Presidential candidates Michele Bachmann, Mitt Romney and Herman Cain said Monday that the rights of religious groups should trump the rights of gay and lesbian couples.
The three GOP candidates answered questions on Labor Day at the Palmetto Freedom Forum sponsored by the American Principles Project. Texas Rep. Ron Paul and former House Speaker Newt Gingrich also participated in the forum. Texas Governor Rick Perry canceled on the event at the last minute to return to Texas to deal with out-of-control wildfires which have destroyed nearly 500 homes.
Asking the questions were Iowa Representative Steve King, South Carolina Senator Jim DeMint and Robert P. George, founder of the American Principles Project and chairman emeritus of the National Organization for Marriage (NOM), the nation's most vociferous opponent of gay marriage.
George asked the candidates whether the federal government should step in to protect the rights of religious groups in states such as Illinois and Massachusetts where lawmakers have not exempted them from accommodating prospective foster and adoptive gay couples in a civil union or marriage.
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