California Republican gubernatorial candidate Meg Whitman, the billionaire former CEO of eBay, was a major supporter of Proposition 8, the recently passed ban on same-sex marriages. But in her first policy interview since declaring her intent to run for office, Whitman now says marriages before the ban should be recognized.
"I don't know the answer to that question," Whitman responded when asked her stand on school vouchers, a perennial issue of importance to the conservatives who dominate her party's primary.
Views that could potentially attract or alienate all manner of voters emerged on the subject of gay marriage.
Explaining her support for Proposition 8, the November measure that banned same-sex marriage, she called it a "matter of personal conscience and my faith."
But Whitman, a Presbyterian who supports gay civil unions, said the thousands of same-sex marriages that took place last year before the ban should be legally recognized—a sentiment opposed by many Proposition 8 backers. Moreover, she said, gay and lesbian couples should be able to adopt children.
Whitman did not register as a Republican until 2007 and says she was too "busy" to vote in many California elections. "As an 'extraordinarily busy' mother and traveling executive, she said, she 'didn't vote as often as I should, and it's something I regret. And no good excuses for it. Wish I had. Should have.' "
Coulda woulda shoulda ...
Adoption by gay couples in California is not necessarily a controversial issue in California. Whitman's triangulation on gay marriages performed before the ban—now that's bound to cause some problems in the primary. It is timely to note that Whitman described herself as a Presbyterian who supports civil unions. This week the Presbyterian Church USA announced it was forming a committee to study same sex unions and would issue a report by 2010.
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