Gary Johnson on Gay Marriage

Last Updated : Jul 19, 2012


Governor Johnson has a libertarian viewpoint on marriage. He does not believe that government should be involved in marriage, and that all couples should on level ground with respect to the government. Recently, Governor Johnson has acknowledged that government simply will not remove itself from marriage and that he therefore supported marriage equality.

In 2011, Governor Johnson was interviewed by Washington Unplugged and CSPAN. In those interviews, he asserted that marriage was not something that the federal government should be involved in, stating that removing the government from the institute of marriage represented the freedom and liberty that the Republicans should be espousing. He also stated that government should get out of the marriage business and into the civil union business and leave marriage to the churches.

Early in the 2012 presidential election, a number of candidates signed a pledge called the Family Leader Marriage Pledge. The pledge called for the candidate to remain personally faithful to a number of marriage related items from the Defense of Marriage Act to a Constitutional amendment defining marriage. It also expressed views that marriage between one mand and one woman was vital to healthy families and children. Governor Johnson was highly critical of the pledge, calling it the opposite of the freedoms of liberty that Republicans are supposed to espouse.

Governor Johnson's group called 'Our American Initiative' does not specifically define marriage as between one man and one woman from a moral standpoint, but it did state that Governor Johnson did not support gay marriage, only civil unions.

Later in the 2012 election, Governor Johnson stated that it was no longer reasonable to state that the government could remove itself from marriage. He noted that every law that dealt with marriage would have to be changed to allow for the same rights for civil unions and that was not feasible. From this view, he called support for civil unions a cop out as it allowed candidates to support a measure that would never reasonably happen. He then asserted that since government was involved in marriage and not leaving the issue, all people should be equal under the law and that meant that gay marriage should be allowed.

After this position change, Governor Johnson left the Republican candidacy for the Libertarian party. Those views relating to marriage equality under the law are in line with the Libertarian Party platform.


Washington Unplugged

In February of 2011, Governor Johnson appeared on Washington Unplugged and discussed the issue of marriage. He agrees that he supports the civil liberties that would allow for gay marriage. The video can be seen here.


CSPAN Interview

In June of 2011, Governor Johnson was interviewed on CSPAN and asked about his views on gay marriage. He stated that government should get out of the marriage business and into the civil union business.


Family Leader Marriage Pledge

During the 2012 election, an Iowa group came forth and asks candidates to sign a pledge relating to marriage. Governor Johnson rejected that pledge, stating that it was counter to indepent traditional Repubicanism.


Our America Initiative

Governor Johnson started the Our America Initiative as a 501c. On the civil liberties page of that website, Governor Johnson spoke about his support for civil unions. He does not believe that government should be involved in marriage.


Libertarian Party Platform


Support for Gay Marriage

In December of 2011, Governor Johnson noted that it was simply not feasible to change all laws relating to marriage to include civil unions. He referred to this viewpoint as a "cop out." He supports marriage equality if the government is going to be involved.


Campaign Website Statements


[1] Website: Gary Johnson 2012 Article: Gary Johnson Calls Family Leader Pledge “Offensive and Unrepublican” Author: NA Accessed on: 08/25/2011

User Comments