John Kerry's position on gay marriage -- he supports civil unions, but stops there -- may not thrill gay and lesbian delegates at the convention, but they know there's little choice but to support him. Consider their alternative. When the singer Carole King spoke to GLBT delegates at a caucus meeting this afternoon at the Democratic convention, they gave her a boisterous round of applause when she said: "I don't agree with [John Kerry's] stance on gay marriage." But, showing just how intent they are to get rid of Bush, delegates applauded with almost equal vigor when she said they all had to get over it. "I think he will eventually come to where we are on it," King said. "I want to ask you go a little extra. There's a difference between saying we're supporting him because he's not as bad as the other guy ... This is a good man who has been your advocate for many, many years. Let's do this with enthusiasm."
For the most part, the GLBT delegates did seem truly energized to support John Kerry. The Democratic platform language contained strong opposition to the amendment banning gay marriage, and called for supporting gay families and protecting gay Americans from hate crimes. King told Salon it didn't bother her that Kerry didn't take that extra step of supporting gay marriage, and she didn't think pro-gay marriage Democrats should pressure him to come to their position. "John Kerry feels as as he feels," King said. "I don't think pushing him should be the objective, we should be pushing America toward change. John Kerry's stand on gay marriage has not stopped him from being an advocate. He has been a leader in the area he's comfortable with," and she mentioned his support of legislation for equal benefits and protections, and against hate crimes and gay-bashing. "He's not out there carrying the banner. The movement has to come from the grass roots."