Archive for July, 2011

from the Des Moines Register published July 23, 2011.

Texas’s Republican Gov. Rick Perry on Friday said he’s “fine” with New York’s approval of gay marriage because such decisions should be left up to states.

…Perry, who is considering running for president, at a forum in Colorado on Friday called himself an “unapologetic social conservative” and said he opposes gay marriage — but that he’s also a firm believer in the 10th Amendment, the Associated Press reported.

“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,” he said to applause from several hundred GOP donors in Aspen, the AP reported.

“That is their call. If you believe in the 10th Amendment, stay out of their business.”

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from CBS News published on July 18, 2011.

Guided by polls that show that Americans’ top concern by far is jobs at the economy, as well as pressure from the Tea Party to focus on the debt and deficit, the Republican candidates have thus far largely tiptoed around divisive social issues. It’s a far cry from 2004, when then-President George W. Bush, seeking a second term, loudly backed a constitutional amendment outlawing same-sex marriage.

…All this doesn’t mean that social issues are receding entirely from the political landscape. Social conservative leaders have been pressuring the candidates to pay more attention to their issues, and any candidate who wants to compete in Iowa – the key first-in-the-nation voting state where 60 percent of 2008 GOP caucus-goers identified as born-again Christian – has to spend some time showing up their social conservative credentials. And among rank-and-file lawmakers on the right, abortion, at least, remains potent: House Republicans pushed abortion legislation as one of their first acts after they took over Congress.

But for Republican candidates for national political office in 2012, social issues have thus far been something to play down, not play up. That’s partly a function of shifting social mores, particularly on gay rights issues. But it’s mostly a function of the economic landscape. With the recovery sputtering and unemployment over 9 percent, most Americans aren’t looking for a president to fight the divisive social issue battles of the past. What they are seeking instead is someone who can help them put food on the table in the future.

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from NewsOne published July 18, 2011.

Ask any Republican if they support gay marriage, and you will more than likely get a not-so-affirming response.

…Most Republican, conservative Americans demonstrably reject the idea of legalizing marriage for gay and lesbian citizens.

Until now.

Jeff Angelo, former Iowa state senator is one of the few Republicans a part of a burgeoning movement for marriage equality. Angelo, who served as a senator for 12 years, is the founder of [Iowa] Republicans For Freedom, an organization that stands on a divergent stance among the Republican party in support of gay marriage.

Angelo recently said that his organization is defending the status quo for same-sex marriage in Iowa, which is one of only six states in the country to legalize marriage for gay and lesbian Americans.

Like his GOP cohorts, he once opposed same-sex marriage, but today has a change of heart, and is hoping that his grassroots movement in Iowa will someday be a model for the rest of the country.

…“The opposition [to same-sex marriage] is well organized and gets a lot of media attention, but [I felt] there had to be an alternate group for Republicans that want to say ‘marriage is a great thing to promote, we’re glad that the gay community wants to be married, and we want to be supportive of that in our own political party,’” Angelo told NewsOne.

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from The New York Times published on July 16, 2011.

In March 2004, with Massachusetts soon to allow gay couples to wed, Michele Bachmann delivered a dire warning to her fellow Minnesotans: The children of their state were at risk.

“We will have immediate loss of civil liberties for five million Minnesotans,” Mrs. Bachmann, then a state senator, told a Christian television network as thousands gathered on the steps of the Capitol to rally for a same-sex marriage ban she proposed. “In our public schools, whether they want to or not, they’ll be forced to start teaching that same-sex marriage is equal, that it is normal and that children should try it.”

…Mrs. Bachmann’s strong stance on homosexuality — she once likened it to “personal bondage, personal despair and personal enslavement” — and her anti-abortion views have appeal for some Republican primary voters. In Iowa this month, she delighted conservatives by signing a pledge opposing “any redefinition of marriage.” (Her fellow Minnesotan and presidential rival, Tim Pawlenty, a former governor, was left explaining why he did not.)

Yet her position has also become a distraction for her campaign, drawing critics and subjecting her family to the kind of scrutiny once reserved for the relatives of nominees. It has exposed a longstanding rift between the congresswoman and her stepsister, who is a lesbian. It has also raised questions about whether her husband, Marcus, who runs two Christian counseling centers, practices “reparative therapy,” or gay-to-straight counseling, derided by critics as an effort to “pray away the gay.”

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from CNN published on July 17, 2011.

He may not agree with the vote in New York to legalize gay marriage, but former New York City Mayor Rudy Giuliani said the Republican Party should butt out of the bedroom and stick to fiscal policy.

“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,” Giuliani said Sunday on CNN’s “State of the Union.” “We’d be a much more successful political party if we stuck to our economic, conservative roots.”

New York became the sixth state to legalize same sex marriage in June when a bill passed by the Republican-controlled state legislature was signed by Democratic Gov. Andrew Cuomo.

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This editorial was published July 17, 2011, in The Gazette.

It seems The Family Leader’s “Marriage Vow” failed to draw a crowd of adoring Republican presidential hopefuls. Only two signed on. The rest are runaway brides.

Bob Vander Plaats’ hefty, virtuous pledge to save us all was much harder to swallow than a wedding mint.

It demanded allegiance to 14 separate promises, stacked on 22 footnotes. Deep in that fine print, I think the vow requires the purchase of an Okoboji time share.

The media fixated on a provocative section stating that black children were more likely to be raised by both parents during slavery than under the first African-American president. It was removed, but it looks reasonable aside Vander Plaats’ claim during his third campaign for governor that an executive order banning gay marriage is just like the Emancipation Proclamation.

The vow includes an anti-gay marriage pledge, of course. But why stop there? It doesn’t, which may explain so few signatures.

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from The Wall Street Journal published on July 13, 2011.

Former Minnesota Gov. Tim Pawlenty became the latest presidential candidate to refuse to sign a controversial anti-gay-marriage pledge being pushed by Iowa social conservative Bob Vander Plaats.

…The pledge, which asks candidates to oppose gay marriage, pornography, infidelity and Sharia law, drew some heat this week for originally suggesting that African American children were better off under slavery, a phrase that has since been  removed.

Former House Speaker Newt Gingrich, former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney and libertarian Gary Johnson also have declined to sign the pledge. But what’s interesting is how Mr. Pawlenty, who is actively trying to court Iowa’s social conservatives, went about saying “no.”

Mr. Gingrich said the pledge needed unspecified changes. Mr. Romney, the campaign’s front-runner, said it was “undignified.” Mr. Johnson called it insulting. Mr. Pawlenty, meanwhile, praised Mr. Vander Plaats. In the same press release, the former governor points out that his campaign just released a 6-minute video on faith.

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