issues2000

Topics in the News: Gay Rights


Rick Perry on Civil Rights : Jun 4, 2015
Would attend same-sex marriage of a family member

Perry opposes same-sex marriage, but said recently that he "probably would" attend a same-sex marriage of a family member.
Click for Rick Perry on other issues.   Source: N. Y. Times 2015 coverage of 2016 presidential hopefuls

Rick Perry on Civil Rights : Jun 3, 2015
Supported anti-sodomy laws; opposes gay marriage

Perry personally opposes gay marriage and argues that states should determine for themselves how to define marriage. Asked in April whether he would attend a hypothetical gay wedding, he answered, "probably." On homosexuality, Perry has supported anti-sodomy laws. In his book, "Fed Up!" he disagreed with the landmark Supreme Court decision which ruled such laws unconstitutional.
Click for Rick Perry on other issues.   Source: PBS News Hour "2016 Candidate Stands" series

Martin O`Malley on Civil Rights : Apr 27, 2015
Led Maryland to 2012 same-sex marriage law

Hillary Clinton's position on same-sex marriage has evolved. She opposed it 2008, said it was "a matter left to the states" in 2014, and now supports it in this campaign. In contrast, O'Malley has held solid ground on the issue and led Maryland's passage of a same-sex marriage law in 2012.

This month he said he was "glad secretary Clinton's come around to the right positions on these issues" and criticised her for poll-testing policies rather than following principles.

Click for Martin O`Malley on other issues.   Source: Irish Times 2015 coverage of 2016 presidential hopefuls

Bobby Jindal on Civil Rights : Apr 26, 2015
Institution of marriage existed long before our laws existed

Rick Santorum said he would never attend a same-sex wedding. Marco Rubio said he might attend one. Scott Walker actually went to a same-sex wedding reception, not to be confused with an actual same-sex wedding ceremony. Ted Cruz said he is firmly opposed to gay marriage, but would be comfortable if his daughter were gay.

The more conservative members of this Republican field--among them Sen. Cruz; Sen. Santorum; Gov. Bobby Jindal; and Gov. Mike Huckabee--have aggressively emphasized their opposition to same-sex marriage. For them, the issue can be used to differentiate themselves not just from Democrats but from mainstream Republicans, like Jeb Bush, who is trying to appeal to a broader audience with an eye to the general election.

Jindal was critical of Republican lawmakers in Indiana and Arkansas who backed down on laws that proponents say protect religious freedom, while Rubio declared that "the institution of marriage as one man and one woman existed long before our laws existed."

Click for Bobby Jindal on other issues.   Source: N. Y. Times on 2015 Iowa Faith & Freedom Coalition summit

Marco Rubio on Civil Rights : Apr 26, 2015
One-man-one-woman marriage existed before our laws

Several GOP candidates tried to outdo one another on who could speak out most strongly against a right to gay marriage. "Marriage as an institution existed before even government itself," declared Florida Sen. Marco Rubio, at the Faith & Freedom Summit, at which nine likely presidential candidates spoke. "The institution of marriage as between one man and one woman existed even before our laws existed."
Click for Marco Rubio on other issues.   Source: Politico.com on 2015 Iowa Faith & Freedom Coalition summit

Scott Walker on Civil Rights : Apr 26, 2015
Constitutional amendment to prevent federal gay marriage

Several GOP candidates tried to outdo one another on who could speak out most strongly against a right to gay marriage. Scott Walker noted that he voted for Wisconsin's constitutional ban and defended it through the judicial process, until the Supreme Court refused to review a lower court ruling that his state issue marriage licenses to gay couples. "Let me be clear, I believe marriage is between one man and one woman," the Wisconsin governor said. "I still hold out hope that the Supreme Court will rule, as has been the tradition in the past, that the states are the places that get to define what marriage is. If for some reason they don't, I believe it's reasonable for the people of America to consider a constitutional amendment that would affirm the ability of states to do just that."
Click for Scott Walker on other issues.   Source: Politico.com on 2015 Iowa Faith & Freedom Coalition summit

Bobby Jindal on Civil Rights : Apr 26, 2015
I pledge support for a religious freedom law

Bobby Jindal got out front against a right to gay marriage by writing an op-ed this week that was headlined, "I'm holding firm against gay marriage." There were hundreds of printouts of the piece, which ran in the New York Times, scattered throughout the mega-church [conference of the Faith & Freedom Summit].

The Louisiana governor's speech was interrupted twice by standing ovations as he pledged his support for a religious freedom law in his home state that's as strong as the one enacted in Indiana. The Republican governor there, Mike Pence, prodded his legislature to enact a "fix" after threats of boycotts on the state and massive backlash from the business community.

Jindal said he won't back down. "Corporate America is not going to bully the governor of Louisiana," he said. "Here's my message to Hollywood: the United States of America did not create religious liberty. Religious liberty created the United States of America." Both lines got him standing ovations.

Click for Bobby Jindal on other issues.   Source: Politico.com on 2015 Iowa Faith & Freedom Coalition summit

Rick Santorum on Civil Rights : Apr 26, 2015
I would never attend a same-sex wedding

Rick Santorum said he would never attend a same-sex wedding. Marco Rubio said he might attend one. Scott Walker actually went to a same-sex wedding reception, not to be confused with an actual same-sex wedding ceremony. Ted Cruz said he is firmly opposed to gay marriage, but would be comfortable if his daughter were gay.

The more conservative members of this Republican field--among them Cruz; Santorum; and Bobby Jindal--have aggressively emphasized their opposition to same-sex marriage. For them, the issue can be used to differentiate themselves not just from Democrats but from mainstream Republicans, like Jeb Bush, who is trying to appeal to a broader audience with an eye to the general election.

Support for same-sex marriage is increasing among Republican voters, but it is still a minority view. That creates a split between conservative Republicans looking to win a primary, and candidates seeking to win a primary without carrying too much baggage into a general election.

