Interactive: Conservatives on LGBT Issues

Potential Republican Nominees for President and Their Stances on LGBT Equality

Interactive from Noel Gordon and Jeff Krehely reveals the stances of potential Republican candidates for president on LGBT issues.

The interactive below looks at the current field of potential Republican nominees for president and evaluates their stances on various LGBT-related issues in light of comments made in interviews, news stories, and articles. There are many potential challengers to President Barack Obama in 2012 but this interactive surveys the 12 politicians who have emerged as major contenders for the Republican nomination. Click on a candidate to view their comments.

We will work to update this as the 2012 presidential primary unfolds in the coming months. A summary of the issues and the candidates’ positions can be found below the interactive.

All positions current as of September 22, 2011. Candidates ordered by their positions on key LGBT issues.

Candidate Marriage equality Relationship recognition Spousal benefits ENDA Defense of Marriage Act repeal
Fred Karger LGBT activist and political consultant support support support support

Gary Johnson Former Governor of New Mexico unclear support support unclear

  • Relationship recognition

    “But I do support gay unions. I think the government should be out of the marriage business and leave marriage to the churches.”
    Source: The Weekly Standard, December 6, 2010.

    “Gov. Johnson has said on many occasions, however, that if the institution of marriage cannot be stripped from government control, then perhaps gay marriage should be an issue on par with civil rights, and maybe gay marriage should be legalized on the federal level, but that’s currently a ‘maybe’ for Gov. Johnson.”
    Source: On Top Magazine, September 6, 2011.

  • Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell

    “As has been widely documented, more than twenty of our NATO allies—including those with whom our troops serve alongside in Iraq and Afghanistan—allow gay men and women to serve openly, and the sky has not fallen.”
    Source: The Iowa Independent, December 17, 2010.

  • Miscellaneous

    “He says he supports ‘the notion of gay rights,’ even though he thinks ‘the notion of bankruptcy and getting our fiscal house in order is really the issue’ of the day.”
    Source: Daily Caller, August 9, 2010.

    “He told reporters that he supported the repeal of ‘Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell’ and supported ‘gay unions,
    Source: New Mexico Independent, February 11, 2010.

    “I am grateful to have the assistance of GOProud in getting my unique message of unabridged individual liberty and equality under the law heard by the people of New Hampshire and the nation, in the June 13th presidential debate.”
    Source: Washington Times, June 6, 2011.

    “The Iowa Family Leader’s anti-gay-marriage pledge,” Johnson says, “is the reason why the world doesn’t like Republicans.’
    Source: Mother Jones, August 1, 2011.

Jon Huntsman Former Governor of Utah and former U.S. Ambassador to China opposed support support unclear

  • Relationship recognition

    HUNTSMAN: Do I favor civil unions? Yeah, I favor civil unions. I don’t think we have done enough in the name of equality in the area of—or at reciprocal beneficiary rights. Will some people…<br/>CROWLEY: Hospital visitation, and—<br/>HUNTSMAN: Sure. Sure, it’s—whatnot. Will some people hold that against me? It’s OK. You got to be who you are and march forward. Some people will like it. And I believe that in the end people will look at the totality of what it is you stand for, the totality of what you’ve done, and then make an informed decision.
    Source: Think Progress, June 11, 2011.

    “The Republican governor says that while he supports traditional marriage, he also supports same sex civil unions. To my mind, and to the mind of a lot of Utahans, equate to equal rights to all people, and I stand by that and I will continue to stand by that.”
    Source: KSL, April 23, 2009.

    “I believe in the traditional definition of marriage, but I also believe that we can do a better job in enhancing equal rights for more of our citizens.”
    Source: Universe, February 11, 2009.

    “I had many discussions about Amendment 3 [an amendment to the Utah state constitution passed in 2004 that defines marriage as exclusively between one man and one woman] with many legal experts who informed me that individual rights, equal rights, could be taken up to the level of civil unions without compromising traditional marriage, which is something I believe in.”
    Source: Daily Herald, February 9, 2009.

