Senator Claire McCaskill suggested gun law would open door to gay marriage

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Senator Claire McCaskillSenator Claire McCaskill suggested yesterday if a concealed weapons law she had voted against had actually passed, it could have set a precedent for forcing states, like her home state of Missouri, to recognize another state’s gay marriage laws.

Sen. McCaskill says she was not against letting people carry concealed weapons. But she is against requiring one state to accept another state’s laws that might differ from its own. She says it would be a foot in the door that could allow Vermont’s laws on gay marriage to be enforced in Missouri, which has a constitutional provision against gay marriage.

McCaskill says many of the supporters of the proposal are advocates for states’ rights, but they want to override states’ rights on carrying concealed weapons.

McCaskill audio available here:


Senator McCaskill has since attempted to clarify her position via email.
(via Pam’s House Blend)

“In talking about my recent vote against the gun provision offered in the Senate, I wasn’t clear when I stated that my vote against that provision was because it came down to a states’ rights. I was expressing my frustration in that some who argue that states shouldn’t respect the laws, certificates, or permits from other states when it’s convenient, like with gay marriage, but then argue that they should when it’s convenient on another issue, like gun rights. They can’t have it both ways,” McCaskill said.

While it is true that Republicans are demonstrating hypocrisy with regards to state’s rights on this issue, based on McCaskill’s original statement, it really sounds like she thinks DOMA is a “good” idea.

PROMO, The Missouri LGBT advocacy group has responded to McCaskill’s comments today:

In a statement defending her opposition to this bill, she [McCaskill] stated: “This is a foot in the door that would require, for example, the laws in Vermont on gay marriage to be enforced in Missouri.”

This is a problem. A state’s rights argument is valid in this situation, however it is inconceivable that an ally can support Hate Crimes legislation- which recognizes the LGBT community is a target of increased abuse, intolerance and aggressive force- but uses a touchstone issue for the community as a shield rather than stand alone on an anti-gun sentiment.

In a time when we have seen incredible strides on a state by state basis, we have turned a corner and will not tolerate being used as a shield. Please reach out to Sen. McCaskill’s office and let her know while she is an ally, you won’t tolerate being used as a shield. The numbers listed are below for local and DC offices.

Gay Republicans have also expressed particular outrage over McCaskill’s comments, an outrage likely fueled more by the fact that McCaskill is a Democrat and their strong support of the concealed weapons law, than anything about gay marriage.

Post by ILO on 07/23/09 at 2:29 pm