Click for Rick Santorum on other issues.   Source: N. Y. Times on 2015 Iowa Faith & Freedom Coalition summit

Ted Cruz on Civil Rights : Apr 26, 2015
Pray against a court decision legalizing same-sex marriage

Rick Santorum said he would never attend a same-sex wedding. Marco Rubio said he might attend one. Scott Walker actually went to a same-sex wedding reception, not to be confused with an actual same-sex wedding ceremony. Ted Cruz said he is firmly opposed to gay marriage, but would be comfortable if his daughter were gay.

The more conservative members of this Republican field--among them Sen. Cruz; Sen. Santorum; Gov. Bobby Jindal; and Gov. Mike Huckabee--have aggressively emphasized their opposition to same-sex marriage. For them, the issue can be used to differentiate themselves not just from Democrats but from mainstream Republicans, like Jeb Bush, who is trying to appeal to a broader audience with an eye to the general election.

Cruz said advocates of traditional marriage should "fall to our knees and pray" against a court decision legalizing same-sex marriage.

Click for Ted Cruz on other issues.   Source: N. Y. Times on 2015 Iowa Faith & Freedom Coalition summit

Ted Cruz on Civil Rights : Apr 25, 2015
Zealotry on same-sex marriage leaves out religious liberty

Cruz said same-sex marriage had produced rabid zealotry in Democratic ranks. This ideology, he argued, was excluding people of faith: "Today's Democratic Party has become so radicalized for legalizing gay marriage in all 50 states that there is no longer any room for religious liberty," he said.

The Texas lawmaker said this stance was against America's traditional values. Religious liberty, Cruz claimed, was one of the nation's founding principles. "We were founded by men and women fleeing religious persecution," Cruz declared.

Cruz, a long-time opponent of same-sex marriage, seemingly softened his tone on gay rights earlier this week. The White House hopeful reportedly said Monday evening he would still accept one of his daughters if they became a lesbian.

Click for Ted Cruz on other issues.   Source: TheHill weblog on 2015 Iowa Faith & Freedom Coalition summit

Mike Huckabee on Civil Rights : Apr 24, 2015
Same-sex marriage leads to criminalization of Christianity

The United States is moving toward "criminalization of Christianity" as a result of legalizing same-sex marriage, Mike Huckabee told a group of conservative pastors: "We are moving rapidly toward the criminalization of Christianity."

The former governor of Arkansas said it is his "biblical duty" to pray for the members of the Supreme Court as they prepare to rule on same-sex marriage this summer.

"If the courts rule that people have a civil right not only to be a homosexual but a civil right to have a homosexual marriage, then a homosexual couple coming to a pastor who believes in biblical marriage who says 'I can't perform that wedding' will now be breaking the law," he said. "Let me make clear: It's not just saying, 'I'm sorry you have a preference.' No, you will be breaking the law subject to civil, for sure, and possibly criminal penalties for violating the law, depending on how the law is written in communities, states and in the nation."

Click for Mike Huckabee on other issues.   Source: Politico.com on 2015 Iowa Faith & Freedom Coalition summit

Mike Huckabee on Civil Rights : Apr 24, 2015
Courts cannot unilaterally allow same-sex marriage

In an apparent defense of gay conversion therapy, Huckabee said that the government is telling chaplains that they cannot help people "seek assistance" for a "homosexual lifestyle" and to "put their Bibles away, no longer pray in Jesus' name." Huckabee told [an audience of] pastors that opponents of gay marriage are "pariahs" among the "ruling class" and donors.

Huckabee said that he cringes whenever he hears people call a court decision "the law of the land." He said, "how many people passed 9th grade civics? There are three branches of government, not one," adding that when a court rules in favor of same-sex marriage, that does not mean that licenses should be issued the following day.

Huckabee told the pastors that if they do follow their convictions according to the Bible, "your behavior will be criminal. Once the courts have been allowed to run over us and nobody stands up for us in the other two branches of government, then God help us all," he said

Click for Mike Huckabee on other issues.   Source: Politico.com on 2015 Iowa Faith & Freedom Coalition summit

Bobby Jindal on Civil Rights : Apr 5, 2015
Ok to deny services to gays based on religious beliefs

Q: What about the right of businesses to not serve gay customers?

JINDAL: This is about business owners that don't want to have to choose between their Christian faith, and being able to operate their businesses. What they don't want is the government to force them to participate in wedding ceremonies that contradict their beliefs. I was disappointed [that the law was overturned] in Indiana.

Q: So it's OK based on religious conviction for a business to deny services to a same-sex couple?

JINDAL: JINDAL: We're not talking about day-to-day routine commercial transactions. We're talking about a very specific example here of business owners--florists, musicians, caterers--who are being forced to either pay thousands or close their businesses if they don't want to participate in a wedding ceremony that contradicts their religious beliefs. So in that instance, yeah, I think part of the First Amendment means that we allow individuals to obey their conscience, to obey their religious beliefs.

Click for Bobby Jindal on other issues.   Source: Meet the Press 2015 interviews of 2016 presidential hopefuls

Bobby Jindal on Civil Rights : Apr 5, 2015
Let's have religious liberty without anti-gay discrimination

Q: [There is a Louisiana] bill that would allow private businesses to refuse to recognize same-sex marriage, should it become legal in Louisiana. The legislation would allow a private company to not offer the same benefits to legally recognized same-sex married couples as other married couples. So this is the beyond just denying services as a business. This would be also denying benefits to an employee who happens to be in a same-sex marriage. Would you support a bill that does that?

JINDAL: Look, let me see the details of the bill. I am, in general though, very supportive other defending religious liberty. And I think we can do that without condoning discrimination. I don't think those two values are mutually exclusive. And I think that's what this debate has been really about. I think we can have religious liberty without having discrimination. I think it's possible to have both. And it's desirable to have both in our society.

Click for Bobby Jindal on other issues.   Source: Meet the Press 2015 interviews of 2016 presidential hopefuls

Rand Paul on Civil Rights : Mar 31, 2015
I don't believe in rights based on your behavior

Sen. Rand Paul said he doesn't buy into the concept of gay rights because they are defined by a gay person's lifestyle: "I don't think I've ever used the term 'gay rights,' because I don't really believe in rights based on your behavior," Paul told reporters in a videotaped interview that has received little attention since it was recorded in 2013.

