07/23/2008 05:12 am ET Updated May 25, 2011

McCain Backs Off Radical Stance On Gay Adoption

In an interview last weekend with the New York Times, John McCain stated definitively that he opposes adoption rights for gay and lesbian couples. Asked if he agreed with President Bush that gay couples should not be permitted to adopt, he said: "I think that we've proven that both parents are important in the success of a family so, no, I don't believe in gay adoption."

But now he's backing off that stance with a statement sent to Andrew Sullivan from Jill Hazelbaker, McCain's Director of Communications:

McCain could have been clearer in the interview in stating that his position on gay adoption is that it is a state issue, just as he made it clear in the interview that marriage is a state issue. He was not endorsing any federal legislation.

McCain's expressed his personal preference for children to be raised by a mother and a father wherever possible. However, as an adoptive father himself, McCain believes children deserve loving and caring home environments, and he recognizes that there are many abandoned children who have yet to find homes. McCain believes that in those situations that caring parental figures are better for the child than the alternative.

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