REPORT: Likely GOP Presidential Field Full Of Extreme Anti-LGBT Rhetoric

Since 53 percent of Americans — including a 53 percent of white Catholics and 57 percent of nonevangelical Protestants — now support marriage equality, Republican presidential candidates who speak out against gay initiatives risk positioning themselves at the very extreme end of political spectrum. Yesterday, my CAP colleagues Noel Gordon and Jeff Krehely released an interactive of the likely GOP candidates’ positions on LGBT issues. As it turns out, all of the potential GOP hopefuls are firmly outside the American mainstream:

– NEWT GINGRICH: “I stand on some kind of legal rights. I’m not sure where I stand on civil unions. It’s like marriage without marriage. I’ll give you a specific example of what I believe. People ought to have the ability to have people visit them in the hospital, which is the most obvious and awkward situation.” [The American View, 2005]

– “[T]here is a gay and secular fascism in this country that wants to impose its will on the rest of us.” [O’Reilly Factor, 11/14/2010]

– MIKE HUCKABEE: “While discussing marriage for gay couples: “There are a lot of people who like to use drugs so let’s go ahead and accommodate those who want to use drugs. … there are some people who believe in incest, so we should accommodate them. There are people who believe in polygamy, should we accommodate them?” [Politico, 6/22/2010]

– “I believe that we’re in denial about potential problems as we see more and more homosexual couples raising families. Essentially, these are experiments to see how well children will fare in such same-sex households. It will be years before we know whether or not our little guinea pigs turn out to be good at marriage and parenthood.” [A Simple Government]

– GOV. HALEY BARBOUR (R-MS): “I’m proud that Mississippi cast the highest percentage of its vote of any state in the country for the Defense of Marriage Act, defining marriage as a union between one man and one woman.” [Jackson Free Press, 1/11/2011]

– TIM PAWLENTY: “My general view on all of this is that marriage is to be defined as being a union of a man and a woman. Marriage should be elevated in our society at a special level. I don’t think all domestic relationships are the equivalent of traditional marriage.” [Newsweek, 12/20/2009]

– MITT ROMNEY: “I agree with 3,000 years of recorded history. I disagree with the Supreme Judicial Court of Massachusetts. Marriage is an institution between a man and a woman… Of course, basic civil rights and certain appropriate benefits should be available to people in nontraditional relationships. But marriage is a special institution between a man and a woman, and our constitution and laws should reflect that.” [Stump speech, 4/28/2007]

– SARAH PALIN: “Well not if it goes closer and closer toward redefining the traditional definition of marriage between one man and woman and unfortunately that’s sometimes where those steps lead. But I also want to clarify if there’s any kind of suggestion, at all, from my answer that I would be anything but tolerant of adults in America choosing their partners, choosing relationships that they deem best for themselves. You know, I am tolerant. And I have a very diverse family and group of friends.” [CNN, 10/2/2008]

– RICK SANTORUM: “Every society in the history of man has upheld the institution of marriage as a bond between a man and a woman. Why? Because society is based on one thing: that society is based on the future of the society. And that’s what? Children. Monogamous relationships. In every society, the definition of marriage has not ever to my knowledge included homosexuality. That’s not to pick on homosexuality. It’s not, you know, man on child, man on dog, or whatever the case may be. It is one thing. And when you destroy that you have a dramatic impact on the quality.” [USA Today, 4/23/2003]

Click here to see the interactive and download the complete report [PDF].