But it's unclear how far--and to whom--Paul extends the argument that rights cannot be defined by behavior. Practicing religion, for example, is a behavior enshrined in the Bill of Rights, , as is the behavior of free speech. Does Paul believe those behaviors are protected rights?

A Paul spokesperson said the rights that count are those in the country's founding charter. "He does not classify rights based on behavior, but rather recognizes rights for all, as our Constitution defines it. Sen. Paul is the biggest proponent for protecting the Bill of Rights, which, as you know, protects the rights of all Americans as stated in our Constitution."

Click for Rand Paul on other issues.   Source: Buzzfeed.com 2015 coverage of 2016 presidential hopefuls

Ted Cruz on Families & Children : Mar 9, 2015
Opposes the unrelenting assault on traditional marriage

Sen. Ted Cruz cast himself as a leading Republican opponent of same-sex marriage during an appearance before a crowd of evangelical Christians in Des Moines. Cruz described the ongoing shift toward legal recognition for gay couples as an "unrelenting assault on traditional marriage," and castigated judges who have struck down prohibitions for "ignoring their oaths, ignoring the Constitution and legislating from the bench."

The issue is one that Cruz said distinguishes him from other potential candidates in what looks to be a crowded 2016 presidential field. While others have de-emphasized or dropped altogether their opposition to same-sex marriage, he said, he would continue to make it a priority.

Cruz delivered his speech to a crowd of about 200 Iowa religious leaders and their spouses behind closed doors in a hotel ballroom in Des Moines.

Click for Ted Cruz on other issues.   Source: Des Moines Register on 2015 Iowa Ag Summit

Rand Paul on Civil Rights : Mar 7, 2015
Gay contracts ok, but gay marriage is offensive

Rand Paul said that affording the distinction to marriage to same-sex couples "offends myself and a lot of other people." In an interview with Fox News, the Kentucky Republican, who described himself as a "libertarian conservative," made the remarks when asked about his views on gay rights: "I'm for traditional marriage," Paul said. "I think marriage is between a man and a woman. Ultimately, we could have fixed this a long time ago if we just allowed contracts between adults. We didn't have to call it marriage, which offends myself and a lot of people."

Paul continued, "I think having competing contracts that would give them equivalency before the law would have solved a lot of these problems, and it may be where we're still headed."

For Paul's vision of equal rights for same-sex couples through contracts to become a reality, the first step would be have to be a ruling from the U.S. Supreme Court in June upholding state prohibitions on gay nuptials.

Click for Rand Paul on other issues.   Source: Washington Blade 2015 coverage of 2016 presidential hopefuls

Ben Carson on Civil Rights : Mar 4, 2015
Give gays rights, but not marriage, because it's a choice

Ben Carson said that "a lot of people who go into prison straight, and when they come out they're gay." The remarks were made on CNN's "New Day" in response to a question about whether Carson thought being gay was a "choice."

"Absolutely," Carson replied. Asked why, he went on to explain his prison theory. "So did something happen while they were in there?" he said. "Ask yourself that question."

He continued, invoking his argument against same-sex marriage: "Why do gay people want to get married? Because they want to have various rights," he said. "Property rights, visitation rights--why can't any two human beings, I don't care what their sexual orientation is, why can't they have the legal right to do those things?"

Later in a statement to CNN, Carson backed down a bit from his morning remarks. "I do not pretend to know how every individual came to their sexual orientation," he said. I regret that my words to express that concept were hurtful and divisive."

Click for Ben Carson on other issues.   Source: Politico.com 2015 coverage of 2016 presidential hopefuls

Scott Walker on Drugs : Feb 26, 2015
Opposes Colorado's legalization of marijuana

Walker expressed his opposition to Colorado's legalization of marijuana and his opposition to same-sex marriage. He further said he supported "the legal right for legal citizens to be able to carry and arm themselves"
Click for Scott Walker on other issues.   Source: Breitbart.com on 2015 Conservative Political Action Conf.

Scott Walker on Civil Rights : Feb 23, 2015
2013: same-sex marriage issue over; 2015: issue not settled

The governor is stressing a much harder line on social issues than he did just a few months ago, when he faced a robust challenge from a well-funded Democratic woman in his run for re-election as governor. The shift in emphasis and tone is noticeable on same-sex marriage, an issue of intense interest to social conservatives.

In 2013, Walker argued that Republicans, to win back the White House, must not become distracted from a focus on fiscal issues. Asked about same-sex marriage, he said, "I don't talk about it at all."

Last fall, after the Supreme Court rejected his appeal to preserve Wisconsin's ban on same-sex marriage, Walker conceded, "For us, it's over in Wisconsin." During the meeting with Iowa Christian conservative leaders last month, when the same issue arose, he struck a different posture. One attendee reported that Walker said the issue is not settled.

Click for Scott Walker on other issues.   Source: N. Y. Times, "Woo Christian conservatives," by J. Martin

Mike Huckabee on Foreign Policy : Jan 24, 2015
Islamic terrorism is the country's most pressing issue

The 2008 presidential candidate who won the Iowa caucuses cycled through conservative positions throughout his 22-minute speech, calling Islamic terrorism the country's most pressing foreign policy issue, reiterating his opposition to federal intervention on the legalization of same-sex marriage, dismissing the need for an increased minimum wage and backing a flat income tax.

Huckabee was specifically dismissive of economic inequality as a political issue, telling the crowd that "liberals" would press it in the coming presidential campaign but that "intelligence inequality" was a bigger problem.

Click for Mike Huckabee on other issues.   Source: Des Moines Register on 2015 Iowa Freedom Summit

Jeb Bush on Civil Rights : Jan 11, 2015
Respect civil unions & same-sex lifetime commitments

On same-sex marriage, Bush has not embraced legalization, yet he has adopted sympathetic, accepting language. A Bush friend says, "There is an evolution in temperament and an evolution in judgment--and there is an evolution in his respect for others' point of view."

