Ron Paul on the issues: Ron Paul’s positions on abortion and gay marriage

Ron Paul on gay marriage

Let’s look in this article from the Advocate to find out Ron Paul’s views on same-sex marriage.


Paul was asked whether his libertarian views on such controversial issues — mainly his belief that personal liberties should not be encroached upon by the federal government — could help him attract socially conservative voters. Paul said he believes that states should have the right to legalize gay marriage, marijuana, and prostitution if they choose to do so.

“If you do not protect liberty across the board, it’s a First Amendment–type issue,” he said. “We don’t have a First Amendment so we can talk about the weather. We have the First Amendment so we can say very controversial things. So, for people to say that, ‘Yes, we have our religious beliefs protected, but people who want to follow something else, or a controversial religion — you can’t do this’ … if you have the inconsistency, then you’re really not defending liberty. But there are strict rules on freedom of choice of this sort, because you can’t hurt other people, you can’t defame other people, but yes, you have a right to do things that are very controversial. If not, you’re going to end up with a government that can tell you what to eat or drink or whatever.”

Gay conservative group GOProud released a statement in support of Paul and the other politicians seeking the party’s nomination.

“[We] thank Congressman Ron Paul for rightly making the case that marriage and family laws should be decided at the state level, not by the politicians in Washington,” the organization said Friday.

That’s Ron Paul’s view of marriage.

Ron Paul on abortion

Here’s what Ron Paul wrote about abortion.


As the Senate prepares to vote on the confirmation of Supreme Court nominee Samuel Alito this week, our nation once again finds itself bitterly divided over the issue of abortion. It’s a sad spectacle, especially considering that our founders never intended for social policy to be decided at the federal level, and certainly not by federal courts. It’s equally sad to consider that huge numbers of Americans believe their freedoms hinge on any one individual, Supreme Court justice or not.

Roe v. Wade was wrongly decided, but not because the Supreme Court presumed to legalize abortion rather than ban it. Roe was wrongly decided because abortion simply is not a constitutional issue. There is not a word in the text of that document, nor in any of its amendments, that conceivably addresses abortion. There is no serious argument based on the text of the Constitution itself that a federal “right to abortion” exists. The federalization of abortion law is based not on constitutional principles, but rather on a social and political construct created out of thin air by the Roe court.

Under the 9th and 10th amendments, all authority over matters not specifically addressed in the Constitution remains with state legislatures. Therefore the federal government has no authority whatsoever to involve itself in the abortion issue. So while Roe v. Wade is invalid, a federal law banning abortion across all 50 states would be equally invalid.

What states would legalize abortion if Ron Paul allowed states to decide whether abortion should be legal?

Here’s the map:

Which states would Ron Paul allow to legalize abortion?
Which states would Ron Paul allow to legalize abortion?

That’s Ron Paul’s view of abortion.

You can read more about Ron Paul’s troubling views on social issues on Caffeinated Thoughts.

But there’s more. Here’s Ron Paul’s view of the Middle East. He is indifferent to Iran having nuclear weapons. Especially troubling, given the recent terrorist attack on American soil, which implicated the elite Iranian Quds Force.

UPDATE: A commenter adds:

It’s more accurate to say that these are Paul’s views on how states should go about answering these issues. His personal views on these issues are quite clear, that he ascribes to the natural view of marriage and abhors abortion. However he advocates relegating these issues to individual states because of his overriding commitment to a limited federal government and because he believes the constitution does not enumerate such decisions to the federal government for it to answer such questions for all states in the union.

This is true. But if the man becomes President, a lot of unborn babies will still be killed in states that he allows to legalize abortion, and a lot of children will still grow up without a mother or a father, in states that he allows to redefine marriage.  So despite his personal views, the net effect of electing him will be that abortion is permitted in some states, and same-sex marriage, too. So clearly, Ron Paul is not as pro-life or as pro-marriage as other candidates like Michele Bachmann or Rick Santorum.

19 thoughts on “Ron Paul on the issues: Ron Paul’s positions on abortion and gay marriage”

  1. It’s more accurate to say that these are Paul’s views on how states should go about answering these issues. His personal views on these issues are quite clear, that he ascribes to the natural view of marriage and abhors abortion. However he advocates relegating these issues to individual states because of his overriding commitment to a limited federal government and because he believes the constitution does not enumerate such decisions to the federal government for it to answer such questions for all states in the union.

