June 4th, 2007
07:35 PM ET
9 years ago

Edwards: Personally against same-sex marriage

WASHINGTON (CNN) – During CNN’s Faith and Politics forum Monday at George Washington University, former Sen. John Edwards, D – North Carolina, told CNN that he does not believe homosexuals have the right to be married.

“No. Not personally, you’re asking me personally,” Edwards told CNN moderator Soledad O’Brien.

“There’s a difference between my belief system and what the responsibilities of the President of the United States are,” he added. “It is the reason we have separation of church and state.”

Edwards said he’s in favor of “civil unions and all the subsequent rights that go with that.” The former senator is on record as opposing a constitutional amendment banning same-sex marriage.

- CNN Political Researcher Xuan Thai

Filed under: John Edwards
soundoff (17 Responses)
  1. LeftyLosey

    Sorry John,
    You just lost my vote.

    June 4, 2007 07:51 pm at 7:51 pm |
  2. RightyTighty

    Its a litmus test for the Dems. If your not totally in step with the modern progressive movement, your nothing. I'm surprised he admitted to it.

    June 4, 2007 07:56 pm at 7:56 pm |
  3. Jessica, Bourbonnais Illinois

    John Edwards was able to articulate something that many people fail to understand, that there is a difference between someones personal moral convictions or as Edwards puts it "belief system" and what the "responsibilities" and duties of the President are. My personal religious and moral convictions are just that, my personal convictions, and while I would love for individuals to embrace the Gospel, I am willing to be tolerant of those with opposing views. I think that was what Edwards was getting at and I think he did a great job getting that message across.

    June 4, 2007 08:16 pm at 8:16 pm |
  4. Heather, Portland Maine

    WHY... WHY? I don't get it. Democrats say they do not think being gay is a sin and that love is love. However, they want to create a separate but equal system... marriage for straights and civil unions for gays. We got rid of separate, but equal years ago. Someone please help me understand.

    June 4, 2007 08:35 pm at 8:35 pm |
  5. John Presley, Tokyo Japan

    As a democrat, he shouldn't have to remind us of the separation of church and state. Personally, I want a politican in the white house who never even comments on their personal faith. The conservative, religious right spouts too much of that junk to being with, so let's stop hearing it from our side (the liberal side) too! Just do what's right for the people of the US and don't let us hear about your unrealistic view points that are too wrapped up in fundamentalist Christian dogma!

    June 4, 2007 08:38 pm at 8:38 pm |
  6. Melissa - Ohio

    He lost my vote a long time ago, and this puts the nail in the coffin. Homosexuals are no different than heterosexuals...they are human beings living and breathing on this earth and contributing to society and the economy–if they so choose they should be able to marry. The legislature should not choose this but allow the individuals to decide.

    Adios, Edwards.

    June 4, 2007 08:38 pm at 8:38 pm |
  7. Matthew Hyatt, Chattanoogs, TN.

    Having just watched the discussion on faith and politics tonight, I feel strongly that all missed the most important point.

    If your religious and your in politics, it is your duty to check your religious beliefs at the door. It has been in the news multiple times that doctors, scientist, pharmacist and others who have allowed their faith to interfere with their duties and responsibilities and execution of their chosen profession. The separation of church and state is a corner stone of our founding fathers desire to create a new nation. A nation that allows all people the right to speak freely, to practice what religion they desired, to pursue happiness and those rights extend up to the point that the exercising of them does not encroach upon or limit the rights of others. I pay taxes to support a free government, one that is not influenced by religion, blood money, one that is not corrupt and acts to benefit the greater good of the people – government by the people and for the people. I feel that many of can honestly say that our government has not been by or for the people for some time now and we as the board of directors should be appalled and ashamed at how badly we have allowed the management staff to run our country – OUR COUNTRY. By OUR COUNTRY I mean all of us, every man, woman and child. I feel that many politicians do not act faithfully in the discharge of their responsibility to we the people. We as Americans have been remiss in our duties in electing officials with vision, insight and who are indeed leaders – we vote by party affiliation, we vote without thinking, we vote based upon whether a person will abolish abortions, fix our failing education system or fix health care. Yet 4, 8, 20 years later nothing has been done. All we hear is talk, all we see are politicians getting rich, taking bribes, making concessions and not doing what they promised, not getting the job done. In addition, we continue to allow it to happen, year after year and continue to do nothing. We blame the political system, we blame the republicans or democrats and we never blame ourselves.

    So, I feel that this election should not be about religious belief and politics, it should be about fixing the issues that face this nation, our country and the legacy we will leave to our children. It is time we the people got off our rears and vote with our minds, not our hearts. Leave god out of schools and our politics, that is for the time you spend at church or on your own.

    June 4, 2007 08:40 pm at 8:40 pm |
  8. John Futrell, New Orleans, Louisiana

    Bigotry best describes Edward's position. Why, in a secular state, should we discriminate against citizens because of their sex?

    June 4, 2007 09:51 pm at 9:51 pm |
  9. Aaron, Cleveland OH

    Sounds like he knows what he believes in but does not have the conviction to put his beliefs into practice lest he lose votes.

