Kerryism of the Day
The senator's caveats and curlicues.
(For instructions on how to read a Kerryism, click
Question: If it were to come before you today for a vote, the issue of a constitutional amendment defining marriage as that between a man and a woman, would you vote yes or would you vote no?
Kerry: 1 2 About the rights, I believe that it is important in America not to di scriminate 3. I 4 believe that marriage is between a man and a woman. 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 I'm for civil union. I'm for partnership rights and the full measure of no ndiscrimination 12.
—Democratic presidential primary debate, Milwaukee, Wisc., Feb, 15, 2004
 But I also believe that we ought to be able to not let marriage and the concept get in the way of respecting the rights of people to be able to visit a partner in a hospital, to be able to pass on property, to be able to live under the equal protection clause of the United States.
Will Saletan covers science, technology, and politics for Slate and says a lot of things that get him in trouble.
Photograph of John Kerry by Marc Serota/Reuters.