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Video: Romney, Santorum discuss gay rights

  1. Closed captioning of: Romney, Santorum discuss gay rights

    >> governor romney i'd like to remind you of something you said in bay windows , which is a gay newspaper in massachusetts in 1994 , when you were running against senator kennedy. these are your words, i think the gay community needs more support from the republican party , and i would be a voice in the republican party to foster anti-discrimination efforts. how have you stood up for gay rights ? and when have you used your voice to influence republicans on this issue?

    >> andy, as you know, i don't discriminate. and the appointments that i made when i was governor of massachusetts , a member of my cabinet was gay. i appointed people to the bench regardless of their sexual orientation . made it very clear we should not discriminate in hiring policies, in legal policies. at the same time in 1994 i said to the gay community , i do not favor same-sex marriage. i oppose same-sex marriage and that has been my view. but, if people are looking for someone who will discriminate against gays, or will in any way try and suggest that people that have different sexual orientation don't have full rights in this country, they won't find that in me.

    >> when is the last time you stood up and spoke out for increasing gay rights ?

    >> right now.

    >> senator santorum , would you be a voice for increasing gay rights for the party?

    >> surprised he's coming to me. what? what was your question?

    >> would you be a voice for speaking out for gay rights in your party? and if not, why not?

    >> i would be a voice in speaking out for making sure that every person in america, gay or straight, is treated with respect and dignity. and has the equality of opportunity. that does not mean that i would agree with certain things that the gay community would like to do to change laws with respect to marriage, with respect to adoption, and things like that. so you can be respectful. this is the beautiful thing about this country. james madison called the first amendment, he called it the perfect remedy. and that is people of all different backgrounds, diversity, opinions, faiths, can come into the public square and can be heard. and can be heard in a way that's respectful of everybody else, but just because you don't agree with someone, desire to change the law, doesn't mean you don't like them or you hate them or you want to discriminate against them. but you're trying to promote things that you think are best for society. and i do so, and i think if you watch the town hall meetings that i've been doing all over new hampshire, i do so in a respectful tone, i listen to the other side, i let them make their arguments and we do so in a very respectful way. you know what? we may not agree. that's why we believe it open to the public to be able to elect members of congress and the senate and the president who support their ideas.

    >> what if you had a son who came to you and said he was gay?

    >> i would love him as much as i did the second before he said it. and i would try to do everything i can to be as good a father

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