Bauer compares Vermont gay rights decision to terrorism
December 27, 1999
Web posted at: 5:48 p.m. EST (2248 GMT)
Conservative activist Gary Bauer didn't hold back Monday when asked to comment on last week's Vermont Supreme Court decision to recognize same-sex marriages, saying the court's move was tantamount to the brazen actions of a terrorist.
The state's Supreme Court decision effectively means that gay couples in Vermont will be accorded the same protections as heterosexual married couples.
Bauer, speaking at his Manchester, New Hampshire, campaign headquarters on Monday morning, said, "I think what the Vermont Supreme Court did last week was the worst form of terrorism."
Republican presidential candidate Gary Bauer
The remarks came on a day that saw little other presidential candidate activity on the part of big-name Democrats or Republicans, many of whom are laying low throughout this holiday week.
The court's ruling, Bauer continued, represents a stark example of "a judicial decision that attacks America's deeply held values," adding that his GOP rivals, were they true to their conservative roots, should already have voiced stern opposition to the Dec. 20th decision.
Of Bauer's five hopeful colleagues, he particularly singled out publisher Steve Forbes and Texas Governor George W. Bush. The two "need to find their voices on these issues," he said.
Forbes, however, was among the first to speak out after the state court rendered its decision.
"It was a flagrant example of judicial activism. I believe in traditional marriage. The court overstepped its bounds. This, if anything, is a matter for the people to decide, not judges," Forbes said last week after learning of the ruling.
And, Bush has spoken out against such privileges for gay couples in prior months. Visiting Vermont in October, Bush said, "My opinion is we should not have same-gender marriage. I believe marriage is between a man and a woman."
The significance of his characterization of the court ruling was not lost on Bauer, who also congratulated federal law enforcement officials in Vermont for arresting a Canadian woman and an Alergian man linked to terrorist groups when they tried to enter the state last week.
"I think we all celebrate anytime terrorism is thwarted," he said.
Bauer's Monday campaign schedule consisted of a door-to-door swing through the neighborhood of West Manchester.
Elsewhere, real estate magnate and possible Reform Party presidential candidate Donald Trump says in his new book that as president he would implement a series of stringent safeguards against terrorist attacks, call for the hanging of convicted murderers, and impose huge taxes on the ultra-rich.
In the book, "The America We Deserve," Trump says he would gird the country for terrorist attacks by stockpiling supplies of antibiotics in major population centers and by deploying sophisticated sensors to provide warnings of imminent attacks, all funded through a national lottery.
"Imagine this for a second," Trump writes. "The National Security Lottery would sell tickets just like in a Powerball lottery but dedicate every cent to funding an anti-terrorism campaign."
In support of capital punishment, Trump writes, "There is no good reason not to execute heinous criminals."