This undated image provided by Adam Bouska/NOH8 Campaign shows Cindy McCain, the wife of Sen. John McCain, R-Ariz., posing for the NOH8 campaign. NOH8 is a gay rights group challenging Proposition 8 passed by California voters in 2008 banning same sex marriage. (AP Photo/Adam Bouska/NOH8 Campaign) NO SALES
While lady McCain has quietly expressed support for gay marriage in the past, the photo represents a dramatic split from Sen. McCain's belief that "the sanctity of marriage is only defined as between one man and one woman," according to a statement from the senator's office. NOH8 said Cindy McCain reached out to them to pose for the picture -- and praised her for willingly embracing a view very unpopular with the Republican Party. How did observers react?
Jesse Baron, of gayvantage.com, said Cindy's stance almost makes John McCain more likeable. "I cannot help but to wonder if the 2008 Presidential elections would have went differently if John McCain would have said that his family supports gay marriage," Baron writes. "He very well could have been President today since he lost by such a small margin."
McCain’s daughter Meghan tweeted that she “couldn't be more proud” of her mother and nearly cried during the photo shoot. “I think more Republicans need to start taking a stand for equality," she wrote.
Shewired.com's Veronica Lane is hopeful that it "could be a sign that the times are changing and embracing such changes just may not be a bad idea." "We are surprised at such unanticipated support. Is this the Cindy we all knew to be that staunch republican with a narrow outlook on equality? On a positive aspect, it could be true that not all republicans are anti-gay marriage."
Celebrity blogger Perez Hilton was delighted by the development. "We couldn't be more pleased to see Cindy take part in this issue because her support proves the one point we've always tried to promote," he writes. "This is a human rights issue. It has nothing to do with being a Democrat or Republican." "If only we could get this kind of response from our First Lady!" he said.
Stephanie Condon of CBS' Political Hotsheet blog points to another woman who has split with Sen. McCain on gay marriage -- Sarah Palin, albeit in the opposite direction. "John McCain has typically taken a more moderate position on the issue of gay marriage than conservative Republicans, saying it is an issue of states' rights, prompting his 2008 running mate Sarah Palin to break with him on the issue during the campaign," she writes. Condon notes that McCain announced Wednesday that Palin will campaign with him as he runs for re-election in Arizona, "a move that should bolster his credentials with conservative voters."