Rubio Takes the Marriage Equality Cop Out

Rubio Takes the Marriage Equality Cop Out April 16, 2015

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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