Policy adjustments big & small are routine in American politics. Pres. Obama and Hillary Clinton both previously objected to same-sex marriage; today, they support it.

For Bush, the pattern was illustrated last week by a head-turning statement on the legalization of same-sex marriage in Florida, when he urged "respect" for the unions and offered words of conciliation to same-sex couples "making lifetime commitments to each other."

In 1994, as he ran for governor in Florida, Bush employed strikingly different language when discussing gay rights, arguing that "polluters, pedophiles, pornographers, drunk drivers and developers without permits receive--and deserve--precious little representation or defense from their governor."

Click for Jeb Bush on other issues.   Source: New York Times 2015 interview of 2016 presidential hopefuls

Jeb Bush on Civil Rights : Jan 11, 2015
1994: LGBT protections are tantamount to elevating sodomy

A sharply conservative tone came to characterize Bush's entire 1994 gubernatorial campaign. In July, Bush published a now-infamous op-ed arguing against anti-discrimination protections for LGBT people, which he said were tantamount to elevating "sodomy." Bush's team has since sought to distance him from that piece, with a spokeswoman telling BuzzFeed that it "does not reflect Gov. Bush's views now."
Click for Jeb Bush on other issues.   Source: New York Times 2015 interview of 2016 presidential hopefuls

Rand Paul on Civil Rights : Dec 25, 2014
Don't register guns federally, nor marriages

I asked about same-sex marriage: "I don't want my guns registered in Washington or my marriage," he told me. "Founding Fathers all got married by going down to the local courthouse. It is a local issue and always has been."

What about rapidly-changing opinions on the matter? He took a soft tone. "Society's changing," he said. "People change their minds all the time on this issue, and even within the Republican Party, there are people whose child turns out to be gay and they're like, 'maybe I want to rethink this issue.' So it's been rethought. The President's rethought the issue. A lot of people have rethought the issue."

Was Paul hinting that he, too, could change his thinking? He said, "I believe in old-fashioned traditional marriage. But, I don't really think the government needs to be too involved with this, and I think that the Republican Party can have people on both sides of the issue."

"You could rethink it at some point, too?" I asked. He shrugged. It wasn't a yes or a no.

Click for Rand Paul on other issues.   Source: Jonathan Martin in 2014 NY Times: 2016 presidential hopefuls

Hillary Clinton on Abortion : Dec 10, 2014
Issues where Jeb Bush disagrees with Hillary

Where do Jeb Bush and Hillary Clinton disagree on the issues? They do agree on some things, but they disagree on the core Democrat-versus-Republican list:
IssueJebHillary
Abortion Pro-lifePro-choice
Affirmative actionOpposes quotasSupports equal pay
Gay marriageOpposesPreviously opposed; now supports
School vouchers Supports along with Common CoreOpposes but charters ok
ObamaCareRepealExpand
Death penaltySupports Opposes
Second Amendment rightsSupports concealed carryBan assault weapons
Campaign finance reformNo limits but full disclosureBan soft money
Click for Hillary Clinton on other issues.   Source: Jeb vs. Hillary On The Issues, by Jesse Gordon, pp. 227-8

Hillary Clinton on Principles & Values : Dec 10, 2014
OpEd: Sincerely religious, unlike Bill Clinton

Hillary Clinton is a hard-core liberal (not a populist like Bill Clinton. But Hillary is sincerely religious; a member of the "religious left," which was a relevant force in the 1960s and may soon undergo a resurgence.

But Hillary's sincere religion does not apply to her stances on social issues: Hillary is fully pro-gay marriage; and fully pro-choice. Those stances are against those of the religious right, and exclude Hillary from consideration as a candidate for support. The religious left in the 1960s focused on economic issues such as welfare, and on war issues (Hillary credits 1960s Vietnam activism with converting her from Republican to Democrat).

If you are a religious conservative or a progressive and want a firebrand on social issues, that firebrand is neither Jeb nor Hillary. But both are sincere in their personal religious beliefs, and apply them to some (only some!) of their public policies.

Click for Hillary Clinton on other issues.   Source: Jeb vs. Hillary On The Issues, pp. 106,116,162,212 & 226

Mike Huckabee on Civil Rights : Oct 9, 2014
If GOP abdicates on gay marriage, they lose guys like me

Two days after threatening to leave the Republican Party and run for the White House in 2016 as an independent because the GOP has "abdicated" on same-sex marriage, Mike Huckabee told Newsmax that the GOP would be walking away from him and other voters if it doesn't stand strong on social issues. "I don't think the GOP is going to walk away from the entire body of values voters--but if so, then there would likely be no place for me as a voter or candidate," he said. "I wouldn't be leaving them; they'd be leaving us."

In an interview with the American Family Association, Huckabee had charged that Republicans have given in on battling gay marriage and other social issues and vowed that it jeopardized his standing with the party. "If the Republicans want to lose guys like me, and a whole bunch of still God-fearing, Bible-believing people, go ahead and just abdicate on this issue," Huckabee said. "Because at that point, you lose me, I'm gone. I'll become an independent."

Click for Mike Huckabee on other issues.   Source: NewsMax 2014 coverage of 2016 presidential hopefuls

Mike Huckabee on Civil Rights : Oct 9, 2014
Supreme Court can't allow gay marriage all by itself

The Supreme Court refused to hear appeals from five states seeking to preserve their bans on gay marriage, clearing the way for a huge expansion in as many as 30 states. In an interview, Huckabee charged that the GOP "establishment" has waved the "white flag of surrender" on gay marriage. "I'm utterly exasperated with Republicans and the so-called leadership of the Republicans who have abdicated on this issue."

He said that he was most disturbed at the general tenor among Republicans to the Supreme Court's action was, essentially, "Well, that's settled."

"Of course, it isn't," Huckabee said. "The courts can't MAKE law. Even if one agrees with their ruling, the legislative branch has to pass enabling legislation, and it has to be signed by the chief executive and carried out. One branch of the three equal branches doesn't get to override the two other branches," Huckabee told Newsmax. "Civics 101."

