GOP presidential hopefuls attack gay marriage

Six Republican presidential hopefuls touted their conservative credentials at the ‘Thanksgiving Family Forum,’ Nov. 19, sponsored by the Family Leader, an anti-gay Christian organization. The discussion, held at a West Des Moines, Iowa church, did not invite former Utah Gov. Jon Huntsman, and former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney chose not to attend.

The first part of the discussion focused on how the religious right has allegedly been marginalized and silenced by the liberal left.

“I think probably the greatest amount of censorship in our country today is in the pulpits of our churches because we have a law that limits pastors on what they can say about politics in the pulpit. That’s not the American way,” said Michele Bachmann.

Herman Cain went on to criticize the IRS for not allowing church leaders to endorse political parties and “those of us that are people of faith and strong faith have allowed the non-faith element to intimidate us into not fighting back,” Cain told the audience of about 2,500. (Cain has since dropped from the presidential race.)

The discussion turned to allowing discussion of Christianity in public schools, barring the federal government from being involved with public education and removing all federal government influence from state functions.

However, there was near unanimous agreement to support federal legislation barring gay marriage and limiting abortion rights. Because the candidates held similar positions, they each attempted to distance themselves from the pack; Cain promised to veto any attempt to overturn the anti-gay Defense of Marriage Act; Rick Santorum touted his role in campaigning against Iowa Supreme Court justices who supported gay marriage; and Rick Perry argued that the president and federal government should be able to intervene on matters concerning abortion and gay marriage.

“When you look at issues like traditional marriage, when you look at issues like the human life amendment, the president of the United States can lead on those issues, can publicly proclaim support and go campaign across the country to get states to support those positions,” Perry said. “That is the virtuous direction that the next president of the United States needs to powerfully go down.”

Santorum tried to appear as the most conservative of all the candidates and promised to stop individual states from legalizing gay marriage.

“Our country is based on a moral enterprise and gay marriage is wrong. As Abraham Lincoln said, ‘the states do not have the right to do wrong,’” Santorum said. “(Gay marriage) radically changes the entire moral fabric of our country.”

Newt Gingrich was a crowd favorite and didn’t let his past of admitted adultery and three marriages slow him down gaining the biggest cheers from the conservative crowd. Along with attacking gay marriage, Gingrich attacked the Occupy Wall Street Protest.

“Go get a job right after you take a bath,” Gingrich said about the Occupy protesters.

The one exception to the anti-gay rhetoric came from candidate Ron Paul.

“The law can’t reflect the morality of the people, if you do that, then you’ve embarked on something where you’ve sacrificed liberty,” Paul said.

Seth Bracken

Seth Bracken is the editor of QSaltLake

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One Comment

  1. Republican U.S. Rep. Ron Paul, M.D., believes that, because marriage isn’t an authority which is delegated to the federal government by the Constitution for the United States of America, the 9th and 10th Amendments to the Constitution protect the right of a state to decide which of its citizens may marry. For the same reason, he voted successfully in 2004 against the “Federal Marriage Amendment” to the Constitution.

    Because he believes that marriage is constitutionally a state issue, he 1) supports the federal “Defense of Marriage Act” to prohibit the federal government or any state government recognition of the same-sex marriages of other states, 2) sponsored unsucessfully in 2005 the federal “We the People Act” to limit federal court jurisdiction over legal questions about the rights of equal protection or privacy regarding sexual practices or orientation, or same-sex marriage, and 3) has co-sponsored unsuccessfully since 2003 the federal “Marriage Protection Act” to limit federal court jurisdiction over legal questions about DOMA.

    While seemingly contradictory and extreme, his opinion about marriage and the constitution is the logical conclusion of the theory he shares with Democratic Massachusetts Attorney General Martha Coakley when she challenged the constitutionality of DOMA in 2009 — that the federal government has no consitutional authority to govern on the matter of marriage and should, therefore, restrict itself from doing so and return the authority to the states.

    To this end, he has called sodomy laws “ridiculous,” but wrote in 2003 that the U.S. Supreme Court interpreted the constitutional right of privacy wrongly in the Lawrence v. Texas sodomy opinion. He stated that, under the 9th and 10th Amendments, a state “has the right to decide for itself how to regulate social matters like sex, using its own local standards.” Massachusetts’ Coakley argued that her state did exactly that in adopting same-sex marriage.

    Despite appearances, he might be right. More states repealed their sodomy laws under the rights that are protected by the 9th and 10th Amendments before the court opinion than were invalidated by it afterward. So far, the states that have adopted same-sex marriage laws did so under the rights that are protected by the 9th and 10th Amendments.

    Beyond the idea of states’ rights, he voted successfully in 2010 to repeal the federal “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” law to restrict gays in the military.

    To understand Ron Paul, one must understand the Constitution for the United States of America.

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