Neither Senators Barack Obama nor John McCain feel particularly comfortable talking about gay marriage as a campaign issue.”Both have this nuanced ‘On the one hand and on the other hand’ need-to-explain position, and I think that makes it difficult for either to take a stand,” says David Domke, a University of Washington professor, in an interview with National Public Radio’s “All Things Considered.” The NPR story, which aired Monday evening, contains statements made by each candidate, in public forums, which would seem to fit Domke’s analysis. But the story also suggests–unsurprisingly–that this is more problematic for McCain, who needs support from conservative evangelical Protestants who rallied around George W. Bush. As evidence, NPR quotes the head of the Family Research Council who warns that if McCain is reticent on publicly opposing gay marriage, he can count on conservatives to step into the gap and bring the issue up for him. And it is an issue, the council head says, that “motivates the grassroots.”

Speaking of “All Things Considered,” the Monday program also contained an interview about politics with the Rev. Rick Warren, author of the bestseller, “The Purpose-Driven Life.” Warren, who calls himself “neutral” in the campaign, is planning to host both Obama and McCain at a forum at his Saddleback Valley Community Church on Aug. 16. Warren once declared there were a handful of bedrock issues–opposition to abortion and gay marriage among them. His views have not changed, but his agenda has since “expanded dramatically,” he tells NPR. He calls himself “whole-life,” concerned not simply with abortion, but the welfare of a child once he or she is born. If you are curious about where the candidates will share a stage before their conventions, the story will provide some details.



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