Minnesota Rep. Michele Bachmann, former
Pennsylvania Senator Rick Santorum, former Minnesota Governor Tim
Pawlenty, former Massachusetts Governor Mitt Romney and former House
Speaker Newt Gingrich support a federal amendment defining marriage
as between a man and a woman, thereby blocking gay and lesbian
couples from marrying and overturning the laws in five states where
the institution is legal.
The presidential candidates reiterated
their support for such an amendment during Monday night's GOP debate
in New Hampshire.
Bachmann appeared to give a
contradictory response – simultaneously saying she supports a
state's right to make such decisions, then adding she supports
altering the U.S. Constitution.
“I do believe in the 10th
amendment and I do believe in self-determination for the states,”
she said, then later added that she doesn't “see that it's the role
of a president to go into states and interfere with their state
“I do support a constitutional
amendment on marriage between a man and [a] woman,” she said, “but
I would not be going into the sates to overturn their state law.”
Two candidates – former Godfather's
Pizza CEO Herman Cain and Texas Rep. Ron Paul – said they do not
back such an amendment. However, both men have previously said they
oppose marriage equality. Cain
recently said he believes being gay is a “sin” and a choice.
the GOP candidate who has received the most criticism over his
opposition to gay rights, argued that a federal amendment takes
state's rights into account.
“The constitutional amendment
includes the states,” Santorum said. “Three-quarters of the
states have to ratify it. So the states will be involved in this
process. We should have one law with respect to marriage. There
needs to be consistency as something as foundational as what marriage