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2008 Presidential Candidates
Stances on Legal Marriage for Same-sex Couples
© September 16, 2008, Demian

While the first suit for legal marriage was filed in 1971, it was not until the right to marry was won in Hawaii, in 1991, that any major backlash occurred.
    [See: Legal Marriage Court Cases: A Timeline]
    [Also see: Legislative Reactions to Suits for Same-Sex Marriage]

This backlash was perpetuated primarily by the radical right; largely the same people who now bring us the Republican Party.

The radical right frequently refuses to consider the copious scientific evidence that homosexuality is natural and normal. It ignores the fact that all the major American child welfare organizations support gay men and lesbians being parents.
    [See: The Gay Parent]

Homosexuality is nothing new or sinister, as it has been recorded throughout all cultures and civilizations. In many cultures, gay men and lesbians had an honored place, and were part of the religious class.

A look at history tells us that homosexuality has never brought down any civilization. Only tyrants, wars, droughts, earthquakes, and volcanoes can do that.

This lack of respect for science appears to have encouraged attitudes toward lesbians and gay men that defies logic; the assumption that they are not worthy of being protected by the same Constitutional laws that are made for straights.

Regarding the institution of marriage, the radical right also ignores history. The format most countries now have as legal marriage does not look anything like it did in decades past. For instance, in 1664 Maryland became the first of all U.S. colonies to ban interracial marriages. Not until 1967 did the Supreme Court remove this restriction from the last 12 states that still maintained this anti-marriage law.

Marriage “traditionally” — at least in the biblical tradition — treated women and children as property. Polygamy, that is simultaneously being married to more than one woman, was common for many men featured in the Bible. These may be the “good old days” to which many radical right wing men wish to return.
    [See: Marriage Traditions in Various Times and Cultures]

Because about 60 percent of the gay community is in a relationship, the issue of legal marriage is of utmost importance. The rights and responsibilities that are triggered by it can keep a family intact and solvent. The lack of these rights can rip families apart. One example of that is immigration law which does not recognize bi-national same-sex partners — even if legally married — for purposes of becoming a citizen.
    [See: Marriage Benefits List]
    [Also see: Comparing: Legal Marriage/Ceremonial Marriage/Domestic Partner Benefits]

One of the odd features of the 2008 presidential campaign is the lack of clear position statements from many of the candidates regarding issues concerning gay men and lesbians. To find these positions, one needs to hunt sources other than the campaign Web sites. Amoung the extra sources we used were evaluations from, Project Vote Smart, as well as from the Human Rights Campaign (HRC), and the National Gay and Lesbian Task Force [October 2014, renamed to the National LGBTQ Task Force].

Now that the largest two parties — and all the minor ones who are not allowed into the national debates — have chosen their candidates, one question remains:
will we be able to locate — and elect — a candidate who will protect our families, and our civil rights?

2008 Presidential Candidates
Stances on Legal Marriage for Same-sex Couples

Democrat Party
Presidential candidate choice: Barack Obama
Vice-presidential candidate choice: Joe Biden
2008 Democratic National Convention - Denver, Colorado, August 25-28, 2008
Inclusion Program
“The 2008 Rules also contained new provisions for groups that may be under-represented in Party affairs. Under these new provisions, state Democratic Parties were required to adopt and implement Inclusion Programs in order for members of the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) community and for people with disabilities to achieve their full participation in the delegate selection process.”
- Source: Convention 101 - Chapter One: Road to the Convention:
Inclusive Speeches made at the Democratic National Convention
Barack Obama, senator
“I know there are differences on same-sex marriage, but surely we can agree that our gay and lesbian brothers and sisters deserve to visit the person they love in the hospital and to live lives free of discrimination.”
- Source: Democratic National Convention, August 28, 2008:
Hillary Rodham Clinton, senator
“To fight for an America defined by deep and meaningful equality — from civil rights to labor rights, from women’s rights to gay rights, from ending discrimination to promoting unionization to providing help for the most important job there is: caring for our families.”
- Source: Democratic National Convention, August 26, 2008:
Edward Kennedy, senator
“Barack Obama will close the book on the old politics of race against race, gender against gender, group against group, and straight against gay.”
- Source: Democratic National Convention, August 25, 2008:
Democrat Party Candidates Pro-Legal
Candidate Record & Statements
Joe Biden
      (DE Senator)

      Withdrew as presidential
      candidate at Iowa
      Caucus, January 2008

      Picked by Barack Obama
      to be vice president
Anti-Legal Marriage

Pro-Civil Union
Rated at 78% in favor of gay rights by HRC (2006)
  - Voted NO on Constitutional ban of same-sex marriage (2006)
  - Voted YES on prohibiting same-sex marriage via The Defense of Marriage Act (1996)

