HRC Blog

Convention Puts Spotlight on GOP’s Anti-LGBT Leadership

The lineup of speakers at the Republican National Convention reads like a list of some of the most anti-LGBT politicians in recent memory.

Tonight, there will be the one-two punch of New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie, who defied the will of the people by vetoing marriage equality legislation earlier this year, and Rick Santorum, who has compared marriage equality to pedophilia and bestiality.

On Wednesday, we’ll hear from Mike Huckabee, who called being LGBT “an aberrant, unnatural and sinful lifestyle.”

And on Thursday, Newt Gingrich will take the stage. Gingrich has called for the reinstatement of “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” and supports a federal constitutional amendment to ban same-sex marriage.

We don’t expect to hear any of the speakers address these issues this week. But in case you’ve forgotten, here’s a look back at the LGBT voting records and rhetoric of key convention speakers. And to learn more about the Romney-Ryan ticket's LGBT track record, visit

Chris Christie

Voting Record
Earlier this year, Christie vetoed historic marriage equality legislation in New Jersey, despite the fact that the majority of New Jersey residents - nearly 60 percent - support marriage equality.

On marriage equality
“Neither the United States Constitution nor the New Jersey State Constitution contain a right to same-sex marriage.”
“I believe marriage is an institution between one man and one woman. I think it’s special and unique in society.”

Rick Santorum

Voting Record

On marriage equality
“Every society in the history of man has upheld the institution of marriage as a bond between a man and a woman. Why? Because society is based on one thing: that society is based on the future of the society. And that’s what? Children. Monogamous relationships. In every society, the definition of marriage has not ever to my knowledge included homosexuality. That’s not to pick on homosexuality. It’s not, you know, man on child, man on dog, or whatever the case may be. It is one thing. And when you destroy that you have a dramatic impact on the quality.”

“I would reverse that policy … I don’t believe that it’s in the best interest of our men and women in uniform.”

On adoption
“But what I can say is that the state is not doing a service to the child and to society by not putting that child in a home where there is a mother and a father. This is common sense. This is nature. And what we’re trying to do is defy nature because a certain group of people want to be affirmed by society. And I just don’t think that’s to the benefit of society or to the child.”

Mike Huckabee

Voting Record
As governor of Arkansas, Huckabee signed legislation banning same-sex marriage in the state.

He has stated his opposition to hate crimes legislation, employment protections based on sexual orientation, adoption by same-sex couples and civil unions.

On being LGBT
"I feel homosexuality is an aberrant, unnatural, and sinful lifestyle, and we now know it can pose a dangerous public health risk."

"If the federal government is truly serious about doing something with the AIDS virus, we need to take steps that would isolate the carriers of this plague.... It is difficult to understand the public policy towards AIDS. It is the first time in the history of civilization in which the carriers of a genuine plague have not been isolated from the general population, and in which this deadly disease for which there is no cure is being treated as a civil rights issue instead of the true health crisis it represents."

On marriage equality
“You don’t go ahead and accommodate every behavioral pattern that is against the ideal. That would be like saying, well, there are a lot of people who like to use drugs, so let’s go ahead and accommodate those who want to use drugs. There are some people who believe in incest, so we should accommodate them. There are people who believe in polygamy, so we should accommodate them.”

Newt Gingrich

Voting Record

  • As Speaker of the House, Gingrich led a House majority that passed numerous pieces of federal legislation to limit the rights of LGBT Americans, most notably, the 1996 Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA) vote.
  • Gingrich voted in favor of the 1993 "Don't Ask, Don't Tell" law banning openly gay and lesbian service members from serving their country.
  • Gingrich voted in 1993 for an amendment that banned the use of public funds to implement or enforce D.C.'s domestic partners ordinance.

On the fight for LGBT equality
There is "a gay and secular fascism in this country that wants to impose its will on the rest of us."


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