Last updated on: 7/2/2009 | Author:

2008 Presidential Candidates’ Views on Gay Marriage & Gays in the Military

  Baldwin, Chuck

McCain, John
McKinney, Cynthia

Obama, Barack
I. Should there be a Constitutional amendment or federal law defining marriage as only between a man and a woman? Con Con Con None Found Not Clearly Pro or Con Con
II. Should openly gay people be allowed to serve in the US military? Con Pro Con Pro Not Clearly Pro or Con Pro


I. Should there be a Constitutional amendment or federal law defining marriage as only between a man and a woman?


Pro (Yes) Con (No)
Baldwin, Chuck  (Cst)Con
Chuck Baldwin, Founder and Minister of the Crossroad Baptist Church in Pensacola, FL, issued the following statement through his Communications Director, Mary Starrett, in an Aug. 11, 2008 email to
“We are opposed to amending the U.S. Constitution for the purpose of defining marriage.”
Aug. 11, 2008 Chuck Baldwin
[Editor’s Note: While Baldwin opposes a Constitutional amendment to define marriage, he does believe that marriage should be between a man and a woman as indicated on his campaign website ( which states: “Once elected you can be sure that President Chuck Baldwin will always give the American people the ‘Real Deal.’ He is a conservative who believes that the United States Constitution really is the law of the land and that marriage should always be between one man and one woman.”]

Barr, Bob  (Lib)Con
Bob Barr, former US House Representative (R-GA), stated in an Aug. 21, 2003 article titled “Leave Marriage to the States” on

“When I authored the Defense of Marriage Act, which was passed overwhelmingly by both chambers of Congress and signed into law by President Clinton in 1996, I was under intense pressure from many of my colleagues to have the act prohibit all same-sex marriage. Such an approach, the same one taken by the Federal Marriage Amendment, would have missed the point. Marriage is a quintessential state issue. The Defense of Marriage Act goes as far as is necessary in codifying the federal legal status and parameters of marriage. A constitutional amendment is both unnecessary and needlessly intrusive and punitive. The 1996 act, for purposes of federal benefits, defines ‘marriage’ as a union between a man and a woman, and then allows states to refuse to recognize same-sex marriages performed in other states. As any good federalist should recognize, this law leaves states the appropriate amount of wiggle room to decide their own definitions of marriage or other similar social compacts, free of federal meddling…

Make no mistake, I do not support same-sex marriages. But I also am a firm believer that the Constitution is no place for forcing social policies on states, especially in this case, where states must have the latitude to do as their citizens see fit.”
Aug. 21, 2003 Bob Barr  

[Editor’s Note: Bob Barr also made the following Feb. 6, 1997 Congressional Record statement titled “World Marriage Day” regarding his Yes vote on the 1996 “Defense of Marriage Act” (HR 3396) that establishes a federal definition of marriage as “only a legal union between one man and one woman as husband and wife”: “…[W]e in Congress were forced to pass a law affirming a basic principle of society that has never before been called into question: marriage means the union between one man and one woman.

I applaud World Marriage Day, observed February 9th, as a celebration of the traditional family values that have made our country the greatest Nation on the face of the earth. The celebration of love and mutual commitment between a man and a woman is a welcome sign in a world where traditional concepts society are being challenged on a daily basis by all types of extremists. I pledge to continue my efforts to preserve and protect the institution of marriage…”]


McCain, John (R)Con
John McCain, US Senator (R-AZ), was quoted by in a July 14, 2004 article titled “McCain: Same-Sex Marriage Ban is Un-Republican”:

“‘The constitutional amendment [the Federal Marriage Constitutional Amendment] we’re debating today strikes me as antithetical in every way to the core philosophy of Republicans… It usurps from the states a fundamental authority they have always possessed and imposes a federal remedy for a problem that most states do not believe confronts them…’

McCain said Tuesday night he would side with opponents of the amendment on the procedural vote to make clear to his constituents that he is against the amendment itself.”
July 14, 2004


[Editor’s Note: Although John McCain has opposed a US Constitutional amendment to same-sex marriage. He has supported a state-level amendment to the Arizona constitution banning same-sex marriage.

“Gay-Marriage Ban Initiative Wins Support from McCain,” an article published in The Arizona Republic, Aug. 26, 2005, stated the following:

“Sen. John McCain said Thursday that he supports an initiative that would change Arizona’s Constitution to ban gay marriages and deny government benefits to unmarried couples…

The amendment ‘would allow the people of Arizona to decide on the definition of marriage in our state,’ McCain said in a statement. The senator, who opposes a federal constitutional amendment banning same-sex marriage, believes those are state matters, a staffer said.” ]


  McKinney, Cynthia(Grn)None Found emailed the McKinney campaign on Mar. 26, 2008 with this question. We had not received a reply or found a position as of Apr. 11, 2008.