    “I believe in traditional marriage but I think, subordinate to that, we’ve done an inadequate job in the area of equality and reciprocal beneficiary rights. Some people will hold that against me, like maybe other issues. But I think some people will say, ‘That sounds right to me. That sounds fair.’”
    Source: Think Progress, June 7, 2011.

    “I think redefining marriage is something that would be impossible and it’s something I would not be in favor of. But I believe, just subordinate to marriage we have not done an adequate job in the area of equality and reciprocal beneficiary rights. I’ve spoken out about that, my support of civil unions, some people like it, some people don’t.”
    Source: Think Progress, June 11, 2011.

    “I believe in traditional marriage. I don’t think you can redefine marriage from the traditional sense. I’m for civil unions. I came out for civil unions a while ago. I think we can do a better job as it relates to overall equality, specifically as it relates to reciprocal beneficiary rights.”
    Source: Real Clear Politics, August 3, 2011.

  • Constitutional amendment to prohibit same-sex marriage

    In response to whether New York and Iowa have the right to pass marriage equality: “Of course. That’s absolutely their right. This is an issue more and more that should be driven at the state level.”
    Source: Real Clear Politics, August 3, 2011.

  • Defense of Marriage Act

    In response to a question on marriage equality: “Leave it to the states, I think it is a state issue that ought to be driven by discussions in various states an[d] you’ve got the defense of marriage act that’s basically a safeguard that allows that to happen
    Source: Interview with Piers Morgan on CNN, September 9, 2011.

Rudy Giuliani Former Mayor of New York City opposed support support unclear

  • Relationship recognition

    “I clearly believe that marriage should be between a man and a woman, although I did support domestic partnerships and still do a contractual relationship.”
    Source: ABC News, August 5, 2007.

    “I think the Republican Party would be well advised to get the heck out of people’s bedrooms and let these things get decided by states… I think it (same-sex marriage) is wrong, but there are other things that I think are wrong that get decided by democratic vote. … I see more harm, however, by dwelling so much on this subject of gays and lesbians and whether it’s right or wrong in politics.”
    Source:, July 17, 2011.

  • Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell

    “My feeling about ‘Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell’ was, in the middle of the height of the Iraq war, not a good time to do it. We’re not in the middle of the height of the Iraq war. Afghanistan is a different kind of thing. You could probably accomplish it now. It’s eventually going to happen and it seems to me that it gets my party out of this antigay feeling that we’re being unfair to people who are gay.”
    Source: Towle Road, November 3, 2010.

    “This is not the time to deal with disruptive issues like this. Back in 1994 we went through this and it created a tremendous amount of disruption. In time of war, in a time where we’re trying to deal with this transition to a new kind of warfare that we have to be fighting—and we haven’t gotten all the way there yet, we need a hybrid army, we need to look at nation-building as part of what we have to teach our military.

  • Constitutional amendment to prohibit same-sex marriage

    “I do not believe under the state that presently exists, with the Defense of Marriage Act and basically one state that has by judicial fiat created same-sex marriage—I don’t think we need a constitutional amendment at this point. If a lot of states start to do that—five or six states—then we should have a constitutional amendment.”
    Source: 2007 GOP primary debate in Orlando, Florida, October 21, 2007.

    “Not if it remains the way it is now, unless all of a sudden most of the states do what Massachusetts does and kind of come at it from the other side and decide that the constitution says that you cannot have marriage between a man and a woman. If it stays the way it is, you don’t need one. If it changes, then you may very well need one.”
    Source: Larry King Live, February 15, 2007.

Sarah Palin Former Governor of Alaska and former vice-presidential nominee opposed unclear support unclear

  • Relationship recognition

    “I am, in my own state, I have voted along with the vast majority of Alaskans who had the opportunity to vote to amend our constitution defining marriage as between one and one woman. I wish on a federal level that’s where we would go. …you know, I’m not going to be up there judging individuals, sitting in a seat of judgment, telling them what they can and can’t do, should and should not do. But I certainly can express my own opinion here and take actions that I believe would be best for traditional marriage.”
    Source: Interview with David Brody, October 23, 2008.

