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Glenn Youngkin finally admits he opposes marriage equality although he loves “everyone”

Glenn Youngkin
Glenn YoungkinPhoto: Kate Magee Joyce

After previously declining to answer the question publicly, Virginia’s Republican gubernatorial candidate Glenn Youngkin finally acknowledged that he remains opposed to marriage equality in an interview this week.

Right before Youngkin’s staff ended the interview and refused to discuss the candidate’s policy proposals, the Associated Press asked Youngkin whether he supports marriage equality. “No,” he simply responded.

Related: How the extreme right is weaponizing bigotry to campaign in Virginia

AP further reports that Youngkin went on to say that he finds it “legally acceptable” in Virginia, and clarified that “I, as governor, will support that.” The interview ended shortly thereafter.

The topic came up in regards to the Holy Trinity Church, a nondenominational church that the Youngkins were part of founding. According to AP, “It was important to the Youngkins that the church offer an evangelical faith education course called Alpha, which Youngkin has said he’s taken.”

Caren Merrick, a fellow worshipper at Holy Trinity with the Youngkin family who also works as the CEO of an initiative started by Youngkin recently, told AP that faith “informs everything he does.”

Still, Youngkin also told the publication that he believes he’s “called to love everyone.”

Youngkin’s opponent in the gubernatorial race, former Gov. Terry McAuliffe, said in response that “As governor, I worked my heart out to keep Virginia open and welcoming to all. This type of bigotry and intolerance has no place in our commonwealth.”

He added, “I was proud to be the first Southern governor to officiate a same-sex wedding,” and that he’ll “ALWAYS stand up for marriage equality,” no matter what the law says.

This is the first definitive answer Youngkin has given about his stance on LGBTQ rights since his campaign began. This summer, the New York Times tried to ask him about his stance on marriage equality, and he dodged answering the question. The Times reported that Youngkin “declined to say” whether he supported the right to marry for all or not, and instead he considers himself to be a standard “conservative.”

While he has worked hard to avoid actually saying he doesn’t support marriage equality, Youngkin’s actions as a candidate have been more clear. He’s repeatedly denigrated trans people, referred to trans youth as “biological males” who are “not fair” for trying to participate in sports, and was recently honored at a gala by an anti-LGBTQ group — which itself was supported by hate groups and Trump-affiliated organizations.

The keynote speaker at the event was Trump’s former White House Press Secretary Kayleigh McEnany, who once proclaimed that the man who banned trans military personnel had “a great record when it comes to LGBT issues.”

While Youngkin has the endorsement of the Log Cabin Republicans, he also has the endorsement of Donald Trump himself and the Family Research Council, another anti-LGBTQ group deemed a hate group by the Southern Poverty Law Center.

Meanwhile, McAuliffe has endorsements from President Joe Biden, current Gov. Ralph Northam (D), and the Human Rights Campaign.

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