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Topics in the News: Gay Rights


Rob Portman on Civil Rights : Nov 4, 2013
Supports legalizing same-sex marriage

Republicans in Congress are divided over whether to support legislation granting historic workplace protections to gay and lesbian Americans. The Employment Non-Discrimination Act (ENDA),which would prohibit many employers from discriminating on the basis of an individual's sexual orientation or perceived gender identity, highlights continued Republican resistance to most gay rights.

A handful of Republican senators have this year called for legalizing same-sex marriage, including Ohio Sen. Rob Portman, who has a gay son. Proponents of the legislation will need to clear the 60-vote threshold needed to avoid a filibuster, meaning that at least five Republicans will have to vote for the legislation (assuming every Democrat and independent also votes for the bill).

Click for Rob Portman on other issues.   Source: Michael O'Brien, "First Read," NBC News

John Bolton on Civil Rights : Aug 22, 2013
Supports gay marriage, at state and federal level

On gay marriage, I support it, at both the state level and the federal level. Gay marriage is something I've thought about at length as I've looked at my future. I concluded, a couple years ago, that I think it should be permissible and treated the same at both levels. Bolton calls himself a Goldwater conservative, for the most part, at heart. (Goldwater, too, was more moderate on social issues later in his career.)
Click for John Bolton on other issues.   Source: Robert Costa in the National Review

Rick Perry on Civil Rights : May 30, 2013
Scouts' no-gays is principled like stand against slavery

Perry spoke via Skype to the Family Research Council's "Stand With Scouts Sunday" program, where he applauded the Boy Scouts for taking a principled stand against gay membership and leadership. Perry, an Eagle Scout who wrote the book "On My Honor" about the importance of scouting values, said the group should be respected for upholding its principles and likened the gay rights movement to a passing fad.

Perry, speaking from the library in the Governor's Mansion, referred to a portrait of Sam Houston. He told how Houston's principled stand against slavery cost him his governorship. "That's the type of principled leadership that I hope people across this country on this issue of Scouts and keeping the Boy Scouts the kind of organization that it is today," Perry said. "If we change and become more like pop culture, young men will be not as well served, America will not be as well served and Boy Scouts will start on a decline," Perry said.

Click for Rick Perry on other issues.   Source: Christy Hoppe in The Dallas News, "Akin to Slavery"

Rand Paul on Abortion : May 10, 2013
Thousands of exceptions follow from maternal health

Senator Rand Paul opposes a national law banning same-sex marriage and federal penalties for drug offenders, and said there could be "thousands of exceptions" to any abortion ban. For many of the evangelical Christians and abortion-rights opponents who dominate Iowa's Republican presidential caucuses, the traditional first round of primary season voting, those positions are unacceptable.

In Paul's view, human life begins at conception and should be granted legal protection from that moment on, although he muddied his message with a March 19 CNN interview where he said that as a physician he could see where there could be "thousands of exceptions" that could make abortion legal. An aide later clarified that Paul meant that a singular exception to save the life of the mother would likely cover thousands of medically different individual cases.

Click for Rand Paul on other issues.   Source: John McCormick article, "Rand Paul Cuts Own Path"

Rand Paul on Civil Rights : May 10, 2013
No national law on same-sex marriage; leave it to states

Paul opposes a national law banning same-sex marriage. Paul's view is that same-same marriage should be dealt with at the state level. Paul said he thinks his party and the nation will eventually accept that different parts of the country have different views on certain issues. "My position on this is the same as Thomas Jefferson, Ben Franklin, George Washington, John Adams," he said. "Marriage is a state issue."
Click for Rand Paul on other issues.   Source: John McCormick article, "Rand Paul Cuts Own Path"

Joe Biden on Civil Rights : May 9, 2013
I supported gay marriage and got criticized for saying so

Q: Your views on the gay marriage debate?

A: Remember, I got criticized for saying I support gay marriage. I just decided I couldn't be quiet about it anymore, and everybody was stunned that that's where the public is. And I'm not stunned; it's where the public's been for a while. Talk to any of your kids, for God's sake.

Q: Did you get blowback from the president or people in general?

A: I got blowback from everybody but the president. I walked in that Monday, he had a big grin on his face, he put his arms around me and said, "Well, Joe, God love you, you say what you think." I knew he agreed with me. It wasn't like he was in a different place.

Click for Joe Biden on other issues.   Source: Douglas Brinkley in Rolling Stone Magazine

Ben Carson on Civil Rights : Mar 29, 2013
Apologized for likening homosexuality to pedophilia

Ben Carson apologized for comments he made about gay marriage on Sean Hannity's TV show earlier this week. "I think in terms of what was said on Sean Hannity's show, that was taken completely out of context and completely misunderstood in terms of what I was trying to say. As a Christian, I have a duty to love all people and that includes people who have other sexual orientations, and I certainly do, and never had any intention of offending anyone. If anyone was offended, I apologize to you."

Carson came under scrutiny when he appeared to liken homosexuality to pedophilia and bestiality, sparking the outrage of the LGBT community. "My thoughts are that marriage is between a man and a woman. It's a well-established fundamental pillar of society and no group, be they gays, be they NAMBLA, be they people who believe in bestiality, it doesn't matter what they are, they don't get to change the definition," the doctor, who is the director of pediatric neurosurgery, said on Hannity's show.

Click for Ben Carson on other issues.   Source: Breanna Edwards on Politic.com

Ben Carson on Civil Rights : Mar 29, 2013
Marriage should not be extended to same-sex couples

Carson remained firmly rooted in his belief that the term "marriage" should not be extended to same-sex couples, although he said the couples should be treated "kindly" and have whatever legal agreements they desire in order to transfer property and have visitation rights, among other rights. "Marriage is a very sacred thing and we need to maintain it as a sacred thing. When I say we don't want to change it or degrade it by calling everything marriage, that's not aimed at any particular group," he said. "But the fact of the matter is, the Bible and God have set very specific standards. It's very clear what's being said. God doesn't change, man changes. Our duty is to allow for that change and to still love them and in terms of what happens with them, that's a decision that's up to God, that's not our decision."
Click for Ben Carson on other issues.   Source: Breanna Edwards on Politic.com

Hillary Clinton on Civil Rights : Mar 18, 2013
I support gay marriage personally and as law

Hillary Clinton endorsed gay marriage in a new video saying "that her views on the issue have evolved as a result of her experiences personally and as secretary of state," Politico reports.

Said Clinton: "I support it personally and as a matter of policy and law. Marriage is a fundamental building block of our society--a great joy and, yes, a great responsibility. To deny the opportunity to any of our daughters and sons solely on the basis of who they are and who they love is to deny them the chance to live up to their own God-given abilities."

Click for Hillary Clinton on other issues.   Source: PoliticalWire.com, "Clinton backs same-sex marriage"

Rob Portman on Civil Rights : Mar 17, 2013
Change of heart: give gays the joy & stability of marriage

Q: Rob Portman is the senator from Ohio, where there was an effort on gay marriage back in 2004 that was a big part of turning out the base for George W. Bush. A change of heart on gay marriage this week; this is what he said:

(VIDEO) PORTMAN: I'm announcing today a change of heart on an issue that a lot of people feel strongly about that has to do with gay couples' opportunity to marry. I've come to the conclusion that for me, personally, I think this is something that we should allow people to do, to get married, and to have the joy and stability of marriage that I've had for over 26 years. That I want all of my children to have, including our son, who is gay.

Q: Is gay marriage a civil rights issue?

Gov. SCOTT WALKER: In our state, it was in the constitution years ago [protecting homosexual civil rights, but not gay marriage]. It rarely is an issue. I focus on the economic and fiscal crisis. People don't want to get focused on [gay marriage] issues.

Click for Rob Portman on other issues.   Source: Meet the Press 2013 interviews: 2016 presidential hopefuls

Rob Portman on Civil Rights : Mar 15, 2013
Gov't shouldn't deny gay couples opportunity to get married

I have come to believe that if two people are prepared to make a lifetime commitment to love and care for each other in good times and in bad, the government shouldn't deny them the opportunity to get married.

That isn't how I've always felt. As a congressman, and more recently as a senator, I opposed marriage for same-sex couples. Then something happened that led me to think through my position in a much deeper way.

Two years ago, my son Will, then a college freshman, told my wife and me that he is gay. He said he'd known for some time, and that his sexual orientation wasn't something he chose; it was simply a part of who he is. We were surprised to learn he is gay but knew he was still the same person he'd always been. The only difference was that now we had a more complete picture of the son we love.

Click for Rob Portman on other issues.   Source: OpEd by Rob Portman in The Columbus Dispatch

Rob Portman on Civil Rights : Mar 15, 2013
Bible says "we are all children of God": that includes gays

My position on marriage for same-sex couples was rooted in my faith tradition that marriage is a sacred bond between a man and a woman. [Learning] that my son is gay prompted me to consider the issue from another perspective: that of a dad who wants all three of his kids to lead happy, meaningful lives with the people they love.

I wrestled with how to reconcile my Christian faith with my desire for Will to have the same opportunities to pursue happiness and fulfillment as his brother and sister. Ultimately, it came down to the Bible's overarching themes of love and compassion and my belief that we are all children of God.

