While VP, Gore claimed to support the Defense of Marriage Act.
Al Gore 2000: "I agree with that [marriage should be between a man and a woman], and I did support that law. But I think that we should find a way to allow some kind of civic unions, and I basically agree with Dick Cheney and Joe Lieberman." Debate transcript.
Better late than never, in my view. Reaction so far appears to be mainly in blogs... with some on the conservative end declaring this as "proof" that liberals were going to push for marriage all along.
So, which is more likely: Al Gore 2008 has changed his mind, or Al Gore 2000 was trying to pick a winning set of issues to run on? I think the latter is unfortunately somewhat likely. When Larry Lessig talks about "corruption" (his new field of study) he had in mind mainly "dependence"--- politicians and lobbyists, scientists and their sponsors, law professors and their consulting contracts. But there is another sort of "corruption" in which we don't necessarily get a candidate's actual views, we get candidate-prime who had positioned himself to be more likely to get elected. (Or is that candidate-tilde? candidate-hat?) The war on drugs is, I think, a prime example of the second sort of corruption.