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Human Rights Campaign Applauds Cindy and Meghan McCain, Wife and Daughter of 2008 Republican Preside

January 21, 2010
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John McCain's Wife and Daughter Also Pose for Photos Lending Their Public Support to the NOH8 Campaign, An Effort Protesting California's Discriminatory Prop. 8 Law Banning Marriages for Same-Sex Couples

WASHINGTON - The Human Rights Campaign, the nation's largest lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) civil rights organization, applauded prominent Republicans Cindy and Meghan McCain, the wife and daughter of 2008 Republican presidential nominee Senator John McCain, for publicly standing up and voicing their support for marriage equality for same-sex couples. Cindy and Meghan McCain have lent their faces and efforts to the NOH8 campaign, which was formed to protest passage of Proposition 8, California's discriminatory anti-marriage law. Visit NOH8's website (http://www.noh8campaign.com) to see both McCains' photo endorsements of marriage equality.

"Cindy and Meghan McCain's outspoken, public support of full marriage equality for loving and committed same-sex couples further underscores that equality is not a liberal issue or a conservative issue," said Joe Solmonese, President of the Human Rights Campaign. "We are deeply grateful to Mrs. McCain for proactively reaching out and offering her support of our community's equality. In households throughout the country, families are talking about equality and minds are changing. The McCains are a prominent example, but they are not alone. Little by little, family member by family member, there is no doubt that our country is headed in the direction of full equality for the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender community, and Cindy and Meghan McCain's courageous decision to publicly stand up will certainly be a beacon for others to follow."

Unfortunately, Senator John McCain (R-AZ) quickly released an official statement from his Senate office reiterating his anti-marriage equality position and touting his past support for discriminatory measures. The statement reads, "Senator McCain respects the views of members of his family. The Senator chaired the effort to successfully pass Arizona Proposition 102, the Marriage Protection Amendment, and his opposition to gay marriage remains the same. Senator McCain believes the sanctity of marriage is only defined as between one man and one woman."

Solmonese continued, "Views like those touted in Senator McCain's statement are not only out of the mainstream in America, but are also clearly out of step in his own household. The fact is that millions of Americans are living in long-term, committed relationships that deserve to be treated fairly by our government. Anything less simply falls short of the founding tenants of our great country."

At this time, five states recognize marriage for same-sex couples under state law: Massachusetts, Connecticut, Iowa, Vermont and New Hampshire. The D.C. marriage law is likely to become effective on March 2, 2009. Five additional states - California, New Jersey, Oregon, Washington and Nevada - provide same-sex couples with access to the state-level benefits and responsibilities of marriage, through either civil unions or domestic partnerships.

Colorado, Hawaii, Maine, Maryland, Rhode Island and Wisconsin provide same-sex couples with limited rights and benefits. New York and Washington, D.C., recognize marriages of same-sex couples validly entered into outside of the jurisdiction.

California recognized marriages by same-sex couples between June and November of 2008, before voters approved Proposition 8, which purports to amend the state constitution to prohibit marriage equality. Couples married during that window remain married under California law, but all other same-sex couples can only receive a domestic partnership within the state. The state will recognize out-of-state same-sex marriages that occurred before November 5, 2008, as marriages, and those that occurred on or after November 5, 2008, as domestic partnerships. The Proposition 8 vote has been challenged in federal court a trial is currently under way in San Francisco.

Same-sex couples do not receive federal rights and benefits in any state. For an electronic map showing where marriage equality stands in the states, please visit: www.HRC.org/State-Laws .

The Human Rights Campaign is America's largest civil rights organization working to achieve lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender equality. By inspiring and engaging all Americans, HRC strives to end discrimination against LGBT citizens and realize a nation that achieves fundamental fairness and equality for all.

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