rights for gay couples--and highlights the fact that gay marriage is a topic few gay-supportive leaders seem to want to discuss.

When marriage rights for gay couples is brought up at all, it's usually by conservatives who try to use it to scare off voters--as in Illinois's current gubernatorial race, in which Republican candidate Jim Ryan hoped to cast gay-friendly Democrat Rod Blagojevich as too liberal in ads implying that Blagojevich supports gay marriage. (He doesn't.)

"The far right knows that the word marriage can scare people away," said Chad Johnson, executive director of gay political group National Stonewall Democrats. "Civil unions don't evoke the kind of visceral reaction that marriage does."

Even politicians who've supported gay couples in other ways are reluctant to discuss marriage rights. …

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