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Media Matters: Associated Press misled on McCain's position on same-sex unions

News release:

AP misled on McCain's position on "an amendment to the Constitution to ban same-sex unions"

http://mediamatters.org/items/200805220008?f=h_latest

Summary: The Associated Press reported that Sen. John McCain "opposes an amendment to the Constitution to ban same-sex unions." In fact, in a March appearance on Hannity & Colmes, McCain said he supports amendments to state constitutions to ban same-sex marriage and would also support an amendment to the federal Constitution banning same-sex marriage if necessary.

In a May 21 article previewing a discussion between Sen. John McCain and talk show host Ellen DeGeneres about gay marriage, which was scheduled to air on the May 22 edition of The Ellen DeGeneres Show, the Associated Press reported simply that McCain "opposes an amendment to the Constitution to ban same-sex unions." In fact, according to remarks McCain made on Fox News in March, he supports amendments to state constitutions to ban same-sex marriage and would also support an amendment to the federal Constitution banning same-sex marriage if necessary. McCain stated: "I believe that states like mine and other states ... should amend our state constitutions. And I will stick to that position until such time, if ever, a higher court says that my state or another state has to recognize the other stat -- another status of marriage." He added, "I'm committed to maintaining the unique status of marriage between man and woman. I think it can best be accomplished, and in keeping with my federalist philosophy that states should do as much as possible to have that done at the state level. ... But if it is overturned by a superior court, I will then obviously support the other path."

As Media Matters for America has noted, in 2006, McCain supported Arizona's Proposition 107, a state constitutional amendment that would have banned same-sex marriage and civil unions.

From the March 13 edition of Fox News' Hannity & Colmes:

SEAN HANNITY (co-host): Got a call from a lot of people and they knew I was going to interview you today --

McCAIN: Sure.

HANNITY: -- and I think one of the areas that came up the most was, would you leave the pro-life language in the platform --

McCAIN: Sure.

HANNITY: -- and the marriage amendment in the platform?

McCAIN: Yes. But as you know, I believe that the states should make these decisions on the marriage amendment. I am a federalist, and I believe that states like mine and other states that we should amend our state constitutions. And I will stick to that position until such time, if ever, a higher court says that my state or another state has to recognize the other stat -- another status of marriage.

I'm committed to maintaining the unique status of marriage between man and woman. I think it can best be accomplished, and in keeping with my federalist philosophy that states should do as much as possible to have that done at the state level.

HANNITY: One last question --

McCAIN: But if it is overturned by a superior court, I will then obviously support the other path.

From the May 21 Associated Press article:

"And I know that we have a respectful disagreement on that issue," the likely Republican presidential nominee said in an interview to air Thursday on "The Ellen DeGeneres show."

McCain, who also opposes an amendment to the Constitution to ban same-sex unions, said people should be encouraged to enter into legal agreements, particularly for insurance and other areas where decisions need to be made.

DeGeneres needled McCain on the issue, arguing that she and the senator from Arizona aren't different.

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