September 5th, 2007
10:13 PM ET
13 years ago

'Live Free or Die' - except for same-sex marriage

(CNN) - Kansas Sen. Sam Brownback disagreed with a local New Hampshire resident Wednesday night on the topic of same-sex marriage.

During Wednesday night's debate, Fox's Carl Cameron, on location at a local diner, asked a New Hampshire state employee whether she thought a federal constitutional amendment banning gay marriage should be passed. "Absolutely not," said Heidi Turcotte. "We're the state of 'live free or die', and people should be able to marry the person they love."

Cameron then tossed the same question to Brownback for his response.

"I understand this is a divided audience on this," replied Brownback. "And I understand we as a country are struggling with this question. But these issues aren't done in a vacuum." The presidential hopeful went on to say, "When you do these vast, social experiments - and that's what this is, when you redefine marriage, it's a vast, social experiment - they're not done in isolation. They impact the rest of the culture around you. When you take the sacredness out of marriage, you will drive the marriage rates down."

Brownback said more attention needs to be focused on strengthening families. "And currently in this country - currently - we're at 36 percent of our children born out of wedlock," he said. "You can raise a good child in that setting, but we know the best place is between a mom and a dad, bonded together for life."

–CNN Political Desk Editor Jamie Crawford

Filed under: New Hampshire • Sam Brownback • Same-sex marriage
soundoff (39 Responses)
  1. Dennis, New Hampshire

    Brownback may talk all he wants about the "sacredness of marriage" but I think he is so blinded by religious beliefs that he can't see past it.

    I actually think Brownback needs to get out of the race and get some toilet paper, know what I mean!

    September 6, 2007 07:47 am at 7:47 am |
  2. karen, Orlando, Fl

    Brownbeck is a nut job and it's becasue of his ridiculous comments like this that he is polling so poorly. Go back to Kansas Sam and try to concvince everyone that evolution doesn't exist.

    September 6, 2007 08:26 am at 8:26 am |
  3. Lawrence, NYC, NY

    This guy is, almost by definition, a yahoo. How can any rational person argue that by allowing more people to marry we will "drive the marriage rates down"?

    Does Senator Brownback honestly expect us to believe that hordes of heterosexual people will decide not to marry because of the controversy over gay marriage? Marriage rates are down for a number of reasons that preclude this current issue.


    September 6, 2007 08:44 am at 8:44 am |
  4. M. Aves Mechanicsburg PA

    Lets be honest, the enemy of traditional marriage isn't gay marriage, or even civil unions, its divorce.

    The only reason far-right conservatives are ganging up on Gay marriage and not divorce is because (in their minds at least) you can score political points in a primary by picking on a minority group like gays, as opposed to the HUGE number of divorced Americans.

    Churches used to consider divorce "an abomination". With the divorce rate far in excess of the gay population, end the hypocrisy of so-called "family values" conservatives, and stop picking on homosexuals and do something about divorce...

    September 6, 2007 08:56 am at 8:56 am |
  5. Loyda, WDC

    I agree with Chritian!

    The divorce rate in the US amoung heterosexuals is 10 times bigger that the separation rate amoung homosexuals.....

    If you don't believe me, check your own GOP candidates... there are at least 2 divorcees....

    "the best place is between a mom and a dad"???????? sorry, but if the mom and the dad are hurting each other, that is certanly not the best place to live..... I have know more very-well adjusted kids coming out of divorced parents committed to their kids than from married couples....

    September 6, 2007 09:17 am at 9:17 am |
  6. Tom, Bangor, ME

    Thank you, Sam. If we don't strengthen the family and get the children to understand the purpose and sacredness of marriage, this nation will eventually fail.

    September 6, 2007 12:21 pm at 12:21 pm |
  7. Steven in Charleston, SC

    When Sen. Brownback says we need to "strengthen our families" what he really means is "we need to strengthen the families I approve of. The rest can go rot."

    Sen. Brownback, whether you wish to acknowledge it or not, there are MILLIONS of gay and lesbian families in our nation. They are leading loving, committed lives, they are contributing to their community, and they are raising children. The only difference is that rather than support them, people like you are using your narrow view of what is right and wrong to make life as difficult as possible for them. And who suffers? Their children.

    And as for your "sacredness" comment, when my friends Harlan and Dan stood in front of their families and friends and committed to love, honor, and cherish one another 'til death did they part, THAT was a sacred moment. And 40 years later, they are STILL honoring their commitment to one another and to those gathered. If that isn't respecting the "sacredness" of marriage I don't know what is.

