Rubio Takes the Marriage Equality Cop Out

As the Republican contenders struggle to find a position on same-sex marriage that appeases the Christian right without turning off younger voters, Marco Rubio has settled on the obvious cop out: It’s all a state issue, so I need not have any opinion on the matter.

“You are casting yourself as a candidate of a new generation, but there is an issue where you are very out of step with younger voters — even younger Republican voters,” Tapper told Rubio. “According to a Pew poll, 61 percent of Republican voters under the age of 30, I believe, support same-sex marriage. On that issue, same-sex marriage, senator, you’re the candidate of yesterday.”…

Rubio told Tapper that he believed marriage equality should be determined at the state level.

“I [have] not, for example, ever supported a federal constitutional amendment that defined marriage because I believe states define marriage in their laws,” he argued. “And if, in fact, people feel that way as that poll says, they can petition their state legislature to change the law.”

He also said that there was still a “significant number” of Americans who opposed same-sex marriages, before Tapper interjected, saying, “they’re a minority.”

“Irrespective of it, we’re in a republic,” Rubio countered. “If you want to change the marriage laws of your state, go to your state legislature, and get your legislators to change it. I don’t believe the court system is the appropriate way to do it, and I don’t believe Washington and the Supreme Court is the appropriate way to do it.”

Tapper didn’t ask the obvious follow-up: So that means Loving v Virginia was wrongly decided, right? Logical consistency would demand that he say yes. And that would also mean that Reynolds v United States, which outlawed polygamy, was also wrongly decided. Because it’s wrong for the court system to impose their judgment on the states, right? As usual, the arguments against same-sex marriage really just come down to special pleading.

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  • keithb

    Also, what happens when a gay couple, legally married in MA or CA move to TX or AK?

  • http://www.ranum.com Marcus Ranum

    It’s all a state issue, so I need not have any opinion on the matter.

    I look forward to seeing how the clown-car encompasses all these mutually self-contradicting views. I have my popcorn ready.

  • StevoR

    He’s just not a scientist and he’s just not .. able to say that all people can’t be allowed to have their loving relationships recognised equally. Disappointed but unsurprised.

    Pretty sure the question wasn’t whether it was a state or federal or simply human matter somehow.

  • http://en.uncyclopedia.co/wiki/User:Modusoperandi Modusoperandi

    It is a state issue. That’s why we need a Federal Marriage Amendment to protect states from making the wrong decision. Failing that, we need the Supreme Court to decide to protect the states from the homos. Failing that, we need the Supreme Court to bravely stand up and decide that it’s not their decision.

    Basically, whatever benefits Traditional Marriage. Except banning divorce or criminalizing adultery, because that could effect me.

  • http://www.gregory-gadow.net Gregory in Seattle

    Slavery was once a “state issue.” Same with segregation, and whether or not women should be allowed to vote.

  • abb3w

    Pedantically, Reynolds v United States wasn’t about the states; it was about federal court system imposing their judgement on non-state US territories. (Cue digression about the incorporation doctrine.)

    Virginia v Loving would seem to remain a solid parallel, however.

  • http://drx.typepad.com Dr X

    They’re all for local rule except when they aren’t.

  • Chiroptera

    “If you want to change the marriage laws of your state, go to your state legislature, and get your legislators to change it. I don’t believe the court system is the appropriate way to do it, and I don’t believe Washington and the Supreme Court is the appropriate way to do it.”

    Except the question isn’t “Do we want to allow same sex marriage”; that might be appropriately answered at the state level.

    The question in this case is: “Does the Constitution allow states to prohibit same sex marriage?” Not only is that question an appropriate one for the federal courts, but I can’t think of a better method of answering it.

  • Chiroptera

    Rubio told Tapper that he believed marriage equality should be determined at the state level.

    Oh, and is he on record for opposing DOMA? If not, then I think he needs to discuss his “evolving stance” on this issue with the fundagelicals.

  • scienceavenger

    Rubio 2016

    Looks young

    Thinks old

  • http://www.jafafahots.com Jafafa Hots

    HRC took this same position as recently as this past summer.

  • Synfandel

    HRC took this same position as recently as this past summer.

    That’s true. I was in the Hard Rock Cafe last week and there’s a huge mural that says, “It’s a states issue.”

  • John Pieret

    Dr X

    They’re all for local rule except when they aren’t.

    You got that right. Mat Staver and James Dobson just declared that same-sex marriage is not a states right issue:

    Staver repeatedly declared that marriage “is not a state’s rights issue” and so, if the arguments against anti-gay marriage win at the Supreme Court, then Religious Right activists will go to work outlawing gay marriage in states where it is currently legal. Staver argued that, like slavery, the issue of marriage equality is something that cannot be left up to the individual states to decide and Dobson agreed, warning that allowing gay marriage in some states but not in others would lead to chaos.

    http://www.rightwingwatch.org/content/anti-gay-activists-vow-repeal-marriage-equality-laws-across-country-if-they-win-scotus#sthash.9zH6iD6q.dpuf

    They’re hoping that SCOTUS will merely rule that there is no constitutional right to SSM and then they can go around trying to reverse it in states that legislatively or by initiative allowed SSM. So much for the democratic will of the people they went on about for so long.

  • Saad: Openly Feminist Gamer

    C’mon, Marco. You’re stealing Rand’s moves.

  • marcus

    “…Dobson agreed, warning that allowing gay marriage in some states but not in others would lead to chaos.”

    Well that part certainly is true. Stopped clocks and all that.

  • http://umlud.blogspot.com umlud

    So Rubio is basically telling the 4 million people living in a territory to go shove it? And is he telling the same thing to the military? And what about all those people who move from one state to another state? And what about people who get divorced in another state? And those same-sex American couples who get married outside the United States?

    No. It’s not a state issue.

  • http://en.uncyclopedia.co/wiki/User:Modusoperandi Modusoperandi

    Jafafa Hots “HRC took this same position as recently as this past summer.”

    Impossible! From what I understand, she’s an Extreme Leftist (like Obama), not a cautious Centrist.