Biden’s Denial of Same-Sex Marriage Support at Odds with Obama’s Record

By Pete Winn | October 3, 2008 | 6:31 PM EDT

Joe Biden placed himself and Barack Obama firmly on record in Thursday's vice presidential debate as opposing same-sex marriage. Obama's statements and actions on the issue, however say something else.

( - Sen. Joe Biden (D-Del.) placed himself and his running mate, Sen. Barack Obama (D-Ill.), firmly on record in Thursday night’s vice presidential debate as opposing same-sex marriage. But Obama’s statements and actions on the issue say something else.

In response to a direct question from debate moderator Gwen Ifill--“Do you support gay marriage?”--Biden answered, “No.”
He added: “(Neither) Barack Obama nor I support redefining from a civil side what constitutes marriage. We do not support that. That is basically the decision to be able to, to be left to faiths and people who practice their faiths, the determination what you call it.”
But that appears to contradict statements Obama has made in support of efforts by homosexual activists trying to redefine marriage, and in opposition to efforts to protect marriage as it has always been defined: the union of one man and one woman.
In letters to homosexual groups, the Democratic presidential nominee said he opposes California’s Proposition 8, which California voters will face this November. He also said he supports repealing the federal Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA), which also defines marriage as being between one man and one woman, and forbids states from being forced to accept any other definition of marriage under the U.S. Constitution’s Full Faith and Credit Clause.
To the Alice B. Toklas Democratic Club of San Francisco, Obama wrote in July: “(I) oppose the divisive and discriminatory efforts to amend the California Constitution, and similar efforts to amend the U.S. Constitution or those of other states”--a direct reference to Proposition 8, which would overturn this summer’s California Supreme Court decision creating same-sex marriage.

Without Proposition 8, same-sex marriage will remain legal in California.
To the same group, Obama said: “(I) support extending fully equal rights and benefits to same-sex couples under both state and federal law. That is why I support repealing the (federal) Defense of Marriage Act and the ‘Don't Ask, Don't Tell’ policy, and the passage of laws to protect LGBT Americans from hate crimes and employment discrimination."
Obama also congratulated those who, in the wake of the California Supreme Court decision creating homosexual marriage, went to city hall to obtain marriage licenses.  
“I want to congratulate all of you who have shown your love for each other by getting married these last few weeks,” he wrote.
In an Aug. 1 letter to a Boston-based homosexual rights group, the Family Equality Council, Obama specifically pledged to use the presidency to overturn DOMA, and pledged his support for homosexual “families” and efforts to totally redefine marriage.
He wrote: “... (W)e also have to do more to support and strengthen LGBT (Lesbian/Gay/Bisexual/Transgendered) families. Because equality in relationship, family, and adoption rights is not some abstract principle; it’s about whether millions of LGBT Americans can finally live lives marked by dignity and freedom.
“That’s why we have to repeal laws like the Defense of Marriage Act. That’s why we have to eliminate discrimination against LGBT families. And that’s why we have to extend equal treatment in our family and adoption laws,” Obama wrote.
In February, meanwhile, the Obama campaign took out similar-sounding ads in homosexual newspapers in Ohio and Texas, saying, “As your President, I will use the bully pulpit to urge states to treat same-sex couples with full equality in their family and adoption laws.
“I personally believe that civil unions represent the best way to secure that equal treatment. But I also believe that the federal government should not stand in the way of states that want to decide on their own how best to pursue equality for gay and lesbian couples – whether that means a domestic partnership, a civil union, or a civil marriage.”