“Senator Biden believes that committed adults who are adopting should not be discriminated against on the basis of sexual orientation.”
  - Source: HRC 2008 Presidential Questionnaire

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.”
Q: “So New Hampshire coming out in favor of civil unions is OK by you?”
A: “Yes. Yes, it is.”
  - Source: Meet the Press: 2007 “Meet the Candidates” series, April 29, 2007
Hillary Clinton
      (NY Senator)
Anti-Legal Marriage

Pro-Civil Union
Rated at 89% in favor of gay rights by HRC (2006)
Note: In interviews, Clinton has expressly reserved legal marriage for straight couples only. She does not appear to believe in full equality for all citizens. However, she has stated that she thinks states should decide same-sex marriage; that they are ahead of the federal system.
“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.”
  - Source: quoted by Sullivan in “State of the Union,” pg.20, 23

Ms Clinton said she backed her husband’s signing of the “Defense of Marriage Act.” She said that if she had been in the Senate in 1996, she would have supported the law.
  - Source: God and Hillary Clinton, by Paul Kengor, p.189-190, July 18, 2007
     [Also, see: Defense of Marriage Act]

“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.”
  - Source: 2007 HRC/LOGO debate on gay issues, August 9, 2007
John Edwards
      (former NC Senator)

      February 2008
Anti-Legal Marriage

Pro-Civil Union
Rated at 66% in favor of gay rights by HRC (2006)
“I do believe strongly in civil unions and the substantive rights that go with that. I believe we desperately need to get rid of DOMA. I think we need to get rid of ‘don’t ask, don’t tell.’ I think we need to get rid of those things. Today I believe in all these other things, but I do not support same sex marriage.”
  - Source: 2007 HRC/LOGO debate on gay issues August 9, 2007

“Edwards believes that all couples in committed, long-term relationships should have the same rights, benefits, and responsibilities, whether they are straight couples or same-sex couples. He supports civil unions to guarantee gay and lesbian couples the same rights as straight couples, including inheritance rights, hospital visitation rights, equal pension and health care benefits, and all of the 1,100 other legal protections government affords married couples. Edwards supports the full repeal of the Defense of Marriage Act. He also believes same-sex families should be treated in the same manner as other families by our immigration laws. Edwards believes the right president could lead the country toward consensus around equal rights and benefits for all couples in committed, long-term relationships and he opposes divisive Constitutional amendments to ban same-sex marriages.”
“Edwards believes that gay and lesbian parents should be able to adopt children just like any other parents. There are over 120,000 children waiting for homes in our nation’s foster care system. Adoption placements should be decided by judges and adoption agencies based upon the best interests of the children. Both members of a same-sex couple raising children together should be able to form a legal relationship with their children.”
  - Source: Edward’s campaign Web site:
Mike Gravel
      (former AK Senator)

Pro-Legal Marriage
    “Marriage preceded all forms of religion in civilization. Marriage is a commitment between two human beings in love. And understand me; I’m saying two human beings. They can be heterosexual. They can be two lesbians. They can be transgender. They can be two gays. What it is, it’s a commitment of human beings in love. And if there’s anything we need in this world, it’s more love.”
  - Source: 2007 HRC/LOGO debate on gay issues August 9, 2007

“What you have to recognize is that when people are telling you that you can’t be married, what they’re telling you is there’s something wrong with you, you’re second-class citizens, and that’s not so. You’re not second-class citizens, and the sooner our nation matures to that level [the better].”
  - Source: 2007 HRC/LOGO debate on gay issues August 9, 2007

“Senator Gravel supports same-sex marriage and opposes the Defense of Marriage Act. He supports expanding hate crime legislation and opposes laws that allow discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation or one’s gender identity or expression. Senator Gravel strongly opposes the military’s ‘Don’t Ask Don’t Tell"’ legislation on the grounds that it is unconstitutional, as it restricts the rights of gay Americans. He opposes any state or national Constitutional amendment that restricts the rights of the gay community.”
  - Source: Gravel’s Web site:
Dennis Kucinich
      (OH Representative)

      Withdrew to run for
      House re-election,
      January 2008

Pro-Legal Marriage
Pro-Civil Union
Rated at 100% in favor of gay rights by HRC (2006)
“This is really a question of whether you really believe in equality. When you understand what real equality is, you understand that people who love each other must have the opportunity to be able to express that in a way that is meaningful, and that the state should not be intervening against people, the state should be there on behalf of people, to make sure that that love has a chance to be facilitated.”
  - Source: 2007 HRC/LOGO debate on gay issues August 9, 2007

“Because if our Constitution really means what it says, that all are created equal, if it really means what it says, that there should be equality of opportunity before the law, then our brothers and sisters who happen to be gay, lesbian, bisexual or transgender should have the same rights accorded to them as anyone else, and that includes the ability to have a civil marriage ceremony.”
  - Source: 2007 YouTube Democratic Primary debate, Charleston SC, July 23, 2007