    June 4, 2007 10:10 pm at 10:10 pm |
  10. Jeremy, Vancouver, Washington

    Being opposed to a particular union based on personal opinion or feeling isn't disqualifying even if the opinion is not all encompassing. Even if his personal views are founded on a theological basis.

    For those who attack Edwards, at least he has the courage to admit what he is feeling and the courage to recognize, better yet separate, the difference between personal opinion and the appropriate responsibility of presidental power.

    I don't believe under today's administration we are so fortunate.

    June 4, 2007 10:49 pm at 10:49 pm |
  11. Dan, Cincinnati OH

    Aaron is an idiot. You can believe in something but yet also believe that the government has no place to force that belief on others. For example, abortion. You can personally believe its wrong, but yet also believe that banning abortion is unconstitutional.

    June 4, 2007 11:39 pm at 11:39 pm |
  12. Anonymous

    What is the point of legal marriage anyways? Isnt't it supposed to be about love not a legeally-binding contract that won't matter at all unless there is a divorce?

    June 5, 2007 12:16 am at 12:16 am |
  13. lisa seattle washington

    lost my vote too john, not a cool thing to say..there are alot of us out here who deserve the right to marry...and who have been supportive of your campaign..but you just ended that support.

    June 5, 2007 12:45 am at 12:45 am |
  14. Angel Cole - Jacksonville FL

    Look, folks it's NOT about marriage. It's about respecting a person's end of life decisions and making your wishes known if you aren't able to personally communicate what YOU want. I am a 49 year old single Catholic woman. If my mother who will be 72 this year wanted to disagree with the person – my 27 year old daughter – I chose to speak for me if I was unable to personally make decisons for my myself, she could override my choices I made when I was of sound mind and body because I'm NOT married. ANY person of sound mind should have the right to choose who they want to authorize their wishes regardless of marriage, same-sex unions, domestic and/or common law relationships or what ever else you want to call it. It about that person's right to dignity, respect, and making their choices known as a human being.

    June 5, 2007 02:45 am at 2:45 am |
  15. jack Phot

    The reaction to folks on here to Edwards' comments I guess just show that you can't have it both ways. On one hand, you have the Christian fundamentalists who insist that their beliefs should be the way of the law. . . and they get criticized for it. Then you have guys like Edwards, who are honest enough to admit that though their PERSONAL belief may not make everyone happy, they aren't about to insist that these beliefs should be imposed on everyone. . .and he's criticized for this as well.

    He could have taken the easy way out and lied about how he really feels, and that would make the Liberal Wing of the Democratic party warm and fuzzy. . . but it appears he's being genuine (hard for me to admit that Edwards is EVER genuine, but stay with me here), and trying to honestly answer a question.

    I certainly don't agree with everyone's personal decisions on lifestyles, but I respect these decisions and acknolwedge that government policy shouldn't be determined by MY OWN beliefs.

    Personally, I think Marriage is a religious issue, not a governmental issue. The issue of partners with regards to legal rights, however, is an issue for elected officials to decide, and in this, I think there should be no discrimination in whom you choose to share your life with. .

    June 5, 2007 04:12 am at 4:12 am |
  16. Carol Smith Katy, Texas

    Just another Liberal trying to dance around the issues. Edwards cannot say he is personally against gay marriage, and then say the president of the United States should be against it. He is talking out of both sides of his mouth;he is a classic liberal. The President of the United States should take a stance against such immorality. If the President condones such behavior, then his set of morals cannot be very high. Keep talking Edwards, we are listening very carefully.

    June 13, 2007 09:19 pm at 9:19 pm |
  17. Orion Karl Daley, New York, NY

    It is good to know where these Fan FAre Candidates stand, even if they are not capable of putting it in writing for you.

    Lets consider that Gay Rights firstly is just one of many expressions of Human Rights.

    Lets look at what it is all really worth, and with respect to the Consitution. We should account for the Right of Free Expression in Amendment I in the Bill of Rights, and the fact that marriage is not in it. Thats for starters.

    “Marriage is not something that I have ever seen as an institution, being that, statistically, most heterosexual marriages do not last; It is a personal commitment.”


    The basis of the instution, being legally married was so that men would become financially reponsible where prior to the law, wives were just abanded when going for an upgrade.

    So the concept of commitment overrides the concept of institution as a premise for a constitutional argument.

    As a psychologist years ago, and as a human, I discovered that everyone was actually quite different. That there was an infinite dimension to the psyche as there is a universe.

    The concept of institution is obsolete when we account for this, and Amendment 1 can be argued as the foundation argument.

    In other words, if Gay Rights are not accounted for, then the Dignity of Human Rights is not sincerely served.

    I don’t think the Democrats understand this, and could easily paint their own style of graffiti onto the constitution like the Bush administraiton has these past 7 years.

    The Constitution is like a magnificant painting, and needs to be restored. Then Human Rights for all can be adequately regarded.

    Sincerely Yours,

    Orion Karl Daley
    Presidential Candidate for 2008
    for the Strategic Future of our nation
    Balanced Party http://unity2008.org
    New York, NY, USA –

    July 24, 2007 07:23 pm at 7:23 pm |