Michele Bachmann told a group of supporters in Waverly, Iowa yesterday afternoon that gay and lesbian people should have “no special rights” to marry people of the same sex, insisting that “the laws are you marry a person of the opposite sex.” Iowa actually began allowing same-sex couples to marry in 2009, but Bachmann, oblivious to the growing acceptance of marriage equality, explained that prohibitions against such marriages don’t discriminate against gay people since they can always marry partners of the opposite sex:
JANE SCHMIDT: Then, why can’t same-sex couples get married?
BACHMANN: They can get married, but they abide by the same law as everyone else. They can marry a man if they’re a woman. Or they can marry a woman if they’re a man. [...]
JANE SCHMIDT: So you won’t support the LGBT community?
BACHMANN: No, I said that there are no special rights for people based upon your sex practices. There’s no special rights based upon what you do in your sex life. You’re an American citizen first and foremost and that’s it.
ELLA NEWELL, a junior at Waverly High School: Wouldn’t heterosexual couples, if they were given a privilege then, that gay couples aren’t, like given that privilege to get married, but heterosexual couples are given a privilege to get married?
BACHMANN: Remember every American citizen has the right to avail themselves to marriage but they have to follow what the laws are. And the laws are you marry a person of the opposite sex.
Ironically, Bachmann preceded her answers with a call to tolerance, telling the crowd, “True tolerance means allowing people to express themselves and their beliefs. There might be people in this room that have no faith at all. You’re welcome here. Everyone is welcome here. But that doesn’t that mean that we squelch people’s speech that have religious-based values either. And we need to allow people to speak.”
Six states plus the District of Columbia now allow same-sex marriage.
Andy Towle has the video:
The Washington Post’s Alexandra Petri offers this retort to Bachmann’s comments:
I’m glad Bachmann wasn’t there for history. “Why can’t Rosa Parks sit at the front of the bus?”
“She can sit,” Bachmann would say. “She can sit at the back of the bus.”
“The vegetarian option is steak,” Bachmann would say, not blinking an eye.
“Is there a way for people in wheel chairs to access the sixth floor?”
“There’s a way. They can take the stairs,” Bachmann would say, still not blinking.
“There doesn’t seem to be an option for Republicans to vote.”
“Republicans can vote. They can vote Democrat like everyone else,” Bachmann would say, blinking a little in confusion.
“I’d like to find a synagogue.”
“There’s a synagogue right here,” Bachmann would say. “It’s a church.”
“Do you have apples?”
“Yes, I have oranges.”