First, after Michele Bachmann delivered her talk, tensions arose when her husband Marcus appeared. A heckler in the audience condemned Marcus for his controversial comments on LGBT people and reported support for so-called reparative therapy. "According to Marcus, I'm a barbarian! Pray the gay away, right Marcus? Treat me like a second-class citizen! Shame on you!" the heckler shouted, chanting "Shame on you!" afterwards.
The heckling begins at the 0:30 mark in the video below. (Click here if you're having trouble viewing the video.)
Tim Pawlenty was also confronted in a more reserved manner by the same man, identified by the Minnesota Independent as Gabe Aderhold . At the beginning of the video below, Aderhold makes the following statement to Pawlenty.
"I thought our country was about life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness for everyone, no exceptions. So Tim Pawlenty, I want to know know, when will you stand up for me …because you are discriminating against me and it hurts, it really does."Pawlenty replied with a defense of "traditional" marriage at the 1:05 mark of the video. (Click here if you're having trouble viewing the video.)
"From my perspective, I'm not at the point, nor will I ever be at the point where I'll say that every domestic relationship is the same as traditional marriage. The relationship between a man and a woman in a traditional marriage is important to our country, our society, our culture. I think it should remain elevated, not just in our words but under our laws."
Finally, former Pennsylvania Senator Rick Santorum gave a lengthy talk at the Iowa State Fair, emphasizing his beliefs that rights are allegedly God-given and that America is a "Judeo-Christian country." At the 10:45 mark of this C-SPAN video, Santorum defended the Mosaic religious code and the moral concept of natural law as values that undergird America.
"Who we are, ladies and gentlemen, is a country that believe that our rights come to us from our creator, to each and every one of us equally. I love the Constitution. I love the Constitution and I love the Tea Party, but when the Tea Party says its all about the Constitution, they're only half right. Our country with a Constitution without the Declaration of Independence, ladies and gentlemen, is France, okay? Because ... the Constitution is the how of America. The Declaration of Independence is the why, who we are. I talked about this last night when I had my debate with Ron Paul on the Tenth Amendment. Who we are is a country that has its rights given to us by God to each and every one of us. Why? Because we are creatures of God. And what did God give us those rights to do? He didn't just give us those rights to do whatever you want. No. There are laws. The Mosaic code. There are laws. There's a natural law. Nature and nature's God as it said in the Declaration. There are values that hold this country together as a Judeo-Christian country, and those values is what made America America. When they said unalienable rights of life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness, they said the value, the right to life was invaluable, that that couldn't be violated, and it's being violated in America today."At the 13:26 mark, Santorum's rhetoric included praise for the "institution of marriage," a subtle swipe at those who support LGBT equality.
"Our founders said life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness. They didn't say guarantee of happiness. They didn't say provision of happiness. They said that every American would have the right to pursue happiness, but it isn't happiness that some on the far right and some on the far left suggest. Happiness isn't the pursuit of pleasure. Go look it up in Websters, if you can get an old dictionary of that time. Happiness was the pursuit of what was morally good. God gave us rights so we could follow his will. Our founder John Adams, every founder, read them, every founder said the same. Our constitution was made for a moral and religious people. It is wholly inadequate for the governance of any other. You cannot be free and live whatever life you want ... If we truly want to be free, we have to be a good and decent moral society. We have to believe in the foundational principle of the family and the institution of marriage, and we have to stand for those principles, because that's where that moral values are inculcated."Finally, Santorum celebrated his anti-abortion advocacy at the 4:30 mark.
"On moral, cultural issues, no one stood up and fought for the santity of human life as much as I did in the United States Senate ... I was the author of the partial-birth abortion ban act. Again, an abortion measure that ... went at the heart of the abortion industry, indentifying what is in the womb, which is a child. We finally got this issue out before the American public."
Despite the heavy focus on economic and health care issues at the recent Iowa GOP debate, the Iowa State Fair is a strong reminder that several Republican candidates stand firm in their opposition to reproductive rights and LGBT equality. Social issues will remain a powerful undercurrent in the 2012 election, with several candidates from the Religious Right promoting an anti-LGBT, anti-abortion agenda.
For additional; commentary, visit the following links.
Truth Wins Out: Gay Man Confronts Tim Pawlenty on Marriage Equality; Pawlenty Punts
Think Progress: Gay Man Challenges Pawlenty on Opposition to Marriage Equality: 'Do you think I'm a second class citizen?