Click for Mike Huckabee on other issues.   Source: NewsMax 2014 coverage of 2016 presidential hopefuls

Ted Cruz on Civil Rights : Oct 9, 2014
Overturn Supreme Court with anti-gay marriage Amendment

The Supreme Court refused to hear appeals from five states seeking to preserve their bans on gay marriage, clearing the way for a huge expansion in as many as 30 states and the District of Columbia. The states affected by Monday's action were Wisconsin, Indiana, Oklahoma, Utah, and Virginia. State officials had appealed lower court rulings to preserve their bans. Couples in six other states--Colorado, Kansas, North Carolina, South Carolina, West Virginia, and Wyoming--could get married soon, since those states would be bound by the same appellate rulings that have been on hold. Challenges are pending in 20 other states.

Many conservative GOP candidates slammed the Supreme Court's rulings--Cruz vowed to introduce a constitutional amendment that would prevent federal courts or government from voiding state laws on marriage--but others considered the more strategic implications.

Mike Huckabee charged that the GOP "establishment" has waved the "white flag of surrender" on gay marriage.

Click for Ted Cruz on other issues.   Source: NewsMax 2014 coverage of 2016 presidential hopefuls

Scott Walker on Civil Rights : Oct 9, 2014
Supreme Court has spoken; preventing gay marriage is over

The Supreme Court refused to hear appeals from five states seeking to preserve their bans on gay marriage, clearing the way for a huge expansion in as many as 30 states and the District of Columbia. The states affected by Monday's action were Wisconsin, Indiana, Oklahoma, Utah, and Virginia. State officials had appealed lower court rulings to preserve their bans. Challenges are pending in 20 other states.

Many conservative GOP candidates slammed the Supreme Court's rulings--Cruz vowed to introduce a constitutional amendment that would prevent federal courts or government from voiding state laws on marriage--but others considered the more strategic implications.

Walker, who is in a tough re-election battle, declared after the court's ruling that the fight to prevent same-sex marriage was "over in Wisconsin."

Click for Scott Walker on other issues.   Source: NewsMax 2014 coverage of 2016 presidential hopefuls

Hillary Clinton on Civil Rights : Jun 12, 2014
I re-evaluated & changed my mind on gay marriage

Hillary Clinton defended her evolution on the issue of gay marriage, impatiently telling an interviewer to stop "playing with my words" after she was pressed to explain her change of heart.

Clinton now supports the right of same-sex couples to wed, but that was not the case during her time as first lady, senator, and secretary of state. When NPR's Terry Gross chalked up her changing positions to political expediency, though, Clinton pushed back.

"I think you're reading it very wrong," she said. "Just because you're a politician doesn't mean you're not a thinking human being. You gather information, you think through positions, you're not 100% set, thank goodness, you're constantly re-evaluating where you stand. That is true for me. One of my big problems right now is that too many people believe they have a direct line to the divine and they never want to change their mind about anything," she added.

Click for Hillary Clinton on other issues.   Source: Jake Miller, CBS News, "Don't Twist My Position"

Hillary Clinton on Civil Rights : Jun 12, 2014
We have all evolved on gay marriage since 1990s

NPR's Terry Gross asked Clinton whether she was glad to see the Supreme Court strike down the Defense of Marriage Act--a law signed by her husband, former President Bill Clinton, that barred the federal government from recognizing same-sex marriages.

"We are living at a time when this extraordinary change is occurring and I'm proud of our country," Clinton replied, but "that was not the case" during her president's stint in the White House. "I think that we have all evolved, and it's been one of the fastest, most sweeping transformations that I'm aware of," she said.

But after Gross pointed out that many people did support gay marriage during the 1990s, Clinton grew irritated.

"To be fair, Terry, not that many," she said. "Somebody is always out front and thank goodness they are. But that doesn't mean that those who join later--in being publically supportive or even privately accepting that there needs to be change--are any less committed."

Click for Hillary Clinton on other issues.   Source: Jake Miller, CBS News, "Don't Twist My Position"

Bobby Jindal on Civil Rights : May 14, 2014
Find common ground on gay marriage even when we disagree

Q: Given the controversies that emerged around "Duck Dynasty" after they were critical of gay unions and how polarized this subject has become, do you think there is room for compromise around the issue of gay marriage?

A: I think there is a way to find common ground to say 'we don't have to agree with the content of each other's beliefs, but we do stand up for the rights of each other to have those beliefs.' What I think is dangerous is this idea that we are going to try to silence those we don't agree with, to say 'we don't want them to be on TV shows; we don't want them to run their businesses.' I believe in the traditional definition of marriage. I don't condone discrimination. l think again here that tone matters. I think it is important that at the same time that we articulate our deeply held religious beliefs I think it is also important to communicate a tone that says 'we don't accept discrimination' and we understand that there will be those who disagree with us."

Click for Bobby Jindal on other issues.   Source: Washington Post 2014 coverage of 2016 presidential hopefuls

Jerry Brown on Civil Rights : Mar 2, 2014
40 years ago, wording didn't exist to talk about gay rights

Q: Over a 40-year political career, how have you changed?

BROWN: Well, I was just reviewing my transcript from Meet the Press in 1975, and I find a lot of similarities. But I've changed; I'm 40 years older.

Q: You've seen in Arizona the specter of discrimination against gays and lesbians.

BROWN: If you ask me how things have changed, 40 years ago, one couldn't even talk about gay rights. The wording didn't even exist then. And that has changed. So there is evolution.

Click for Jerry Brown on other issues.   Source: Meet the Press 2014 interview by David Gregory

Marco Rubio on Civil Rights : Mar 2, 2014
Balance gay anti-discrimination with religious rights

Q: As gay rights advance, is religious freedom being trampled on?

