By Peter J. Smith

LOS ANGELES, May 22, 2008 (LifeSiteNews.com) - Ellen Degeneres told audiences today on her daytime comedy show "Ellen" that Republican presidential nominee John McCain is something of a comedian, before introducing him on the program.  Unfortunately for McCain, telling the famous lesbian comedian he wished her every happiness as she enters into her gay "marriage" is one act that pro-family advocates may find more flat than comic to their ears.

Degeneres introduced McCain first by mentioning that the 71-year old Arizona senator proved he had a comic streak in him on Saturday Night Live, where he appeared in a number of skits and made quips about his age.

However, Degeneres, who is to "marry" longtime lesbian partner Portia de Rossi, dedicated part of the interview to challenge McCain about his views on gay "marriage."

"It’s obvious to me that [same-sex "marriage"] is only fair, only right, only natural, and what are your thoughts," said Degeneres.

"My thoughts are that I think people should be able to enter into legal agreements and I think that is something that we should encourage, particularly in the case of insurance and other areas where decisions that have to be made," responded McCain, referring to his preference for civil unions.   

"I just believe in the unique status of marriage as between man and woman and I know we have a respectful disagreement on that issue."

However, Degeneres pressed McCain to justify how his logic of giving homosexuals a legal contract for their unions, but not marriage, was in any way different from denying equal rights to blacks and women in the United States. Degeneres mentioned that black citizens got the right to vote in 1870, while women received suffrage in 1920.

 "There’s this old way of thinking that we’re not the same. We’re all the same people, all of us, your no different than me, our love is the same," Degeneres said to wild applause from the crowd.

"To me what it feels like - I will speak for myself - it feels like when someone says you will have a contract you’ll still have insurance and you’ll get all that, it sounds to me like saying ‘you can sit there, you just can’t see there,’" continued Degeneres.  "It feels like we are not, you know, we aren’t owed the same things and the same wording."

Advocates of traditional marriage have argued that marriage is by nature a binding union between a man and a woman for the sake of the generation of new children and raising them in a family. Perhaps pro-marriage advocates had been waiting for McCain to demonstrate some intellectual depth on the issue or some well-reasoned defense of his convictions, but McCain instead settled on a flaccid response.

"I’ve heard you articulate that position in very eloquent fashion. I have a disagreement and I along with many, many others wish you every happiness," said McCain weakly.

"So you’ll walk me down the aisle then," teased Degeneres.

"Touché," responded McCain in a voice that was drowned out in a roar of laughter.