George Pataki on Civil Rights

Republican NY Governor


Uphold rule of law;fire those who won't perform gay marriage

Q: Kim Davis is an elected official in Kentucky who was jailed for refusing to provide marriage licenses for same-sex couples.

PATAKI: We have a rule in America: an elected official can't say I'm not going to follow that law if it conflicts with my beliefs. I think she should have been fired and if she worked for me, I would have fired her. We have to uphold the rule of law. Imagine that was a Muslim who said "I don't believe in gay marriage," and refused to perform that wedding. We wouldn't have had that outrage. There's a place where religion supersedes the rule of law. It's called Iran. It shouldn't be the United States.

SANTORUM: People have a fundamental right in the First Amendment; that's the freedom of conscience.

PATAKI: You should be able to engage in your religious belief as you see fit. But when you are an elected official and you take an oath of office to uphold the law, all the laws, you cannot pick & choose or you no longer have a society that depends on the rule of law.

Source: 2015 Republican two-tiered primary undercard debate on CNN , Sep 16, 2015

Leave rules of same-sex marriage to the states

Pataki would leave the definition of marriage to states. On same-sex marriage, Pataki believes the issue should be left up to the states. Pataki's personal position on gay marriage currently is unclear. As governor, he did not support gay marriage and has never publically changed his stance.
Source: PBS News Hour "2016 Candidate Stands" series , May 28, 2015

Opposes same-sex marriage; supports gay & lesbian rights