A Gay Guide to the Republican Presidential Debate

Via Shutterstock

Via Shutterstock

Fox News revealed their roster for the first Republican Presidential Debate this Thursday, and the crew includes Donald Trump, Jeb Bush, Scott Walker, Mike Huckabee, Ben Carson, Ted Cruz, Marco Rubio, Rand Paul, Chris Christie and John Kasich. So, what exactly have these candidates said about the LGBT community? We decided to do the homework for you and profile where the candidates stand on LGBT rights and gay folks in general (Hint: It’s not good).

Donald Trump: GLAAD had an entire campaign against the candidate, called “Tune Out Trump,” in regards to his anti-gay views and his former television show The Apprentice. Even when recently pressed during an interview on CNN about his personal lack of “traditional marriages,” Trump continued to state, “I am just…I’m for traditional marriage.”

Jeb Bush: Of all of the Republican candidates, Bush seems to be the “lesser of two evils” when it comes to LGBT rights. We reported several weeks ago that, during a rally in San Francisco, Bush told a gay audience member, “I don’t think you should be discriminated [against] because of your sexual orientation. Period. Over and out…I think this should be done state-by-state. I totally agree with that.”

Scott Walker: The HRC has done a fine job documenting Walker’s past anti-gay actions, including cutting over $200,000 dollars in HIV/AIDS funding in his home state of Wisconsin, and, after Wisconsin courts deemed same-sex marriage legal, “he supported an appeal that would have prevented same-sex marriages from taking place in Wisconsin.”

Mike Huckabee:  During an interview on ABC, Huckabee said that those who do not support the Supreme Court’s marriage equality ruling “either are going to follow God, their conscience and what they truly believe is what the scripture teaches them, or they will follow civil law…They will go the path of Dr. Martin Luther King, who in his brilliant essay the ‘Letters from a Birmingham Jail’ reminded us, based on what St. Augustine said, that an unjust law is no law at all.”

Ben Carson: The candidate has gotten into trouble numerous times over his rhetoric on gay rights, most notably his gaffe that being gay is a choice because people “go into prison straight, and when they come out, they’re gay.” In fact, Carson’s comments got him into such hot water that he later apologized, stating, “I do not pretend to know how every individual came to their sexual orientation. I regret that my words to express that concept were hurtful and divisive.”

Ted Cruz: He may arguably be the most anti-gay Republican candidate at the Thursday evening debate. According to the HRC, “Cruz has no problem about using equality as a wedge issue against fellow Republicans – he’s attacked Republicans for appearing in pride parades and suggested that he believes being gay is a ‘choice.’ He even bragged about intervening in a case to stop a civil union.”

Marco Rubio: Immediately after the Supreme Court’s marriage equality ruling, the candidate issued a statement that said, “I believe that marriage, as the key to strong family life, is the most important institution in our society and should be between one man and one woman…This decision short-circuits the political process that has been underway on the state level for years.”

Rand Paul: Time Magazine ran an opinion piece by Paul, where he wrote, “Since government has been involved in marriage, they have done what they always do — taxed it, regulated it, and now redefined it. It is hard to argue that government’s involvement in marriage has made it better, a fact also not surprising to those who believe government does little right.”

Chris Christie: The Governor of New Jersey has not been an advocate for gay rights and vetoed a gay marriage bill in his home state back in 2012. Some have speculated that Christie isn’t anti-gay, but that his actions are politically-driven. Steven Goldstein, chairman of Garden State Equality, told the New York Times, “Frankly, I don’t think Chris Christie has an antigay bone in his body,” but the veto was “a brutally antigay act, pure and simple.”

John Kasich: The candidate has said numerous times that he does not approve of “the gay lifestyle.” According to the HRC, Kasich “voted to ban funds for domestic partnership programs and opposed health coverage for domestic partners” as the Governor of Ohio.  He also “prevented LGBT couples from obtaining birth certificates for their children.”