RUBIO: On the one hand, I think Americans, myself included, are against discrimination. A notion that someone, because they are gay, would be denied service at a restaurant or so forth is something conservatives don't support. The other side of the equation is, imagine how if you are a Catholic or Evangelical photographer, who does not believe because of your faith in gay marriage, and because of that, you don't want to provide photo services for a gay marriage. Should you be sanctioned by the state for refusing to do so?

Q: So what about the recent Arizona case?

RUBIO: I don't believe that gay Americans should be denied services at a restaurant or a hotel or anything of that nature. I also don't believe however that a caterer or a photographer should be punished by the state for refusing to provide services for a gay wedding because of their religious-held beliefs. We've got to figure out a way to protect that as well.

Click for Marco Rubio on other issues.   Source: Meet the Press 2014 interviews of 2016 presidential hopefuls

Joe Biden on Civil Rights : Mar 1, 2014
Obama disbelieved 2012 gay-marriage support was "accidental"

Biden infuriated Obama by publicly declaring his off-message support for gay marriage, just as the 2012 campaign was entering the homestretch. Obama's team didn't buy Biden's explanation that the gay-marriage endorsement was accidental--and, until recently, Obama's team blocked Biden from doing much national media [after that event]. The freeze-out was not subtle: The V.P. was personally excluded from planning meetings he had been invited to attend 4 years earlier, and his people were treated with open contempt in the weeks following the gay marriage controversy.

Biden had no idea at the time that Obama's polling operation had begun inserting questions into focus groups about Clinton's viability as a vice presidential replacement, a revelation that surfaced only late last year in "Double Down." [An Obama aide] told me the dump-Joe polling never even led to a discussion among Obama's senior advisers (in part because Clinton seemed to offer no significant re-election benefit).

Click for Joe Biden on other issues.   Source: Politico Mag profile, "Joe Biden in Winter"

Mitt Romney on Families & Children : Feb 16, 2014
Impact of same-sex marriage on kids won't be known for years

Q: Ten years ago, it was Massachusetts when you were governor that really set same-sex marriage rights into motion. Now, with same-sex marriage in 17 states, has it had a negative impact on society?

ROMNEY: I think marriage is a relationship between a man and a woman. And I think the ideal setting for raising a child is in the setting where there's a father and a mother. Now there're many other different settings that children are raised in and people have the right to live their life as they want to. But I think marriage should be defined in the way that it's been defined for several thousand years and if gay couples want to live together, well, that's fine as well.

Q: But do you think it's had a negative impact on society?

ROMNEY: Oh, I think it's going to take a long, long time to determine whether having gay marriage will make it less likely for kids to be raised in settings where there is a mom and a dad. That's not going to happen overnight. It's something which happens over generations.

Click for Mitt Romney on other issues.   Source: Meet the Press 2014 interviews of 2016 presidential hopefuls

Martin O`Malley on Budget & Economy : Jan 12, 2014
Middle-out economics instead of trickle-down economics

Q: Over the last seven years, you've raised state income taxes on the top 15%. You supported same-sex marriage, the Dream Act, gun control. Now, you're looking at an increase in the minimum wage.

O'MALLEY: Well, I believe that the people of our state and, also, the people of our country, want us to make choices on their behalf that yield results, results that make our economy grow by making our middle class grow. And I'm proud of each of those things. I'm proud of the people of our state. But, also, being an inclusive people, respecting the dignity of every individual, these things are also good for an economy. These things are good for building an innovation economy and attracting the most talented workforce. I think they all go together. What the people of our country want is not ideology, not trickle-down economics, but middle-out economics, where we strengthen our middle class to grow our economy and to give our kids a better future.

Click for Martin O`Malley on other issues.   Source: CNN SOTU 2014 interview series: 2016 presidential hopefuls

Martin O`Malley on Civil Rights : Jan 12, 2014
Respect dignity of individuals & support same-sex marriage

Q: You supported same-sex marriage, the Dream Act, gun control. Now, you're looking at an increase in the minimum wage. Those are policies which we used to call liberal agenda..

O'MALLEY: Yes. And I'm proud of each of those things. I'm proud of the people of our state. But, also, being an inclusive people, respecting the dignity of every individual, these things are also good for an economy.

Click for Martin O`Malley on other issues.   Source: CNN SOTU 2014 interview series: 2016 presidential hopefuls

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 Politico.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 Politico.com

Rand Paul on Civil Rights : Mar 26, 2013
Make federal benefits equal for gay couples

Marco Rubio is further to the ideological left on gay marriage than his rhetoric would suggest; but the libertarian-minded Paul is further right--at least rhetorically. When Obama came out in support of gay marriage last year, Paul said that he didn't think the president's views "could get any gayer." "I'm an old-fashioned traditionalist," the senator later told National Review. "I believe in the historic and religious definition of marriage."

At the same time, Paul suggests that the tax code and health insurance should be made neutral so that gay couples benefit from the same breaks as married ones. Like Rubio, he has said that gay marriage should be left to the states to decide. He said Sunday that he is okay with the government being "neutral" on gay marriage; in February he said he was "not sure" how he felt about DOMA.

But he's already willing to let other states legalize gay marriage and to let gay couples have some federal benefits; he could expand that to mean marriage in all but name.

Click for Rand Paul on other issues.   Source: Washington Post 2013 coverage of 2016 presidential hopefuls

Marco Rubio on Civil Rights : Mar 26, 2013
Leave gay marriage to states, but keep DOMA

Rubio is further to the ideological left on gay marriage than his rhetoric would suggest. "Just because I believe states should have the right to define marriage in a traditional way does not make me a bigot," he declared at this month's Conservative Political Action Conference. The "bigot" part is what got press--but more notable is that he said states should be able to ban gay marriage, meaning the issue should be left to the states.

In February, Rubio likewise said he was "uncomfortable with a federal constitutional amendment on anything, particularly on that, because it steps on the rights of states to define marriage." That was essentially Obama's position until last summer, and Hillary Clinton's position until last week.

But Rubio is conservative Catholic, and his personal views on gay marriage are unlikely to shift. As of 2011 he also supports the Defense of Marriage Act, which bars federal recognition of same-sex marriages conducted in states where such unions are legal.