Well-intentioned people can disagree on the question of marriage for gay couples, and maintaining religious freedom is as important as pursuing civil marriage rights. For example, I believe that no law should force religious institutions to perform weddings or recognize marriages they don't approve of.

Click for Rob Portman on other issues.   Source: OpEd by Rob Portman in The Columbus Dispatch

Marco Rubio on Abortion : Mar 14, 2013
I believe in protecting life but I'm not a chauvinist

In order to work together with people that you disagree with, there has to be mutual respect. That means I respect people who disagree with me on certain things, but they have to respect me too. Just because I believe that states should have the right to define marriage in the traditional way does not make me a bigot. Just because we believe that life--all human life--is worthy of protection at every stage of its development does not make me a chauvinist.

In fact, the people who are actually close minded in American politics are the people that love to preach about the certainty about science with regards to our climate, but ignore the absolute fact that science has proven that life begins at conception.

Click for Marco Rubio on other issues.   Source: Speech at 2013 Conservative Political Action Conf.

Paul Ryan on Civil Rights : Aug 11, 2012
Keep DADT; no gay adoption; no need for gay hate crime laws

Paul Ryan has voted to ban same-sex marriage and adoption by gay couples, and he voted against repealing the "don't ask, don't tell" ban on gays serving openly in the military. Mitt Romney's pick matches his views on LGBT rights.

Ryan lined up with Romney on repeal of "don't ask, don't tell" when it came before Congress in 2011. Ryan voted against repealing DADT, and Romney was outspoken in his opposition to repeal. Since then, though, Romney has said reinstating DADT would be unnecessary.

Romney's record on the need for hate crimes laws is unclear. But when the Matthew Shepard and James Byrd Hate Crimes Prevention Act passed through the House in 2009, Ryan voted against it.

One area where the two differ is on the Employment Non- Discrimination Act. Ryan voted in 2007 in favor of the law, which would have prohibited workplace discrimination based on sexual orientation but did not yet include gender identity. Romney was once also in favor of ENDA but changed his mind.

Click for Paul Ryan on other issues.   Source: Lucas Grindley in The Advocate, "VP Matches Mitt Romney"

Barack Obama on Civil Rights : May 9, 2012
Same-sex couples should be allowed to marry

Today, I was asked a direct question and gave a direct answer: I believe that same-sex couples should be allowed to marry.

I've always believed that gay and lesbian Americans should be treated fairly and equally. I was reluctant to use the term marriage because of the very powerful traditions it evokes. And I thought civil union laws that conferred legal rights upon gay and lesbian couples were a solution.

But over the course of several years I've talked to friends and family about this. I've thought about members of my staff in long-term, committed, same-sex relationships who are raising kids together. Through our efforts to end the "Don't Ask, Don't Tell" policy, I've gotten to know some of the gay and lesbian troops who are serving our country with honor and distinction.

What I've come to realize is that for loving, same-sex couples, the denial of marriage equality means that, in their eyes and the eyes of their children, they are still considered less than full citizens.

Click for Barack Obama on other issues.   Source: 2012 Presidential campaign website, barackobama.com, "News"

Barack Obama on Civil Rights : May 9, 2012
No federal laws should hinder state-based same-sex marriage

I decided it was time to affirm my personal belief that same-sex couples should be allowed to marry. I respect the beliefs of others, and the right of religious institutions to act in accordance with their own doctrines. But I believe that in the eyes of the law, all Americans should be treated equally. And where states enact same-sex marriage, no federal act should invalidate them.
Click for Barack Obama on other issues.   Source: 2012 Presidential campaign website, barackobama.com, "News"

Joe Biden on Civil Rights : May 7, 2012
I'm "absolutely comfortable" with same-sex marriage

Joe Biden became the highest-ranking government official to back same-sex marriage on Sunday, telling Meet the Press he was "absolutely comfortable" with the issue. Obama has appeared reluctant to take up the issue in an election year but has said his views are "evolving" on the subject.

The comments by Biden, and Secretary of Education Arne Duncan's support of same-sex marriage, opened up speculation that the White House is moving towards a new position of support for gay marriage, beyond its already stated backing for civil unions. But Obama's main political strategist played down the prospect of an imminent shift. In a conference call with reporters on Monday, he insisted that Biden's comments are "entirely consistent with the president's position, which is that couples who are married, whether they are gay or heterosexual couples are entitled to the very same liberties. When people are married, we ought to recognize those marriages and afford them the rights to which they are entitled."

Click for Joe Biden on other issues.   Source: Adam Gabbatt & Ewen MacAskill in The Guardian (UK)

Condoleezza Rice on Civil Rights : Feb 13, 2012
Same-sex civil unions, but not marriage

On the AmericansElect.org social issues question, Dr. Rice chose 'B' from the list below, with a relative weighting of 3%:
Click for Condoleezza Rice on other issues.   Source: AmericansElect email questionnaire with Condi Rice's staff

Ben Carson on Civil Rights : Jan 24, 2012
Redefining marriage is slippery slope with disastrous ending

As a Bible-believing Christian, you might imagine that I would not be a proponent of gay marriage. I believe God loves homosexuals as much as he loves everyone, but if we can redefine marriage as between two men or two women or any other way based on social pressures as opposed to between a man and a woman, we will continue to redefine it in any way that we wish, which is a slippery slope with a disastrous ending, as witnessed in the dramatic fall of the Roman Empire. I don't believe this to be a political view, but rather a logical and reasoned view with long-term benefits to family structure and the propagation of humankind. When children grow up in an environment with loving parents who provide security, they are free to be happy and playful and eager to learn. God obviously knew what he was doing when he ordained the traditional family, and we should not denigrate it in order to uplift some alternative.
Click for Ben Carson on other issues.   Source: America the Beautiful, by Ben Carson, p.182

Mitt Romney on Civil Rights : Jan 17, 2012
1994: "I'll be better than Ted Kennedy" on gay rights

Romney's willingness to embrace socially moderate, even liberal, positions--Romney himself preferred the term "socially innovative"--made him an attractive candidate for groups such as the Log Cabin Republicans, a grassroots GOP gay and lesbian organization. In 1994, as Romney was seeking the group's endorsement, he sat down with Richard Tafel, the group's founder, and received a primer on gay rights issues. Romney was deeply engaged, asked probing questions, and noted that he had gay employees at Bain. "I'd met with businessmen and politicians, and this felt like a business meeting. It felt much more pragmatic," Tafel said. Romney's approach was "What do I need to do here? How do I get this done?" One Massachusetts Republican who has known Romney for years summed up his approach this way: "In Mitt's mind, it doesn't matter what my positions are. I'm someone who solves problems." "I'm with you on this stuff," Tafel recalled Romney saying. "I'll be better than Ted Kennedy."
Click for Mitt Romney on other issues.   Source: The Real Romney, by Kranish & Helman, p,181-182

Mitt Romney on Civil Rights : Jan 17, 2012
2002: domestic partnership benefits instead of civil unions

The political landscape had shifted following Vermont's pioneering decision in 2000 to legalize civil unions. The decision spooked gay marriage opponents in Massachusetts, who organized a push for a constitutional amendment restricting marriage to heterosexual unions. But Romney said he did not support the proposed ban.

Romney did not support same-sex marriage, declaring in a 2002 questionnaire for "Bay Windows," New England's leading gay and lesbian newspaper, "I believe that marriage is a union between a man and a woman." He also said he opposed civil unions, believing they were too close to marriage. But at the same time, he was assuring gays and lesbians--publicly and privately--that he would not crusade against them. Plus he was voicing support for domestic partner benefits that sounded an awful lot like civil unions.

Click for Mitt Romney on other issues.   Source: The Real Romney, by Kranish & Helman, p.230

Andrew Cuomo on Civil Rights : Jan 4, 2012
Marriage equality for ALL New Yorkers

For decades, millions of New Yorkers had been treated as second-class citizens by their own government. We ended that injustice. We stopped the discrimination. We made history. We led the nation. We passed marriage equality for ALL New Yorkers and we did it together. With this historic victory, New York is the largest state in the nation to grant same-sex couples the freedom to marry.
Click for Andrew Cuomo on other issues.   Source: 2012 New York State of the State Address

Mitt Romney on Civil Rights : Nov 22, 2011
2003: Worked with cities to prepare for gay marriages

In May 2003, the Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court rules that same-sex marriage was constitutional in the Commonwealth; Romney was caught flat-footed. At first he accused the SJC of legislating from the bench, although it was quite clear the SJC had left the legislative component to the legislature. When the legislature dithered over how best to respond, Romney began to make plans to implement the law. Even though he had a number of tactical and legal maneuvers available, he let it be known that he would neither attempt to circumvent nor obstruct the application of lawful court orders. To do so would violate one of the thirteen Articles of Mormon Faith: "We believe...in obeying, honoring, and sustaining the law." He quietly began working with the c
Click for Mitt Romney on other issues.   Source: Mitt Romney: An Inside Look, by R.B. Scott, p.111-112

Mitt Romney on Civil Rights : Nov 22, 2011
1993: Denied ever calling homosexuality "perverse"

Just a few weeks after he announced his Senate candidacy in '93, a young member of one of the student wards in Cambridge vividly remembered that a month earlier, Mitt had called homosexuals "perverse." Romney, whose recently announced positions on gay rights were considered progressive for the time, angrily denied he'd ever uttered the word, but other sources, including a local leader of the church, confirmed the accuracy of the young man's memory.

