GOP Candidates On Same-Sex Marriage

Jim Burroway

August 12th, 2011

Think Progress has a handy compilation clip from Thursday night’s GOP debate in Iowa of candidates discussing same-sex marriage. One of my favorite reactions comes from across the Pond, with The Guardian’s Richard Adams responding to Romney’s argument that “marriage is a status“:

Looking back through some clips, there’s Romney saying: “Marriage is a status, it’s not an activity.” Who says romance is dead, eh? Calling marriage a “status” makes it sound like a Facebook update.

The emerging consensus, albeit a snarky one,  is that the debate’s real winner was Rick Perry, who doesn’t officially declare his candidacy until tomorrow.

Here’s the clip and transcript.

Mitt Romney: Marriage should be decided at the federal level. … Marriage is a status. It’s not an activity that goes on within the walls of a state and as a result, our marriage status relationship should be constant across the country. I believe we should have a federal amendment to the Constitution that defines marriage as a relationship between a man and a woman because I believe the ideal place to raise a child is in a home with a mom and a dad.

Jon Huntsman: I also believe in civil unions, because I think this nation can do a better job when it comes to equality. And I think this nation can do a better job when it comes to reciprocal beneficiary rights rights. And I believe that this is something that ought to be discussed among the various states. I don’t have any problem with the states having this discussion. But as for me, I support civil unions.

Ron Paul: (About whether polygamy would “be okay too”) It’s sort of like asking the question if the states wanted to legalize slavery or something like that, that is so past reality that no state is going to do that. But on the issue of marriage, I think marriage should be between a single man and a single woman and that the federal government shouldn’t be involved. I want less government involvement. I don’t want the federal government having a marriage police.

Rick Santorum: It sounds to me like Rep. Paul would actually say polygamous marriages are okay. If the state has the right to do it, they have the right to do it.

Michele Bachmann: I support the Federal Marriage Amendment because I believe that we will see this issue at the Supreme Court someday, and as president I would not nominate activist judges who legislate from the bench. I also want to say that when I was in Minnesota, I was the chief author of the Constitutional amendment to define marriage as one-man, one-woman. I have an absolutely unblemished record when it comes to this issue of man-woman marriage.


August 12th, 2011

Ron Paul: “I think marriage should be between a single man and a single woman”

I assume he wanted to say “between one man and one woman” but his statement can also be interpreted as “I think marriage should be between an unmarried male and an unmarried female”!


August 12th, 2011

Paul’s stance on marriage is so unbelievably irritating. Marriage is a legal status. If it weren’t, there’d be no point in getting married. How you take the government out of a legal status is beyond me.


August 12th, 2011

So therefore all single parents will be forced to give up their children. To be paid for and cared for by these “family values” freaks.


August 12th, 2011

Yet more evidence that Ron Paul is an opportunistic cafeteria Libertarian at best.


August 12th, 2011

Marriage is complex because it involves human beings. Marriage is all these things: a status; a legal contract between two persons involving a collection of rights and responsibilities; an arrangement for caring for each other; a framework for having sex in a way that society approves; an arrangement for having and raising children; a spiritual and emotional covenant between people who want to share their lives.

Marriage is all these things and because it is all these things simultaneously, it is too complex for any one authority — government, religion, cultural — to cover all these aspects with laws, regulations, or expectations.


August 12th, 2011

Mitt Romney actually gave the clearest answer. He wants to federalize marriage, one national law that applies to everyone. Traditionally, (and I use that word intentionally), marriage in America is a matter for the states. So I guess this means Mr. Romney opposes traditional marriage.


August 12th, 2011

@Revchicoucc: I don’t buy your logic, unless I misunderstood your point. Yes there are separate aspects of marriage such as the legal, the private, and the religious/cultural. That is no good reason why laws can’t be made to spell out the legal aspect, churches can’t separately decide their own doctrines on the matter, and married individuals can’t decide how the private aspects will go simultaneously. Arguments that marriage shouldn’t be a government matter are ridiculous and never hold water. I can buy that marriage licenses should be issued by individual states, but the federal government already has such as thing as full faith and credit and a demand for equal protection written right there in the Constitution. To let states deny full faith and credit for marriage licenses issued in other states and to discriminate by not offering marriage licenses for same-sex couples is a violation of equal protection.


August 12th, 2011

You’re expecting a group of Republicans to make sense. This is a common erroneous expectation.

Mark F.

August 12th, 2011

Congressman Paul said he thought the federal government shouldn’t be involved in defining marriage. He is on record against the Federal Marriage Amendment.


August 14th, 2011

@ Mark, yes he is against federal government deciding marriage, but he has also said government ought to get out of the marriage business altogether. Maybe I’m misinterpreting, but that to me means, state governments as well. In fact I think I remember him saying it should be private and issued by churches. That I have a huge problem with, because it serves no practical real world purpose, and if that happens an employer, lawyer, hospital, insurance company, etc can just scoff at any marriage they claim to “disagree with.” He also said he believes marriage should be between a man and a woman. That does not offer support to the freedom to let LGBT people have recognized families. He is against the wars, which I like, and he speaks out against the seemingly limitless power of corporations. As for social issues though, I disagree strongly of course and his stance on marriage is a cowardly cop-out.

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