May 22nd, 2008
10:00 AM ET
10 years ago

Ellen asks McCain to walk her down the aisle


Watch part of John McCain's interview with Ellen.

(CNN)— Openly gay talk show host Ellen DeGeneres pressed John McCain Thursday on his opposition to gay marriage.

The presumptive Republican nominee said he believes same-sex couples have the right to legal agreements for insurance and other purposes, but opposes gay marriage. “I just believe in the unique status of marriage between man and a woman,” McCain told DeGeneres.

McCain, who also opposes a constitutional amendment banning same-sex marriage, said he supports and encourages legal benefits for same-sex partners particularly for insurance purposes. The Arizona senator has said individual states should decide the issue.

The talk show host pushed further, drawing parallels between the right to gay marriage and the suffrage movements for women and African-Americans.

“We are all the same people,” DeGeneres told McCain. “You’re no different than I am. Our love is the same.”

The Arizona senator said that she had given an “eloquent” defense of her position, but "we just have a disagreement. And I, along with many, many others, wish you every happiness."

Degeneres joked: "So, you'll walk me down the aisle? Is that what you're saying?"

McCain’s one word response: "Touché."

Filed under: John McCain
soundoff (103 Responses)
  1. Matt

    Black people are given everything? Do you know how rediculous you sound? And Clinton says racism did not play a roll in this

    May 22, 2008 02:32 pm at 2:32 pm |
  2. H-ROD

    Mccain could have been playing flippy-floppy with his cellmates,one thing is for sure, he is a flip-floper I just wonder where he learn it Hmm .! not to close (Yes Obama can)!!!!!!

    May 22, 2008 02:33 pm at 2:33 pm |
  3. What's Obama's Position?

    It's a bit of a cliche to suggest that Obama supporters don't even know his positions of the issues, but the "Hillary voters shouldn't vote for McCain because he opposes gay marriage" posts are hillarious. Do you guys even realize that McCain, Obama, and Hillary pretty much all have the same position on gay marriage?

    May 22, 2008 02:33 pm at 2:33 pm |
  4. HIllary Delegate-Alternate

    If Obama is handed the nomination by the Super Delegates, start getting used to saying "Presdient McCain." Obama can't carry most of the states that HIllary carried, and those are the big ones... the ones needed to win in November.

    Look at the states he has won - most are either caucus states, where there was no popular vote taken and only a small percentage of voters participate, or states with large numbers of black voters. Caucusus are not democratic (no vote by mail and are held over just a couple hours, not a whole day) and they are run by the parties with volunteers, so there are few controls in place and no government oversight. The votes are public, too, so people are vulnerable to threat and intimidation, like the restaurant workers in Nevada who were thereatened with being docked a full day if they voted for Clinton. They are ripe for abuse. I know - I was there. I saw what went on in Nevada. It was only their courage - pulling on Hillary shirts and walking into the casino caucuses - that saved the day for Hillary in that caucus state in defiance of their union bosses.

    There are no caucuses in November - how is he going to win the swing states where Hillary has been strong?

    May 22, 2008 02:34 pm at 2:34 pm |
  5. Hillary Huckabee Romney McCain Rodham Clinton

    Just proves one thing: He's a bigger panderer than Hil-lie-ary Clinton! Say anything, do anything and deny everything ... even when it's on audio or video to prove otherwise.

    May 22, 2008 02:39 pm at 2:39 pm |
  6. TMY714

    Marriage is a result of 2 things : 1) acknowledgment 2) tax benefits.

    If it was considered sacred, there should be severe punishment for divorce. I've known couples who've lived together far longer than the length of marriages.

    As for comparing gay marriages to the civil rights movement. Yes things were unfair for the blacks back then. Now, the blacks like to complain about EVERYTHING. They still complain about slavery as if they're EXPERIENCING slavery for god sakes!

    May 22, 2008 02:40 pm at 2:40 pm |
  7. Justme WV

    As much as I love Ellen, her lifestyle is an abomination against my God. Its hers to choose, but marriage is between man and woman and only man and woman. Then to group Gay rights with Civil Rights is a slap in the face of all who suffered and still suffer because of the color of their skin. McCain was right to be a little squeamish in that would I.

    OBAMA 08

    May 22, 2008 02:43 pm at 2:43 pm |
  8. Jill

    I really liked Obama until I saw Bobby Jindal. Jindal is a reformer who has the accomplishments you would expect out of Obama at 46, while Obama has the accomplishments you would expect out of a man at 36.

    If Jindal gets the VP nod, McCain gets my vote.

    Democrat voting Republican in '08

    May 22, 2008 02:46 pm at 2:46 pm |
  9. Richard

    That is such an odd combination.. Why is McCain on that show?

    May 22, 2008 02:46 pm at 2:46 pm |
  10. julie - oakland, ca




    HILLARY 08


    May 22, 2008 02:48 pm at 2:48 pm |
  11. kam

    Marriage is not a right. It's a legal contract. The government — by extension, the people — have the authority to set limits and eligibility for such contracts. Therefore, if the people do not want same-sex couples to marry, that is within their "right." Ellen — have sex with whomever you want. But please don't correlate sex to marriage.

    May 22, 2008 02:49 pm at 2:49 pm |
  12. Terrence (Winston Salem, NC)

    Gay rights is not to be equated to Civil Rights...

    May 22, 2008 02:49 pm at 2:49 pm |
  13. Linned

    I believe in judge ye not less ye be judged. But, the civil rights comparison to me is different – unless you have walked a mile in an African American persons shoe you have no idea.