The damage had been done. Romney's adamant denial and his subsequent dismissive treatment of some Mormon liberals provoked reactions that, in short order, led to the formation of the somewhat ad hoc, but passionately dogged, Mormon anti-Romney advocacy groups that badgered him relentlessly throughout the 1994 campaign.

Click for Mitt Romney on other issues.   Source: An Inside Look, by R.B.Scott, p. 59

Gary Johnson on Civil Rights : Aug 21, 2011
Supports separation of religion and state

Q: Do you support separation of religion and state?

A: Yes.

Q: You oppose gay marriage, though you favor civil unions. Why?

A: I wouldn't say I oppose gay marriage as a matter of public policy. The government shouldn't be in the marriage business. I would not be opposed to belonging to a church that supports gay marriage.

Click for Gary Johnson on other issues.   Source: Interview by Scott Holleran on scottholleran.com blog

Jon Huntsman on Principles & Values : Aug 11, 2011
If you love your country, you serve her

Q: You supported a stimulus package in 2009. In fact, you said the Obama stimulus package was not big enough. As governor, you signed onto a regional cap-and-trade market. You endorsed civil unions for same-sex couples. And you served as President Obama's ambassador to China. Some people have suggested that maybe you're running for president in the wrong party.

A: Chris, let me just say, I'm proud of my service to this country. If you love your country, you serve her. During a time of war, during a time of economic hardship, when asked to serve your country in a sensitive position where you can actually bring a background to help your nation, I'm the kind of person who's going to stand up and do it, and I'll take that philosophy to my grave. In terms of the stimulus you talked about, it was failed. And let me tell you what I talked about with respect to the stimulus. I talked about the need for more tax cuts in the stimulus. We didn't have enough of it.

Click for Jon Huntsman on other issues.   Source: Iowa Straw Poll 2011 GOP debate in Ames Iowa

Andrew Cuomo on Civil Rights : Jul 24, 2011
Supports same-sex marriage and same rights of marriage

Friday, June 24, 2011 marked a momentous day in the history of our great State, with the passage of the Marriage Equality Act, granting same-sex couples the freedom to marry under the law, and the hundreds of accompanying rights, benefits, and protections that have previously been limited to married couples of the opposite sex.
Click for Andrew Cuomo on other issues.   Source: N.Y. 2011 gubernatorial press release "Marriage Equality"

Newt Gingrich on Civil Rights : Jun 13, 2011
I helped author DOMA; if it fails, amend Constitution

Q: Are you a George W. Bush Republican, meaning a constitutional amendment to ban same-sex marriage, or a Dick Cheney Republican, that same sex marriage should be a state's decision?

GINGRICH: I helped author the Defense of Marriage Act which the Obama administration should be protecting in court. I think if that fails, you have no choice except a constitutional amendment.

SANTORUM: Constitutional amendment.

PAWLENTY: Constitutional amendment.

CAIN: State decision.

ROMNEY: Constitutional.

Click for Newt Gingrich on other issues.   Source: 2011 GOP primary debate in Manchester NH

Newt Gingrich on Civil Rights : Jun 13, 2011
Stop forcing same-sex marriage on religious organizations

Click for Newt Gingrich on other issues.   Source: A Nation Like No Other, by Newt Gingrich, p. 87-88

Newt Gingrich on Civil Rights : May 12, 2011
Helped oust Iowa justices who approved same-sex marriage

Gingrich has made gains among evangelical leaders--the result of aggressively cultivating relationships with influential national figures and local pastors in key nominating states.

Last year, Gingrich helped secure seed money for a successful campaign to oust three Iowa Supreme Court justices who approved same-sex marriage in the state.

Gingrich is now hoping his network of conservative Christian leaders will help him win over evangelical voters in Iowa and South Carolina.

Click for Newt Gingrich on other issues.   Source: Matea Gold and Tom Hamburger, Los Angeles Times

Jon Huntsman on Civil Rights : May 11, 2011
Supports civil unions and other rights for same-sex couples

In the days after he was nominated as U.S. ambassador to China, congratulations poured in, including one from Bob Page, a North Carolina businessman. "I write to thank you for your leadership and outspoken support of civil legal recognition for same-sex couples," wrote Page, who is raising twin sons he and his partner adopted from Vietnam. "I have been deeply offended by attempts to scapegoat gays and lesbians in an effort to turn out voters," Page wrote. "I appreciate more than I can say your courageous recognition that this serves no productive purpose."

The ambassador nominee jotted a handwritten note to Page, thanking him for his kind support. "Let's hope that someday--all people are seen as equal under the laws of our land. With very best wishes--Jon."

Huntsman drew national attention in 2009 with his public support for civil unions and other rights for same-sex couples--a sharp break from the Republican orthodoxy, especially in conservative Utah.

Click for Jon Huntsman on other issues.   Source: Robert Gehrke in The Salt Lake Tribune

Donald Trump on Civil Rights : Mar 7, 2011
No gay marriage; no same-sex partner benefits

On Thursday, Trump talked about "exploring" a presidential run, and was asked f he supports "allowing same-sex couples to marry."

Trump said "no," but didn't stop there. When asked whether gay couples should have access to "the same benefits as married couples," the mogul initially replied that his attitude on the issue was not yet "fully formed."

After thinking about it for a moment, however, Trump said: "As of this moment, I would say no and no" to gay marriage and civil benefits.

That answer may have resonated with Iowa conservatives who overwhelmingly opposed the Iowa Supreme Court's 2009 decision to overturn the state's gay marriage ban. But not in New York, home to one of the largest gay and lesbian communities in the US.

Trump was traveling Sunday and could not be reached for comment. Through a spokesman, he said only: "I'm opposed to gay marriage."

Click for Donald Trump on other issues.   Source: New York Daily News, "Offends gay activist"

Condoleezza Rice on Civil Rights : Dec 28, 2010
Supports civil unions but not gay marriage

On same-sex marriage she said that while she believes marriage is between a man and a woman, "I don't ever want anybody to be denied rights within our country." She suggested that civil unions could be a "way for people to express their desire to live together," and said that "the country, if we can keep the volume down, will come to good answers."
Click for Condoleezza Rice on other issues.   Source: David Gibson on Politics Daily on Huffington Post

Andrew Cuomo on Civil Rights : Nov 2, 2010
Marriage equality gains 1,000 federal and 700 state rights

The State has been surpassed by many other countries which have legalized same sex marriage including the Netherlands, Belgium, Spain, Canada, South Africa, Norway, Sweden and Portugal; as well as by many states which have also done so including MA, CT, IA, VT, and NH.

Marriage equality is a question of principle and the State shouldn't discriminate against same-sex couples who wish to get married. Barring marriage equality denies same-sex couples and their families over 1,000 federal and 700 state rights and responsibilities. For instance, employers offer spouses sick leave, bereavement leave, and access to health insurance and pension; and the law provides certain automatic rights to a person's spouse regardless of whether or not a will exists. None of these rights exist automatically for same-sex couples in the absence of marriage.

As Governor, Andrew Cuomo will not stand for such discrimination. He will fight to make sure all couples have equal marriage rights under the law.

Click for Andrew Cuomo on other issues.   Source: 2010 Gubernatorial campaign website, andrewcuomo.com

Nikki Haley on Civil Rights : Jun 1, 2010
Marriage is between one man and one woman

[Asked if she would support gay marriage]: No. Marriage is between one man and one woman.
Click for Nikki Haley on other issues.   Source: WISTV.com website, Story #10720699

Mitt Romney on Civil Rights : Mar 9, 2010
2003: Battled legislatively against legalizing gay marriage

On Nov. 18, 2003, a 4-3 decision of the Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court legalized gay marriages in the state. The Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA), passed by Congress and signed by Pres. Clinton in 1996, defined marriage as a legal union between one man and one woman and saying that states need not recognize a marriage from another state if it is between persons of the same sex. If DOMA fell, the only way left to defend traditional marriage was a constitutional amendment.

The issue grew more intense, but Bush's rhetoric did not. Massachusetts governor Mitt Romney was forced into a battle with his legislature in an effort to overturn the decision.

To discourage resistance, gay marriage supporters decided those who disagreed with them had to be bigots. This made gay marriage the kind of issue most political candidates dread--not because they don't know where they stand, but because no one likes being branded a hater.

