Republican presidential candidates Sam Brownback and Mike Huckabee have both announced their support for a ban on gay marriage across America.

Speaking at a Florida Family Policy Council dinner on Saturday night, the outsiders stuck to a strong message on family values.

Kansas Senator Brownback said: “You need to redefine the definition of marriage as a union of a man and a woman. It’s critical.

“I’m going to be the president that’s the family president that helps rebuild this fundamental institution.”

The Florida Family Policy Council is leading a petition to place a proposed amendment on the Florida constitution, defining marriage as between a man and a woman.

Huckabee, who is the former governor of Arkansas, touted the law he pushed for that makes divorce harder to obtain.

He said: “I realised that the laws in my state were such that it would be easier to get out of a marriage than it was to get out of a contract for having purchased a used car. We realised we need to make some changes.”

Neither of the candidates mentioned major voting issues such as the war in Iraq, taxes or health care.

Brownback and Huckabee stand little chance in the campaign against political heavyweights such as Rudy Giuliani, the former mayor of New York, ex-Senator John McCain or the ex-Governor of Massachusetts Mitt Romney.

Mormon Mitt Romney is opposed to both same-sex marriages and civil unions, but does believe that domestic partnership rights should be available to gay couples.

John McCain voted against the Federal Marriage Amendment, arguing that each state should be able to choose whether to recognise gay marriage.

However, he supported the failed 2006 Arizona initiative to ban gay marriage.

Rudy Giuliani is the most pro-gay rights of the mainstream candidates. During his time as mayor of New York he pushed for domestic partnership rights.

Giuliani stayed with a gay couple after his divorce from his wife, although in his failed run for the Senate in 2000 he said that marriage should remain defined as between a man and a woman.