    1. GAH!!!! You weren’t supposed to see this! I even hid it from you on Facebook! Next thing you know Taryn will be here to attack me.

      I’ll update the post with your comments.

      And, to be fair, it would be an improvement over the status quo.

  2. I’d agree with Wes. To point out that Ron Paul is against a federal ban against abortion without also noting that he thinks abortion is wrong and should be banned on the state level is like quoting Abraham Lincoln’s statement that he had “no purpose” “to interfere with the institution of slavery in the States where it exists” without also noting that he thought slavery was immoral and therefore should be banned in the federal territories.

    And even though I’d be in favor of a constitutional amendment banning abortion on the federal level, Ron Paul is arguably right that the federal government does not currently have the constitutional authority to ban abortion on the federal level even if it wanted to, under the Commerce Clause, or otherwise.

        1. No, Ron Paul thinks that abortion is murder, but murder is a criminal law issue which has to be left up to the states under our current U.S. Constitution. Congress has no authority under Article I, Section 8, to pass laws banning robbery, murder, or abortion. So the question here is not whether abortion should be banned. We all agree that it should be, because it’s murder. The question is who has the constitutional authority to ban it.

  3. The entire Constitution is premised on the belief that the promotion of “general Welfare” and the securing of the “Blessings of Liberty” are for present and future generations. It is therefore a federal issue and punting to individual states, while hiding behind a very libertine understanding of the commerce clause, is simply cowardice. If human life is important, it deserves federal protection. Full stop.

    1. John, I agree with you. And I don’t think social conservatives understand what a Ron Paul presidency would mean. Look at the map I posted of the states that would ban abortion – there are 7 of them, and they are not the most populated states. If Ron Paul becomes president, then the number of abortions per year would drop from 1 million to maybe 750,000. Is that better? Yes. Is it the best we can do as pro-lifers? No way.

    2. The Constitution is a limit on the federal government’s powers. Since our federal government is a government of enumerated powers, it is not allowed to pass any law unless (1) the law which is passed does not infringe on any constitutional rights, and (2) the Constitution expressly grants the federal government to legislate on such a matter. This latter requirement it distinguishes it from the states, which have general authority to pass any bills they want for the general welfare of the people so long as the bills they pass do not infringe on any person’s constitutional rights.

      Saying that regulating abortion is not regulating “interstate commerce” is not a “very libertine” view. It’s the view which has been held by conservatives from our Founding Fathers up till today. See Justice Thomas’s concurrence in U.S. v. Lopez. To hold otherwise is an extremely liberal view which even Justice Kennedy would probably not agree with.

      Do you believe that abortion which is committed wholly within one state (i.e., intrastate) is (1) interstate (2) commerce?

      Violence against women is not interstate commerce. U.S. v. Morrison. Gun possession in a school zone is not interstate commerce. U.S. v. Lopez. So how can abortion be interstate commerce?

      And if a federal abortion ban isn’t justified under the commerce clause, what is it justified under?

      If you concede that abortion can be regulated under the commerce clause, you give up the entire argument against ObamaCare’s constitutionality.

  4. The map is better than what we have now. Right? We have had several pro-life presidents and abortion is still legal. Why should a person believe it is going to change by voting for a President claiming to be pro-life? WK post is a clear example that both Republicans and Democrats are not that far apart in that they want a big federal government and don’t mind ignoring the constitution. (I know the Republicans don’t like to admit this but it is true.Heck, President Obama does not even like to admit this.) Ron Paul is not going to make a difference either, because the Republicans and Democrats are going to fight him on every issue he wants to implement and nothing will get done. So the same Washington politics will continue no matter who the President is.

    1. For the federal gov’t to enforce the notion that we are all created with the unalienable right to life does not constitute an expansion of gov’t. It constitutes the federal gov’t doing it’s constitutionally mandated duty.

      I would also say that continued placement of pro-life candidates in office will eventually factor into a national change of heart and mind regarding abortion. It is how the culture changes, by having people with different attitudes take precedence in the culture. It’s how we got to the sorry state of moral decline we’ve experienced since the 60’s.

  5. Hmm, I can’t say I agree with you on this one, Wintery.

    For what it’s worth, I would have no moral issues at all with a Constitutional amendment establishing right to life from conception, and giving Congress the power to enforce that (cf. the 13th, 14th and 15th Amendments), though as a foreigner some would say it’s none of my business, and certainly I have no direct influence on the political process in this country.

