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From Kerry To Obama

Barack Obama is a better candidate than his predecessor John Kerry in at least one important sense: he opposes a state constitutional amendment to ban gay marriage, namely, in California. Over the weekend, Obama released a letter saying: "I oppose the divisive and discriminatory efforts to amend the California Constitution, and similar efforts to amend the U.S. Constitution or those of other states."

That's quite a departure from the position Kerry and his runningmate, John Edwards, took in 2004. Indeed, the two couldn't find an anti-gay marriage amendment that they didn't support, swooping into states and urging Democrats to vote against civic equality. Kerry went so far as to endorse the effort in his home state of Massachusetts to reverse a 2003 state supreme court ruling mandating gay marriage, putting him in the unique position of supporting the repeal -- and not just denial -- of rights for gay couples. With John McCain now supporting the California amendment, he too earns that dubious honor.

In many ways, Barack Obama is just another politician. Here's an exception.  

--James Kirchick