    “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… But in that tolerance also, no one would ever propose… to do anything to prohibit say visitations in a hospital, or contracts being signed, negotiated between parties.”
    Source: CNN vice presidential debate, October 2, 2008.

    “I am pro-life and I believe that marriage should only be between and man and a woman.”
    Source: Campaign website, November 7, 2006.

  • Defense of Marriage Act

    “I have always believed that marriage is between one man and one woman. Like the majority of Americans, I support the Defense of Marriage Act and find it appalling that the Obama administration decided not to defend this federal law which was enacted with broad bipartisan support and signed into law by a Democratic President. It’s appalling, but not surprising that the President has flip-flopped on yet another issue from his stated position as a candidate to a seemingly opposite position once he was elected”
    Source: National Review Online, March 1, 2011.

  • Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell

    “I don’t think so right now…and I say that because there are other things to be worried about right now with the military. I think that kind of on the back burner, is sufficient for now.”
    Source: The New Civil Rights Movement, January 5, 2011.

  • Miscellaneous

    Palin retweeted this: “But this hypocrisy is just truly too much. Enuf already—the more someone complains about the homos the more we should look under their bed.”
    Source: Huffington Post, January 4, 2011.

Newt Gingrich Former Speaker of the House opposed unclear support unclear

  • Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell

    “Well, I think it’s very powerful that both the Army and the Marines overwhelmingly opposed changing it, that their recommendation was against changing it. And if as president — I’ve met with them and they said, you know, it isn’t working, it is dangerous, it’s disrupting unit morale, and we should go back, I would listen to the commanders whose lives are at risk about the young men and women that they are, in fact, trying to protect.”
    Source: Towleroad, June 14, 2011.

  • Relationship recognition

    “Judge Vaughn Walker’s ruling overturning Prop 8 is an outrageous disrespect for our Constitution and for the majority of people of the United States. In every state of the union from California to Maine to Georgia, where the people have had a chance to vote they’ve affirmed that marriage is the union of one man and one woman.”
    Source: Newsmax, August 4, 2010.

    “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.”
    Source: The American View, June 27, 1905.

    “I’m not in favor of creating the notion of gay marriage or adoption.”
    Source: Time, April 15, 2002.

  • Defense of Marriage Act

    “The President is replacing the rule of law with the rule of Obama. The President swore an oath on the Bible to ensure that the laws be faithfully executed, not to decide which laws are and which are not constitutional.”
    Source: Red Dog Report, February 24, 2011.

    In response to marriage equality in New York: “I think the president should be, frankly, enforcing (DOMA), and I think we are drifting toward a terrible muddle which I think is going to be very, very difficult and painful to work our way out of.”
    Source: Towleroad, June 28, 2011.

  • Constitutional amendment to prohibit same-sex marriage

    “Congress now has the responsibility to act immediately to reaffirm marriage as a union of one man and one woman as our national policy.”
    Source: Newsmax, August 4, 2010.

  • Miscellaneous

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

    When asked by Bryan Fischer of the American Family Association, “What would you do, as a president, to slow down the homosexual agenda?” Gingrich responded: “I think my emphasis would be pro-Classical Christianity, and pro the values that you and I have and that most Americans have.”
    Source: She Wired, March 28, 2011.

Ron Paul Representative from Texas opposed unclear unclear unclear

  • Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell

    “I would not work to overthrow it. We have to remember, rights don’t come in groups. We shouldn’t have gay rights. Rights come as individuals. If we would (ph) have this major debate going on, it would be behavior that would count, not the person who belongs to which group.”
    Source: Towleroad, June 14, 2011.

    “Since we cannot have only perfect people going in the military I want to separate the two because I don’t want to know the heterosexual flaws, nor the homosexual flaws and that’s why I got in some trouble with some of the civil libertarians because I don’t have any problem with ‘don’t ask, don’t tell.’”
    Source: The Washington Post, May 28, 2010.