Click for Mitt Romney on other issues.   Source: Courage and Consequence, by Karl Rove, p.374-376

Mitt Romney on Civil Rights : Mar 2, 2010
Marriage is not just quaint custom; recognize critical role

Proponents of same-sex marriage have attempted to characterize its opponents as being universally antigay. That has sometimes been an effective campaign tactic, but it is untrue. And because most Americans know it is untrue, same-sex marriage has repeatedly been rejected by voters. For me and for many others, opposition to same-sex marriage stems from the strong conviction that the ideal setting in which to raise a child is in a home with both a mother and a father. Regardless of whether one's opposition to same-sex marriage is rooted in religious beliefs or social considerations, the marriage relationship has been the cornerstone of the institution of family since the beginning of time. Marriage is not just a quaint social custom. It is critical for the well-being of our children and therefore fundamental to the future strength of the nation. It's time for us to recognize its critical role and finally act to preserve it as the institution that nurtures and protects our next generation.
Click for Mitt Romney on other issues.   Source: No Apology, by Mitt Romney, p.269

Rand Paul on Civil Rights : Nov 26, 2009
Opposes same-sex marriage

Like Dr. Paul, Mr. Grayson, 37, said he opposed the federal bailout, abortion rights and same-sex marriage. Mr. Grayson has the support of the state's most powerful politician, the Senate minority leader, Mitch McConnell, who hosted a fund-raiser in Washington for him in September, helping him amass the $1.2 million he raised from May to October.
Click for Rand Paul on other issues.   Source: New York Times politics report: Kentucky

Sarah Palin on Civil Rights : Nov 17, 2009
College roommate openly lives in same-sex marriage

In an August 2008 vetting session, we talked about gay marriage. That's when I told them about Tilly, my junior high friend and college roommate, who, after college, decided to openly live the lifestyle she chose with her partner. To me, she was still Tilly. I loved her dearly--loved the whole Ketchum family. I explained to Schmidt that I opposed homosexual marriage, but that didn't seem too controversial in the campaign since the Democrat candidate for president held the same position.
Click for Sarah Palin on other issues.   Source: Going Rogue, by Sarah Palin, p.216

Sarah Palin on Civil Rights : Nov 17, 2009
Respected court ruling allowing same-sex state benefits

I had been in office two weeks when the Alaska Supreme Court required us to offer health benefits to the same-sex partners of state employees.

I support the traditional definition of marriage. One man & one woman to make a marriage. And I don't support efforts that can lead to changing that definition.

But on this issue in Alaska, the court was the lawful interpreter of the state Constitution. The promise I had made when being sworn into office was to uphold the Constitution. That meant I would be bound by the judiciary's ruling. So when conservatives in the legislature passed a bill that would prohibit state benefits for same-sex couples, the court ruled it unconstitutional, so I vetoed it.

A few angry lawmakers visited my office, outraged that I hadn't bucked the court. A couple of them said I should have been willing to go to jail over the issue.

And if the people want to amend the Constitution via referendum, I told the lawmakers, they have the right to battle it out and do so.

Click for Sarah Palin on other issues.   Source: Going Rogue, by Sarah Palin, p.143

Jon Huntsman on Civil Rights : Aug 28, 2009
2008: agreed to extend some rights to gay people

Utah Gov. Gary Herbert said that discriminating against gay people shouldn't be illegal, although he would prefer that everyone be treated with respect. Herbert told reporters he doesn't believe sexual orientation should be a protected class in the way that race, gender and religion are.

In Utah, it is legal to fire someone for being gay or transgender. The gay rights advocacy group Equality Utah has been trying to change state law for several years but has been rebuffed by the Republican-controlled Legislature. Last year, the group got then-Gov. Jon Huntsman Jr.'s support for extending some rights to gay people, although none of the bills became law.

Huntsman resigned this month to become U.S. ambassador to China, leaving Herbert, who was lieutenant governor, in charge until a special election in 2010. Both are Republican. Salt Lake City is considering an anti-discrimination ordinance, but conservative state lawmakers are eyeing passage of a law that would trump it.

Click for Jon Huntsman on other issues.   Source: Associated Press, "Gays aren't in protected class"

Mitt Romney on Abortion : Aug 4, 2009
OpEd: baroque circumlocutions on evolving abortion stance

Romney had taken positions in Massachusetts that were anathema to the conservative base, particularly on abortion and gay rights. Running against Ted Kennedy in 1994, Romney had declared himself a supporter of a woman's right to choose on abortion, and claimed he would do more for gay rights than Kennedy. Then he changed positions on abortion. A year before he launched his presidential candidacy, he tried to explain his evolving views to several Washington Post reporters. [One columnist] who had grilled him that day later described his explanations as "baroque circumlocutions."

The McCain campaign, sensing an opportunity to stop Romney even before he could get launched, stoked the story line that Romney was a flip-flopper. A video of Romney from 1994 surfaced that showed him defending abortion rights. The nascent Romney campaign was overwhelmed by the barrage of criticism.

Click for Mitt Romney on other issues.   Source: The Battle for America 2008, by Balz & Johnson, p.239

Mitt Romney on Principles & Values : Aug 4, 2009
2008: Cast himself as a doer, not just a dreamer

Romney began the race with a balance sheet that included liabilities almost as great as his assets. He was a one-term governor from one of the most liberal states in the nation. He was a devout Mormon in a party whose evangelical wing viewed the Mormon religion with something between skepticism and hostility. Romney had taken positions in Massachusetts that were anathema to the conservative base, particularly on abortion and gay rights.

Romney cast himself as a doer, not just a dreamer, who had managed large enterprises, and as an outsider who would shake up the capital. "I do not believe Washington can be transformed from within by a lifelong politician," he said. "There have been too many deals, too many favors, too many entanglements, and too little real-world experience managing, guiding, leading." If Republicans wanted competence, he would be that candidate.

Click for Mitt Romney on other issues.   Source: The Battle for America 2008, by Balz & Johnson, p.239

Jon Huntsman on Gun Control : May 21, 2009
Conservative line on gun control

As governor, Huntsman lists economic development, health-care reform, education and energy security as his top priorities. Huntsman is receptive to environmental issues and would like the state to reduce fuel and energy consumption. He is also concerned with nuclear waste being stored within his state. On hot button social issues, such as abortion and gun control, Huntsman generally walks a more conservative line. The same is somewhat true for gay marriage, though he has shown support for civil unions
Click for Jon Huntsman on other issues.   Source: China Daily, "US Offiicials"

Jerry Brown on Civil Rights : Dec 23, 2008
The right to marry is sacred for gay and straight people

The idea is that gay marriage involves a basic liberty interest. The issues raised here go far beyond the issue of same-sex marriage. The question is whether rights secured under the state Constitution's safeguard of liberty as an 'inalienable' right may intentionally be withdrawn from a class of persons by an initiative. This litigation, perhaps for the first time, poses a more fundamental question: aren't some rights so sacred that they can't be taken away?
Click for Jerry Brown on other issues.   Source: Michael Lindenberger in Time Magazine

Mike Huckabee on Families & Children : Nov 18, 2008
In AR, issued Family Protection Policy Directive

Click for Mike Huckabee on other issues.   Source: Do The Right Thing, by Mike Huckabee, p.124-126

Sarah Palin on Civil Rights : Oct 2, 2008
Non-support of anything but traditional marriage

Q: Do you support, as they do in Alaska, granting same-sex benefits to couples?

BIDEN: Absolutely positively. Absolutely no distinction from a legal standpoint between a same-sex and a heterosexual couple. That’s only fair.

Q: Would you support expanding that beyond Alaska to the rest of the nation?

PALIN: Well, not if it goes closer and closer towards redefining the traditional definition of marriage between one man and one woman. And unfortunately that’s sometimes where those steps lead. I don’t support defining marriage as anything but between one man and one woman, and I think through nuances we can go round and round about what that actually means. I’m being as straight up with Americans as I can in my non- support for anything but a traditional definition of marriage.

Q: Let’s try to avoid nuance. Do you support gay marriage?

BIDEN: No. We do not support that. That is a decision to be able to be left to faiths.

PALIN: My answer is the same as his and it is that I do not.

Click for Sarah Palin on other issues.   Source: 2008 Vice Presidential debate against Sen. Joe Biden

Joe Biden on Civil Rights : Oct 2, 2008
No on gay marriage; yes on equal treatment

Q: Do you support, as they do in Alaska, granting same-sex benefits to couples?

BIDEN: Absolutely positively. Absolutely no distinction from a legal standpoint between a same-sex and a heterosexual couple. Same-sex couples should be able to have visitation rights in the hospitals, joint ownership of property, life insurance policies, etc. That’s only fair.

Q: Governor, would you support expanding that beyond Alaska to the rest of the nation?

PALIN: Well, not if it goes closer and closer towards redefining the traditional definition of marriage between one man and one woman.

Q: Let’s try to avoid nuance. Do you support gay marriage?

BIDEN: No. Barack Obama nor I support redefining from a civil side what constitutes marriage. We do not support that. That is basically the decision to be left to faiths and people who practice their faiths the determination what you call it.

PALIN: My answer is the same as his and it is that I do not.

Click for Joe Biden on other issues.   Source: 2008 Vice Presidential debate against Gov. Sarah Palin

Sarah Palin on Abortion : Aug 30, 2008
Opposes embryonic stem cell research

According to an October 2006 profile in the Anchorage Daily News, Palin opposes stem cell research, physician-assisted suicide, and state health benefits for same-sex partners.
Click for Sarah Palin on other issues.   Source: Boston Globe, “A valentine to evangelical base”, p. A12

Sarah Palin on Civil Rights : Aug 29, 2008
Vetoed bill denying benefits to gays, as unconstitutional

Ms. Palin said she supported Alaska’s decision to amend its Constitution to ban same-sex marriage. But she used her first veto as governor to block a bill that would have prohibited the state from granting health benefits to same-sex partners of public employees. Ms. Palin said she vetoed the bill because it was unconstitutional, but raised the possibility of amending the state Constitution so the ban could pass muster.
Click for Sarah Palin on other issues.   Source: New York Times, pp. A1 & A10, “An Outsider Who Charms”

Barack Obama on Civil Rights : Jul 2, 2008
Opposes CA Prop. 8, one-man-one-woman marriage

Presidential candidates can command instant national attention when they want it. But John McCain and Barack Obama each took a hushed approach to letting the world know where they stand on the California ballot measure to ban same-sex marriage.