“I would help to create a culture in America so that people could be whoever they are, because if America is about anything, it has to be about a chance for people to live out their dream and to express their own authenticity. And so, gays, lesbians, bisexual, transgender people under my administration would have full participation, and they would also have the right to marry.”
  - Source: CNN “Rock The Vote” Democratic Debate, November 5, 2003

“Lesbians and gays must be afforded complete equality throughout society, including in marriage.”
  - Source:, January 2008 [since been removed from the Web site]
Barack Obama
      (IL Senator)
Anti-Legal Marriage

While not for legal marriage, he is for the rights that marriage covers

Pro-Civil Union
Rated at 89% in favor of gay rights by HRC (2006)
“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.”
  - Source: 2007 HRC/LOGO debate on gay issues, August 9, 2007

“It is my strong belief that the government has to treat all citizens equally. I come from that in part out of personal experience. When you’re a black guy named Barack Obama, you know what it’s like to be on the outside. And so my concern is continually to make sure that the rights that are conferred by the state are equal for all people.
“That’s why I opposed DOMA in 2006 when I ran for the Senate. That’s why I am a strong supporter not of a weak version of civil unions, but of a strong version, in which the rights that are conferred at the federal level to persons who are part of the same-sex union are compatible.
“When it comes to federal rights, the over 1,100 rights that right now are not being given to same sex couples, I think that’s unacceptable, and as president of the United States, I am going to fight hard to make sure that those rights are available.”
  - Source: 2007 HRC/LOGO debate on gay issues, August 9, 2007

Socialist Party
candidate choice: Brian Moore
Socialist Party Candidate Pro-Legal
Candidate Record & Statements
Brian Moore

Pro-Legal Marriage
    “Respect and assure the equal rights of all citizens, whether it be in the area of gender, race, age, sexual preference or religion. Eliminate special privileges for any and all interest groups.”
  - Source: campaign Web site, - under “Other important Issue” item #13

Libertarian Party
candidate choice: Bob Barr
Socialist Party Candidate Pro-Legal
Candidate Record & Statements
Bob Barr
      (former GA Republican
Marriage should be defined by states No Unions should be defined by states Voted to ban gay adoptions in D.C. in July 1999.
Barr was one of the authors of the ethically offensive “Defense of Marriage Act” (DoMA), which was created in 1996 to prevent same-sex couples from having their legal marriage license recognized by the United States Government. It also claimed that states would not need to recognize a valid same-sex marriage license from another state.
While DoMA did not defend marriage, it did, for the first time, allow the Federal system to usurp the state right of defining marriage law. It also contradicted “Full Faith and Credit” law. [See our articles: People Who Live in Glass Marriages Shouldn’t Throw Stones at Same-Sex Marriage and Defense of Marriage Act]
Since campaigning for DoMA, he appears to have altered his position slightly, and now speaks for repealing “Any federal laws that prevent states from determining their own standards for marriage” - see his campaign statement below.
He also states “The federal government should neither regulate personal relationships nor discriminate against individuals for their personal preferences.” This implies that there should be federal recognition when a state offers legal marriage for same-sex couples. This would affect Social Security, immigration, etc. [See our article: U.S. Federal Laws for the Legally Married]

“The federal government should neither regulate personal relationships nor discriminate against individuals for their personal preferences. Laws regulating marriage should be left to the states, precisely where the Constitution places the issue.
“Regardless of whether one supports or opposes same sex marriage, the decision to recognize such unions ought to be made by each state rather than imposed as a one-size-fits-all mandate by the federal government. Any federal laws that prevent states from determining their own standards for marriage should be repealed; the federal government should not define marriage, whether by statute or constitutional amendment.
“In this way, every state would remain free to determine for its citizens the basis on which marriage would be recognized within its borders, and would not be forced to adopt a contrary determination legislated by another state.”
  - Source: campaign Web site, [article since been removed from Web site]

Independent Party
candidate choice: Ralph Nader
Independent Party Candidates Pro-Legal
Candidate Record & Statements
Michael Bloomberg
      (NYC Mayor)

      Withdrew from race

Pro-Legal Marriage
  ? Note: While Bloomberg states he is for gay civil rights, there does not appear to be a specific legal marriage policy statement on his campaign Web site.
“I believe New Yorkers should have the right to marry whomever they choose, regardless of sexual orientation.”
  - Source: A May 2007 radio address, noted in a May 30, 2006 report
Ralph Nader

