Kerryism of the Day.

The senator's caveats and curlicues.
June 18 2004 9:31 AM

Kerryism of the Day

The senator's caveats and curlicues.

What did he say?
What did he say?

(For instructions on how to read a Kerryism, click here.)

William Saletan William Saletan

Will Saletan writes about politics, science, technology, and other stuff for Slate. He’s the author of Bearing Right.

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

[1] Well, it depends on the terminology

[2] because it depends on what it does with respect to civil unions and partnership rights.

[3] with respect to rights

[5] 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.

[6] And the question is whether or not that can be put in the Constitution.

[7] We will see what will happen.

[8] But my personal opinion has been—

[10] today

[11] that marriage is between a man and a woman.

[12] within those rights

Verbatim:

Well, it depends on the terminology, because it depends on what it does with respect to civil unions and partnership rights. About the rights, I believe that it is important in America not to discriminate with respect to rights. I personally believe that marriage is between a man and a woman. 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. And the question is whether or not that can be put in the Constitution. We will see what will happen. But my personal opinion has been—is today—that marriage is between a man and a woman. I'm for civil union. I'm for partnership rights and the full measure of nondiscrimination within those rights.

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