  Nader, Ralph (Ind)Not Clearly Pro or Con  


Ralph Nader, attorney, author, and political activist, stated in a June 21, 2004 article titlec “Ralph Nader: Conservatively Speaking” in The American Conservative:

“[Pat Buchanan]: Should homosexuals have the same right in law to form marriages and receive marriage licenses from the state as men and women?

[Ralph Nader]: Yes, and if you had that, you wouldn?t have to use the word ‘marriage.’ The reason ‘gay marriage’ is used is because state laws connect certain benefits with that word. As a lesbian leader was quoted saying in the New York Times a few weeks ago, the issue is not the word ‘marriage.’ The word is ‘equality.”
 June 21, 2004  Ralph Nader


Obama, Barack  (D)Con
Barack Obama, US Senator (D-IL), stated in a June 5, 2006 article titled “Floor Statement of Senator Barack Obama on the Federal Marriage Amendment” on his US Senate website:

“Today, we take up the valuable time of the US Senate with a proposed amendment to our Constitution [the Federal Marriage Amendemnt] that has absolutely no chance of passing…

Now, I realize that for some Americans, this is an important issue. And I should say that personally, I do believe that marriage is between a man and a woman…

I agree with most Americans, with Democrats and Republicans, with Vice President Cheney, with over 2,000 religious leaders of all different beliefs, that decisions about marriage, as they always have, should be left to the states.”
 June 5, 2006 Barack Obama


III. Should openly gay people be allowed to serve in the US military?


Pro (Yes) Con (No)
  Baldwin, Chuck (Cst)Con
Chuck Baldwin, Founder and Minister of the Crossroad Baptist Church in Pensacola, FL, issued the following statement through his Communications Director, Mary Starrett, in an Aug. 11, 2008 email to
“No, their presence can undermine military cohesion.”
Aug. 11, 2008 Chuck Baldwin

Barr, Bob (Lib)Pro
Bob Barr, former US House Representative (R-GA), stated in a radio interview with Editor John Lofton on “The American View” (accessed July 30, 2008):


Bob Barr: “I think that the criteria for serving in the military ought to be the standard of does the behavior interfere with the good order and discipline of the military. So long as an individual’s behavior within the military does not interfere with that and the military commanders are able to assure themselves and those with whom each individual works in the military that their behavior does not interfere with the discipline and good order of the military that that should remain the criteria.”

Q: “Well, it sounds like you support ‘don’t ask, don’t tell…'”

Barr: “I have actually written against that. I think it’s an artificial criteria. What I support is to make sure that our military commanders and our military command is the finest, remains the finest, where you have a clear order of command and that the good order and discipline, the ability to assure that a command is carried out is done so without interference of personal relationships.”
July 30, 2008 Bob Barr


McCain, John (R)Con
John McCain, US Senator (R-AZ), stated at the Nov. 28, 2007 Republican Presidential Debate in St. Petersburg, FL, hosted by the Cable News Network (CNN), YouTube, and the Republican Party of Florida:

“All the time, I talk to our military leaders, beginning with our joint chiefs of staff and the leaders in the field, such as General Petraeus and General Odierno and others who are designated leaders with the responsibility of the safety of the men and women under their command and their security and protect them as best they can.

Almost unanimously, they tell me that this present policy [Don’t Ask/Don’t Tell: No openly gay people in military] is working, that we have the best military in history, that we have the bravest, most professional, best prepared, and that this policy ought to be continued because it’s working.”
Nov. 28, 2007 John McCain

McKinney, Cynthia (Grn)Pro
Cynthia McKinney, former US House Representative (D-GA), according to the Library of Congress: THOMAS website, cosponsored the “Military Readiness Enhancement Act of 2005” (H.R. 1059) on Mar. 2, 2005:


“To amend title 10, United States Code, to enhance the readiness of the Armed Forces by replacing the current policy concerning homosexuality in the Armed Forces, referred to as ‘Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell’, with a policy of nondiscrimination on the basis of sexual orientation.”
Mar. 2, 2005 Cynthia McKinney

  Nader, Ralph (Ind)Not Clearly Pro or Con


Ralph Nader, attorney, author, and political activist, on a Aug. 6, 2000 segment of Meet the Press with Tim Russert, stated:

“Its really interesting, gay people want to serve in the military, they want to engage in civil unions, or marriage, and they want to adopt kids. If they werent gay, people would say, well, that’s really good to do.”
Aug. 6, 2000 Ralph Nader

Obama, Barack (D)Pro
Barack Obama, US Senator (D-IL), stated in a June 1, 2007 press release titled “Obama Statement on Pride Month” on his official campaign website:


 “It’s time to turn the page on the bitterness and bigotry that fill so much of today’s LGBT [Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender] rights debate. The rights of all Americans should be protected — whether it’s at work or anyplace else. ‘Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell’ needs to be repealed because patriotism and a sense of duty should be the key tests for military service, not sexual orientation.”
June 1, 2007 Barack Obama