Republican Candidates Compete on Marriage Opposition

Republican Candidates Compete on Marriage Opposition July 21, 2015

This weekend was the Family Leadership Summit in Ames, Iowa, and it showed once again that many of the Republican presidential candidates are trying really hard to pander to the Christian right on same-sex marriage. They’re trying to outdo one another with ridiculous comparisons and responses.

At the Family Leadership Summit in Ames, Iowa on Saturday, Republican presidential candidates made it clear to social conservatives and evangelicals that they’re not going to give up their fight against same-sex marriage.

Since the U.S. Supreme Court decision last month legalizing same-sex marriage across the country, the Republican Party has been split between those who recognize that the country should accept the decision and move on, and those who will keep pushing to abolish the high court, allow states to ban same-sex marriage, or to “resist and reject judicial tyranny.”

“It was sad to see more than a few Republicans, including more than a few 2016 candidates, publicly saying it’s the law of the land, it’s settled, surrender and move on,” Texas Sen. Ted Cruz said during the event. “There is something profoundly wrong when republicans running for president are reading from Barack Obama’s talking points.”

The event featured 10 presidential hopefuls interviewed by Republican political consultant Frank Luntz. Between candidates, conservative leaders invoked religion and spoke about the need for the next president to support socially conservative ideologies.

Brian Brown, president of anti-same sex marriage group National Organization for Marriage, condemned the Supreme Court’s decision and said the fight must continue.

“Did Frederick Douglass give up when he was fighting against slavery?” Brown asked the audience.

Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker also repeated his call for a constitutional amendment which would allow states to decide whether or not to allow same-sex marriage. “I believe marriage is between one man and one woman,” he said, adding that he’s had that opinion for more than 20 years.

This plays great in Iowa, where the Republican caucuses are dominated by theocons. It doesn’t play so well in New Hampshire, where Republicans don’t tend to care about such things. And with support for marriage equality at nearly 60% nationally, it isn’t going to play well at all in a general election.

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