    September 6, 2007 12:52 pm at 12:52 pm |
  8. Jon, Sacramento ~ Ca

    Perhaps this state employee (lady who said YES to same-sex marriage) should vote for a leading Democratic Candidate which supports her view.

    Oh wait... there isn't one.

    September 6, 2007 01:02 pm at 1:02 pm |
  9. David, Gilbert Arizona

    "When you take the sacredness out of marriage, you will drive the marriage rates down."

    Regardless of which side we take on the same sex issue I believe we can all agree that the statement Brownback makes here is grossly moronic.

    Sanctity means holiness, saintliness, or Godliness. Using Brownback's argument any person who enters into a marriage who is not religious in any regard is removing the sanctity of the union. Should people who do not believe in God also not be allowed to marry? Are they not also driving down the number of marriages?

    According to the Bible Mark Chapter 10 there is no divorce. Jesus states very clearly when a man puts away his wife and marries another woman he is committing adultery to his first wife. The same applies to a woman. Using Brownback's argument when divorced people remarry they are removing the sanctity of the union. Should divorced people be allowed to remarry? Are not divorced people driving down the number of marriages?

    The whole mindset is ludicrous. When I went to get married I did not look around my community to see how many Godless people were removing the sanctity. I was not studying the number of divorced people ruining my big event.

    A marriage is a union between individuals that have legal implications. In a very real sense a marriage is a contract. There is no sanctity in the union in today's culture and hasn't been for a very long time.

    When Senator Brownback argued against the so called Marriage Penalty Tax in 1999 he made this statement: "We must quit subsidizing divorce and incentivizing cohabitation. The government should not use the coercive power of the tax code to erode the foundation of our society. This year we can end the injustice of the Marriage Penalty Tax"

    I won't even go into Brownback's advocacy of intelligent being taught in schools. Let's just suffice to say I'm comforted knowing Brownback will never be elected President.

    September 6, 2007 02:15 pm at 2:15 pm |
  10. James, Phoenix AZ

    loyda ~ WDC wrote,

    "The divorce rate in the US amoung heterosexuals is 10 times bigger that the separation rate amoung homosexuals….."

    Loyda – you're clueless and you don't know how to do math. If 90% of gay couples stayed together for life – that would mean 10% of gay couples broke up... and 100% (10x 10%) of heterosexual marriages end in divorce.

    Gay couples break up as often as heterosexual couples. Get over your self-delusional view of the gay world.

    September 6, 2007 02:58 pm at 2:58 pm |
  11. Anna, Woodbridge, VA

    Something to think about... If the Republicans were so concerned about the gay marriage issue (and abortion) why has nothing been done in the 6 YEARS they've had control of both Congress and the White House? Could it be that actually resolving the issue would mean the loss of one of their "feaar cards"?

    September 6, 2007 04:40 pm at 4:40 pm |
  12. Steve, New York

    Where does it say "All men are created equal” UNLESS YOUR GAY? I strongly believe gay people need to bring this before the US Supreme Court and demand the same rights as other Americans. If not I don’t think they should pay taxes. I mean after all Gay people are subhuman right. not real Americans? Not patriotic? Well then gay people should not pay taxes to a Government that is clearly denying people basic rights because of PERSONAL issues, and are not upholding and defending the Constitution they ARE SWARN to protect!

    September 7, 2007 04:53 pm at 4:53 pm |
  13. Bobby Winn Anchorage, Alaska

    If you want to know what the Supreme Court says about Gay Issues....Read "Courting Justice" by Joyce Murdoch and Deb Price..... I have a funny feeling about Chief Justice Roberts..... I think he will give us gays the equal rights we deserve.... I don't know why I think it.... I just have a gut feeling.... I ain't asking to marry my pet nor am I asking to marry 2 other people.... I am asking to marry another person who happens to be the one I love and just happens to be of the same sex.... I am thinking spouse and spouse not husband and wife.....funny thing about the English seems to always be changing... 🙂

    September 8, 2007 01:15 am at 1:15 am |
  14. anthony,venice,FL

    John Edwards does not believe in queer
    marriage.His daughter said,it is not his fault he was raised in a Baptist
    family.What a jerk!We will surely fall
    from grace with people like ms.Edwards
    walking around.A total collapse is

    November 7, 2007 02:20 pm at 2:20 pm |
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