"I don't think that Rudy or Fred or John McCain support the marriage amendment."
Mitt Romney on Friday, September 14th, 2007 in an interview on MSNBC
He's right that others have hedged
In an interview on MSNBC, Romney tried to turn the tables on his Republican rivals -- who have accused him of flip-flopping on various issues -- by saying he was more consistent on gay marriage than they have been.
He said, "I don't think that Rudy (Giuliani) or Fred (Thompson) or John McCain support the marriage amendment. And I think they're in error on that one."
Indeed, Romney is the only Republican front-runner unequivocally backing a constitutional gay marriage ban.
Giuliani, Thompson and McCain share his opposition to same-sex marriage but they vary in how they would address the issue at the federal level. Romney is the only Republican front-runner to support an amendment to the Constitution, such as the one that failed in Congress last year, which would limit marriage to male-female unions.
McCain, who actively opposed the 2006 amendment attempt on the grounds that it was unnecessary and would violate states' rights, says that he would only support such an amendment if the Supreme Court began to strike down state-level gay marriage bans.
Thompson has proposed a constitutional amendment that would not ban gay marriages, but would free states from the obligation to recognize same-sex marriages performed in other states. That provision was included in the 1996 Defense of Marriage Act, which Thompson and McCain both supported, but it is still being challenged in the courts. A constitutional amendment would preempt any judicial challenge to the existing law.
A spokesman for Giuliani said the former mayor "does not support a federal marriage amendment at this time." Giuliani told CNN's Larry King in February 2007 that he would not support a constitutional amendment, "unless all of a sudden lots of states do what Massachusetts does and kind of come at it from the other side and decide that the Constitution says that -- that you cannot have marriage between a man and a woman. If it stays the way it is, you don't need one."
We find Romney's statement on his opponents to be True because he is accurately describing their positions.
Published: Friday, October 5th, 2007 at 12:00 a.m.
Office of Sen. John McCain Statement on proposed marriage amendment, June 2006
USA Today, Thompson: Let states decide on gay marriages, Sept. 8, 2007
Interview with Rudy Giuliani Larry King Live, February 14, 2007
U.S. Senate roll call votes, 1996 Defense of Marriage Act
Email correspondence between PolitiFact and McCain, Thompson and Giuliani campaigns
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