ThinkProgress assembled all of the LGBT-related highlights from the Iowa Republican debate yesterday.
The only LGBT-specific topic that made it into the discussion is same-sex marriage and civil unions. former Utah governor, Jon Huntsman surprisingly came out staunchly for Civil Unions, but towed party the line on extending marriage itself to same-sex couples. Rep. Ron Paul, who has in the past used softer, vaguer language in discussing the issue of same-sex marriage, came out strongly against same-sex marriage. Due to his strong belief in Federalism, in the past supporters of Rep. Paul have used his belief in individual freedoms and states’ rights to argue he would favor civil unions for same-sex couples, but Paul did not bring up the compromise position last night like Huntsman.
Meanwhile, former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney, former Sen. Rick Santorum and Rep. Michele Bachmann all expressed support for a Federal Constitutional amendment banning same-sex marriage permanently, which would remove the Supreme Court’s ability to rule on the matter. A Republican controlled Congress was unable to pass a similar amendment in 2006 when support for such an amendment was wider, nation-wide.
Recently, according to three major polls by CNN/Opinion Research Corporation, Gallup and ABCNews/Washington Post, nation-wide support for extending marriage to same-sex couples has grown to over 50%. The last poll on support for a Constitutional Amendment barring same-sex marriage found 52% of the population against such an amendment in December, 2008. A similar ABCNews/Washington Post poll conducted last month found that only 45% of Americans believe that same-sex marriage should be expressly illegal, though the poll did not specifically mention amending the Federal Constitution.