      Matt Gonzalez,
      vice president

Pro-Legal Marriage
however, no clear statement on his campaign Web site
  ? Note: While he has spoken out in favor of full equality and legal marriage for same-sex couples, there does not appear to be a specific legal marriage policy statement on his campaign Web site. Nor does his site even mention the word gay or lesbian.
Pat Buchanan: “Should homosexuals have the same right in law to form marriages and receive marriage licenses from the state as men and women?”
Ralph Nader: “Yes, and if you had that, you wouldn’t have to use the word ‘marriage.’ The reason a ‘gay marriage’ is used is because state and federal laws connect certain benefits with that word ‘marriage.’ As a lesbian leader was quoted in the New York Times a few weeks ago, the issue is not the word ‘marriage.’ The word is ‘equality.’ ”
  - Source: Interview in the American Conservative, June 10, 2004 - full and final version of the interview on Project Vote Smart

Green Party
candidate choice: Cynthia McKinney
2004 Green Party Platform - excerpt
As ratified at the 2004 Green National Convention in Milwaukee, WI
5. Sexual Orientation and Gender Identity

    In keeping with the Green Key Values of diversity, social justice and feminism, we support
    full legal and political equality for all persons, regardless of sex, gender, or sexual orientation.

    a. The Green Party affirms the rights of all individuals to freely choose intimate
        partners, regardless of their sex, gender, or sexual orientation.

    b. We support the recognition of equal rights of persons gay, lesbian, bisexual, or transgender to housing, jobs,
        civil marriage, medical benefits, child custody, and in all areas of life provided to all other citizens.

Information on Green Party Positions on Marriage Equality and
Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual and Transgender Rights, 2005 - excerpt

The Green Party firmly believes that same-sex couples should have all of the same rights that heterosexual couples do and that the “Defense of Marriage Act” is a violation of civil rights. The rights of same-sex couples far outweighs the rights of what some people believe a married couple should be.
- Source: - PDF under “Issue Briefs”
Green Party Candidates Pro-Legal
Candidate Record & Statements
Jesse Johnson
? ? ? Note: As of March 4, 2008, he not have issue positions on his campaign Web site.
Cynthia McKinney
      GA Representative)
? ? ? Rated at 80% in favor of gay rights by HRC (2006)
  - Voted NO on banning gay adoptions in DC (July 1999)
Note: In her Green Party Questionnaire (May 1, 2007), she does not offer any other opinion on civil rights other than allowing gay men and lesbians adoption rights.
  - Source: Green Party Presidential Candidate Questionnaire, on
Kent Mesplay

Pro-Legal Marriage
Pro-Civil Union
“Race matters, gender matters, sexual orientation matters, especially in that people who are put into ‘less than’ categories are not adequately represented in government. … We are liberal in that we, as a body, are pro-choice on health matters such as abortion, on drug use and on civil unions and marriage between adults who do not fit the ‘normal’ mold. As in a healthy ecosystem, within a healthy society diversity is normal. I understand that there are religious doctrines interpreted to restrict and disallow gay marriage. A century and a half ago religious arguments were used to keep people in slavery. In the same manner, a hundred years from now, bisexuality and homosexuality will be recognized as part of the natural variability in our one human race.”
  - Source: Mesplay’s campaign Web site:
Kat Swift
Pro-Legal Marriage
    “My position on same sex marriage rights is the same as the Green Party’s platform - Every couple regardless of sexual orientation deserves the same rights and protection under the law. Currently anyone can get married - it is a ceremony that any ordained minister can perform, the issue is about the legal rights afforded to heterosexual marriages alone, which is an affront to a just and equal society.”
  - Source: Kat Swift in personal correspondence with Demian, March 2, 2008.

“Gay Rights - gay, lesbian, bisexual, intersex, and transgendered rights - if one class of people has rights that another class of people do not, we are not a just society. It used to be your skin color, gender, ethnicity, property ownership, etc. Sexual orientation and gender identity are a class of people still without equal access to government benefits and privileges because those in power deem them immoral, unworthy, etc.”
  - Source: Swift’s campaign Web site: [since been removed from Web site]

Republican Party
Presidential candidate choice: John McCain
Vice-presidential candidate choice: Sarah Palin
2008 Republican National Convention - St. Paul, Minnesota, September 1-4, 2008
Inclusion Program
There were none.
A search of the Republican National Convention Web site revealed not a single mention of the word “gay,” “lesbian,” or “same-sex.”

While there was far less anti-gay sentiment expressed at the convention than in previous years, the selection of a radical, right-wing fanatic for vice-president seem to make those kinds of anti-gay speeches redundant and unnecessary.

