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Straight Talk McCain Having Difficulty With the Press

CINCINNATI, Ohio — As we noted previously, Sen. John McCain took a pretty harsh position on whether gays should be allowed to adopt children in a recent interview with The New York Times. He appeared to imply that it is preferable for parent-less children to go un-adopted than be adopted by gay couples. Here’s an excerpt from the transcript:

President Bush believes that gay couples should not be permitted to adopt children. Do you agree with that?

I think that we’ve proven that both parents are important in the success of a family so, no I don’t believe in gay adoption.

Even if the alternative is the kid staying in an orphanage, or not having parents.

I encourage adoption and I encourage the opportunities for people to adopt children I encourage the process being less complicated so they can adopt as quickly as possible. And Cindy and I are proud of being adoptive parents.

But your concern would be that the couple should a traditional couple.

Yes.

Following an uproar from gay activists, the McCain campaign Tuesday offered a clarification of the presumptive Republican nominee’s position. From The Times:

“John McCain could have been clearer in the interview in stating that his position on gay adoption is that it is a state issue, just as he made it clear in the interview that marriage is a state issue,’’ Tucker Bounds, a campaign spokesman, said in a statement.“He was not endorsing any federal legislation.’’

Currently only Florida has a broad ban on gay adoptions, but Mississippi and Utah ban adoptions by same-sex couples but not necessarily by gay individuals, said Chris Edelson, the state legislative director for the Human Rights Campaign, a gay civil rights group.

Mr. McCain has been trying to appeal to the Republican Party’s conservative base without turning off independent and moderate voters. And while he is personally in sync with conservatives on many social issues – he opposes abortion rights and gay marriage, for instance – he sometimes appears uncomfortable discussing such issues.

“Senator McCain’s expressed his personal preference for children to be raised by a mother and a father wherever possible,” Mr. Bounds said in the statement. But the statement added, “He recognizes that there are many abandoned children who have yet to find homes. John McCain believes that in those situations that caring parental figures are better for the child than the alternative.”

Patrick Sammon, the president of Log Cabin Republicans, a gay Republican group, said in a statement: “We are pleased that Senator McCain clarified the remarks and we thank the Senator for once again re-iterating his belief that issues concerning marriage and family laws should be left up to the states — not the federal government.”

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