WaPo “fact-checker” promotes false report Glenn Youngkin “opposes marriage equality”

Glenn Kessler, The Washington Post’s lead fact-checker, shared a misleading report about Republican Virginia gubanatorial candidate Glenn Youngkin’s stance on the issue of same-sex marriage.

In a tweet, Kessler shared an article by the 19th News claiming Youngkin “opposes marriage equality.” Kessler himself tweeted, “Hmmm, I had somehow missed this and actually thought I followed the race pretty closely. –> Republican candidate in Virginia governor’s race opposes marriage equality.”

The article Kessler shared in his tweet was written by 19th News reporter Kate Sosin and was itself titled “Republican candidate in Virginia governor’s race opposes marriage equality.”

The 19th News article states:

Late last month, Youngkin told the Associated Press in an interview that he feels “called to love everyone” but, when asked if that expressed support for same-sex marriage, said, “No.” He said it was “legally acceptable” in the state and he would support the law.

The above quote from 19th News indicates Youngkin has a personally ambivalant stances towards same-sex marriage, but as a legal issue he would support the law (the law itself permitting same-sex marriage).

The 19th News article is, itself, derived from reporting by the Associated Press. The 19th News article leaves out an important part of the quote sourced from the AP where, when addressing the issue of same-sex marriage under the law, Youngkin not only said the issue is legally accepted but “I, as governor, will support that.”

The full details of the quote provided by the AP read:

Asked in the same interview whether his faith shapes his view of same-sex marriage, Youngkin responded with a vagueness common in his answers to questions about policy. He reiterated that he feels “called to love everyone.” Pressed on whether that was intended to convey support for same-sex marriage, he responded: “No,” before saying that gay marriage was “legally acceptable” in Virginia and that “I, as governor, will support that.”

In the full context of Youngkin’s quote, the Republican gubernatorial candidate is literally indicating he will support same-sex marriage, as is accepted under the law in his state.

Neither Kessler nor Sosin immediately responded to The Meta Fact Group’s questions about their coverage of the issue.

The 19th News inaccurately presents Youngkin quote expressing support for the law affirming same-sex marriage as opposition to same-sex marriage. Kessler repeated the inacurrate presentation in his tweet.

Sosin’s article for 19th News and Kessler’s tweet come just one day before election day in the state of Virginia, where Youngkin is running against Democrat candidate Terry McAuliffe.

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