GOP candidates on same sex marriage rights

Last night in Ames, Iowa, several of the GOP candidates got together for a debate in advance of the weekend’s largely meaningless but apparently highly newsworthy Iowa Straw Poll.

Think Progress has put together this handy short video, and transcript, of all of last night’s candidates – Mitt Romney, Michele Bachmann, Tim Pawlenty, Ron Paul and Jon Huntsman – stating their positions on marriage equality. Unsurprisingly, they all think that we should continue discriminating against same sex couples! With the exception of Jon Huntsman, none of them is even down with civil unions.

Two big GOP figures, Sarah Palin and Rick Perry, were not present last night, which is a shame because you know that if they had been there, they would both have offered a full-throated defense of the rights of gay and lesbian couples. Just kidding: they’re both totally in favor of continued discrimination as well.

New York, NY

Chloe Angyal is a journalist and scholar of popular culture from Sydney, Australia. She joined the Feministing team in 2009. Her writing about politics and popular culture has been published in The Atlantic, The Guardian, New York magazine, Reuters, The LA Times and many other outlets in the US, Australia, UK, and France. She makes regular appearances on radio and television in the US and Australia. She has an AB in Sociology from Princeton University and a PhD in Arts and Media from the University of New South Wales. Her academic work focuses on Hollywood romantic comedies; her doctoral thesis was about how the genre depicts gender, sex, and power, and grew out of a series she wrote for Feministing, the Feministing Rom Com Review. Chloe is a Senior Facilitator at The OpEd Project and a Senior Advisor to The Harry Potter Alliance. You can read more of her writing at

Chloe Angyal is a journalist and scholar of popular culture from Sydney, Australia.

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  • Nina

    Not to be nit-picky, but Ron Paul isn’t necessarily anti-same-sex marriage in the traditional conservative sense that you’re trying to present here. He thinks the federal government has no right defining marriage one way or the other. So if he were ever President, there mostly likely would never be a federal same-sex marriage ban or a constitutional amendment defining marriage as only between a man and a woman. Unlike with some of the other candidates who would outlaw it, 100%.

    While he may personally believe that marriage should be between a man and a woman, he’s not going to support any law that says that. He thinks it should be let up to the states (because he’s a federalist) and he actually voted against the Federal Marriage Amendment in 2004. So if New York allows same-sex marriage, so be it. That is a reflection of those constituents.

    Now, I know a lot of people will argue that because he isn’t making a decisive stance AND letting it be decided by the states that that in turn makes him anti same-sex marriage.

    I know a lot of people will disagree with me, but I don’t think it’s fair to misrepresent what he is actually saying. And I am not claiming that I endorse his view, but I don’t think that glossing over what he actually said to support a certain viewpoint is right either.

  • Rachel

    I’m actually with John Hunstman (argh, did I just agree with a Republican? Must. . wash. . mind. . out. . with. . soap.) Seriously though, I think that all people, regardless of orientation should be granted civil unions under the law. In my own opinion, marriage is a religious thing and there should be a distinct seperation of church and state.

  • Dan C

    I think that this is issue, like women’s suffrage, will, unfortunately, have to be fought from the bottom up. For the president, whether it’s Obama or one of these clowns, it’s still far safer to simply do nothing.

    Nationally, gay marriage is still seen as an “us vs. them” issue. Gradually, on a interpersonal grassroots level, this is changing, but politicians have very little to do with it. They aren’t changing the tide. Out best hope is that they get swallowed up by it.

    BTW, if you watch the whole debate, it’s clear that Bachmann is a scary good politician.

  • Devyn

    Did someone really just compare slavery to polygamy? Ugh is all I can say to that.