Thursday, February 26, 2004

Kerry's not-so-gay moment. If an amendment to the state constitution banning gay marriage passes the legislature on March 11, Senator John Kerry will have had a lot to do with it. Perhaps it's not fair to be too critical, since the position he takes in today's Boston Globe - for a marriage ban, but also for civil unions - is exactly the one he's taken throughout the presidential campaign.

Still, it's disheartening that the man who would be president is now helping to enshrine discrimination in the Massachusetts Constitution. What would John Adams say?

The defeat of three amendments earlier this month was cause for celebration, but it obscured a fundamental fact: an overwhelming majority of legislators is in favor of a gay-marriage ban. The only disagreement is over civil unions - whether to guarantee them in the constitution, or to leave them to the whims of the legislature.

Kerry's statement will likely hasten the process of the moderates and conservatives finding language they can all agree on - leaving progressives out in the cold. It's a shame.

Certainly Kerry knows that whatever he does, the gay and lesbian community will find him infinitely preferable to George W. Bush. By siding with the right-wing extremists in his own party (read Howard Kurtz's round-up of media reaction), Bush has left the middle wide open to Kerry.

But Kerry shouldn't be allowed to skate on this, either.

New in this week's Phoenix. Dick Cheney's old company, Halliburton, is racking up negative headlines every day. But here's a Halliburton story you rarely hear about: an accusation being investigated in three countries that the company, while Cheney was CEO, was involved in an alleged $180 million bribe to the former Nigerian government.

Also, talk-radio legend David Brudnoy plots his latest comeback.

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