    “I have received several calls and visits from constituents who, in spite of the heavy investment in their training, have been forced out of the military simply because they were discovered to be homosexual. To me, this seems like an awful waste. Personal behavior that is disruptive should be subject to military discipline regardless of whether the individual is heterosexual or homosexual. But to discharge an otherwise well-trained, professional, and highly skilled member of the military for these reasons is unfortunate and makes no financial sense.”
    Source: The Washington Post, May 28, 2010.

  • Relationship recognition

    “My personal belief is that marriage is a religious ceremony and it should be dealt with religiously, the state really shouldn’t be involved. To amend the constitution is totally unnecessary to define something that is already in the dictionary.”
    Source: Fox News, October 22 2007.

    “If I were in Congress in 1996, I would have voted for the Defense of Marriage Act, which used Congress’s constitutional authority to define what official state documents other states have to recognize under the Full Faith and Credit Clause, to ensure that no state would be forced to recognize a ‘same sex’ marriage license issued in another state.”
    Source: Statement by Ron Paul to Congress, October 1, 2004.

  • Don’t ask, Don’t tell

    Commenting on a possible reversal to the repeal of DADT: “I would not work to overthrow it. We have to remember, rights don’t come in groups. We shouldn’t have gay rights. Rights come as individuals. If we would have this major debate going on, it would be behavior that would count, not the person who belongs to which group.”
    Source: Towleroad, June 14, 2011.

  • Defense of Marriage Act

    “I supported the Defense of Marriage Act, which used Congress’ constitutional authority to define what other states have to recognize under the Full Faith and Credit Clause, to ensure that no state would be forced to recognize a same sex marriage license issued in another state,” he added. “I have also cosponsored the Marriage Protection Act, which would remove challenges to the Defense of Marriage Act from the jurisdiction of the federal courts.”
    Source: Speech to the Iowa Family Leader, March 7, 2011.

  • Miscellaneous

    “If you want to change people, you change them through persuasion, through family values and church values. But you can’t do it through legislation because force doesn’t work&ellip; A group can’t force themselves on anybody else. So there should be no affirmative action for any group, so if a homosexual group wanted to enforce their way on us, there’s no right to do that either.”
    Source: Glassbooth, September 17, 2007.

    “We don’t get our rights because we’re gays, or women, or minorities, we get our rights from our Creator as individuals.”
    Source: CNN Glassbooth, December 18, 2007.

Mitt Romney Former Governor of Massachusetts opposed unclear support opposed

  • Relationship recognition

    “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. I will support an amendment to the Massachusetts Constitution to make that expressly clear. 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.”
    Source: Stump speech, April 28, 2007.

    “We’re united in our belief in the importance and significance of a marriage between one man and one woman.”
    Source: Boston Globe, June 4, 2011.

    “What happened was the gay community changed their perspective as to what they wanted. When I ran for governor, one of the big issues was marriage, gay marriage. My opponent said she’d sign a bill in favor of gay marriage. I said that I would not. I oppose same-sex marriage.”
    Source: On Top, June 7, 2011.

    Mitt Romney signed the National Organization for Marriage’s, or NOM, anti-marriage equality pledge.
    Source: CBS News, August 4, 2011.

  • Defense of Marriage Act

    “[Obama] has an obligation as chief executive to enforce and defend the laws of the nation. He should not abdicate that responsibility based on his own interpretations and personal views.”
    Source: National Organization for Marriage, February 1, 2011.

  • Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell

    “In a 1994 letter to the Log Cabin Republicans, who advocate gay rights, Romney said he was in favor of ‘gays and lesbians being able to serve openly and honestly’ in the military. He now says it would be a mistake to interfere with the ‘don’t ask, don’t tell policy.’”
    Source: GovWatch on 2008 campaign: “Top Ten Flip-Flops,”, February 5, 2008.

  • Employment Non-Discrimination Act

    “I think it makes sense for states to put in provision of this. I would not support at the federal level, and I changed in that regard because I think that policy makes more sense to be implemented at the state level. If you’re looking for someone who’s never changed any positions on any policies, then I’m not your guy. I learn from experience.”
    Source: Meet the Press: 2007 “Meet the Candidates” series, December 16, 2007.

