At Thursday's GOP presidential debate,
Rick Santorum attacked Texas Governor Rick Perry, Minnesota Rep.
Michele Bachmann and Texas Rep. Ron Paul's views on gay marriage.
The candidates for the Republican
nomination were asked whether they believed New York had the right to
allow gay and lesbian couples to marry.
Former Massachusetts Governor Mitt
Romney said he wanted a federal mandate because “people move.”
Jon Huntsman, the former governor of
Utah, said he believed marriage should remain a heterosexual union
but added that he supports civil unions “because I believe our
country can do a better job on equality.”
“Marriage should be between a single
man and a single woman,” Texas Rep. Ron Paul said. “But, I don't
think the government should be involved. I mean, why should we have
a license to be married? Less government would be better. If we
have to have regulations, let the state government do it.”
Perry, who is expected to jump into the
race on Saturday, has previously echoed Bachmann's position that the
10th Amendment gives states the right to decide social
issues but a federal amendment would trump such laws and is
In answering an unrelated question,
Santorum rounded back to gay marriage to pounce on Bachmann and Paul.
“This is the 10th
Amendment run amok. Michele Bachmann says that she would go in and
fight health care being imposed by states – mandatory health [care]
– but she wouldn't fight marriage being imposed by the states.
That would be OK. We have Ron Paul saying, 'What the states want to
do. Whatever the states want to do under the 10th
Amendment is fine.' So, if the states want to pass polygamy, that's
fine. If the states want to impose sterilization, that's fine. No,
our country is based on morals laws, ladies and gentlemen. There are
things the states can't do. Abraham Lincoln said the states do not
have the right to do wrong. I respect the 10th Amendment.
But we are a nation that has values. We are a nation that was built
on a moral enterprise. And states don't have a right to tramp over
those because of the 10th Amendment,” he said to
“You have to fight in each state, and
that is where I disagree with Rick Perry; I disagree with Michele
Bachmann,” he later stated.
Rick Santorum's Lincoln references comparing gay marriage to