Afternoon Read: Kaine Skirts Questions on Gay Marriage - NBC4 Washington
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Afternoon Read: Kaine Skirts Questions on Gay Marriage



    Former Virginia governor and Democratic Senate hopeful Tim Kaine was pressed Tuesday on his views of gay marriage.

    The questioning came just days after Vice President Joe Biden made off-the-cuff remarks on national television in support of gay marriage, leaving the Obama administration scrambling for ways to tell the public that it is not in favor of gay marriage without equivocally coming down against it.

    Kaine took a similar non-committal stance, saying he's for "legal equality of relationships" without stating a position on civil unions or gay marriage.

    According to The Hill, Kaine was speaking at the centrist Democratic think tank Third Way in Washington when he argued that gay couples should have the same legal rights as straight ones, but would not say whether he personally supported gay marriages.

    Via The Hill:

    "The underlying issue is, should committed couples have the same legal rights and responsibilities? and the answer to that is an unequivocal yes," he said. "I believe in the legal equality of relationships. The debate about 'Is it marriage, is it a civil union, is it domestic partnership?' — I kind of let that one go, and say the legal issue is, Should committed couples be treated the same by law? And I think the answer is yes. Just as we do now, churches would be able to make their own decisions about which relationships they'd want to celebrate — that wouldn't change — but as a matter of law I do fundamentally believe that couples should be treated equally."

    Kaine is a strict Catholic and, according to the Hill, often says that legal and religious views should be kept separate. For instance, he said again Tuesday that while he is personally against abortions, he does not think the government should be making “people’s moral decisions for them.”

    Kaine is running for a U.S. Senate seat against Republican George Allen, who is also a former Virginia governor. With all national eyes on the race, the latest polls put the two at a statistical tie.

    * D.C. tourists spent $6 billion in the city in 2011, an increase of more than 6 percent from the previous year, according to Destination DC.

    Via Washington Times:

    “The tax dollars that meetings and tourism bring to our city are critical to the economic health of our city and the quality of life of Washingtonians,” said President and CEO of Destination DC Elliott Ferguson.

    * The campaign finance reports are in for next week’s special election in Ward 5 and, according to Washington City Paper, the race could be a close one that comes down to who is able to get voters to the polls.

    The campaign finance reports show that Frank Wilds has a huge lead in the amount of cash he has on hand.

    Wilds has more than $45,000 left to spend in the final days of the race. WCP reports that he personally donated $18,500 of this money to his campaign.

    Candidate Kenyan McDuffie has raised more than $93,000 this campaign, but only has $14,000 left to spend this next week.

    * Gov. Martin O'Malley, Senate President Thomas V. Mike Miller and House Speaker Michael E. Busch are scheduled to hold a news conference Wednesday morning to lay out plans for the upcoming special session, according to The Baltimore Sun.

    The May 14 special session is expected to be a session focused on fixing the state’s budget by implementing an income tax hike plan.

    * D.C. has agreed to pay about $20,000 to four drivers who say their drunk driving convictions were based on faulty breath machines, according to court documents filed Monday.

    The AP reports that the men are part of a group of drivers challenging DUI convictions, arguing that the devices used by D.C. police to measure their blood alcohol content were inaccurately calibrated and had produced erroneously high results.

    D.C. police and prosecutors revealed two years ago that nearly 400 people had been convicted of DUIs based on faulty machines that showed drivers as having higher blood-alcohol concentrations than they actually had.