  • Adoption

    “Governor Mitt Romney, who frequently tells Republican audiences that every child has a right to have a mother and father, acknowledged yesterday that same-sex couples have ‘a legitimate interest’ in adopting children.”
    Source: Boston News, March 14, 2006.

Herman Cain Chairman of the Federal Reserve Bank of Kansas City opposed unclear unclear opposed

  • Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell

    “If I had my druthers, I never would have overturned “don’t ask/don’t tell” in the first place. Now that they have changed it, I wouldn’t create a distraction trying to turn it over as president. Our men and women have too many other things to be concerned about rather than have to deal with that as a distraction.”
    Source: Towleroad, June 14, 2011.

    “I supported Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell, I never would have repealed it.”
    Source: American Family Association, January 17, 2011.

  • Relationship recognition

    “I support traditional marriage,” Cain repeated, insistently. “Let’s move on, Wolf.”
    Source: Towleroad, June 10, 2011.

  • Employment Non-Discrimination Act

    “I would veto [the Employment Non-Discrimination Act] relative to special rights to homosexuals.”
    Source: American Family Association, January 17, 2011.

  • Constitutional amendment to ban gay marriage

    When asked about whether there should be a Constitutional amendment to ban gay marriage or the decision should be left to the states, Cain simply stated, “State’s decision.”
    Source: CNN GOP Primary Debate, June 13, 2011.

  • Defense of Marriage Act

    “The Defense of Marriage Act is the law of the land, signed in 1996 by President Bill Clinton. In his oath of office the president says he is supposed to protect and uphold the laws of the USA. To me that is asking the Justice Department to not uphold the law.”
    Source: Fox News GOP Primary Debate, May 5, 2011.

     “… ordering the Department of Justice to not enforce the Defense of Marriage Act – that’s an impeachable offense right there. The president is supposed to uphold the laws of this nation … and to tell the Department of Justice not to uphold the Defense of Marriage Act is a breach of his oath.”
    Source: Conference call with reporters, August 17, 2011.

  • Miscellaneous

    “I want them to basically believe in the Constitution of the United States of America, so yep, I don’t have a problem with appointing an openly gay person…They are not going to try to put Sharia law in our laws.”
    Source: Des Moines Register, June 6, 2011.

Rick Perry Governor of Texas opposed opposed unclear unclear

  • Relationship recognition

    “There is still a land of opportunity, friends—it’s called Texas,” Perry said. “We’re creating more jobs than any other state in the nation. … Would you rather live in a state like this, or in a state where a man can marry a man?”
    Source: Dallas Voice, August 30, 2010.

    States should be free to make decisions regulating such things as taxes, marijuana, and gay marriage, Perry says. “If you want to live in a state that has high taxes, high regulations—that is favorable to smoking marijuana and gay marriage—then move to California,”
    Source: NPR, November 10, 2010.

    “Marriage is the union between a man and a woman is a truth known to each one of us already, and any attempt to allow same-sex marriages is a detriment to the family unit and hurts our state and nation.” Texas Gov. Rick Perry, in an August 2005 mass email to supporters.
    Source: Alternet, August 1, 2005.

    <p>“Our friends in New York six weeks ago passed a statute that said marriage can be between two people of the same sex. And you know what? That’s New York, and that’s their business, and that’s fine with me.”</p><p>“That is their call. If you believe in the 10th Amendment, stay out of their business.”</p>
    Source: Des Moines Register, July 23, 2011.

    “Obviously gay marriage is not fine with me. My stance hasn’t changed. […] <strong>To not pass the Federal Marriage Amendment would impinge on Texas and other states’ right not to have [gay] marriage forced upon them by these activist judges and these special interest groups.”</strong>
    Source: Family Research Council, July 28, 2011.

Rick Santorum Former Junior Senator from Pennsylvania opposed opposed opposed unclear

  • Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell

    “The job of the United States military is to protect and defend the people of this country. It is not for social experimentation. It should be repealed. And the commanders should have a system of discipline in place, as Ron Paul said, that punishes — that punishes bad behavior.”
    Source: Towleroad, June 14, 2011.

