Senator McCain, who is running for re-election this year, has publicly opposed government sanctioning of homosexual marriage, and appeared in a 2006 ad in support of an Arizona state constitutional amendment defining marriage as between a man and a woman. In response to Mrs. McCain's appearance in the NOH8 ad, his office issued a statement saying that while he respects the views of members of his family, he remains opposed to homosexual marriage. "Sen. McCain believes the sanctity of marriage is only defined as between one man and one woman," the statement said.
During Mr. McCain's 2008 presidential campaign, a statement on his website pointed out that the family unit "represents the foundation of Western Civilization and civil society," and emphasized that Mr. McCain "believes the institution of marriage is a union between one man and one woman. It is only this definition that sufficiently recognizes the vital and unique role played by mothers and fathers in the raising of children, and the role of the family in shaping, stabilizing, and strengthening communities and our nation."
Senator McCain isn't the only Republican politician whose wife has veered from his view on marriage. In 2006, as President Bush spoke out strongly in favor of a federal ban on homosexual marriage, his wife Laura told Fox News that she didn't think the issue "should be used as a campaign tool.... It requires a lot of sensitivity to just talk about the issue — a lot of sensitivity."
To homosexual activists groups, Mrs. McCain's actions represent a public relations bonanza for their cause. "To have the wife of a Republican presidential candidate really turns everything upside down," said John Henning of Love Honor Cherish, a group promoting the legalization of homosexual unions. "People expect conservatives to be against same-sex marriage, and more and more conservatives are saying that they favor it."
But conservative and pro-family leaders discounted the value that Mrs. McCain's endorsement brings to the efforts to overturn Proposition 8. "The people of California have been very clear on this issue," said Tony Perkins of the Washington, D.C.-based Family Research Council, which lent its support to passage of the California homosexual marriage ban. "They've voted twice to preserve the definition of marriage."
Over the past several years Meghan McCain, who identifies herself as a Republican, has been an outspoken homosexual activist, appearing at such functions as the 2009 convention of the pro-homosexual Log Cabin Republicans, where she conducted a seminar entitled "Losing the Next Generation: How Can the Republican Party Attract More Young Voters?" On her blog site, she expressed her joy at being involved in the photo-op and ad campaign for homosexual marriage: "I was so honored to be asked to pose for the NOH8 campaign. I am a proud member of the Republican Party and a proud supporter of marriage equality.... Marriage equality is not just a Democrat or Republican issue, it is a human one."
Individuals and groups who have worked to protect traditional marriage note that the name of the group sponsoring the ad in which the McCain women appeared is a calculated attempt on the part of homosexual activists to insinuate that anyone opposing the legalization of homosexual marriage is motivated by hatred.
"That's a slogan that collapses the distinction between hatred and disagreement," said Brian Brown, executive director of the National Organization for Marriage, "and
which insults and stereotypes seven million Californians who voted for Prop 8 — not to mention Mrs. McCain's husband...."
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