Dan Balz writes on just where each candidate stands on abortion and gay marriage for the Washington Post:
Giuliani has said that, if he were president and the court struck down Roe, he would take no particular action to try to preserve a woman’s right to abortion. In practical terms, he like Thompson would leave it to the states to decide. Nor would he necessarily sign federal legislation to codify Roe if a Democratic Congress acted to preserve abortion rights in the wake of a Supreme Court decision to the contrary. Giuliani calls that possibility a hypothetical.
Although Thompson does not support a constitutional amendment, his communications director Todd Harris said Tuesday that the former Tennessee senator would not attempt to change the Republican platform plank if he becomes the nominee. Nor would Giuliani, who said in June he would let the majority of the party set platform policy (and would then agree or disagree depending).
What about some of the other candidates? John McCain has a record that is staunchly pro-life and he supports a constitutional amendment banning abortions, if it contains certain exceptions. But many social conservatives distrust McCain and he has never been animated as a politician by hot-button social issues.
McCain actually takes different positions on amendments relating to abortion and same sex marriage. He currently opposes a constitutional amendment defining marriage as between a man and a woman. In this case, he favors state-by-state action. Communications director Jill Hazelbaker explained the seeming contradiction Tuesday by saying the Supreme Court has ruled on abortion but has not done so on marriage.
Romney once was pro-choice but has since changed his position. He would like to see the Supreme Court overturn Roe and turn the issue back to the states. Unlike Thompson, he also supports a constitutional amendment banning abortion, but spokesman Kevin Madden said Romney sees the amendment as “an aspirational goal but doesn’t believe the country is ready for one at this time.” That position is similar to the one President Bush took as a candidate in 2000.
Mike Huckabee is the one major Republican candidate who is not equivocal on either abortion or same sex marriage. He opposes both and supports amendments to back up those views.
That leaves Republicans with a conflicting set of conservative philosophies when applied to abortion and seemingly same sex marriage — and it leaves everyone more or less in the same place when it comes to presidential action. Giuliani stands alone in his support for abortion and gay rights, but he is closer to the rest of the pack in he how he would operate as president on those issues.