When the Thanksgiving Family Forum takes place in Des Moines, Iowa, on Saturday, viewers and listeners will get an unprecedented chance to hear from most of the Republicans seeking the 2012 presidential nomination, particularly what they believe about faith and family issues.
The forum — hosted by THE FAMiLY LEADER and cosponsored by CitizenLink and the National Organization for Marriage — is not a debate between the candidates, but rather an opportunity for them to fully explain their views on matters important to values voters.
At press time, six of the seven candidates who received invitations were confirmed to attend; former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney is the sole holdout.
Below is a synopsis of the confirmees’ stances on life and marriage.
- Rep. Michele Bachmann, Minn.: Bachmann, 55, supports parental-involvement bills for minors’ abortions, defunding Planned Parenthood and opposes human embryonic stem-cell research. She supports a federal marriage amendment (FMA) to the U.S. Constitution, defining marriage as the union of one man and one woman.
- Herman Cain, Georgia businessman: Cain, 65, says he is “pro-life from conception.” He supports a federal ban on abortions and has noted Planned Parenthood’s roots in eugenics. He opposes same-sex marriage and civil unions, but has not officially declared support for an FMA.
- Former House Speaker Newt Gingrich, Ga.: Gingrich, 68, supports a federal abortion ban, parental-involvement laws, defunding Planned Parenthood, and opposes human embryonic stem cell research. He supports an FMA and opposes same-sex adoption.
- Rep. Ron Paul, Texas: Paul, 76, voted this year to defund Planned Parenthood, but also supports limited amounts of human embryonic stem-cell research funding. He believes each state should be able to define marriage as it sees fit.
- Texas Gov. Rick Perry: Perry, 61, supports a federal ban on abortions, parental-involvement laws, defunding Planned Parenthood and opposes human embryonic stem-cell research. He supports adopting the FMA.
- Former Sen. Rick Santorum, Pa.: Santorum, 53, has a 100 percent voting record on pro-life bills that came before him during his tenure on Capitol Hill, having authored the Partial Birth Abortion Ban Act and sponsored the Born Alive Infant Protection Act in 1995. He opposes abortion in all cases except rape, incest or to save the mother’s life. He supports a federal abortion ban, parental-involvement laws, supports defunding Planned Parenthood and opposes human embryonic stem cell research. He supports an FMA and opposes same-sex adoption.
FOR MORE INFORMATION
Learn more about the Thanksgiving Family Forum, including ticket prices and location.
CitizenLink Executive Director Tom Minnery wrote an article that appears on The Washington Post’s “On Faith” blog.
Learn more about the moderator of the Forum, Frank Luntz.
If you could ask the candidates anything about personal experiences that have shaped their views on faith and family, what would it be? Tweet your questions to @CitizenLink using the #tff11 hashtag, or post them on our Facebook page anytime from now through Nov. 18. If we can pose your question to the candidates, we will.
CitizenLink is facing an $88,000 expense to share this landmark event with millions of voters through live online streaming AND a rebroadcast of segments on radio stations that carry the “Focus on the Family” program. (We’ll have to pay for the radio airtime.) But we believe that this is such an incredible opportunity for values voters that we want to do everything in our power to share this event with the 1.5 million listeners who tune in to the “Focus on the Family” broadcast each day.
Your gift of $25, $50 or even $100 or more will help equip and motivate family-minded voters to make informed choices for a better America.