|Luckily for us, Vivian Paige managed to get video of this question.
Deeds answered first. He smiled, nervously complaining the topic was no longer teacher salaries. Acknowledging that it was a major issue, he stuttered and stumbled, before finally declaring that it wasn't a state issue.
No matter what he says, neither side will completely trust him. After voting for the Marshall-Newman amendment as a State Senator, he flipped against it by Election Day 2006, and has been struggling to explain to both camps since why he switched. On this issue, Creigh Deeds will always be homeless, no matter how sincere he is or tries to be.
Moran answered second. Unlike Deeds, his unwavering stance has made him right at home with GLBT advocates. His voice rose as he recalled how he "publicly condemned" Marshall-Newman, finally pledging as the crowd roared that he would repeal it.
I've supported Brian through this whole campaign because he's displayed political courage. However, this is a stance that will play poorly west of Virginia's urban cores. With stances like that coming from his heart, his political brain must know that he'll take some hits in November for it.
Lastly, Terry McAuliffe, who spent barely 10 seconds glazing over the issue before launching into a rant on Medicaid. He never had to push a button on the issue in the Virginia General Assembly, and as far as I can tell, didn't say a word about it as it passed in 2006. Calculating that equality for Virginia's GLBT voters was not important enough, he sidestepped the issue hoping it would never come up again.
McAuliffe might've shown that he listened to the focus groups that told him to dodge the issue. But what it says to me is that he doesn't have the heart or nerve to tackle it, and is skillfully using his lack of a record to dodge the issue.
Brian Moran's stance might be viewed as witless to those who fear the forces of bigotry in the general election. But to me, nothing is more important in a candidate than the courage to fight for what he believes in. Creigh Deeds has tried, but he will never undo the damage from his initial 2005 vote. And worst of all, Terry McAuliffe has showed that he'd rather avoid the fight entirely.