It needs to be noted that this year’s convention was marked by arrests of about 300 primarily peaceful protesters, who were part of large anti-war demonstrations. Arrests included about 40 reporters and other media representatives, such as Associated Press photographer Matt Rourke. Violent arrests were made of Amy Goodman and two other producers for “Democracy Now!” Also, several video documentary groups were raided before the convention; their computers and camera gear conviscated.
Republican Party Candidates Pro-Legal
Candidate Record & Statements
John Cox
      (Cook County
      GOP Chair)
Anti-Legal Marriage
  Note: His presidential vision, like many on the radical right, does not include lesbians or gay men as full citizens, as a family, or fit to have children.
“The traditional American family has suffered several defeats in the past decade at the hands of state courts, who force legislatures to impose so-called ‘gay marriage’ or ‘civil unions’ onto the people. As president, I will stand for the traditional American family and will support swift passage of the Federal Marriage Amendment to protect against this trend.”
  - Source: Cox’s Web site: [since been removed from Web site]

“GOP presidential hopeful John Cox is a pro-family candidate who opposes gay marriage and civil unions and is pro-life, without exceptions.”
  - Source:
_in_his_profamily_campaign [since been removed from Web site]

“The effort by the homosexual lobby is all about trying to get the government to recognize a relationship that exists between them, and have it validated and have it benefited by government largesse. We need to talk about faith, but we also need to talk about common sense. We need to talk about the ideals of protecting children. And that’s so important for the future of our country, because, let’s face it, without children, we don’t have a country go forward. Talk to China. Their one-child policy is really going to lead to the destruction of that country. We need to have a marriage amendment. I will travel everywhere to argue that marriage is common sense, it protects children, and we ought to continue to justify it and honor it, and keep it the institution it should be for the protection of children.”
  - Source: 2007 GOP Values Voter Presidential Debate, September 17, 2007
Rudy Giuliani
      (former NYC Mayor)

      Withdrew January
      30, 2008,
      after FL primary
Anti-Legal Marriage

Pro-Civil Union
Q: “You said that if DOMA were to fail, or states began to legalize gay marriage, you would [withdraw your opposition to] a Constitutional amendment banning gay marriage.”
A: “I do not believe under the state that presently exists, with the Defense of Marriage Act and basically one state that has by judicial fiat created same-sex marriage - I don’t think we need a Constitutional amendment at this point. If a lot of states start to do that - 5 or 6 states - then we should have a Constitutional amendment.”
  - Source: 2007 GOP primary debate in Orlando, Florida, October 21, 2007
Mike Huckabee
      (AR Governor)
Anti-Legal Marriage
  Note: His presidential vision, like many on the radical right, does not include lesbians or gay men as full citizens, as a family, or fit to have children.
  - Signed legislation outlawing same-sex marriage in Arkansas
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.”
  - Source: 2002 AR Gubernatorial National Political Awareness Test, November 1, 2002

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.”
  - Source: Meet the Press: 2007 “Meet the Candidates” series, January 28, 2007
Duncan Hunter
      (CA Representative)

      Withdrew after
      Nevada caucuses,
      January 2008
Anti-Legal Marriage
  Note: His presidential vision, like many on the radical right, does not include lesbians or gay men as full citizens, as a family, or fit to have children.
  - Voted YES on Constitutional definition of marriage as one-man, one-woman (July 2006)
  - Voted YES on banning gay adoptions in DC (July 1999)
  - In 2006, the HRC rated him at 0% in favor of gay rights.

“It’s so important that we have that law that accommodates the Judeo-Christian traditions that maintains what is probably the most important institution in this country, which is a family. The most important institution that we have. The confidence that marriage gives our children, that moms and dads give our children, can’t be duplicated by government. We need a Constitutional amendment to maintain their marriage.”
  - Source: 2007 GOP Values Voter Presidential Debate, September 17, 2007
Alan Keyes
      UN Ambassador)
Anti-Legal Marriage
  Note: His presidential vision, like many on the radical right, does not include lesbians or gay men as full citizens, as a family, or fit to have children.
“The assault that’s now taking place on traditional marriage should be taken seriously by everyone, because I think that it represents the last and final step in the surrender of the true understanding of marriage - the commitment to childbearing, child rearing, and the future. And if we allow folks who are pushing for things like gay marriage to have their way, we will abandon the moral mentality that is necessary to sustain decent family life, and that will be disastrous.”
     - Keyes’ campaign Web site: [since been removed from Web site]

“I think that, first and foremost, we have to make sure that we defend the natural family, that we pass the amendment that will be required in order to make sure that the strategy of the gay lobby doesn’t result in the destruction of traditional marriage.”
  - Source: 2007 GOP Values Voter Presidential Debate, September 17, 2007

“First of all, I think it’s quite evident that we need a Constitutional amendment, from what we see going on right now, with folks who have gotten themselves supposedly ‘married’ as gay couples, going into other states demanding that these marriages be recognized using things like the Full Faith and Credit Clause to require that every state in the Union recognize the action that has been taken by this legislature - or in fact, in Massachusetts, arbitrarily by judges, and then by Mitt Romney, who refused to acknowledge what the court had actually said, which was not that you had to perform such marriages, but that the law should be revised. He is single-handedly responsible for bringing them on.”
  - Source: 2007 GOP Values Voter Presidential Debate, September 17, 2007

