Adam Polaski

The LGBT Stances of Every Presidential Candidate

Filed By Adam Polaski | August 16, 2011 6:00 PM | comments

Filed in: Marriage Equality, Politics
Tags: Barack Obama, Democrats, GOP, Marriage Equality USA, Michele Bachmann, Mitt Romney, Ned Flaherty, Republican, Rick Perry, Ron Paul

Marriage Equality USA released this awesome graph today that showcases the LGBT stances of all of the 2012 presidential candidates, including a few Republican names you've probably never heard of, the GOP players who have gotten all the press, and President Obama himself.

Ned Flaherty worked on compiling the graph for Marriage Equality USA. Check out his methodology on their website. Flaherty plans to update the candidates' stances on the issues if or when they change, through the time of the election.

Fred Karger, the openly gay Republican nominee who's been struggling to make an impact, leads the pack in terms of a plan for LGBT equality, followed by the Obama administration. Many of the front-running Republican candidates, including Michele Bachmann and Mitt Romney, have almost no eye toward LGBT equality, whereas Ron Paul, who ranked second in the Ames poll this weekend (after Bachmann), believes in some pro-LGBT stances.

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california panda | August 16, 2011 8:32 PM

An interesting and revealing chart of who is fit to govern this U.S. and who is not. If possible I would like to be able to link back to it. It is a graphic illustration of the recalcitrant nature of mainstream Republican thinking today.

Bill Perdue Bill Perdue | August 17, 2011 4:22 AM

This graph is in error.

Obama doesn't take a maybe position on same sex marriage, he's been pigheadedly opposed it for over a decade. He said: “I believe that marriage is the union between a man and a woman. Now for me as a Christian, it’s also a sacred union, God’s in the mix.”

With that comment Obama blew same sex marriage defenders in California out of the water, personally intervening to promote the passage of Prop 8.

He, and most other leading democrats do support civil unions because they confer second class citizenship on us and bigots like that.

As for job protections, if he and his Teabagger, Democrat and Republican allies in Congress refuse to pass it, as those parties have since 1994, we can reasonably assume that they're lying though their teeth about supporting federal anti-discrimination laws.


The short history of Obama’s twists and turns regarding same sex marriage…

1996: In response to a questionnaire from Outlines newspaper (now part of Windy City Times), Obama, a candidate for the Illinois state senate seat representing the wealthy Hyde Park neighborhood of Chicago, writes, “I favor legalizing same-sex marriages, and would fight efforts to prohibit such marriages.”

1998: Responding to an Illinois State Legislative National Political Awareness Test: “Q: Do you believe that the Illinois government should recognize same-sex marriages? A: Undecided.”

2004: In an interview with Windy City Times, Obama mentions the religious dimension of the gay marriage debate, says he supports civil unions, and indicates that his stance is dictated in large part by political strategy…

2006: In his bestseller, The Audacity of Hope, Obama, now a U.S. senator, explains his support for civil unions, again mentioning religion and noting the strategic problems that the push for gay marriage poses.

2008: At Rick Warrens bigotfest Obama said ”For me as a Christian, it is a sacred union. God’s in the mix…” In an interview with MTV, Obama says he opposes Prop 8, but also gay marriage. Civil unions, the candidate says, are sufficient: “I have stated my opposition to [Prop 8]. I think it is unnecessary. I believe that marriage is between a man and woman and I am not in favor of gay marriage…”

2010:After the Perry decision, which struck down Prop 8, the White House releases this statement: “The president has spoken out in opposition to Proposition 8 because it is divisive and discriminatory. He will continue to promote equality for LGBT Americans.” Meanwhile, White House senior adviser David Axelrod tells MSNBC that Obama “ does oppose same-sex marriage, but he supports equality for gay and lesbian couples. … He supports civil unions. That’s been his position throughout. So nothing has changed.” (1)

2011: Now he's running rumors that he's "evolving" up the flagpole to see who he can fool. In reality he continues to devolve and remains the Bigot in Chief. That' won't change unless we become crucial to his reeleciton.

The New Republic, James Downie, August 19th, 2009 and other sources

Why "LGBT" when so many are "LGB" only? Example: open service of T's in the military isn't on the table. Some of the "no's" should be maybe's (adoption by T couples Si, adoption my Gay couples No - or the reverse) and so should some of the yes's.

Ned Flaherty | August 17, 2011 7:23 AM

The table shows only current LGBT issues for which all candidates have taken a position. While most of these issues are LGBT, military service is still only LGB because no formal proposal has been made to add Ts to military service. I didn’t slight Ts; it’s just that there’s no proposal, and thus there are no positions to report.

I only report whatever each candidate claims their position is, not what I think the candidate’s real position might be. Whenever journalists, voters, or opponents object to any candidate’s claim, they should challenge that candidate to either prove their position, or else revise it.

The aim of the project is to force every candidate to take a position on every issue, knowing that they’ll be scrutinized for it, and held to it.

It seems to be working; candidates are already re-evaluating some of their positions. Stay tuned.

Ned Flaherty

DuchessOfDykedom | August 17, 2011 9:52 AM

This chart is conflating Ron Paul's personal views with his political views. He wants government OUT of everyone's marriage, gay, straight or otherwise. He understands that it's not the proper role of government to be involved in this matter. I tend to agree with him and think that's the direction we should be taking. Why do people feel the need to have the government's camel nose in our tents anyway? He also believes that people shouldn't be required to get a marriage license. It's a private contractual agreement and the state has no business being involved with that. If you remove the state from the equation, all of this marriage animosity will eventually go away. Get government out of all marriages...

That's an easy position to take when you can still reap the personal benefits of the existing unfair system, knowing full well that the proposed "government out of marriage" position has no traction. Do you think if the state stopped issuing marriage certificates things would change? What about the thousands of laws at the federal level that give special considerations to married couples? Inheritance, taxes, next-of-kin status?

The state is in the business of doing this because at some level it needs to be. It needs a formal way to know if such a contract exists between two people, so it can enforce the laws formed around property, ownership, and inheritance. Even without a license, you can go to your local LGBT supporting church and get "married". You just don't get the legal registration of the state that comes with having a license.

Ron Paul, or anyone hired as a president, will have no say in if or how states form and enforce their local laws. Even if he were elected, and an whole glut of Libitarians were all elected with him, he couldn't get a law passed to force the country or states out of the marriage business. And if he did, it would be challenged and struck down in an instant.

So sure... When you're getting all the benefits, it's easy to say "I don't support X, because we don't need it in the Utopian society I want to live in." But when you're the one being denied rights or benefits that others are getting because we don't live in that Utopia, it's a much more difficult thing to swallow.

DuchessOfDykedom | August 17, 2011 10:50 PM

Well, believe it or not, it's already beginning here in New Hampshire. Oddly enough, this bill was written by republicans. It's been introduced, but my friends at the state house tell me it won't be presented this session. It's in the works though.

They are going to try to repeal gay marriage and amend the constitution with a ban in January, so we have bigger fish to fry with that, but it doesn't have enough support, honestly. The bill above however will come back up next session. I'm optimistic. :)