This weekend in Washington DC the Republican GOP candidates for President (with the exception of Jon Huntsman) addressed the Values Voter Summit, the largest annual gathering of social conservatives.
Here's what they said (or didn't say) about marriage:
Rick Perry (no mention of marriage, but some mentions of family): "The fabric of our society is not government, or individual freedom; it is the family. And the demise of the family is the demise of any great society."
Rick Santorum: "And that means standing up and defending the institution of marriage as between one man and one woman – not backing away from it, standing up for it. And there's one candidate in this race who has gone to state after state and helped fight those battles not just for the federal marriage amendment, but understanding that the – the – what the left is trying to accomplish in marriage is what they did with abortion: pick off a few states, get the courts to say, ah, we can't have different laws on the issue such – fundamental as marriage, and then have the courts decide it. We must fight in every state to make sure that marriage remains between one man and one woman. And as president, I will do that."
Newt Gingrich: "On marriage, it should be quite clear, on issues like the Defense of Marriage Act, that we should simply say it can't be [repealed], as it simply -- you -- it's very clear in the Constitution." [and also:] "But I mean in a sense of arrogance, in a sense of imposing on the rest of us, whether it's one judge in California deciding he knows more than 8 million Californians about the definition of marriage."
Hermain Cain: "I believe that marriage is between one man and one woman. And I would not have asked the Department of Justice to not enforce it. I would have asked the Department of Justice to enforce the Defense of Marriage Act."
Michele Bachmann: "And when we speak in defense of traditional marriage, it isn’t because we want to control other people’s lives. It’s because we recognize the deep roots of natural law and of revealed law and other religious traditions that have united across the centuries, and in the shared belief that it was a holy God who designed marriage for man and woman as the most loving and best environment for the procreation of children." [and also:] "People said it would never be done, but in Minnesota I fought for seven years and persevered, and we won the issue of defining marriage as one man and one woman. And it will be on the ballot in the state of Minnesota in 2012 because, you see, with a proven fighter in the White House, we will finally win on the issue of life, on marriage, on family, on religious liberty. It’s time that we score some victories for our movement."
Mitt Romney: "But we know that marriage is more than a personally rewarding social custom. It’s also critical for the well-being of a civilization. That’s why it’s so important to preserve traditional marriage, the joining together of one man and one woman. And that’s why I will appoint an attorney general who will defend the bipartisan law passed by Congress and signed by Bill Clinton, the Defense of Marriage Act."
Ron Paul (no mention of marriage, but some mention of family): "I appreciate very much this opportunity to visit with you to talk about families. Obviously family values are very, very important. And, as was mentioned in the introduction, I have delivered a few babies. And that does contribute to family, let me tell you."