The democratic presidential candidate John Kerry chose Senator John Edwards as his running mate on Tuesday, July 6, 2004. Immediate after the announcement, groups on both pro-family and pro-life debate gave a “zero-percent approval rating” for Edwards, while groups on the pro-gay and pro-abortion debate gave “100-percent approval” ratings for the new addition.
The evangelical-run Family Research Council released a statement on June 6, entitled, “Both John Kerry and John Edwards Have 0% Ratings from Family Research Council, and 100% Ratings from NARAL,” where FRC’s president Tony Perkins criticized the liberal policies of both politicians.
“Today John Kerry has selected a vice presidential candidate whose Senate record mirrors his own. Both John Kerry and John Edwards have a zero percent rating from FRC, and a 100 percent rating from NARAL Pro-Choice America, and both men have a history of opposing judicial nominees simply because of their deeply held religious beliefs,” Perkins wrote.
Meanwhile, the Baptist Press – the newsletter of the evangelical Southern Baptist Convention – noted the “similar positions on abortion, same-sex ‘marriage’” that Kerry and Edwards have.
“Both men oppose the Federal Marriage Amendment, support legalizing Vermont-style civil unions and favor eliminating the military's "don't ask, don't tell" policy. In addition, both voted against the partial-birth abortion ban and have touted their pro-choice records,” the BP stated.
“After Kerry's announcement homosexual activist groups and abortion rights groups praised the selection of Edwards, saying that the North Carolina senator has been a leader for both pro-choice and "GLBT" (gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender) issues,” the BP continued.
The pro-family Baptist Press also listed several instances during which Kerry and Edwards commented in favor of gay “marriage.
“-- Both oppose the Defense of Marriage Act, which prevents the federal government from recognizing same-sex "marriage" and gives states the option of doing the same. While Edwards was not in the Senate when DOMA passed in 1996, he said in a debate Feb. 26 that he would have voted against it.
-- Both believe the federal government should recognize the same-sex "marriages" of individual states such as Massachusetts. Right now, the Defense of Marriage Act prevents that from happening.
"If California chooses to recognize same-sex marriage, that's fine," Edwards said on the "Tonight Show with Jay Leno" in February. "If Massachusetts chooses to recognize it, then the federal government ought to honor that."
-- Both oppose Bush's call for passage of the Federal Marriage Amendment. In February Edwards released a statement saying he opposes same-sex "marriage," but adding that individual states should be allowed to legalize it if they wish.
"I ... oppose President Bush's attempt to amend the Constitution to ban gay marriage," Edwards said. "Washington has no business playing politics with this issue. Marriage is left to the states today, and should remain with the states."
Bush argues that without a constitutional amendment, the federal courts will legalize same-sex "marriage".
-- During the campaign both have touted their pro-choice records.
Edwards released a statement in January, celebrating the anniversary of Roe v. Wade.
"You and I know that since the Supreme Court handed down this landmark decision, forces have been hard at work trying to overturn it," he said. "When it comes to a woman's right to choose, there is no choice: I support it and will protect it one hundred percent.
"The president and the Republican Leadership have one goal in mind-to over turn Roe v Wade-and we have a million reasons and ways to stop them and we will start by taking back the White House in 2004." the BP wrote.
The 51-year old Senator John Edwards is a Southern Baptist-turned United Methodist from North Carolina. In an interview with the liberal Interfatih Alliance last year, Edwards explained that his personal faith impacts his public life.
“My faith has been enormous to me in my personal life, and of course my personal life is a big impact on my political life," he said.
However, Edwards added that his personal faith should not come in the way of his political life, since Church and State should be strictly separated.
“It's not healthy for the American people. I mean, over the long term our country, our nation, will be much better off if we make it clear that we are a nation that lifts up and embraces all faiths and we will not use faith for political purposes,” said Edwards.