August 12, 2011 at 11:49 am EDT | by Phil Reese
At Iowa Republican debate, some LGBT progress; some entrenchment

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.


  • Were you watching the same debate!!?? Ron Paul said that he’d rather have all government out of marriage completely! He did say that state control was preferable to Fed control but his position that he’d rather let people do what they want as long as they aren’t hurting anybody easily came through. How the heck did you get that he came out against same sex marriage!?

    The difference with Ron Paul and ANY other candidate is even though he may not agree with something, like drugs, homosexuality, or other social issues, he WON’T impose those beliefs on you or tell you how to run your life. He wants the governments hands out of our lives.

    I agree with him that the goverment shouldn’t have anything to do with marriage. I don’t think married people, be they straight or gay, should get any benifits from the government for being married. Then it’s up to the individuals themselves, through normal contract law, how they’d like to run their union and I don’t have to pay for it.

  • Really? Ron Paul came out strongly against same-sex marriage? Did you check your facts or even watch the debate? Ron Paul discussed that same-sex marriage is not a federal issue. He did not come out strongly against same-sex marriage. Get your facts straight and quit spreading incorrect information.

  • Can you please correct this article? It is inaccurate. You misunderstood Paul’s position. Paul said he knows marriage, *personally,* as being between one man and one woman. However, what others consider marriage, same sex or whatever, is their business, so long as they do not attempt to force their views on him, and the other way around (he would not impose his view on others). Paul rejects a federal/Constitutional defining of marriage, and rejects the government/state being involved in marriage altogether. Therefore, Paul endorses privatization of marriage where it would be dealt with in the church or simply a contractual agreement between the individuals getting married. Under Paul’s society – ANYONE would be allowed to marry and call it whatever they want.

  • The Blade has college interns writing for them now? No journalistic background what so ever. Did this intern write this based on a 2 minute video? Tsk tsk tsk Blade

    • Actually I have a Masters Degree, and I was a journalism student as an undergraduate, but its an easy mistake. This is called a “brief,” and briefs generally only get a few paragraphs. Every paper publishes briefs. We have special multi-media web briefs, like this one, featuring interesting video we locate. Thanks for your comments, and please keep them coming.

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