September 30th, 2007
03:30 PM ET
11 years ago

Cate Edwards: On gay issue I'm with mom, not dad

Cate Edwards said she sides with her mother on the issue of gay marriage.

DES MOINES, Iowa (CNN) - Cate Edwards took questions in Des Moines Sunday on behalf of her father, former Sen. John Edwards, D-North Carolina, but she could only answer a few without referring to a campaign staffer for the details of her dad's positions.

She needed no help, however, in responding to a question relating to her position on gay rights, specifically gay marriage.

"I'm on my mom's side with this, not my dad's," Edwards said. "It's the word 'marriage' that he is hung up on."

"It's not about gay rights," she added.

John Edwards has said he does not support gay marriage, but his wife, Elizabeth, does.

"He very much does not understand–he has trouble, I guess, with the term 'gay marriage.' I don't," Cate Edwards said.

"I'm not going to try to defend him on that because I don't agree with it, but that's where he stands. But I don't want it to be understood as not standing for gay rights because that's certainly not true."

Cate Edwards and 'Desperate Housewives' actor James Denton were at a stop during a two-day swing through the Hawkeye State stumping for the Edwards for President campaign.

Only about a half dozen questions were asked, but a significant amount of her answers included referrals to a campaign staffer named Oliver–so many, in fact, that his name was soon becoming a small running joke, even to Edwards.

"Oliver will get you that information. You should all get to know Oliver," Edwards said laughing.

Related video: Watch Cate Edwards explain her father's position on gay marriage

- CNN Iowa Producer Chris Welch

Filed under: Iowa • John Edwards • Same-sex marriage
soundoff (28 Responses)
  1. pl. at the UN for a while.

    A split house?

    September 30, 2007 06:23 pm at 6:23 pm |
  2. Lune Keltkar, Punta Gorda, Florida

    I would guess that the WH has always been split, given that men and women have lived there together. Even Buchanan had his niece.


    September 30, 2007 06:59 pm at 6:59 pm |
  3. Jay, LA, CA

    So I would guess that Edwards really does believe in gay marriage, but can't admit to that and still get elected.

    September 30, 2007 09:58 pm at 9:58 pm |
  4. Tom, Charlottesville, Virginia

    This family is refreshingly candid. Elizabeth Edwards opens up in a way most political spouses don't, and apparently their daughter does as well. I like it.

    September 30, 2007 10:23 pm at 10:23 pm |
  5. Billy Rubin, Baltimore MD

    I wonder if she's had a sleepover with Lynn Cheney...

    September 30, 2007 10:32 pm at 10:32 pm |
  6. Steve

    Cool. A prez candidate's kid with a firm sense of and confidence in herself.

    The Edwards should be proud.

    September 30, 2007 11:27 pm at 11:27 pm |
  7. Keith Herbert, Paso Robles, CA

    She's right. It's not about gay rights – it's about human rights.

    October 1, 2007 12:53 am at 12:53 am |
  8. RB, Raleigh North Carolina

    Why does this article refer to John Edwards as a Senator instead of a former Senator? He resigned from the Senate to run with Kerry for the White House, remember? At least Kerry was smart enough not to quite his day job.

    October 1, 2007 01:12 am at 1:12 am |
  9. Mary, Beaver, PA

    Keith Herbert, you speak the truth.

    October 1, 2007 08:35 am at 8:35 am |
  10. CC, Longmont, CO

    Marriage is strange because it is both a legal arrangement and a religious arrangement (usually). By talking about civil unions, you sever this relationship somewhat and minimize the offense to religious people who completely freak out at the idea of gay marriage. Civil unions will give gay couples 95% of what they're asking for, and sometime in the future, they can probably have it all. If you try to push for gay marriage, you'll end up with nothing.

    October 1, 2007 10:05 am at 10:05 am |
  11. Mark, Shreveport, LA

    "Cate Edwards took questions in Des Moines Sunday on behalf of her father, Sen. John Edwards, D-North Carolina, but she could only answer a few without referring to a campaign staffer for the details of her dad's positions."

    She doesn't even know her Dad's platform, but she's stumping for him and getting press for it. Slow news day?
    She doesn't seem to astute if she didn't bother to learn her dad's positions before facing the press.

    October 1, 2007 10:33 am at 10:33 am |
  12. Patrick Lockyer Jacksonvill Florida

    My daughter is gay and NOT a sinner in my eyes. She is in a committed relaionship in the UK and I can have faith that they as a couple will be treated well. They will be able to set the safeguards that all couples need to set when they commit to each other for life. This is not a gay issue but a human rights issue.

    October 1, 2007 11:41 am at 11:41 am |
  13. James L., Phoenix AZ

    Cate Edwards, Chelsea Clinton, Romney Boys, Guiliani's kids, ... who REALLY cares what the "kids" have to say?

    CNN Newsflash – child disagrees with parent!

    Next: Controversial astronomer, Galileo, theorizes the earth revolves around the sun!

    October 1, 2007 11:47 am at 11:47 am |
  14. Jo, Atlanta GA

    Looks like she needs some sun. Guiliani's kid? Thank god they know the truth about their father.

    A man that can't rule his own house should not and I repeat should not run a country.

    October 1, 2007 12:00 pm at 12:00 pm |
  15. Chris, Middletown, CT


    I agree – thats why we need a moderate – someone who would support human rights. I'm a Republican thats embarassed by how my party panders to the religious minority. So Rudy is a refreshing change.

