Ayotte: No. But advocates for full access to government benefits for same-sex couples.
Q: On Gay Rights: Should transgender individuals have the right to use public bathrooms of their choice?
Ayotte: No clear public stand, though has supported some previous protections.
Hassan: Yes. Also issued Executive Order for NH banning discrimination against transgender individuals.
Hillary CLINTON: Absolutely. If Michigan won't do it, there have to be ways that we can begin to move, and then make them pay for it.
SANDERS: The Secretary described the situation appropriately. I did ask for the resignation of Governor Snyder because his irresponsibility was so outrageous. What we are talking about are children being poisoned. The idea that there has not been a dramatic response is beyond comprehension. When you have significant public health crisis, of course the federal government comes in. One wonders if this were a white suburban community what kind of response there would have been. Flint is a poor community. It is disproportionately African-American and minority. And what has happened there is absolutely unacceptable.
Smith: Strongly Agree.
BROWN: Well, I think we're getting close. We've made huge strides. There are certain pockets still where there is inequality. There are disadvantages that need to be addressed. But do we do that through government intervention or do we do it by job creation? By educating our kids? By getting a culture of family. By getting at the black-on-black violence. We have to step back from glorifying a movement, the hip hop movement and other types of movements that glorify violence. So I think we're getting very close to just letting Americans, black, white, all races, colors, creeds, move forth with their own qualifications and stand on their own merits.
And the War on Women is not just about women--it's about putting the squeeze on the middle class. In New Hampshire women earn only 78 cents for every dollar earned by a man, and women are increasingly carrying the financial burden to support their families. Most families rely on 2 incomes to make ends meet, and when a woman earns less we put working families at a huge disadvantage. Despite this, politicians and pundits on the right refuse to come out publicly in support of equal pay for women. Here in New Hampshire, Republicans are saying that the Lilly Ledbetter Fair Pay Act is nothing more than a "handout to trial lawyers."
ROMNEY: I don't discriminate. And in the appointments that I made when I was governor of Massachusetts, a member of my Cabinet was gay. I appointed people to the bench, regardless of their sexual orientation, made it very clear that, in my view, we should not discriminate in hiring policies, in legal policies. At the same time, from the very beginning in 1994, I said to the gay community, "I do not favor same-sex marriage." But if people are looking for someone who will discriminate against gays, they won't find that in me.
Q: When's the last time you stoop up and spoke out for increasing gay rights?
ROMNEY: Right now.
A: I would be a voice in speaking out for making sure that every person in America, gay or straight, is treated with respect and dignity and has the equality of opportunity. That does not mean that I would agree with certain things that the gay community would like to do to change laws with respect to marriage or respect to adoption and things like that. You can be respectful. Just because you don't agree with someone's desire to change the law doesn't mean you hate them or you want to discriminate against them. If you watch the town hall meetings that I've been doing all over New Hampshire, I do so in a respectful tone: I listen to the other side. I let them make their arguments. And you know what, we may not agree.
Q: What if you had a son who came to you and said he was gay?
A: I would love him as much as I did before he said it, and I would try to do everything I can to be as good a father to him as possible.
SANTORUM: I believe the issue of marriage is a federal issue, that we can't have different laws with respect to marriage. We have to have one law. Marriage is a foundational institution of our country, and we have to have a singular law with respect to that. We can't have somebody married in one state and not married in another.
Q: If we have a federal constitutional amendment banning same-sex marriage, what happens to the 1,800 families who have married here in N.H.? Are their marriages basically illegitimate at this point?
SANTORUM: If the Constitution says marriage is between a man and a woman, then marriage is between a man and a woman. And therefore, that's what marriage is and would be in this country. And those who are not men and women who are married--would not be married. That's what the Constitution would say.
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