Evangelical Presidential Litmus Test?

9/24 Update: American Values president Gary Bauer says Dobson's email is unhelpful because Thompson is a candidate conservative Christians should seriously consider if they hope to avoid what he calls the "nightmare scenario" of having to choose in the general election from two pro-abortion, pro-gay rights politicians from New York -- Hillary Clinton and Rudy Giuliani.

"He's obviously against same-sex marriage. He doesn't support quite the same constitutional amendment that some of the other's of us do, but he's been talking with us about it, and has been moving closer and closer on the amendment," says Bauer. "So I hope that we can, as a movement, be very wise about this, and not savage candidates that we may very well have to support in 2008 if they're running against Hillary Clinton."
9/22: The Federal Marriage Amendment (FMA) (also known as the Marriage Protection Amendment) is a proposed amendment to the United States Constitution which would define marriage in the United States as a union of one man and one woman. The FMA also would prevent judicial extension of marriage-like rights to same-sex or other unmarried couples, as well as preventing people from having multiple spouses.

The FMA is becoming a litmus test of sorts for candidates running for president. In an email message Focus on the Family founder James Dobson said about conservative candidate Fred Thompson:
"Isn't Thompson the candidate who is opposed to a Constitutional amendment to protect marriage, believes there should be 50 different definitions of marriage in the U.S., favors McCain-Feingold, won't talk at all about what he believes, and can't speak his way out of a paper bag on the campaign trail?".
I have found Dr Dobson's sentiments echoed by several bloggers these days so I thought I'd post a few of the candidates positions (in random order) on the FMA as reported by the Pew Forum:
As Massachusetts governor, Mitt Romney actively opposed a decision by the state's Supreme Judicial Court to permit same-sex marriages. He is an outspoken advocate of a federal constitutional amendment to ban gay marriage.

Barack Obama supports granting civil unions for gay couples and opposed a constitutional amendment to ban gay marriage.

Ron Paul writes that while he opposes states being "forced" to accept same-sex marriage, he also opposes a constitutional amendment that would prohibit gay marriage on the grounds that it would be a "major usurpation of the states' power."

Joe Biden voted against a proposed constitutional amendment banning same-sex marriage and also voted in favor of expanding the definition of hate crimes to include sexual orientation.

In the U.S. Senate, Hillary Clinton opposed amending the Constitution to ban gay marriage.

Rudy Giuliani does not, however, support a federal amendment banning gay marriage.

Sam Brownback supported a federal amendment to ban same-sex marriage and has vowed to continue pushing the issue "until marriage between a man and a woman is protected."

John McCain opposed a federal constitutional amendment to ban gay marriage, but endorsed an Arizona ballot initiative to limit marriage to a man and a woman.

Mike Huckabee is not quoted as being for the FMA by the Pew Forum but I believe he is. Fred Thompson and John Edwards are not quoted as being against the FMA by the Pew Forum but I believe they would be ... but probably for different reasons. You can check out the Pew Forum on the rest of the candidates' positions on the FMA ... I'm tired of typing.


  1. Question for Ron Paul: Would you also have been against the 13th Amendment? After all, that was a much greater "usurpation of the states' power."

  2. Hmmm ... Ron Paul and the 13th amendment? I don't consider myself a slave to my wife in need of federal protection ... just don't tell her I said so :)

    Oh, I was wondering ... how passionate are you about the FMA? Are you willing to fight a war like they did to get the 13th amendment? If enough people are then maybe it will get passed.

  3. No war. Just pointing out that Paul's reasoning takes him places that are not desirable.


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