    “Look, ‘Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell’ was not about men and women serving in the military. Men and women who are gay and lesbian can serve in the military right now.”
    Source: Panel with Sean Hannity, Fox News, December 23, 2010.

  • Relationship recognition

    “I don’t believe in same-sex adoption, nor do I believe in same-sex marriage.”
    Source: On Top, January 20, 2011.

    “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.”
    Source: USA Today, April 23, 2003.

    “Let me first define what we are not talking about. I believe if two adults of the same sex want to have a relationship that is their business. But when they ask society to give that relationship special recognition and privileges, then we should be able to have a rational debate about whether that is good public policy.”
    Source: Des Moines Register, March 4, 2011.

    Rick Santorum signed the National Organization for Marriage’s, or NOM, anti-marriage equality pledge.
    Source: CBS News, August 4, 2011.

    “The reason the left has gone after same-sex marriage is because it’s a two-fer,” Santorum said. “When you redefine marriage, you cheapen marriage. You make it into something less valuable, less special … [and] it is a sure bet that will undermine faith.”
    Source: Think Progress, June 28, 2011.

    <p> “I am not, as some in this race have said, OK with New York doing what they’re doing. What New York did was wrong. I will oppose it and I will go to New York, if necessary, to help overturn it.”</p><p>“I’m for great latitude for the states to do a lot, but not anything. And this idea that the 10th Amendment means there is no boundary to what the states can do is a misunderstanding of the 10th Amendment and I will stand on that ground,” he added.</p>
    Source: On Top Magazine, July 26, 2011.

    “Religious liberty is now trumped because we have now created a super-right. We have a right the Constitution of religious liberty but now the courts have created a super-right that’s above a right that’s actually in the Constitution, and that’s of sexual liberty. And I think that’s a wrong, that’s a destructive element.”
    Source: Des Moines Register, August 5, 2011.

    On marriage equality in New York: “I think I said I ‘would go’ to New York, I didn’t think I said I’m ‘going’ to New York. I said I ‘would.’ At some point maybe I ‘will’ if the occasion warrants it.”
    Source: Think Progress, August 2, 2011.

    “States do not have the right to destroy the American family. It is your business. It is not fine with me that New York has destroyed marriage. It is not fine with me that New York is setting a template that will cause great division in this country.”
    Source: ABC News, July 30, 2011.

  • Adoption

    “But what I can say is that the state is not doing a service to the child and to society by not putting that child in a home where there is a mother and a father. This is common sense. This is nature. And what we’re trying to do is defy nature because a certain group of people want to be affirmed by society. And I just don’t think that’s to the benefit of society or to the child.”
    Source: On Top, January 20, 2011.

    “But what I believe is that government should have a bias, a bias in favor of what is best for society, a bias in favor of what is proven to be best for children, which is the future of society.”
    Source:, July 14, 2011.

  • Defense of Marriage Act

    “When the definition of marriage has been put before the people, they have time and time again—from Maine to California—stood up in defense of the traditional family. President Obama’s refusal to defend a law that was overwhelmingly supported on both sides of the aisle and signed into law by a president of his own party is an affront to the will of the people.”
    Source: Talking Points Memo, February 23, 2011.

  • Miscellaneous

    “In fact, I was with a gay friend of mine just yesterday. So yea, I do. And they respect that I have differences of opinion on that, I talk about these things in front of them, and we have conversations about it. They differ from me, but they know I love them because they’re my friends.”
    Source: Think Progress, June 11, 2011.

    “I have no problem from a public policy point of view with homosexuality.”
    Source: The New Civil Rights Movement, April 21, 2010.

    “If the Supreme Court says that you have the right to consensual (gay) sex within your home, then you have the right to bigamy, you have the right to polygamy, you have the right to incest, you have the right to adultery. You have the right to anything.”
    Source: CNN News, April 23, 2003.