    May 22, 2008 02:53 pm at 2:53 pm |
  14. AZM

    I'd be he'd do it if she would be his escort at a NRA convention...

    I like Ellen... she's pretty cool... and I think McCain handled himself very well on an issue he didn't support... well done.... agree or not!

    May 22, 2008 02:53 pm at 2:53 pm |
  15. Ann Brown

    Considering more than 99% of the people are gay or support gay rights, McCain has just handed the presidency to Obama. McCain should just withdraw now and let us stop wasting time on this election. Let's talk about high gas prices and what the old farts in congress haven't done about it. It's time for progressive thinking. It's time to stop the destruction of the poor. It's time to stop the rich from stuffing their pockets with more, more, more money. It's time for Obama to be president NOW.

    May 22, 2008 02:54 pm at 2:54 pm |
  16. Tonya J. White

    Being browned skinned is not something I can change. It is a decision God made when I was formed. However, being gay is a choice one makes each day. I don't see the comparison and people who do are ignorant not the ones who don't. One is a choice and one isn't.

    May 22, 2008 02:56 pm at 2:56 pm |
  17. What??

    Should each state decide?? What if each state were allowed to decide to free slaves or not. We would still have a divided nation.

    McCrazy is saying that states have a right to decide to give a civil right on the basis of what?? Civil rights should be inforced by the national government.

    When is our country going to stop marginalizing different groups of people??

    May 22, 2008 02:56 pm at 2:56 pm |
  18. SF Christo

    yardstylze wrote: "Gays are not in the same situation on Black…they were not lynched, rape, enslaved, treated as less than human, could not be with a white man or woman that they loved…had churches burned to the ground, had dogs set on them…got bomb threats…."

    Wow, yardstylze, you don't know much gay history. The Nazis executed over 600,000 gays and lesbians. Gays still have businesses and homes burned down. There are a lot of threats, stabbings, and beatings (I myself was a victim of a beating in Washington, DC). We live in fear a good bit of the time.

    And we also "could not be with a white man or woman" we love! Think about it. I can't get married to my male partner so I also can't be with the man I love! And we have to hide our relationship when we travel to be sure we are in safe company first.

    You aren't the only oppressed minority group. Every minority needs help from other people to secure their rights. There weren't enough African Americans to do it (12%) alone. You needed some white help in the 40's–>60's. Guess what, a lot of my gay friends were out there with blacks protesting on school campuses and in front of state houses.

    How about seeing the similarities and offering help instead of looking for differences. Or is it just going to be a case of you saying, "We've got ours now (black acceptance), so screw you"?

    May 22, 2008 02:59 pm at 2:59 pm |
  19. Vern

    To the comment made by "no Obama never" that black people get everything! Tell that to the black slaves that help build this country or the the blacks in the 60's that ware lynched, beaten & had no rights..or even today to the blacks who are first judgeed by their skin color & not their character.

    May 22, 2008 02:59 pm at 2:59 pm |
  20. Bob, Hamilton

    The Funny thing here is comparing Gay marriages right to African Americans Suffrage right or Womens right. These things are not related at all if you look at it from the learned point of view.

    This shows how illiterate so many people are including Ellen.

    May 22, 2008 03:00 pm at 3:00 pm |
  21. Ann

    So unbiblical! I love Ellen..she's great...but the bible is very clear on this issue (1 Corinthians) and we will all stand before God one day. But it is His judgement call so we have to let Him be the one to judge. All we can do is try to live our lives according to His will and answer for ourselves. But, try as they might, gays can not change what the bible says. You can not put a question mark where God has put a period.

    May 22, 2008 03:01 pm at 3:01 pm |
  22. Raffi

    Equal Right=Equal Rights and that is what this country is founded on, our civil liberties. The ban on gay marriage is a religous influenced law which should be trashed. Religion should play no part in politics. If you want religion in your government, there are plenty of countries out there that may suit you better (i.e. Iran, Suadi Arabia, ect..). Having religion play a part in modern American government is an oxymoron and goes against the foundation in which this country has been built on.

    May 22, 2008 03:01 pm at 3:01 pm |
  23. K of TX

    While I appreciate McCain's "eloquent defense" of his argument, I am staunchly against religion imposing itself in the form of government policy. I myself do not favor marriage between te same sex for personal reasons, but DO NOT SUPPORT GIVING THE FEDERAL GOVERNMENT THE POWER TO DECIDE THOSE LIFESTYLE ISSUES FOR ITS CITIZENS.

    May 22, 2008 03:03 pm at 3:03 pm |
  24. JC

    Eugenio, while I am not African American myself the struggles are not the same and are in no way similar to each other. The majority of African Americans will tell you that. There is no good reason to allow gay marriage and if they kept it their own business as they should few people would bother them. Instead they insist on having their childish "gay pride" parades and insist the definition of marriage be changed to suit their needs.

    May 22, 2008 03:03 pm at 3:03 pm |
  25. People of America - Unite

    I am a black person and I believe that the struggle for gay people IS the same as what blacks went through.

    The problem is people just found another group of people that are different. And because they are different we try to say somehow they are not worthy of what things "normal" people enjoy. I know that some black people don't see the connection. But it is very real. To deny any person, ANY right is WRONG.

    And black people have not been given everything (to the ignorant commentator above)

    If all the people in this country who are discrimminated against for what ever reason, (blacks, poor white people, gays, hispanics, asians, native americans) would get together, find our common ground to make our goals reality, we would be the majority and improve this country.

    That is at the core of Obama's message. We need to work together on our commonalities. Why are we so divided, when it doesn't help any of us.

    May 22, 2008 03:05 pm at 3:05 pm |
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