Click for Marco Rubio on other issues.   Source: Washington Post on Conservative Political Action 2013 Conf.

Paul Ryan on Civil Rights : Mar 26, 2013
Supports DOMA; supports constitutional ban on gay marriage

While his focus is on economic issues, Ryan has a consistent conservative record on gay marriage. He supports both the Defense of Marriage Act and a constitutional ban on gay marriage.

"The institution of marriage is an integral part of our civil society and its significance goes well beyond eligibility for benefits and similar considerations. Its future should not be left to a few overreaching judges or local officials to decide," Ryan said in a 2004 statement. "That's why I support this effort to amend our Constitution to protect marriage." He has described himself as a "big supporter" of Wisconsin's 2006 constitutional amendment banning gay marriage. On the other hand, he did vote for the Employment Non-discrimination Act in 2007. Given how conservative he is now he could shift a bit and still be to the right of Rubio and Paul.

Click for Paul Ryan on other issues.   Source: Washington Post 2013 coverage of 2016 presidential hopefuls

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"

Scott Walker on Civil Rights : Mar 17, 2013
Perhaps leave gay marriage up to each church, not government

Q: Is gay marriage a civil rights issue?

A: In our state, it was in the constitution years ago [protecting homosexual civil rights, but not gay marriage]. It rarely is an issue.

Q: But you've said it's generational.

A: I think it is.

Q: Are younger conservatives more apt to see marriage equality as something that is what they believe, rather than as a disqualifying issue?

A: No doubt about that. But that's all the more reason, to talk about the economic crisis. People don't want to get focused on [gay marriage] issues.

Q: Do gays have the right to follow their love?

A: On the generational standpoint, I've had young people ask me about [not just] expanding it to include folks who are not one man and one woman, but rather questioning why the government's sanctioning it in the first place? And that would be the alternative, say not have the government sanction marriage, period. And leave that up to the churches and the synagogues and others to define that

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

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

Mitt Romney on Civil Rights : Feb 10, 2012
Prevented MA from becoming the Las Vegas of gay marriage

During my tenure [as Massachusetts governor], our conservative values came under attack. Less than a year after I took office, the state's supreme court inexplicably found a right to same-sex marriage in our constitution. I pushed for a stay of the decision, fought for a marriage amendment to our constitution, and successfully prohibited out-of-state couples from coming to our state to get married and then go home. On my watch, we fought hard and prevented Massachusetts from becoming the Las Vegas of gay marriage. When I am President, I will preserve the Defense of Marriage Act and I will fight for a federal amendment defining marriage as a relationship between one man and one woman.
Click for Mitt Romney on other issues.   Source: Speech at 2012 Conservative Political Action Conference

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

Rick Santorum on Civil Rights : Jan 8, 2012
I agree with hearing gay ideas but disagree with some

Q: Would you be a voice for speaking out for gay rights in your party?

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.

Click for Rick Santorum on other issues.   Source: Meet the Press 2012 GOP New Hampshire debate

Rick Santorum on Civil Rights : Jan 7, 2012
Marriage is a federal issue; we need one definition, not 50

Q: Your view on the 1,800 couples who have same-sex marriages under N.H. law?

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.

Click for Rick Santorum on other issues.   Source: WMUR 2012 GOP New Hampshire debate

Rick Santorum on Families & Children : Jan 7, 2012
Gay adoption is a state issue; no federal ban

Q: We're in a state where it is legal for same-sex couples to marry. Your position on same-sex adoption?

SANTORUM: Well, this isn't a federal issue. It's a state issue, number one. The states can make that determination. I believe the issue of marriage itself is a federal issue. If we don't have a federal law [on marriage], I'm certainly not going to have a federal law that bans adoption for gay couples when there are only gay couples in certain states. So this is a state issue, not a federal issue.

Click for Rick Santorum on other issues.   Source: WMUR 2012 GOP New Hampshire debate

Rick Santorum on Civil Rights : Jan 5, 2012
Right to gay sex implies right to bigamy, incest, & adultery

Quote: "Is anyone saying same-sex couples can't love each other? I love my children. I love my friends, my brother. Heck, I even love my mother-in-law. Should we call these relationships marriage, too?" (Santorum's Philadelphia Inquirer column, May 22, 2008)

Quote: "If the Supreme Court says that you have the right to consensual [gay] sex within your home, then you have the right to bigamy, you have the right to polygamy, you have the right to incest, you have the right to adultery. You have the right to anything. Does that undermine the fabric of our society? I would argue yes, it does. That's not to pick on homosexuality. It's not man on child, or man on dog, or whatever the case may be." (AP interview, April 7, 2003)

Reaction: "Rick Santorum has expended a great deal of thought and energy to finding new words to disparage gay marriage," says an analyst at Breaking Copy. But even if you agree with Santorum, "would you really want a president who is this obsessed" with gay sex?

Click for Rick Santorum on other issues.   Source: Santorum's "9 most controversial statements" in The Week

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

Elizabeth Warren on Civil Rights : Dec 10, 2011
Repeal DOMA; repeal DADT; support ENDA

Warren spokesperson Kyle Sullivan says: "I can tell you from hearing Elizabeth talk about these issues that she supports marriage equality, supports repeal of DOMA, and agreed with repeal of DADT. She also supports ENDA and believes strongly that LGBT individuals should have their rights protected."
Click for Elizabeth Warren on other issues.   Source: 2012 Senate campaign website, elizabethwarren.com

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

Elizabeth Warren on Gun Control : Aug 31, 2011
Supports gun control

Warren staked out traditional liberal Democratic positions on several big issues: She supports abortion rights, gun control, and gay marriage, but she opposes casinos. But she declined to offer specifics on where she differs with Brown or Obama.
Click for Elizabeth Warren on other issues.   Source: By Noah Bierman and Frank Phillips, The Boston Globe

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

Rick Santorum on Civil Rights : Aug 11, 2011
No polygamy; no gay marriage

Q: [to Paul]: If a state wanted to allow polygamy, would that be okay, like gay marriage?

