Presidential Candidates and Gay Rights

Debates are happening. Opinions on candidates are forming, memorable quotes are being turned into pictures, and people are starting to realize that in just a little over a year the nation will have a new president.

Live Free Be Strong compiled a list of the varying viewpoints held by some of these political hopefuls in regards to marriage equality and gay rights:


Bobby Jindal, Republican: “Appoint justices that will read the constitution” was his reaction to the SCOTUS ruling. “I will continue to fight to keep marriage as between a man and a woman…an earthly court doesn’t change for me an institution that was created, that was defined by God.”Previously, Jindal has said that Obergefell “will pave the way for an all out assault against the religious freedom rights of Christians who disagree with this decision. This ruling must not be used as pretext by Washington to erode our right to religious liberty”. In 2006 Jindal voted for H.J. Res.88- The Marriage Protection Amendment- which proposed establishing that marriage is the union of a man and a woman.

Rick Perry, Republican: “I am disappointed that the Supreme Court today chose to change the centuries old definition of marriage as between one man and one woman. I’m a firm believer in tradition marriage… I fundamentally disagree with the court rewriting the law and assaulting the 10th Amendment.” In July 2015 Rick Perry expressed support for a ban on openly gay leaders in the Boy Scouts of America. In years prior Perry supported a ballot measure to define marriage as “a union between a man and a woman” in the Texas constitution, and compared homosexuality to alcoholism by saying that “I may have genetic coding that I’m inclinded to be an alcoholic, but I have the desire not to do that, and I look at homosexual issues the same way”. He recently said “as president, I would appoint strict Constitutional conservatives who will apply the law as written” to the judicial branch.

Rick Santorum, Republican: Says marriage is “about a unity of men and women, for the purposes of having and raising children, and giving the child their birthright, which is to be raised by their natural mother and natural father.” Previously,though, he showed support for the judge who struck down Pennsylvania’s gay marriage ban, even before the SCOTUS ruling. His opinion seems to be less religiously based, and more about wanting the focus to be on the children- he is worried the new ruling will have less children being raised by the “nuclear family”, and more children being born out of wedlock for adoption.

Mike Huckabee, Republican: When the Republicans became more moderate on gay marriage, Huckabee’s reaction was “if the Republicans want to lose guys like me and a whole bunch of still God-fearing, Bible-believing people, go ahead.” He has recently challenged the Pentagon’s decision allowing transgender soldiers to serve in the military, and thinks that conscientious objectors to same-sex marriage will engage in civil disobedience. He also called the supreme court “out of control” and strongly opposed their ruling. He would like to pass a constitutional amendment to define marriage as between one man and one woman. In 2010 he opposed same-sex marriage, civil unions, and allowing gay couples to adopt children.

Marco Rubio, Republican: “”Supporting the definition of marriage as one man and woman is not anti-gay. It’s pro-traditional marriage.”


Scott Walker, Republican: Said he would not lift the ban on transgender soldiers serving openly in the military, and disapproved of the decision to lift the ban on gay troop leaders by the Boy Scouts of America. On the Supreme Court ruling, Walker had to say that “five unelected judges have taken it upon themselves to redefine the institution of marriage…in 2006 I, like millions of Americans, voted to amend our state constitution to protect the institution of marriage from exactly this kind of judicial activism.” At this point though, he says “it doesn’t really matter what I think now, it’s in the constitution.” Possible reasons for his increasing ambiguity could have to do with his divided household, many of which are for gay rights- as his opponent Rick Santorum pointed out, “spouses matter. When your spouse is not in-sync with you- particularly on cultural issues, moral issues- you tend not to be as active on those issues.”

Chris Christie, Republican: “I don’t think there’s some referee who stands up and says, ‘OK, now it’s time for you to change your opinion.'”. He thinks that marriage equality should be decided by the people and not a group of lawyers. He might not personally like same-sex marriage, but will support and endorse the law. In 2012 Christie expressed support for civil unions- though he was opposed to legalizing gay marriage, he said that he believed same-sex couples in a civil union should receive the same benefits as those of married couples.

Rand Paul, Republican: “I believe in old-fashioned traditional marriage but I don’t really think the government needs to be too involved in this and I think the Republican Party can have people on both sides of the issue.” He mainly questions whether government really has a place in regulating marriage.

Jeb Bush, Republican: Thinks that the legality of same-sex marriage should have been decided by the states versus by the Supreme Court. Personally, “guided by my faith, I believe in traditional marriage.” He thinks it is important to have so many different opinions represented in the U.S., and that it should be a state-by-state issue. With that said, his recent statement says that “we live in a democracy, and regardless of our disagreements, we have to respect the rule of law. I hope that we can also show respect for the good people on all sides of the gay and lesbian marriage issue- including couples making lifetime commitments to each other who are seeking greater legal protections and those of us who believe marriage is a sacrament and want to safeguard religious liberty.”


Hillary Clinton, Democrat:“It really became very clear to me that if we’re going to support marriage in our country, it should be available to everyone regardless of who they love and that this marriage equality issue is a great human rights issue.” She openly enddorses the Equality Act, and applauded the SCOTUS decision on Obergefell v. Hodges. She has been an open supporter of same-sex marriage since 2013.

Martin O’Malley, Democrat: Even before the Supreme Court ruling, O’Malley has been an active supporter of gay rights. He signed same sex marriage into law in Maryland in 2012, three years earlier than Obergefell v. Hodges legalized it nationwide. “All of us, wherever we happen to stand on the marriage equality issue, can agree that all our children deserve the opportunity to live in a loving, caring, committed, and stable home, protected equally under the law.”

Bernie Sanders, Democrat: After the  Supreme Court’s decision, Sander’s said “this is good news for all Americans who believe in the words carved in marble on the front of the Supreme Court building, equal justice under law.”

Unfortunately, the list of those opposed goes on far more than the list of those who support, even beyond those listed here… just something to take into account during the primaries and when thinking about who we want to soon be running our country.