The muted announcements--McCain supports the proposed ban, Obama opposes it--will have little if any bearing on the presidential contest in California, but the ramifications are serious elsewhere.

Obama first announced his opposition to the measure only in response to media inquiries. He said the nation should recognize lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender Americans “with full equality under the law.”

Obama called the ballot measure “divisive and discriminatory” and concluded by congratulating “all of you who have shown your love for each other by getting married these last few weeks.” Left unstated was that Obama has declined to endorse gay marriage, saying that civil unions would suffice to protect partners’ rights.

Click for Barack Obama on other issues.   Source: By Michael Finnegan and Cathleen Decker, Los Angeles Times

Bobby Jindal on Abortion : Jun 29, 2008
I’m pro-life

Q: What about things like abortion & same-sex marriages, things like that. These are not places where McCain likes to go. Would you advise him to talk about those things?

A: Well, yes, and they are important to me. I’m pro-life and I certainly support the traditional definition of marriage. McCain is famous for doing these town hall meetings. These questions will come up, and I think he should be honest in addressing them. I think he should talk about the fact he is pro-life.

Click for Bobby Jindal on other issues.   Source: CNN Late Edition: 2008 presidential series with Wolf Blitzer

Bobby Jindal on Civil Rights : Jun 29, 2008
Supports constitutional amendment to define marriage

Q: What about things like abortion & same-sex marriages. These are not places where McCain likes to go. Would you advise him to talk about those things, maybe to give a speech on some of the social issues that are so near and dear to the heart of the bas of your party?

A: Well, yes, and they are important to me. I’m pro-life and I certainly support the traditional definition of marriage. But my advice to Sen. McCain is to continue to be himself. And I think that’s what people respect so much about him. He is famous for doing these town hall meetings. These questions will come up, and I think he should be honest in addressing them. I think he should talk about the fact he is pro-life. I think he should talk about the fact that he supports the traditional view of marriage. He and I disagree. He would leave it to the states. I think, with some of the recent court rulings, I would actually prefer a constitutional amendment. But I wouldn’t advocate that he do anything other than be himself.

Click for Bobby Jindal on other issues.   Source: CNN Late Edition: 2008 presidential series with Wolf Blitzer

Jesse Ventura on Civil Rights : Apr 1, 2008
Equal state benefits for gay employees and partners

The Christian right wing in America is a polarizing force when it comes to gay rights, abortion, and patriotism. To me, these aren't "issues," they are matters of individual freedom of choice. But the militant Christians especially don't like anything beyond their idea of the "normal"--like the percentage of our population who happen to be gay.

To me, gay rights is simple: it's about equality. We're all supposed to be equal under the Constitution, which doesn't say anything about the "Hetero States of America."

I fought hard as governor to get equal rights for state employees who happened to be gay. We were losing some of the best and the brightest to the private sector, simply because they were gay and not receiving the benefits that should be provided. In 2001, I finally achieved this for gay people. The benefits didn't last long beyond my time in office, though. When the contract came up for renegotiation, the new governor proposed a pay freeze--and a cut in benefits for gays.

Click for Jesse Ventura on other issues.   Source: Don`t Start the Revolution, by Jesse Ventura, p.180-182

Jesse Ventura on Civil Rights : Apr 1, 2008
Civil unions for gays AND hetero couples

As for gay marriage, a woman I met at Harvard said, "Governor, solving the gay marriage question is simple. Government should not acknowledge marriage at all. Government should only acknowledge civil unions." That way, when you fill out the consent form, your sex doesn't even have to be asked. From that point on, you allow the church--a private institution--to choose whether or not to recognize gay marriage. But when two people are forming a civil union, whether you are heterosexual or homosexual doesn't matter. The government is off the hook. With all the bickering and fighting over gay marriage, that's as simple as it needs to be.

I'm proud of the fact that in 2006, "Lavender"--the top gay magazine in MN--put me on the cover and said I was the best governor for gay rights in the state's history. I find it interesting that distinction would come to a heterosexual Navy frogman. Even though I'm sure that the Christian right's opinion would be that I'm completely out of line.

Click for Jesse Ventura on other issues.   Source: Don`t Start the Revolution, by Jesse Ventura, p.182

Rick Perry on Families & Children : Feb 12, 2008
Free speech for "Coming Out Day" but not "Family Values"?

Recently in Oakland, California, a group of African American Christian women who are city government employees formed the Good News Employee Association. They defined their group as a "forum for people of Faith to express their views on the issues of the day, with respect for the Natural Family, Marriage and Family Values." They posted their flier on an employee bulletin board after others had used the bulletin board to advertise "gay rights". They asked for formal approval to use the city's employee e-mail system and bulletin board regularly, but were denied on the grounds that their flier would "promote harassment based on sexual orientation." Gay rights advocates employed by the city had used the communication system to promote "Happy Coming Out Day," but the city's bureaucratic overseers deemed the words "marriage" and "family values" unacceptable. This is but one example of efforts to limit free speech and to curb values that have been central to the American experience for many decades.
Click for Rick Perry on other issues.   Source: On My Honor, by Gov. Rick Perry, p.155-156

Mitt Romney on Civil Rights : Feb 5, 2008
GovWatch: 1994: Favored gays serving openly in military

Top Romney Flip Flops: #2. Gay Rights:

In a 1994 letter to the Log Cabin Republicans, who advocate gay rights, Romney said he was in favor of “gays and lesbians being able to serve openly and honestly” in the military. He now says it would be a mistake to interfere with the “don’t ask, don’t tell policy.”

Click for Mitt Romney on other issues.   Source: GovWatch on 2008 campaign: “Top Ten Flip-Flops”

Barack Obama on Civil Rights : Oct 30, 2007
Decisions about marriage should be left to the states

One of Obama’s pragmatic stands troubling to progressives is on gay marriage. In the Senate debate, Obama opposed the right-wing Federal Marriage Amendment to ban gay marriage nationally and said: “I agree with most Americans, with Democrats and Republicans, with Vice President Cheney, with over 2,000 religious leaders of all different beliefs, that decisions about marriage, as they always have, should be left to the states.” However, Obama also declared, “Personally, I do believe that marriage is between a man and a woman.” At the same time, Obama has strongly supported civil unions, arguing that it is a way to protect equal rights without taking the politically risky approach of gay marriage.
Click for Barack Obama on other issues.   Source: The Improbable Quest, by John K. Wilson, p.114-115

Mitt Romney on Civil Rights : Oct 21, 2007
MA Constitution, by John Adams, has no same-sex marriage

I’ve been in a state that has gay marriage, and I recognize that the consequences of gay marriage fall far beyond just the relationship between a man and a woman. They also relate to our kids and the right of religion to be practiced freely in a society.

The status of marriage, if it’s allowed among the same sex individuals in one state is going to spread to the entire nation. And that’s why it’s important to have a national standard for marriage. And I’m committed to making sure that we reinforce the institution of marriage in this country by insisting that all states have a right to have marriage as defined as between a man and a woman; and we don’t have unelected judges saying we’re going to impose same-sex marriage where it was clearly not in their state constitution.

My state’s constitution was written by John Adams. It isn’t there. I’ve looked. The people need to speak on this issue and make sure that marriage is preserved as between a man and a woman.

Click for Mitt Romney on other issues.   Source: 2007 GOP primary debate in Orlando, Florida

Barack Obama on Civil Rights : Sep 6, 2007
Ok to expose 6-year-olds to gay couples; they know already

Q: Last year some parents of second graders in Lexington, Massachusetts, were outraged to learn their children’s teacher had read a story about same-sex marriage, about a prince who marries another prince. Would you be comfortable having this story read to your children as part of their school curriculum?

A: My 9-year-old and my 6-year-old are already aware that there are same-sex couples. And my wife and I have talked about it. And one of the things I want to communicate to my children is not to be afraid of people who are different, and because there have been times in our history where I was considered different. And one of the things I think the next president has to do is to stop fanning people’s fears.

Q: Have you sat down with your daughters to talk about same-sex marriage?

A: My wife has.

Click for Barack Obama on other issues.   Source: 2007 Democratic primary debate at Dartmouth College

Hillary Clinton on Civil Rights : Sep 6, 2007
Telling kids about gay couples is parental discretion

Q: Last year some parents of second graders in Lexington, Massachusetts, were outraged to learn their children’s teacher had read a story about same-sex marriage, about a prince who marries another prince. Would you be comfortable having this story read to your children as part of their school curriculum?

A: With respect to your individual children, that is such a matter of parental discretion. I think that obviously it is better to try to work with your children, to help your children the many differences that are in the world and to really respect other people and the choices that other people make, and that goes far beyond sexual orientation. So I think that this issue of gays and lesbians and their rights will remain an important one in our country. Tomorrow we’re going to vote on the hate crimes bill. We haven’t been able to get it passed, and it is an important measure to send a message that we stand against hatred and divisiveness.

