In a video quietly released on his Web site last week, former Vice President Al Gore came out strongly in favor of gay marriage.
"I think that gay men and women ought to have the same rights as heterosexual men and women, to make contracts, to have hospital visiting rights, to join together in marriage," Gore said. "And I don’t understand why it is considered by some people to be a threat to heterosexual marriage to allow it by gays and lesbians. Shouldn’t we be promoting that kind of faithfulness and loyalty to one’s partner regardless of sexual orientation?
During his unsuccessful presidential campaign in 2000, Gore said he supported domestic partner benefits for gays and lesbians but opposed "changing the institution of marriage as it is presently understood -- between a man and a woman."
Gore hinted that he would come around to support same-sex marriage as early as 2006, when speaking to a group of gay-rights activists, but his latest comments represent Gore's first formal endorsement of equal marriage rights.