Thoughts, essays, and writings on Liberty. Written by the heirs of Patrick Henry.

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April 27, 2007

Rudy Giuliani Sells Out On Civil Unions

by Doug Mataconis

Back in February 2004, before he was running for President, Rudy Giuliani had this to say to Bill O’Reilly on the subject of civil unions for homosexuals:

On a February 2004 edition of Fox News’s “The O’Reilly Factor,” Mr. Giuliani told Bill O’Reilly, when asked if he supported gay marriage, “I’m in favor of … civil unions.”

He also said, “Marriage should be reserved for a man and a woman.” Asked by Mr. O’Reilly in the interview how he would respond to gay Americans who said being denied access to the institution of marriage violated their rights, Mr. Giuliani said: “That’s why you have civil partnerships. So now you have a civil partnership, domestic partnership, civil union, whatever you want to call it, and that takes care of the imbalance, the discrimination, which we shouldn’t have.” In 1998, as mayor of New York City, Mr. Giuliani signed into law a domestic partnership bill that a gay rights group, the Empire State Pride Agenda, hailed as setting “a new national benchmark for domestic partner recognition.”

Now that’s he’s running for President, though, Ryan Sager at the New York Sun notes a rather startling departure from his previous position:

In a startling departure from his previously stated position on civil unions, Mayor Giuliani came out to The New York Sun yesterday evening in opposition to the civil union law just passed by the New Hampshire state Senate.

” Mayor Giuliani believes marriage is between one man and one woman. Domestic partnerships are the appropriate way to ensure that people are treated fairly,” the Giuliani campaign said in a written response to a question from the Sun. “In this specific case the law states same sex civil unions are the equivalent of marriage and recognizes same sex unions from outside states. This goes too far and Mayor Giuliani does not support it.”

Why might Giuliani change his position like this ? I think it’s pretty obvious, actually. He’s running for the Republican nomination for President and he needs to pander to the Religious Right in order to win the nomination. He’s already changed his position on abortion, so it’s not surprising that he’d change his mind on this issue as well.

Because, you see, when all you care about is winning, what you believe really doesn’t matter.

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4 Comments

  1. You’ll have to explain further.

    Rudy doesn’t speak to the issue of Federalism in the first quote. In the second one, he speaks to it and makes it clear that he opposes the NH law because they recognize CI’s from other states.

    Really…I’m not sure why he cares that NH recognizes other CI’s, but it’s not obvious to me that it’s a flip-flop without more information. You may have a case of Rudy the Mayor would want civil unions available for his constituancy and even favors them (as long as they’re not equiv. to “marriage”), but Rudy the President will defer to states. That’s not an inconsistent position.

    Comment by AT QB — April 27, 2007 @ 12:59 pm
  2. It’s flip-floping at its best. He’s said that he supported domestic partnerships and civil unions, and that he supported states that called it either because they are the same thing to him.

    Apparently, it all changed in recent months since he’s going after NH’s for their support of civil unions.

    Comment by Wes — April 27, 2007 @ 4:47 pm
  3. 1998: Mr. Giuliani signed into law a domestic partnership bill that a gay rights group, the Empire State Pride Agenda.

    2004: “So now you have a civil partnership, domestic partnership, civil union, whatever you want to call it, and that takes care of the imbalance, the discrimination, which we shouldn’t have.”

    Now: “Domestic partnerships are the appropriate way to ensure that people are treated fairly.”

    IOW, he’s still good with what he deems “Domestic Partnership”. Seems like he simply wants to simply stop short of calling it “marriage” and while we can attack him on silly semantics, I don’t see how he’s been inconsistent.

    I’ll keep an eye on it, but this is a non-story as of now.

    Comment by AT QB — April 27, 2007 @ 6:43 pm
  4. Personally, I’d feel more comfortable making a determination if I knew the language of the NY bill vs. what the NH bill does.

    Comment by AT QB — April 27, 2007 @ 6:50 pm

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