GOP Presidential Candidates Debate Marriage, DADT

Jim Burroway

June 14th, 2011

Last night, seven candidates for the GOP presidential nomination appeared in a debate in New Hampshire, home to the nation’s first primay. Participating were Godfather Pizza magnate Herman Cain, former Minnesota governor Tim Pawlenty, Texas Congressman Ron Paul, former Massachusetts governor Mitt Romney, former House speaker Newt Gingrich, Minnesota Congresswoman Michelle Bachman, and former Pennsylvania Senator Rick Santorum. And of course, LGBT issues came up in the debate.

Only Herman Cain and Ron Paul opposed a Federal Marriage Amendment to ban marriage equality in the states.

Herman Cain said that he didn’t support repealing DADT, but he didn’t want the distractions that it would take to put it back into effect. Pawlenty says that he would seek the advice of “combatant commanders.” This wiggle room leaves open the likelihood that he would re-instate DADT. Ron Paul appeared to say the would keep it in place. He talked about punishing behavior, without specifying whether a consensual relationship between two people of the same gender would be punishable. Romney dodged the question altogether, saying that DADT should not have been repealed “until this conflict is over.” Gingrich answered by building a case for its reinstatement, an indication that he would work to restore the discriminatory policy. Bachmann said she “would keep the ‘Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell’ policy.” When asked to clarify, she indicated that she would reinstate the policy after sufficiently cloaking it with “advice” from the military. Santorum took a lot of words to more or less repeat what Ron Paul said, but given the context of Santorum’s overall policies and attitudes toward gay people, I don’t think his eagerness to reimpose the policy would be much in doubt.

Not one candidate spoke about gay people as though they were taxpayers, patriots, or fellow citizens.

Timothy Kincaid

June 14th, 2011

Bachmann: “I do support a constitutional amendment on marriage between a man and a woman but I would not be going into the states to overturn state law.”

Does she have even the slightest clue what she’s saying or does she just open her mouth and let words drip out?


June 14th, 2011

“Not one candidate spoke about gay people as though they were taxpayers, patriots, or fellow citizens,”

That’s because in their eyes, we aren’t.

Whatever happened to Fred Karver? How was he left out of this debate?

Timothy Kincaid

June 14th, 2011


They would not let Karger or former New Mexico Governor Gary Johnson on the stage.

Amusingly, he beats or meets everyone else there at whatever “criteria” they come up with for a “serious candidate”, but the rules tend to magically morph into whatever it takes to keep Karger out. Oh, and this was CNN, not the party that banned Karger.


June 14th, 2011

If Paul is so concerned about not treating people as groups, then he should support the repeal…it simply lets everyone serve under the same terms wheras before a group was forced to serve under different conditions.

Regan DuCasse

June 14th, 2011

Are they seriously talking about the issue of DADT as if it’s not ALREADY being discussed, considered and examined by military professionals?
Did they miss the memo where NONE of them could find a reason for maintaining DADT?

Do they really think they need to spend ANOTHER millions of dollars in having another wave of research done? These people have already been privy to these proceedings for the last four years!

Exactly why these people aren’t fit to hold the highest office in this country. They were asleep at the wheel already!

David Malcolm

June 14th, 2011

I get the feeling that several of them plan on promoting various military people who oppose the DADT repeal.


June 14th, 2011

The only thing more infuriating than Paul’s usual government-free marriage crap was Newt’s blatant lie that the majority of military service members opposed repeal.

Rob in San Diego

June 14th, 2011

I have no idea what Bachman is saying and I don’t think she does either, on one hand she’s saying she want’s a constitutional amendment and then on the other hand she says that it’s not the role of the president to go in and interfere with their laws. Isn’t that like having your cake and eating it too?

And I don’t understand why everyone has to confer with the military commanders, your the commander in chief, you tell them what to do!

Mark F.

June 15th, 2011


Ron Paul was one of the handful of Republicans to support repealing DADT.


June 15th, 2011

Interesting that Bachman got a round of applause when she said that as president she wouldn’t try to mess with NH’s marriage laws. Presumably from a dedicated republican crowd (?)


June 15th, 2011

What is dangerous are these candidates who believe one person is less than another. Who believe the Constitution was meant for some, not all. Who believe the true enemies are gays. And who insist the christian god should rule the United States no matter the consequences.

And to think, some gays support these jackarses even if it means sending us ALL back to the dark ages.

Rob in San Diego

June 15th, 2011

To either Timmothy or Jim, I’m surprised that you didn’t do a story on the Ann Coulter interview on O’Rilley from Tuesday night. They talk about the Republican debate on CNN and about Ron Paul’s suggestion to get the government out of marriage. In her own words “Saying government should be out of it is a perfectly good answer for 90 percent of the questions you will ever be presented with. It is not a good answer to what do you think of gay marriage. Oh, we should just get governments out of the business of marriage. No, I’m sorry, marriage has consequences. Who gets to adopt? Who pays alimony? Who inherits? Some of this can be dealt with by private contract, but some of it can’t.”

She goes on to say “Because there are a thousand legal consequences to marriage.”

To me she just basically explained to me why we need marriage equality. So let me get this straight, married straight couple getting divorced need marriage and all the rights and responsibilities associated with it to separate all personal belongings and wealth.

But if your a same-sex couple and you’ve lived together all your life and your property and wealth is shared, how do you separate that?

Where as their argument is that we don’t need marriage equality, that we can just get thousands of contracts done between lawyers, she herself just said that not everything can be done by private contract.

J. Peron

June 15th, 2011

Gov. Gary Johnson is supportive of gay rights but CNN set the rules and said he didn’t qualify to participate. When his campaign showed CNN that he did qualify according to the rules they announced, CNN went and changed the rules to disqualify him again.


June 15th, 2011

Just FYI, the crazy lady’s name is actually Michele Bachmann. Or was the misspelling intentional?


June 16th, 2011

It would have been nice to see Gov. Gary Johnson in the debate as well, especially since he is a declared candidate who met the debate criteria & is a pro-choice, pro gay rights candidate. (Also happens to be the only one with actual executive experience) It seems though that CNN only wanted to allow certain candidates to participate so they could continue to promote the “all Rebublicans are anti-gay” narrative. I really wish they had been able to put aside their bias long enough for viewers and potential voters to be able to hear the views of all the candidates so they could make an informed decision come primary time, but CNN apparently thought they were the best ones to decide who the voting public should hear from and who they shouldn’t.

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