McCain Camp Backpedaling Fast from Strong Stand on Gay Adoption

Wed Jul 16, 2008 - 12:15 pm EST

By Peter J. Smith

NEW YORK, July 16, 2008 ( - After getting flack from homosexualist lobby groups, the McCain campaign is now backing away fast from the Republican senator and presidential nominee’s strong stand against same-sex couples adopting children.

Sen. John McCain told the New York Times in an interview published on Sunday’s front page that he was very much opposed to adoption by homosexual couples. The Republican candidate also appeared to reject the notion that a child’s adoption by a homosexual couple would be better than remaining in the orphanage until adoption by a traditional heterosexual couple. (

When asked by the Times: "President Bush believes that gay couples should not be permitted to adopt children. Do you agree with that?" McCain answered: "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."

The Times pressed the question: "Even if the alternative is the kid staying in an orphanage, or not having parents." McCain responded: "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."

The Times again pressed the question: "But your concern would be that the couple should be a traditional couple."  McCain answered: "Yes."

McCain’s vigorous position on gay adoption wilted Tuesday after a shower of criticism from homosexual lobby groups led the McCain campaign to issue a clarification that indicates the Arizona Senator is now open to adoptions by homosexual couples as a last resort.

"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," the campaign said in a statement. "He was not endorsing any federal legislation."

"McCain’s expressed his personal preference for children to be raised by a mother and a father wherever possible," it continued.

"However, as an adoptive father himself, McCain believes children deserve loving and caring home environments, and he recognizes that there are many abandoned children who have yet to find homes. McCain believes that in those situations that caring parental figures are better for the child than the alternative."

The McCain camp has made it a priority not to upset its base of moderate and independent voters, while it reaches out to conservative voters still unconvinced that McCain has strong core convictions on their issues.

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