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 Kerry: Homosexuality not a sin

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ALBUQUERQUE, July 10 -- President Bush has governed in a dishonest fashion, trampling values on every issue except fighting terrorism and leaving voters "clamoring for restoration of credibility and trust in the White House again," John F. Kerry and John Edwards said in an interview.

The value of truth is one of the most central values in America, and this administration has violated" it, Kerry said in an interview with The Washington Post aboard the Democrats' campaign plane Friday. "Their values system is distorted and not based on truth."

The Democratic nominee and his running mate said it was that kind of anger toward the president that prompted entertainers at Thursday's Democratic fundraising concert in New York to attack Bush as a "cheap thug" and a killer. "Obviously some performers, in my judgment and John's, stepped over a line neither of us believes appropriate, but we can't control that," Kerry said. "On the other hand, we understand the anger, we understand the frustration."

Kerry and Edwards said they would return to the Senate to oppose a constitutional amendment banning gay marriage, but only for a final vote. With debate set to begin next week on the amendment proposed by the president, Kerry emphatically reaffirmed the ticket's position that marriage is between a man and a woman.

"Let's be very firm about it. Both John and I believe firmly and absolutely that marriage is between a man and a woman," Kerry said. "But we also believe that you don't play with the Constitution of the United States for political purposes and amend the Bill of Rights when you don't need to when states are adequately addressing this issue."

Kerry, who recently said he agrees with the Roman Catholic Church that life begins at conception, said he disagrees with his church's teaching that homosexuality is a sin. Edwards twice did not respond when asked if he, too, believes life begins at conception.


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SI Moderator - Greg Gordon

 2004/7/12 11:05Profile
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 Re: Kerry: Homosexuality not a sin

Bush bashing at Kerry fundraiser criticized

HOLLYWOOD STARS GIVE PRESIDENT A TONGUE-LASHING; GOP URGES DEMOCRAT'S CAMP TO REPUDIATE REMARKS

By Thomas Fitzgerald

Knight Ridder


NEW YORK - Hollywood stars at a Democratic fundraiser here late Thursday night ripped President Bush as a liar, ``another cheap thug'' and a killer in a night of Bush bashing that put the Kerry team on the defensive and provoked widespread criticism.

Both Sens. John Kerry and John Edwards were on stage at Radio City Music Hall as the stars uttered their remarks. Neither one rebuked them. Kerry, in fact, said that every performer ``conveyed the heart and soul of America.''

Friday, Republicans called on the Kerry campaign to repudiate the remarks and to release a videotape of the concert so people can judge for themselves.

``If John Kerry is going to praise last night's star-studded hate-fest and characterize it as the `heart and soul' of America, he should share these values with voters everywhere,'' said Bush campaign manager, Ken Mehlman.

Kerry campaign officials said they wouldn't release a videotape of the concert, but they also sought to distance themselves from the spicier remarks and tone of the event, while defending the First Amendment rights of the performers.

``The performers last night were speaking for themselves,'' said Kerry campaign manager Mary Beth Cahill. ``He does not approve of some of the remarks, and he has made that clear.''

The controversy came as the struggle to define the mainstream values at the center of the campaign intensified. Bush was in Pennsylvania on Friday to counter Kerry's claim last week that he represented the ``conservative values'' of the heartland. Kerry and Edwards have argued that fighting for the middle class is a truer measure of moral values than what they call the divisive social issues used by Republicans.

Bush lashed out at Kerry, labeling him an indecisive, far-left liberal and said he was ``out of step with the mainstream values that are so important to our country.'' The speech marked Bush's toughest attack against Kerry about values.

At the gala concert Thursday, attended by 6,000 people, many of the stars of political Hollywood savaged Bush and his administration.

Actress Meryl Streep attacked Bush's frequent references to his religious faith.

``I wondered to myself through the shock and awe, I wondered which of the mega-ton bombs Jesus, our president's personal savior, would have personally dropped on the sleeping families in Baghdad,'' Streep said.

Comedian Whoopi Goldberg caused nervous laughter, and uncomfortable looks from Kerry and Edwards, when she repeatedly referred to the new vice presidential candidate as ``kid'' -- and made off-color sexual puns on the president's name.

Even a song written for the fundraiser captured the vehemence of the night. In a song called ``Texas Bandido,'' John Mellencamp wrote, ``He's just another cheap thug that sacrifices our young. . . . You're going to get us killed with your little white lies.''

In a statement Friday, Sen. Zell Miller of Georgia said he was saddened, but not surprised that Kerry didn't challenge the commentary. ``Last night John Kerry held a fundraiser in New York that featured performers in a time of war calling the president of the United States a killer, a cheap thug and a liar. John Kerry just sat there, grinning like a mule eating briars,'' said Miller, a conservative Democrat.


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Mike Balog

 2004/7/12 11:35Profile





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