Obama says help to disadvantaged key

Democratic presidential candidate Barack Obama said Saturday that America's greatest moral failure is its insufficient help to the disadvantaged. Obama noted that the Bible quotes Jesus as saying "whatever you do for the least of my brothers, you do for me." He said the maxim should apply to victims of poverty, sexism and racism. He made the comments as the first guest in a two-hour forum on faith hosted by the minister Rick Warren at his megachurch in Orange County, California. Republican John McCain was scheduled to speak with Warren for the second hour, after shaking hands with Obama during the switch. In several cases, Obama gave a Christian interpretation to his generally liberal political views. He showed some familiarity with the Scripture, and said Jesus died for his sins. Obama reaffirmed his stance that marriage is "the union between a man and a woman," although he supports civil unions for gay partners. He said he would not support a constitutional amendment banning gay marriage because the issue is one for state governments to handle. He said gay partners should be given rights, such as visiting one another in hospitals.