Click for Hillary Clinton on other issues.   Source: 2007 Democratic primary debate at Dartmouth College

Mitt Romney on Civil Rights : Aug 31, 2007
1994: Gays ok in Boy Scouts

Here’s a brief review of Romney’s public record on gay rights in his 1994 campaign against Senator Edward Kennedy.
Click for Mitt Romney on other issues.   Source: The Man, His Values, & His Vision, p. 58-59

Mitt Romney on Civil Rights : Aug 31, 2007
2006: Marriage: I agree with 3000 years of recorded history

On December 14, 2006, Romney said in a National Review Online interview: “Like the vast majority of Americans, I’ve opposed same-sex marriage, but I’ve also opposed unjust discrimination against anyone, for racial or religious reasons, or for sexual preference. Americans are a tolerant, generous, and kind people. We all oppose bigotry and disparagement. But the debate over same-sex marriage is not a debate over tolerance. It is a debate about the purpose of the institution of marriage and it is a debate about activist judges who make up the law rather than interpret the law.

“I agree with 3000 years of recorded history. I believe marriage is a sacred institution between a man and a woman and I have been rock solid in my support of traditional marriage. Marriage is first and foremost about nurturing and developing children. It’s unfortunate that those who choose to defend the institution of marriage are often demonized.”

Click for Mitt Romney on other issues.   Source: The Man, His Values, & His Vision, p. 60

Barack Obama on Civil Rights : Aug 9, 2007
Has any marriage broken up because two gays hold hands?

The notion of gay marriage has been used to divide people in black churches. I pointed out that if there’s any pastor here who can point out a marriage that has been broken up as a consequence of seeing two men or two women holding hands, then you should tell me, because I haven’t seen any evidence of it. And if you think that issue is more important to the black family than the fact that black men don’t have any jobs and are struggling in the inner cities, then I profoundly disagree with you.
Click for Barack Obama on other issues.   Source: 2007 HRC/LOGO debate on gay issues

Barack Obama on Civil Rights : Aug 9, 2007
Legal rights for gays are conferred by state, not by church

Q: You have said in previous debates that it is up to individual religious denominations to decide whether or not to recognize same-sex marriage. What place does the church have in government-sanctioned civil marriages?

A: It is my strong belief that the government has to treat all citizens equally. I don’t think that the church should be making these determinations when it comes to legal rights conferred by the state. I do think that individual denominations have the right to make their own decisions as to whether they recognize same sex couples. My denomination, United Church of Christ, does. Other denominations may make a decision, and obviously, part of keeping a separation of churches and state is also to make sure that churches have the right to exercise their freedom of religion.

Click for Barack Obama on other issues.   Source: 2007 HRC/LOGO debate on gay issues

Barack Obama on Civil Rights : Aug 9, 2007
Gay marriage is less important that equal gay rights

Q: On the grounds of civil marriage, can you see to our community where [your stance of separating gay rights from the word “marriage”] comes across as sounding like “separate but equal”?

A: Look, when my parents got married in 1961, it would have been illegal for them to be married in a number of states in the South. So obviously, this is something that I understand intimately, it’s something that I care about. But if I were advising the civil rights movement back in 1961 about its approach to civil rights, I would have probably said it’s less important that we focus on an anti-miscegenation law than we focus on a voting rights law and a non-discrimination and employment law and all the legal rights that are conferred by the state. Now, it’s not for me to suggest that you shouldn’t be troubled by these issues. But my job as president is going to be to make sure that the legal rights that have consequences on a day to day basis for loving same sex couples all across the country.

Click for Barack Obama on other issues.   Source: 2007 HRC/LOGO debate on gay issues

Hillary Clinton on Civil Rights : Aug 9, 2007
Positive about civil unions, with full equality of benefits

Q: What is at the heart of your opposition to same-sex marriage?

A: Well, I prefer to think of it as being very positive about civil unions. You know, it’s a personal position. How we get to full equality is the debate we’re having, & I am absolutely in favor of civil unions with full equality of benefits, rights, and privileges. I want to proceed with equalizing federal benefits.

And I’ve also been a very strong supporter of letting the states maintain their jurisdiction over marriage. I want to repeal Section 3 of DOMA, which stands in the way of the extension of benefits to people in committed, same-sex relationships. I will be very strongly in favor of doing that as president.

I don’t know that we could have defeated the Federal Marriage Amendment if we had not had DOMA. I mean, that is something that, you know, has provided a great protection against what was clearly the Republican strategy, to just cynically use marriage as a political tool.

Click for Hillary Clinton on other issues.   Source: 2007 HRC/LOGO debate on gay issues

Hillary Clinton on Civil Rights : Aug 9, 2007
Let states decide gay marriage; they’re ahead of feds

Q: Why let the states maintain their jurisdiction to ban gay marriage?

A: It’s easy to forget that just 2 years ago we were facing all of these referenda that were enshrining discrimination in state constitutions. Unfortunately, they passed. Now, we’re beginning to see other states take different approaches, because stopping the Federal Marriage Amendment gave the states the breathing room to make different decisions.

Q: In the civil rights struggle, the same argument of states’ rights issue was used as a red herring. Doesn’t marriage as a states’ rights issue resonate the same way?

A: Absolutely. But this has not been a long-term struggle yet, and I think the states are moving much more rapidly to deal with the inequalities than you would find at the federal level. The reason we were plotting strategy to beat the Federal Marriage Amendment is that we were worried it was going to pass. But I don’t know that we could have defeated the Federal Marriage Amendment if we had not had DOMA.

Click for Hillary Clinton on other issues.   Source: 2007 HRC/LOGO debate on gay issues

Barack Obama on Jobs : Aug 9, 2007
Chief co-sponsor of IL ENDA, against gay job discrimination

Q: A recent poll of young Americans show that 44% favor same-sex marriage compared to 28% of the older public. Now, you’re running as a candidate of change. But how can you run as a candidate of change when your stance on same-sex marriage is decidedly old school?

A: Oh, come on, now. There’s a reason why I was here first. It’s because I’ve got a track record of working on these issues. If people are interested at the federal level, they can look at who was the chief co-sponsor of Illinois’ version of ENDA [the Employment Non-Discrimination Acts, focusing on discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation], which we passed. If people are interested in my stance on these issues, I’ve got a track record of working with the LGBT community. What I have focused on and what I will continue to focus on is making sure that the rights that are provided by the federal government and the state governments and local governments are ones that are provided to everybody.

Click for Barack Obama on other issues.   Source: 2007 HRC/LOGO debate on gay issues

Barack Obama on Civil Rights : Jul 23, 2007
Let each denominations decide on recognizing gay marriage

Q: The laws banning interracial marriage were ruled unconstitutional in 1967. What is the difference between a ban on interracial marriage and a ban on gay marriage?

A: We’ve got to make sure that everybody is equal under the law. And the civil unions that I proposed would be equivalent in terms of making sure that all the rights that are conferred by the state are equal for same-sex couples as well as for heterosexual couples. Now, with respect to marriage, it’s my belief that it’s up to the individual denominations to make a decision as to whether they want to recognize marriage or not. But in terms of, you know, the rights of people to transfer property, to have hospital visitation, all those critical civil rights that are conferred by our government, those should be equal.

Click for Barack Obama on other issues.   Source: 2007 YouTube Democratic Primary debate, Charleston SC

Hillary Clinton on Civil Rights : Jul 18, 2007
Supports DOMA, which Bill Clinton signed

Hillary stated categorically that she opposed legalizing same-sex marriage. She provided a clear explanation that to this day is the most quoted statement enunciating her position. “Marriage has historic, religious, and moral content that goes back to the beginning of time, and I think a marriage is as a marriage has always been, between a man and a woman. But I also believe that people in committed gay marriages, as they believe them to be, should be given rights under the law that recognize and respect their relationship.“

Hillary said she backed her husband’s signing of the Defense of Marriage Act. She said what everyone wanted to know: Yes, if she had been in the Senate in 1996, she would have supported the law.

Click for Hillary Clinton on other issues.   Source: God and Hillary Clinton, by Paul Kengor, p.189-190

Mitt Romney on Principles & Values : Jun 28, 2007
FactCheck: VT would disagree that MA is most liberal state

In his new TV ad, Romney calls Massachusetts “the most liberal state” in the US, and “the toughest place” for a Republican governor. That may be his judgment, but surely there are a few other nominees for the “most liberal” award.

True, Massachusetts has Democratic Sens. Ted Kennedy and John Kerry, and in 2004 it became the first state in the nation to legalize gay marriage. In the 1972 presidential election, it was the only state (plus DC) won by Democratic nominee George McGovern.

But consider Vermont, the home of Sen. Bernie Sanders, a self-described “independent democratic socialist,” and of Howard Dean, former governor. Social activist ice cream czars Ben & Jerry also are based there.

Then there’s Rhode Island, which cast a greater share of its votes--61%--for Democratic presidential nominee Al Gore in 2000 than any other state. And some might well grant the distinction to New Jersey, which has a higher personal income tax than Massachusetts, as well as two Democratic senators.

Click for Mitt Romney on other issues.   Source: FactCheck's AdWatch of 2007 campaign ad, “Tested, Proven”

Joe Biden on Civil Rights : Apr 29, 2007
Civil unions ok; gay marriage is probably inevitable

Q: In November 2003, you were asked, “Do you believe gay marriage is inevitable?” And you responded, “I’m not sure. I think probably it is.”