“An individual who is impotent, or another who is infertile, does not change the definition of marriage in principle, because between a man and a woman in principle, procreation is always possible, and it is that possibility which gave rise to the institution of marriage in the first place as a matter of law. But when it is impossible in principle, as between two males or two females, it’s impossible in principle. If you say that that’s a marriage, you are saying marriage can be understood, in principle, apart from procreation. You have changed its definition in such a way as, in fact, to destroy the necessity for the institution, since the only reason it has existed in human societies and civilizations was to regulate, from a social point of view, the obligations and responsibilities attendant upon procreation.”   - Source: IL Senate Debate, October 26, 2004
Q: “You made a little bit of controversy speaking out about Dick Cheney’s lesbian daughter, calling her a selfish hedonist. Those were your words. Do you regret that?”
A: “Actually, that was a situation in which I described what’s involved in gay sexual relations, and described it quite objectively-sexual relations with no other objective than that the parties involved should derive pleasure from this use of the organs intended for sexual purposes. That is selfish, that is oriented towards oneself; hedonism, which is the pursuit of pleasure.”
  - Source: Interview on Larry King Show at GOP Convention, September 1, 2004

“It’s about time we all faced up to the truth. If we accept the radical homosexual agenda, be it in the military or in marriage or in other areas of our lives, we are utterly destroying the concept of family. We must oppose it in the military. We must oppose it in marriage. We must oppose it if the fundamental institution of our civilization is to survive. Those unwilling to face that fact and playing games with this issue are doing so irresponsibly at the price of America’s moral foundations.”
  - Source: Republican Debate in Durham, NH, January 6, 2000
John McCain
      (AZ Senator)
Anti-Legal Marriage
  Rated at 33% in favor of gay rights by HRC (2006)
  - Voted NO on federal Constitutional ban of same-sex marriage (2006)
  - Voted YES on prohibiting same-sex marriage via the federal “Defense of Marriage Act” (1996)
  - Voted YES on prohibiting same-sex marriage in Arizona (199?)

Q: President Bush believes that gay couples should not be permitted to adopt children. Do you agree with that?
A: I think that we’ve proven that both parents are important in the success of a family so, no I don’t believe in gay adoption.
Q: Even if the alternative is the kid staying in an orphanage, or not having parents?
A: I encourage adoption and I encourage the opportunities for people to adopt children I encourage the process being less complicated so they can adopt as quickly as possible. And Cindy and I are proud of being adoptive parents.
Q: But your concern would be that the couple should a traditional couple?
A: Yes.
  - Source: NY Times Election Guide 2008, transcript, July 13, 2008
[Note: All major, national children’s advocacy organizations support gay and lesbian parenting. The only ones who have “proven” that gay people should not parent are radical right-wing ideologues.
Please see our articles: The Gay Parent and Quotes: Parenting Policy Statements]

Q: If California wants to legalize gay marriage, should it be permitted to do so?
A: I respect the rights of the states to make those decisions. I obviously am personally in favor of preserving the unique status of marriage between man and woman. And I also would point out that we passed a thing called the “Defense of Marriage Act,” which I know you’re familiar with, where we said that states were not required to recognize in their states the decision that other states made. In other words, if the state of Massachusetts recognized marriage between man and — had allowed same-sex marriage, that does not mean that that decision can be imposed on the state of Arizona. The state of Arizona will make that decision.
Q: But if the state wanted to do it on the own, you would not support taking action to stop it? A: If the people wanted to amend the constitution in order to support the unique status, affirm the unique status, I certainly would support that. But if they decide not to, that’s a state decision that’s made by the state.
  - Source: NY Times Election Guide 2008, July 13, 2008

“Sen. McCain also believes in the traditional meaning of marriage: a union of one man and one woman. He opposes gay marriage and, if necessary, would support a Constitutional amendment to protect a state’s right to codify and protect traditional marriage against the actions of other states or federal judges. When his home state of Arizona made its own decision on the issue, McCain stood proudly on the side to ban gay marriage.”
  - Source: McCain campaign Web site [has since been removed]

“McCain has not towed a typical Republican line. For example, he has called the ban on same-sex marriage ‘un-Republican.’ The ban ‘usurps from the states a fundamental authority they have always possessed and imposes a federal remedy for a problem that most states do not believe confronts them,’ he said in July 2004.”
  - Source:, “Presidential bids,” November 15, 2006
Sarah Palin
      (AK Governor)