PAUL: No state is going to do that. Really, why do we have to have a license to get married? Just so nobody else forces their definition of marriage on you.

SANTORUM: It sounds to me like Rep. Paul would actually say polygamous marriages are OK. If the state has the right to do it, they have the right to do it. It is not beyond reality; it is exactly what's being offered in other states right now. And it's being litigated in our courts right now, which is exactly how gay marriage came about as we see here in Iowa where seven justices forced gay marriages on the people of Iowa. We can't have 50 marriage laws. This was the approach that the left took on abortion, which is to pick a few states, pick a few courts and then go to the Supreme Court and say "equal protection," you can't have different state laws then you will have nine people up at the Supreme Court deciding what marriage is in this country.

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

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"

Rick Santorum on Civil Rights : Jun 13, 2011
Repeal Don't-Ask-Don't-Tell; punish behavior

Q: Now gays are allowed to serve openly in the military; would you leave that policy in place or would you try to change it back to "don't ask/don't tell"?

BACHMANN: I would keep the "don't ask/don't tell" policy.

CAIN: Now that they have changed it, I wouldn't create a distraction trying to turn it over as president.

PAUL: I would not work to overthrow it. We have to remember, rights don't come in groups. We shouldn't have gay rights. Rights come as individuals. If we have this major debate going on, it would be behavior that would count, not the person who belongs to which group.

SANTORUM: The job of the United States military is to protect and defend the people of this country. It is not for social experimentation. It should be repealed. And the commanders should have a system of discipline in place, as Ron Paul said, that punishes bad behavior.

Click for Rick Santorum on other issues.   Source: 2011 GOP primary debate in Manchester NH

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

Carly Fiorina on Civil Rights : Sep 2, 2010
No same-sex marriage; yes civil unions; repeal DADT

Fiorina said she opposes same-sex marriage, and supports civil unions and the repeal of "Don't Ask, Don't Tell." But she declined to answer when asked if the government should recognize civil unions for purposes such as Social Security benefits.

Boxer said homosexual couples would gain full equality only when same-sex marriage was recognized. "The only way to get the rights that married couples have is to go for marriage equality," she said. "I believe people are coming around to see it."

Click for Carly Fiorina on other issues.   Source: Los Angeles Times coverage of 2010 CA Senate Debate

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

Carly Fiorina on Civil Rights : Nov 30, 2009
Proud conservative vote for Proposition 8

"I will not run away from [conservative] values," Ms. Fiorina says, noting that she has signed the Americans for Tax Reform pledge against higher taxes and voted for Proposition 8 last year, which banned same-sex marriage in the state. On abortion, Ms. Fiorina says she is "proudly pro-life" and a strong opponent of taxpayer funding of abortions.

But her views also carry some nuance. She notes she created a strong program of domestic partner benefits while at HP.

Click for Carly Fiorina on other issues.   Source: Wall Street Journal, "Reboot California"

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”

Lindsey Graham on Civil Rights : Aug 12, 2008
Support the constitutional amendment to ban gay marriage

Graham has been a strong advocate in the effort to defend and promote traditional South Carolina values. He supported the constitutional amendment to define marriage between one man and one woman and voted against human cloning. Concerned Women for America, an organization dedicated to reversing “the decline in moral values in our nation,” has rated him a perfect 100 percent the past four years in the Senate.
Click for Lindsey Graham on other issues.   Source: 2008 Senate campaign website, www.lindseygraham.com

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"

Rick Santorum on Civil Rights : Apr 30, 2006
Same-sex marriage is unprecedented social revolution

Even a year or two ago, few Americans imagined that we would be facing the issue of same-sex marriage today. Thanks to a few activist justices, however, America is on the verge of undergoing a social revolution simply without any historical precedent. There are few places where the clash between what freedom means and its impact on families is clearer than when it comes to transforming the definition of marriage.

Liberals believe that the traditional family is neither natural nor vital, that it's an antiquated social convention which has not only outlived its usefulness, but is now inherently discriminatory & repressive toward legitimate alternative "families."

Every known society has some form of marriage. And it's always about bringing together a male and a female into the kind of sexual union where the interests of children under the care of their own mother and father are protected. Marriage is the word for the way in which we connect a man, a woman, and their children into one loving family.

Click for Rick Santorum on other issues.   Source: It Takes A Family, by Sen. Rick Santorum, p. 30-31

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:
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)
CEO Carly Fiorina(R-CA)
Rep.Peter King(R-NY)
Gov.Martin O`Malley(D-MD)
Sen.Rand Paul(R-KY)
Sen.Marco Rubio(R-FL)
Sen.Bernie Sanders(I-VT)
Gov.Brian Schweitzer(D-MT)
Gov.Scott Walker(R-WI)
Sen.Elizabeth Warren(D-MA)
Sen.James Webb(D-VA)
Gov.Jesse Ventura(I-MN)
2012 Presidential:
Rep.Michele Bachmann(T-MN)
Mayor Michael Bloomberg(I-NYC)
Mayor Rahm Emanuel(D-IL)
Rep.Newt Gingrich(R-GA)
Gov.Nikk Haley(R-SC)
Gov.Mike Huckabee(R-AR)
Gov.Jon Huntsman(R-UT)
Gov.Bobby Jindal(R-LA)
Gov.Gary Johnson(L-NM)
Gov.Sarah Palin(R-AK)
Gov.Deval Patrick(D-MA)
Rep.Ron Paul(R-TX)
Gov.Rick Perry(R-TX)
Sen.Rob Portman(R-OH)
Gov.Mitt Romney(R-MA)
Rep.Paul Ryan(R-WI)
Sen.Rick Santorum(R-PA)
Donald Trump(I-NY)
Please consider volunteering for OnTheIssues!
Click for details -- or send donations to:
1770 Mass Ave. #630, Cambridge MA 02140
E-mail: submit@OnTheIssues.org
(We rely on your support!)

Page last updated: Jul 11, 2015