    “But what about love? …Is anyone saying same-sex couples can’t love each other? I love my children. I love my friends, my brother. Heck, I even love my mother-in-law. Should we call these relationships marriage, too?”
    Source: ThinkProgress, May 22, 2008.

Michele Bachmann Representative from Minnesota opposed opposed opposed opposed

  • Relationship recognition

    “This is an earthquake issue. This will change our state forever. Because the immediate consequence, if gay marriage goes through, is that K-12 little children will be forced to learn that homosexuality is normal, natural, and perhaps they should try it.”
    Source: KKMS 980-AM “Prophetic Views Behind the News,”, March 20, 2004.

    “When [the Massachusetts Supreme Court ruled that denying marriage rights to same-sex couples violated the state constitution], I heard the news…and was devastated.
    Source: Think Progress, April 12, 2011.

    On Minnesota’s constitutional amendment that would bar same-sex couples from marrying: “This is the time, and so I want to encourage all of you at home; if you don’t have a similar amendment, consider this in your home states. I believe this is the time to do it so I just want to say thank you to those who have continued to carry the torch.”
    Source: Minnesota Independent, June 5, 2011.

    Michele Bachmann signed the National Organization for Marriage’s, or NOM, anti-marriage equality pledge.
    Source: CBS News, August 4, 2011.

    In response to marriage equality in New York: “In Minnesota, for instance, this year, the legislature put on the ballot for people to vote in 2012, whether the people want to vote on the definition of marriage as one man, one woman. In New York state, they have a passed the law at the state legislative level. And under the 10th Amendment, the states have the right to set the laws that they want to set.”
    Source: The Atlantic, June 28, 2011.

    “The family is foundational,” she replied, “and a man and a woman has been what the law has been for years and years and years.”
    Source: Interview with Jay Leno, September 17, 2011.

  • Defense of Marriage Act

    “This is just the beginning in our fight to repeal Barack Obama in 2012. Had Barack Obama been on the ballot in 2010, he would have gone down in a fiery defeat. Yet he continues to push his far-left, socialist agenda on the American people. And today, he has declared war on marriage. I will continue to do everything in my power to fight back against Barack Obama’s attacks on marriage and I hope you will join me by adding your name to my ‘Support Traditional Marriage’ petition.”
    Source: Minnesota Independent, February 25, 2011.

  • Employment Non-Discrimination Act

    Voted “No” on prohibiting job discrimination based on sexual orientation.
    Source: H.R. 3685, November 13, 2007.

  • Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell

    “I would keep the Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell policy.”
    Source: Think Progress, June 13, 2011.

  • Miscellaneous

    “Normalization (of gayness) through desensitization. Very effective way to do this with a bunch of second graders is take a picture of ‘The Lion King’ for instance, and a teacher might say, ‘Do you know that the music for this movie was written by a gay man?’ The message is: ‘I’m better at what I do, because I’m gay.’” (EdWatch National Education Conference)
    Source: Think Progress, June 14, 2011.

    “If you’re involved in the gay and lesbian lifestyle, it’s bondage. It is personal bondage, personal despair, and personal enslavement.” (EdWatch National Education Conference)
    Source: Think Progress, June 14, 2011.

    While speaking in front of the Family Leader group in Iowa, Bachmann was asked if she thinks homosexuality is a public health crisis similar to second-hand smoking (as the Family Leader head has argued). She replied: “Um. I—I don’t have an answer on that. I don’t have an answer. Why don’t I have another question.”
    Source: Think Progress, April 12, 2011.

    “That’s not a federal issue,” in response to a question about anti-gay bullying at schools in her district.
    Source: Campaign Rally , September 16, 2011.


Sarah Greenberg and Mark Hines are interns with LGBT Progress and Jeff Krehely is Director of the LGBT Research and Communications Project at American Progress.

The positions of American Progress, and our policy experts, are independent, and the findings and conclusions presented are those of American Progress alone. A full list of supporters is available here. American Progress would like to acknowledge the many generous supporters who make our work possible.


Jeff Krehely

Senior Vice President, Domestic Policy