    But absent such a provision in the Constitution, I just can’t see that it’s any of the Federal government’s business. The analogy to murder was drawn; I’m not sure whether there is a Federal law against murder, but I certainly don’t see that murder is Washington’s business, except in certain narrow circumstances (such as it being a Federal official who was killed, or the crime taking place on Federal property, etc.). There are perfectly competent State governments for that. Likewise for abortion, even if in many cases we would disagree with their decisions. Much as it may pain us to admit, the Constitution doesn’t currently give the Federal government the power to legislate for something merely because a sufficiently large fraction of the population feel sufficiently strongly about that topic. (As a side note, would you really want to establish such a precedent, spelling as it would the end of the US as a federal country?)

    I also don’t agree with John G. Anderson. He seems to suggest that because the Constitution has among its purposes provision for the general welfare and safeguarding the blessings of liberty, so whenever the Federal government feels that the “general welfare” or the “blessings of liberty” are involved, they get carte blanche to legislate. Not so. Surely, if anything, this country was set up the way it is because the writers of the Constitution thought that a limited Federal government was better overall for those ends, even if sometimes in individual cases it would seem not to be. Another side note: Expanding the powers of the Federal government may seem good when you support what the Federal government wants to do, but it sets you up for lots of problems when the boot is on the other foot.

    Having said all of that, while I’m not very politically active on this or any other issue, I would say that the best outcome would be a Constitutional amendment protecting the unborn, but failing such an amendment, if we want to be faithful to the Constitution, we aim for returning the abortion issue to the States, while at the same time prohibiting things like interstate travel for the purposes of obtaining an abortion etc., which should be covered under the “interstate commerce” clause, yes?

    1. Great observations, mrgronk1. You’ve obviously put some serious thought into your position. I furthermore agree that the Federal government should not legislate “carte blanche” from principles that might not be so clear from the Constitution’s Preamble, e.g., the creation of a welfare state. However, the value and subsequent protection of human life is a very clear principle and must therefore be afforded Federal protection. I suspect the Founders would scoff at the notion that an amendment would be necessary to highlight this principle. But it does seem like we’ve come to that point, doesn’t it?

      1. The Constitution was enacted to protect life/liberty, etc. I don’t think anybody is going to dispute that point.

        I think we are all on the same side here in that we want to see abortion banned at the federal level if at possible. But the issue we have here is that the government is an government of enumerated powers, so unless we can find some section in the Constitution that authorizes the government to pass laws regulating abortion, murder, or some other crime, then the federal government has not constitutional authority to legislate on that matter. That’s why mrgronk1 is right that we need a constitutional amendment in order to be able to pass abortion legislation. Either that or we need to try to justify a federal abortion ban on some sort of Fourteenth Amendment, Section 5, or Equal Protection basis.

        There’s a reason why even the liberals had to argue in U.S. v. Lopez that regulating gun possession in schools was somehow regulating interstate commerce.

    2. If our founding documents state that all are endowed with the unalienable right to life, then to amend that to specifically state that it means all from the moment of conception, it would establish a sentiment in the same manner the original wording does. This is sufficient for me, regardless of whether or not the feds enforce it or the states do. Obviously, a murder is dealt with by jurisdiction, and most abortion cases, if not all, would be dealt with by the state in which it took place. But again, I don’t see this an a gov’t expansion.

      1. Marshall, the Fourteenth Amendment states that no STATE shall deprive any person of life, liberty, or property without due process of law. The Courts have consistently (and I think rightly held) that the Fourteenth Amendment is a limit on “state action” (i.e., government action). In fact, except for a few parts of the Constitution which contain positive grants of authority to the federal government, most of the U.S. Constitution consists of negative restrictions on what the federal government can do.

        In addition, the Tenth Amendment states that any powers not EXPRESSLY delegated to the federal government (e.g., in Article I, Section 8) are reserved to the states and to the people. The Preamble states the purpose of Constitution. Even the liberals generally acknowledge that it doesn’t constitute a positive grant of authority to the federal government.

        That’s why there would be no question about the validity of a federal bill banning racial discrimination in the armed forces, but when Congress passed its civil rights legislation in the 1960s prohibiting hotels/restaurants, etc., (i.e., non-GOVERNMENTAL entities) from discriminating on the basis of race, they tried to justify that bill under the Interstate Commerce Clause rather than the Fourteenth Amendment.

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