Marriage Hits a Hopefuls Note
The best barometer of what matters to voters isn’t what’s coming out of the media’s mouth — but the candidates’. For months, the press has tried to persuade the nation that marriage is not only a settled issue, but an unimportant one. This past weekend’s Faith and Freedom Coalition event blew that theory to bits, as every presidential hopeful but one almost tried to be more outspoken on the issue than the others. Polling has its place, but generally speaking, candidates don’t lead the voters — voters lead them. And the fact that heading into a major presidential election cycle, almost every official and potential GOP candidate has publicly thrown their support behind marriage is the best indication of where voters truly stand.
Senator Marco Rubio (R-Fla.), who hasn’t shied away from a single question on the issue, reiterated his opinion that “There is no federal constitutional right to same sex marriage. There isn’t such a right. You have to have a ridiculous reading of the U.S. Constitution to reach the conclusion that people have a right to marry someone of the same sex.” Other stalwarts like Governor Mike Huckabee and Senator Ted Cruz (R-Texas), haven’t budged from their position — despite the slings and arrows from the Left.
While conservatives are usually blamed for fixating on marriage, Senator Cruz fired back that it’s actually liberals who “are obsessed with ‘mandatory gay marriage in all 50 states.” And while those liberals may have had some success scaring off people like Mike Pence (R-Ind.), Governor Bobby Jindal (R-La.) threw down the gauntlet in Iowa, warning, “Corporate America is not going to bully the Governor of Louisiana.”
Even more moderate Republicans like Governor Scott Walker (R-Wisc.), who is usually more reluctant to speak up on the issue, joined the pack. “Let me be clear, I believe marriage is between one man and one woman,” he announced, before cataloguing his efforts on Wisconsin’s marriage amendment. “I still hold out hope that the Supreme Court will rule, as has been the tradition in the past, that the states are the places that get to define what marriage is. If for some reason they don’t … I believe it’s reasonable for the people of America to consider a constitutional amendment that would affirm the ability of states to do just that.”
Although Jeb Bush skipped the event, his surrogate wasn’t going to leave Iowa without declaring: “[Jeb] Bush supports traditional marriage.” Only Senator Rand Paul (R-Ky.), whose statements are a muddled mix, refused to comment on the issue. Paul’s lack of enthusiasm for marriage was more than made up for by Senator Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.) who had a message for every GOP strategist urging a retreat on these issues, “To those who say, on the Republican side, we need to abandon social conservatism so quit talking about these issues because you can’t win an election. Here’s my response. You don’t know what you’re talking about.”
These candidates understand what the media cannot: Regardless of what the Supreme Court rules on marriage this summer, they won’t settle such a fundamental public policy issue any more than Roe v. Wade settled abortion in 1973. Forty-two years later, it is an issue in every election from the President on down. Fortunately for conservatives, they know exactly where their potential Presidents stand!
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