    October 1, 2007 12:54 pm at 12:54 pm |
  16. pc

    This Family and their being truthful is why I support them.
    Way To Go Cate and Yes its about HumanRights given to All Americans Under The Consitution and Bill Of Rights, btw America wasn't founded upon God or Jesus Its always been a Secular Nation so her citizens could Worship God in the Manner That One Chose. The Church of England was Why America Was founded and settled.

    October 1, 2007 12:57 pm at 12:57 pm |
  17. Tom - Dedham, Mass

    Gay issues would not even be a factor in this or any other election if the Republicans did not have such a Cro-Magnon attitude towards people's choice of a lifestyle.

    Tell the GOP to stay out of our bedrooms.

    Posted By James, Phoenix AZ : October 1, 2007 9:06 am

    So "Jimmy" we just pick and choose where to place blame as usual?

    Edwards and Hillary to name two Democrats are also against gay marriage, in fact Shriil as co-president had a hand in the "don't ask, don't tell" policy of her hubby.

    Do we consider them cro-magnon as well?

    I actually agree with them that civil unions and all attached rights should be granted, it is just about rights??

    How about the 45 states that OVERWHELMINGLY voted against gay marriage, all GOP bigots?

    That means the election will be a landslide for the GOP, right?

    Don't think so, I think there are some mean independents and Democrats in those states as well.

    Since the majority of the country is against the war in Iraq and also have VOTED against gay marriage we should just pull out of Iraq and NEVER allow gays to be married.

    After all, the people have spoken.

    Keep up the good work.

    October 1, 2007 01:14 pm at 1:14 pm |
  18. E, Lindenhurst, IL

    Not TOO astute, huh? Try having your kid answer questions about everything you may have an opinion about.

    Nothing noteworthy here though since her mom already has said publicly that she disagrees with Edwards.

    October 1, 2007 01:52 pm at 1:52 pm |
  19. Conservative James, Phoenix AZ

    So "Jimmy" we just pick and choose where to place blame as usual?

    – + – + – + – + – +

    Sadly, Tom, I suspect this "James – Phoenix" simply is making blatant liberal statements, attempting to counter-balance my usual conservative views & commentary.

    You are 100% right on with the hypocrisy of the left. Call conservatives bigots while NONE of the leading Democrat candidates support Gay marriage.

    Ironically, MOST people (moderate conservatives, independents, liberals, etc) will agree the notion of civil unions is a reasonable middle ground. But for libs to acknowledge this fact diminishes the "GOP = Homophobic" attack.

    October 1, 2007 02:09 pm at 2:09 pm |
  20. Brooks Baldwin, New York, NY

    "Sexual-orientation-as-lifestyle" is a misconception held by a many people. But sexual orientation isn't a lifestyle, and it's important to make that distinction. Lifestyle involves choice. Going to clubs every night is a lifestyle, and so is living quietly in the suburbs. Being a vegetarian is a lifestyle. Moving to a retirement community and taking up golf is a lifestyle.

    Having blue eyes and a nose isn't a lifestyle, and neither is sexual orientation. One is straight, gay, bisexual, or transgender. Like eye color, gender and sexual orientation are not choices, but immutable characteristics.

    I have faith that we're becoming more fair, more enlightened as a society, and that one day gay, bisexual, and transgender people will enjoy the same human rights and privileges that heterosexuals enjoy today — including marriage. Although it may be some years before same-sex partners are "allowed" to use the coveted "M" word(!), I'd like to think that this too will change.

    October 1, 2007 02:11 pm at 2:11 pm |
  21. Britney, Louisville, KY

    I saw her at a similar event in 2004. Have they learnt nothing from the Kerry/Edwards campaign. She (Cate) was ill-informed then, she apparently remains ill-informed now. It's frankly embarrassing, and does nothing to enhance the perception of competence about the Edwards campaign. Either get her to bone up on the issues or dump her.

    October 1, 2007 02:15 pm at 2:15 pm |
  22. Kevin4567

    CNN states in its policy that not all readers' comments will be posted. How does CNN decide which comments will or will not be posted?

    October 1, 2007 02:21 pm at 2:21 pm |
  23. Jennifer, Houston, TX

    Attention RB, Raleigh North Carolina:

    Edwards did NOT quit the senate to run for president/vice-president. His term was up at the end of the year, and he elected not to run for re-election. He absolutely did not quit.

    October 1, 2007 03:29 pm at 3:29 pm |
  24. Ryan D., Saint Paul, MN

    What difference does it make on where his wife, kids, next-door neighbor, etc. feel on same-sex marriage? If anything, it shows that his family are more logical and fair he is. Maybe that's why he can't break out of third and might even lose his home state.

    I'm tired of these candidates being too calculated in their views. If these people think we wan't civil unions, they can think again. I wouldn't have flown my family all the way to Canada to get "unioned." Separate is not, and never will be equal. At least Canada recognizes my marriage.

    October 1, 2007 03:56 pm at 3:56 pm |
  25. Bill Smith, Tampa, Fl

    There are a LOT of us gays who do not like or agree with the term "Gay Marriage".
    Yes, we would like some comparative rights, but to confron the issue by calling it "Gay Marriahge?"" is asking for negative results

    October 1, 2007 04:06 pm at 4:06 pm |
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