A: Well, I think it probably is because social mores change. But I don’t think the government can dictate the definition of marriage to religious institutions. But government does have an obligation to guarantee that every individual is free of discrimination. And there’s a distinction. I think government should not be able to dictate to religions the definition of marriage, but on a civil side, government has the obligation to strip away every vestige of discrimination as to what individuals are able to do in terms of their personal conduct.

So New Hampshire coming out in favor of civil unions is OK by you?

A: Yes. Yes, it is.

Click for Joe Biden on other issues.   Source: Meet the Press: 2007 “Meet the Candidates” series

Barack Obama on Civil Rights : Mar 27, 2007
Opposed 1996 Illinois DOMA bill

I opposed the Defense of Marriage Act in 1996. It should be repealed and I will vote for its repeal on the Senate floor. I will appeal any proposal to amend the U.S. constitution to ban gays and lesbians from marrying. I know how important the issue of equal rights is to the LGBT community. I share your sense of urgency.
Click for Barack Obama on other issues.   Source: In His Own Words, edited by Lisa Rogak, p. 52

Mike Bloomberg on Civil Rights : Mar 25, 2007
Backs same-sex marriage

Bloomberg supports gun control, has raised taxes, backs same-sex marriage and signed a law banning the use of trans fats in fast-food restaurants. The mayor once filed suit on behalf of the city against two dozen gun dealers.
Click for Mike Bloomberg on other issues.   Source: Michael D. Shear, Washington Post, p. A1

Mike Bloomberg on Gun Control : Mar 25, 2007
Sued New York City gun dealers to control guns

Bloomberg supports gun control, has raised taxes, backs same-sex marriage and signed a law banning the use of trans fats in fast-food restaurants. The mayor once filed suit on behalf of the city against two dozen gun dealers.
Click for Mike Bloomberg on other issues.   Source: Michael D. Shear, Washington Post, p. A1

Mike Huckabee on Civil Rights : Jan 28, 2007
Respect gay couples but no gay adoptions

Q: Should gay couples be allowed to adopt children?

A: Unfortunately, so much of this argument has been framed about what the same-sex couple wants. But the real question needs to be child-focused, not couple-focused. And that’s true whether the couple is same-sex or whether they’re heterosexual. In our state, as in most, the criteria for adoption is always what’s in the best interest of the child.

Q: So is it in the best interest of the child to have gay parents?

A: I’m not sure that we have a positive answer to that. And until we absolutely could say it, then I’m always hesitant to change those institutions.

Q: Do you believe that you’re born gay or you choose to be gay?

A: I don’t honestly know. But the point is, people are who they want to be, and we should respect them for that. But when they want to change the institutions that’ve governed our society for all the years of recorded human history, then that’s a serious change of culture that we don’t just make readily or hurriedly.

Click for Mike Huckabee on other issues.   Source: Meet the Press: 2007 “Meet the Candidates” series

Mitt Romney on Civil Rights : Jan 1, 2007
Marriage is a sacred institution between a man and a woman

I took a stand against the Massachusetts supreme-court ruling on same-sex marriage. I have made clear since 2003, when the supreme court of Massachusetts redefined marriage by fiat, that my unwavering advocacy for traditional marriage stands side by side with a tolerance and respect for all Americans.

Like the vast majority of Americans, I’ve opposed same-sex marriage, but I’ve also opposed unjust discrimination against anyone. The debate over same-sex marriage is not a debate over tolerance. It is a debate about the purpose of the institution of marriage and it is a debate about activist judges who make up the law rather than interpret the law.

I agree with 3,000 years of recorded history. I believe marriage is a sacred institution between a man and a woman and I have been rock solid in my support of traditional marriage. Marriage is first and foremost about nurturing and developing children. It’s unfortunate that those who choose to defend the institution of marriage are often demonized.

Click for Mitt Romney on other issues.   Source: RSLevinson.com “All Things Queer”, review of 2008 gay issues

Mitt Romney on Abortion : Dec 22, 2006
Now firmly pro-life, despite 2002 tolerance for abortion

In New Hampshire on Thursday, he deflected conservative concerns about his record on gay marriage and abortion. He said he now describes himself as “firmly pro-life,” despite citing his tolerance for abortion rights during his 2002 gubernatorial campaign, after researching the embryonic stem cell issue.
Click for Mitt Romney on other issues.   Source: CNN.com, “Inside Politics”

Mike Huckabee on Civil Rights : Dec 1, 2006
Signed legislation outlawing same-sex marriage in Arkansas

Click for Mike Huckabee on other issues.   Source: PAC website, HopeForAmericaPac.org, “About”

Sarah Palin on Civil Rights : Nov 3, 2006
Special legislative session on same-sex health benefits

Asked about Gov. Frank Murkowski’s call for a special legislative session on same-sex health benefits, Knowles said the session is unnecessary. But Palin said the question was not simply about health care benefits, it was an extension of voters’ definition of marriage as between a man and a woman.
Click for Sarah Palin on other issues.   Source: Alaska 2006 Governor Debate: AP coverage of public TV debate

Hillary Clinton on Civil Rights : Oct 11, 2006
Federal Marriage Amendment would be terrible step backwards

Senator Clinton voted against a constitutional amendment to ban gay marriage, but she has avoided making statements on the issue. When a reporter pressed her, she instead assailed the amendment as part of the “political machine of the White House & then GOP majority.”

Hillary has remained so tight-lipped about her feelings on gay marriage that homosexual groups have threatened to stop funding her.

Hillary’s awkward stance on this issue reflects a need to please her liberal base while not turning off conservative voters. When she does address the issue, she said she opposed gay marriage, supported some form of civil unions, but was against the Federal Marriage Amendment to the Constitution.

“I think it would be a terrible step backwards. It would be the first time we’ve amended the Constitution to deny rights to people.”

When she talks to conservatives, Hillary says she personally opposed gay marriage, pointing to her support for the Defense of Marriage act.

Click for Hillary Clinton on other issues.   Source: Vast Right-Wing Conspiracy, by Amanda Carpenter, p. 84-87

Barack Obama on Civil Rights : Oct 1, 2006
Opposes gay marriage; supports civil union & gay equality

For many practicing Christians, the inability to compromise may apply to gay marriage. I find such a position troublesome, particularly in a society in which Christian men and women have been known to engage in adultery or other violations of their faith without civil penalty. I believe that American society can choose to carve out a special place for the union of a man and a woman as the unit of child rearing most common to every culture. I am not willing to have the state deny American citizens a civil union that confers equivalent rights no such basic matters as hospital visitation or health insurance coverage simlpy because the people they love are of the same sex--nor am I willing to accept a readingof the Bible that considers an obscure line in Romans to be more defining of Christianity than the Sermon on the Mount.

The heightened focus on marriage is a distraction from other, attainable measures to prevent discrimination and gays and lesbians.

Click for Barack Obama on other issues.   Source: The Audacity of Hope, by Barack Obama, p.222-3

Barack Obama on Families & Children : Oct 1, 2006
Listening to evangelicals bridges major political fault line

Today, white evangelical Christians are the heart and soul of the Republican Party’s grassroots base. It is their issues-abortion, gay marriage, prayer in schools, intelligent design, Terri Schiavo, the posting of the Ten Commandments in the courthouse, home schooling, voucher plans, and the makeup of the Supreme Court-that often dominate the headlines and serve as one of the major fault lines in American politics. The single biggest gap in party affiliation is between those who attend church regularly and those who don’t. Democrats, meanwhile, are scrambling to “get religion,” even as a core segment of our constituency remains stubbornly secular, and fears that the agenda of an assertively Christian nation may not make room for them or their life choices.

The evangelists’ success points to a hunger for the product they are selling, a hunger that goes beyond any particular issue or cause. They need an assurance that somebody out there cares about them, is listening to them.

Click for Barack Obama on other issues.   Source: The Audacity of Hope, by Barack Obama, p.201-2

Sarah Palin on Civil Rights : Aug 6, 2006
Ok to deny benefits to homosexual couples

Here’s what Sarah Palin has to say about same-sex marriage. Palin said she’s not out to judge anyone and has good friends who are gay, but that she supported the 1998 constitutional amendment.

Elected officials can’t defy the court when it comes to how rights are applied, she said, but she would support a ballot question that would deny benefits to homosexual couples. “I believe that honoring the family structure is that important,” Palin said. She said she doesn’t know if people choose to be gay.

Click for Sarah Palin on other issues.   Source: Anchorage Daily News, “Little play,” by K. Hopkins

Sarah Palin on Civil Rights : Jul 31, 2006
No spousal benefits for same-sex couples

Q: Do you support the Alaska Supreme Court’s ruling that spousal benefits for state employees should be given to same-sex couples?

A: No, I believe spousal benefits are reserved for married citizens as defined in our constitution.

Click for Sarah Palin on other issues.   Source: Eagle Forum 2006 Gubernatorial Candidate Questionnaire

Condoleezza Rice on Civil Rights : Jun 16, 2006
Urges respect & sensitivity in same-sex marriage debate

Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice urged respect and sensitivity in the debate over same-sex marriage. When asked her own views on the subject, however, she ducked the question.