      Picked by John McCain
      to be vice president
Anti-Legal Marriage
Anti- domestic partner benefits
  Note: Her vice-presidential vision, like many on the radical right, does not include lesbians or gay men as full citizens, as a family, or fit to have children.
At a gubernatorial debate in 2006, Palin said she supported the 1998 state constitutional amendment banning same-sex marriage.
As governor, Palin vetoed legislation that would have kept state workers from receiving domestic partner benefits, but did so only after her attorney general advised her it would be unconstitutional to defy the Alaska Supreme Court ruling that provided those benefits.
Palin signed a bill calling for a statewide advisory vote on whether Alaska should deny domestic partner benefits to same-sex couples. She supported removing benefits because: “I believe that honoring the family structure is that important.”
  - Source: Anchorage Daily News, August 6, 2006:
Ron Paul
      (TX Representative)
Anti-Legal Marriage
  Rated at 33% in favor of gay rights by HRC (2006)
  - Voted YES on banning gay adoptions in DC (July 1999)
  - Voted NO on Constitutional ban of same-sex marriage (July 2006)
  - Voted NO on Constitutional Amendment banning same-sex marriage (September 2004)

“If you believe in federalism, it’s better that we allow these things to be left to the state. My personal belief is that marriage is a religious ceremony. And it should be dealt with religiously. The [government] really shouldn’t be involved. The government got involved mostly for health reasons 100 years or so ago. But this should be a religious matter. All voluntary associations, whether they’re economic or social, should be protected by the law. But to amend the Constitution is totally unnecessary to define something that’s already in the dictionary. We do know what marriage is about. We don’t need a new definition or argue over a definition and have an Amendment. To me, it just seems so unnecessary to do that. There’s no need for the federal government to be involved in this.”
  - Source: 2007 GOP primary debate in Orlando, Florida, October 21, 2007

“I think the best thing the president can do is set a good example, and I would start with having been married 50 years, and proud of it. I believe, also, that I do not see any need for another Constitutional amendment. I think we have fallen into a trap that we have to redefine marriage. We’re on the defensive, defining marriage. Why don’t you just tell them to look it up in the dictionary, to find out what a marriage says? For federal legal purposes, the Defense of Marriage Act is proper. It takes care of all the problems. If you have to have rules and regulations, put it at the state level, like the Constitution says. But you know, marriage only came about, and getting licenses only came about, in recent history for health reasons. Marriage is a church function. It’s not a state function. I don’t think you need a license to get married.”   - Source: 2007 GOP Values Voter Presidential Debate, September 17, 2007
Mitt Romney
      MA Governor)

      February 2008
Anti-Legal Marriage
  Note: His presidential vision, like many on the radical right, does not include lesbians or gay men as full citizens, as a family, or fit to have children.
Romney has spewed anti-gay, anti-marriage speech across the country for years.

Enforced a 1913 MA law - originally made to halt interracial marriage - preventing marriage for out-of-state same-sex couples.
     [See: Mass. Offers Marriage]

“I’ve been in [governor of] 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 un-elected 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.”
  - Source: 2007 GOP primary debate in Orlando, Florida, October 21, 2007

“Given the decision of the Massachusetts Supreme Court, America faces questions regarding the institution of marriage. Should we abandon marriage as we know it? …
“I join with those who support a federal Constitutional amendment. Massachusetts has a law that attempts to restrain this infringement by restricting marriages of out-of-state couples to those where no impediment to marry exists in their home state. Even with this law, valid same-sex marriages will migrate to other states. For each state to preserve its own power in relation to marriage, a federal amendment to define marriage is necessary.”
  - Source: A Mormon in the White House?, by Hugh Hewitt, p.130-133, March 12, 2007

“Last year the Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court struck a blow against the family, as I’m sure you know. The court forgot that [traditional] marriage is first and foremost about nurturing and developing children. Its ruling meant that our society is supposed to be indifferent about whether children have a mother and a father.”      - Boston Globe, March 2, 2005 and on Romney’s campaign Web site:
Fred Thompson
      (Former TN Senator)

      Withdrew January
      2008, after
      SC primary
Anti-Legal Marriage
  Note: His presidential vision, like many on the radical right, does not include lesbians or gay men as full citizens, as a family, or fit to have children.
  - Voted YES on prohibiting same-sex marriage (September 1996)
“Strong families are the bedrock of our nation and our culture. They are built around the sanctity of life and the institution of marriage, which is the union of a man and a woman. To counter coarseness in today’s culture that oftentimes victimizes our children and undermines the traditional values parents want to instill, we must not only protect but strengthen the institutions of family and marriage. I am committed to:
“Using the Presidency to encourage policies that promote a culture of life, strengthen the institution of marriage and traditional families, and advance freedom of religion.”
     - Thompson’s campaign Web site - click on “ Building Strong Families”

