Cindy McCain, Gay Marriage Advocate

| Fri Jan. 22, 2010 3:19 PM EST

When I first saw Cindy McCain's striking Prop 8 ad, I assumed it was in favor of the legislation banning gay marriage in California. This is a woman who exudes upper-crust traditionalism. Of course she would be against gay marriage.

So I was shocked when I found out the ad is for gay marriage

I'm not the only one who's surprised. The website for NOH8, the group the ad is for, notes:

In the year since we've started the…campaign, we've often been surprised at some of the different individuals who have approached us showing their support. Few, though, have surprised us more than Cindy McCain.

The decision has partly been chalked up to the influence of Cindy's daughter Meghan, a vocal gay marriage proponent who's stirred up her own controversy this week by agreeing to speak at George Washington University's upcoming "Gay Marriage Equality Week." (This actually isn't the first time Meghan has recruited her mom in the gay rights cause).

In fact, Meghan's influence may be the most telling part of the whole thing. As Stephanie Mencimer reports in the current issue of Mother Jones, the GOP is increasingly coming up against its young contingent of gay marriage supporters. Cindy may well be the product of a larger generational and cultural shift, whether Republicans want to admit it or not.

As the NOH8 website puts it: 

Cindy McCain wanted to participate in the campaign to show people that party doesn’t matter—marriage equality isn’t a Republican issue any more than it is a Democratic issue. It’s about human rights, and everybody being treated equally in the eyes of the law that runs and protects this country.
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