“This is an issue that can be debated and can be discussed in our country with respect for every human being,” Rice told the News & Record of Greensboro, N.C. “When we get into difficult debates about social policy, we get into difficult debates that touch people’s lives. The only thing that I ask is that Americans do it with a kind of sensitivity that real individuals and real human beings are involved here.“

In a major defeat for President Bush and other Republicans who hope the issue will rally GOP voters for the November elections, the Senate rejected by a wide margin last week a constitutional amendment to ban same-sex marriage. Asked for her opinion on the amendment, Rice told the paper, ”This is not my area of expertise or, frankly, my area of concentration at this point.“

Click for Condoleezza Rice on other issues.   Source: Advocate.com GLBT news site

Condoleezza Rice on Civil Rights : Jun 15, 2006
Advocates respect for all when discussing gay marriage

Condoleezza Rice urged respect in the debate over gay marriage, but ducked a question about her own views. "This is an issue that can be debated and can be discussed in our country with respect for every human being. When we get into difficult debates about social policy, we get into difficult debates that touch people's lives, the only thing that I ask is that Americans do it with a kind of sensitivity that real individuals and real human beings are involved here."
Click for Condoleezza Rice on other issues.   Source: Associated Press, "Rice Urges Respect"

Deval Patrick on Abortion : Jan 15, 2006
Decisions on abortion should be made by women

A man carrying a red Bible to the microphone asked, How could Patrick support gay marriage and abortion rights if God doesn’t? Patrick treaded carefully. He said he believes decisions on abortion should be made by women, and not by the government, and that the law should regard everyone as equals, regardless of their sexual orientation. Patrick added that people are far less concerned about gay marriage and abortion than about paying their rent and heating bills.
Click for Deval Patrick on other issues.   Source: Scott Helman, Boston Globe, p. A1

Deval Patrick on Civil Rights : Jan 15, 2006
Supports equal marriage rights for gays

A man carrying a red Bible to the microphone asked, How could Patrick support gay marriage if God doesn’t? Patrick treaded carefully. He said that the law should regard everyone as equals, regardless of their sexual orientation. Patrick added that people are far less concerned about gay marriage than about paying their rent and heating bills.

’’I am not going to pander to anybody for anything,“ Patrick said. ‘’I respect differences of opinion, but I have a point of view which I think is right on the law and right as a matter of fundamental fairness.“

Ultimately, said Melvin B. Miller, publisher and editor of the Bay State Banner, a newspaper serving the black community, many people will decide that it’s foolish not to support Patrick because of gay marriage. ‘’I mean, we’re not going to support a candidate of those qualifications? That’s not good enough?” said Miller, himself an opponent of same-sex marriage. ‘’That’s ridiculous.“

Click for Deval Patrick on other issues.   Source: Scott Helman, Boston Globe, p. A1

Hillary Clinton on Abortion : Oct 11, 2005
Voted liberal line on partial birth & harm to fetus

Click for Hillary Clinton on other issues.   Source: Condi vs. Hillary, by Dick Morris, p. 85-86

Mitt Romney on Civil Rights : Aug 12, 2004
OpEd: abdicated power in 2004 & allowed gay marriage

In Nov. 2003, the State Supreme Judicial Court gave the Massachusetts legislature 6 months to enact a law granting homosexuals the right to marry. In July, the US Supreme Court had struck down the laws of 17 states and declared homosexual sodomy to be a constitutionally protected right. Following that decision, Justice Scalia fairly exploded:

"State laws against bigamy, same-sex marriage, adult incest, prostitution, masturbation, adultery, fornication, bestiality, and obscenity [are now] called into question. The court has largely signed on to the homosexual agenda. The court has taken sides in the culture war."

Indeed, it had. Nevertheless, on May 17, 2004, Gov. Romney bowed to the order of the court and began handling out the marriage licenses, though he and the state legislature believed that nothing in the constitution of the commonwealth mandated gay marriages. Few better examples exist of how unelected judges have usurped the law-making power, and how elected officials have abdicated.

Click for Mitt Romney on other issues.   Source: Where the Right Went Wrong, by Pat Buchanan, p.214

Paul Ryan on Civil Rights : Jul 22, 2004
Let each state separately define DOMA and marriage

Paul Ryan today voted in favor of H.R. 3313, legislation that prevents unelected, lifetime-appointed federal judges from ruling on the Defense of Marriage Act that provides that no state shall be required to accept same-sex marriage licenses granted in other states.

The legislation provides that federal courts cannot strike down the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA) and take away from the states the option Congress gave them to reject same-sex marriage licenses issued in another state if they want to.

"I believe fundamentally that marriage is between a man and a woman. Although I support the constitutional amendment to protect marriage, that process cannot continue at this time given the failed attempt by the U.S. Senate to advance the amendment. Meanwhile, states could be forced to accept same-sex marriages because of a few judges in Massachusetts. This legislation protects each state's right to protect marriage," Ryan said.

Click for Paul Ryan on other issues.   Source: 2004 House campaign press release on Defense of Marriage Act

Mike Huckabee on Civil Rights : Nov 1, 2002
No civil unions; only one-man-one-woman marriage

Q: Should Arkansas recognize civil unions between same-sex couples?

A: No.

Q: Should Arkansas restrict marriage to a union only between a man and a woman?

A: Yes.

Click for Mike Huckabee on other issues.   Source: 2002 AR Gubernatorial National Political Awareness Test

Mitt Romney on Civil Rights : Sep 17, 2002
Supports benefits for gay partners, but not gay marriage

All citizens deserve equal rights, regardless of their sexual orientation. While he does not support gay marriage, Mitt Romney believes domestic partnership status should be recognized in a way that includes the potential for health benefits and rights of survivorship.
Click for Mitt Romney on other issues.   Source: Campaign web site, www.romney2002.com, “Issues”

Jeb Bush on Civil Rights : Jul 2, 1998
No hate-crimes status for gays; no gay marriage

Q: Do you believe that the Florida government should include sexual orientation in Florida’s anti-discrimination laws?

A: No.

Q: Do you believe that the Florida government should recognize same-sex marriages?

A: No.

Click for Jeb Bush on other issues.   Source: 1998 Florida National Political Awareness Test

Barack Obama on Civil Rights : Jul 2, 1998
Include sexual orientation in anti-discrimination laws

Q: Do you believe that the Illinois government should include sexual orientation in Illinois’ anti-discrimination laws?

A: Yes.

Q: Do you believe that the Illinois government should recognize same-sex marriages?

A: Undecided

Click for Barack Obama on other issues.   Source: 1998 IL State Legislative National Political Awareness Test

Jeb Bush on Civil Rights : Nov 1, 1995
Gay rights & feminism are "modern victim movements"

Since the 1960s, the politics of victimization has steadily intensified. Being a victim gives rise to certain entitlements, benefits, and preferences in society. The surest way to get something in today’s society is to elevate one’s status to that of the oppressed. Many of the modern victim movements-the gay rights movement, the feminist movement, the black empowerment movement-have attempted to get people to view themselves as part of a smaller group deserving of something from society.

It is a major deviation from the society envisioned by Martin Luther King, who would have had people judged by the content of their character and not by the color of their skin-or sexual preference or gender or ethnicity. Eventually there will come a time when everybody will be able to claim some status as a victim of society, leaving few in society who will actually be considered the victimizers. Who, then, will be left to blame in a world in which it is victim against victim?

Click for Jeb Bush on other issues.   Source: Profiles in Character, by Jeb Bush & B.Yablonski, p. 59-60

  • Additional quotations related to Gay Rights issues can be found under Civil Rights.
  • Click here for definitions & background information on Civil Rights.
Candidates on Civil Rights:
Incumbents:
Pres.Barack Obama
V.P.Joe Biden
Secy.John Kerry
Secy.Chuck Hagel

 Related issues:
Affirmative Action
Disabled Rights
Gays in Military
HIV-AIDS
NCLB
Privacy
School Prayer

2016 Presidential contenders:
Mayor Michael Bloomberg(I-NYC)
Amb.John Bolton(R-MD)
Gov.Jeb Bush(R-FL)
Dr.Ben Carson(T-MD)
Gov.Chris Christie(R-NJ)
Secy.Hillary Clinton(D-NY)
Sen.Ted Cruz(T-TX)
Gov.Andrew Cuomo(D-NY)
Mayor Rahm Emanuel(D-IL)
Gov.Bobby Jindal(R-LA)
Gov.Nikk Haley(R-SC)
Rep.Peter King(R-NY)
Gov.Martin O`Malley(D-MD)
Gov.Deval Patrick(D-MA)
Sen.Rand Paul(R-KY)
Sen.Rob Portman(R-OH)
Sen.Marco Rubio(R-FL)
Gov.Jesse Ventura(I-MN)
2012 Presidential:
Rep.Michele Bachmann(T-MN)
Rep.Newt Gingrich(R-GA)
Gov.Mike Huckabee(R-AR)
Gov.Jon Huntsman(R-UT)
Gov.Gary Johnson(L-NM)
Gov.Sarah Palin(R-AK)
Rep.Ron Paul(R-TX)
Gov.Rick Perry(R-TX)
Gov.Mitt Romney(R-MA)
Rep.Paul Ryan(R-WI)
Sen.Rick Santorum(R-PA)
Donald Trump(I-NY)
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Page last updated: Mar 06, 2014