“Marriage is between a man and a woman. Nobody ever thought that that was contested until recently, and we’ve had a couple judges in a couple states decide to turn all that on its head. I would support a Constitutional amendment that addresses this judge-created problem, and say judges can’t do that. But, at the end of the day, if a state legislature and a governor decide that that’s what they want to do, yes, they should have the freedom to do what Fred Thompson thinks is a very bad idea.”
  - Source: Meet the Press: 2007 “Meet the Candidates” series, November 4, 2007

Other 2008 Democratic Presidential Candidates
Evan Bayh (IN Senator) - Withdrew December 2006
Wes Clark (Former NATO commander) - Never entered race
Tom Daschle (Former SD Senator) - Never entered race
Christopher Dodd (CT Senator) - Withdrew after Iowa Caucus January 2008
Russ Feingold (WI Senator) - Withdrew November 2006
Al Gore (Former Vice President) - Never entered race
John Kerry (MA Senator) - Withdrew January 2007
Bill Richardson (NM Governor) - Withdrew after NH primary, January 2008
Al Sharpton (Reverend) - Never entered race
Tom Vilsack (IA Governor) - Withdrew February 2007
Mark Warner (VA Governor) - Withdrew October 2006
Other 2008 Republican Presidential Candidates
George Allen (Former Virginia Senator) - Never entered race
Sam Brownback (Kansas Senator) - Withdrew November 2007
Jeb Bush (Governor of Florida) - Never entered race
Bill Frist (Tennessee Senator) - Withdrew November 2006
Newt Gingrich (Former Speaker of the House) - Opted out of race, September 2007
James Gilmore (Former Governor of Virginia) - Withdrew July 2007
Chuck Hagel (Nebraska Senator) - Never entered race
George Pataki (New York Governor) - Never entered race
Tom Tancredo (Colorado Representative) - Withdrew, December 2007
Tommy Thompson (Former Wisconsin Governor and Secretary of HHS) - Withdrew August 2007
Mark Sanford (SC Governor) - Never entered race

We welcome corrections and additions that are accompanied by legitimate citations.

© 2008, Demian

Further Resources
Governments that offer Full Legal Marriage

Netherlands (2001)
Belgium (2003)
Canada (2005)
Spain (2005)
South Africa (2005)
Norway (2009)
Sweden (2009)
Iceland (2010)
Argentina (2010)
Portugal (2010)
Denmark (2012)
France (2013)
New Zealand (2013)
Brazil (2013)
Uruguay (2013)
New Zealand (2013)
United Kingdom
(England, Wales, Scotland) (2013)
Luxembourg (2014)
Finland (2014)
Ireland (2015)
United States (2015)
Colombia (2016)
Germany (2017)
Taiwan (2017)
Malta (2017)
Australia (2017)
US States & Territories
U.S. Supreme Court, June 26, 2015 Ruling: All U.S. States must allow same-sex couples legal marriage.

Massachusetts (2004)
California (2008)
Connecticut (2008)
Iowa (2009)
Vermont (2009)
New Hampshire (2009)
District of Columbia (2009)
New York (2011)
Maine (2012)
Washington (2012)
Maryland (2013)
Rhode Island (2013)
Delaware (2013)
Minnesota (2013)
Illinois (2013)
Utah (2013)
New Jersey (2013)

Hawaii (2013)
New Mexico (2013)
Michigan (2014) - stayed pending legal challenge
Oregon (2014)
Wisconsin (2014) Arkansas (2014) - stayed pending legal challenge
Pennsylvania (2014)
Indiana (2014)
Nevada (2014)
Virginia (2014)
Oklahoma (2014)
Idaho (2014)
West Virginia (2014)
Alaska (2014)
Arizona (2014)
Wyoming (2014)
Kansas (2014) - stayed pending legal challenge
Florida (2014)
Colorado (2014)
North Carolina (2014)
South Carolina (2014)
Montana (2014)
Alabama (2015)
Native American Tribes

Coquille Tribe, Oregon (2009)
Mashantucket Pequot, Connecticut (2011)
Suquamish Tribe, Washington (2011)
Confederated Tribes of the Colville Reservation, Washington (2013)
Leech Lake Band of Ojibwe, Minnesota (2013)
Little Traverse Bay Bands of Odawa Indians, Michigan (2013)
Pokagon Band of Potawatomi Indians, Michigan (2013)
Santa Ysabel Tribe, California (2013)
Confederated Tribes of the Colville Nation, Washington (2013)
Cheyenne, Oklahoma (2013)
Arapaho, Oklahoma (2013)
Leech Lake Tribal Court, Minnesota (2013)
Puyallup Tribe, Washington (2914)
Wind River Indian Reservation, Wyoming (2014)
Keweenaw Bay Indian Community, Michigan (2014)
Colville Confederated Tribes, Washington (2014)
Central Council of Tlingit, Alaska (2015)
Haida Indian Tribes, Alaska (2015)

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