When the Supreme Court struck a blow to marriage in 2015, burning three dozen state laws and tearing up 50 million ballots, the GOP’s reaction was direct. Outrage. With few exceptions, the response that resonated on both coasts was a collective “How dare they?” As far as Republicans are concerned, what the five justices did on that day in June was a betrayal of the people, of our system of government, and of the pillar that has sustained society since the dawn of time. “It’s an injustice”, they railed. Now, seven years later, they finally have a chance to prove it. The question is: will they?
Keep in mind that when the Supreme Court redefined marriage for America in 2015, we became only the 23rd of 195 countries to do so, and the only one of seven to impose it on us by court. Even today, only 33 countries have taken this path of redefining marriage.
But over time, Republicans seem to have become increasingly comfortable with letting the court decide an issue that they believe was rightfully theirs. That shock was brought home on Tuesday when 47 House members departed from party principles and platform to vote in favor of same-sex marriage. The list included a surprising number of friends of our movement, men and women whom we have never mistaken for anything other than conservatives. Now Senate Majority Chuck Schumer (DN.Y.), smelling the blood in the water, is eager to drive an even deeper ditch – insisting he will go ahead with his own vote s he can find 10 Republicans crazy enough to endorse him.
Twenty-four hours later, at least four Republicans have taken the bait, walking into a political trap that could very well eat away at the margins the GOP needs in November. Unsurprisingly, liberal Republicans Susan Collins (Maine) and Lisa Murkowski (Alaska) are on board, along with incumbent Senator Rob Portman (Ohio). But the real bombs began to fall on Wednesday, when more Tories appeared to be testing the waters on a hard-line issue they vehemently opposed seven years ago. Names like Roy Blunt (Mo.), Joni Ernst (Iowa), and Thom Tillis (NC) started popping up in news reports as possible “yeses.”
Equally astonishing, only eight Republicans have come to the defense of the marriage: Senators Bill Cassidy (R-La.), John Cornyn (R-Texas), Ted Cruz (R-Texas), Lindsey Graham (RS.C.), Josh Hawley (R-Mo.), Jim Inhofe (R-Okla.), James Lankford (R-Okla.) Who spoke to Punchbowl News, Marco Rubio (R-Fla.) and Roger Wicker (R-Miss.) . A whopping 37, including many pro-family worshipers, are either “undecided” or insensitive, CNN reports. It’s an eerie silence from dozens of Republicans who, just seven years ago, left no doubt about their position.
Marsha Blackburn, then Congresswoman (R-Tenn.) “Today’s decision by the Supreme Court is a disappointment. I have always supported traditional marriage. Despite this decision, no one can overlook the truth of what marriage really is – a sacred institution between a man and a woman. I have always believed that marriage is between a man and a woman and I will continue to work to ensure that our religious beliefs are protected and believers are not punished for their beliefs.
Senator Roy Blunt (R-Mo.): “I am disappointed with this decision. My view is that family issues in Missouri like marriage, divorce, and adoption should be decided by the people of Missouri.
Senator Shelley Moore Capito (RW.Va.)“West Virginia’s greatest strength is our people. Regardless of our differences, we care for our neighbors, friends and communities in need. Recognizing that we have differing opinions, the Supreme Court has rendered its decision. While I would have preferred the Supreme Court to leave that decision to the states, I hope all West Virginians will step forward and continue to care and respect each other.
Senator Steve Daines (R-Mont.)“The Court overturns the will of the people of Montana and many other states that have defined marriage as between one man and one woman. I believe marriage is between a man and a woman.
Senator Joni Ernst (R-Iowa): “I am disappointed with the Supreme Court’s decision and its failure to recognize the freedom of our states to make their own decisions regarding their respective marriage laws. Although I personally believe that marriage is between a man and a woman, I maintain that this is a matter best handled at the state level.
Senator Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa)“Traditional marriage has been a pillar of our society for thousands of years – a pillar that has remained constant across cultures, even with the rise and fall of nations. I believe that marriage is between a man and a woman. Marriage is a sacred institution. Its definition should not be subject to the whims of the Supreme Court where five justices appointed to interpret the Constitution have instead imposed social and political values inconsistent with the text of the Constitution and the intent Today’s ruling denies citizens the right to define marriage through the democratic process.
Senator Mike Lee (R-Utah)“Today, five justices took out of the public square a vital question about the future of American society, imposing the views of five unelected judges on a country that is still deciding on marriage It’s unfortunate, but that’s not the end of the discussion, because bona fide Americans who believe that marriage is the union of one man and one woman will live on as witnesses of this truth.
Mitch McConnell, then Senate Majority Leader (R-Ky.)“I don’t agree with the court’s decision. Regardless of their personal views on this issue, the American people, through the democratic process, should be able to determine the meaning of this fundamental institution in our society.
Senator Rand Paul (R-Ky.)“I believe in traditional, old-fashioned marriage. But I don’t really think the government should be too involved in this.
Mitt Romney, former presidential candidate (R-Utah)“I believe marriage is a relationship between a man and a woman, and that’s because I believe the ideal setting for raising a child is where there is a mother and a father in the home. Other people have different points of view and I respect that, whether in my party or in the Democratic Party. But these are very personal questions. I hope that when we discuss things of this nature, we show respect for people who have different points of view.
Senator Mike Rounds (RS.D.)“Today’s decision violates the rights of the state. I believe that states have a constitutional role in establishing their own marriage policy. Marriage is between a man and a woman, and traditional families play an important role in the fabric of our society.
Senator Ben Sasse (R-Nebr.)“Today’s decision is a disappointment to Nebraskans who understand that marriage brings together a wife and a husband so that their children can have a mother and a father. The Supreme Court has once again overstepped its constitutional role by acting like a super-legislature and imposing its own definition of marriage on the American people rather than letting voters decide in the states. As a society, we must celebrate marriage as the best way to provide stability and opportunity for children. As President Obama said, there are good people on both sides of the issue. I hope we can all agree that our neighbors deserve the freedom to live according to their religious beliefs.
Senator Tim Scott (RS.C.): “I continue to believe that marriage is between a man and a woman. The overreach of the Supreme Court in deciding what should be made by states and the people who live and vote therein is disappointing. Going forward, we must ensure that families and religious institutions across America are not punished for exercising their right to their own personal beliefs regarding the traditional definition of marriage.
Senator John Thune (RS.D.): “The court has rendered its opinion, but on this particular issue, I disagree with its conclusion. I support traditional marriage.
Senator Pat Toomey (R-Pa.)“Today the Supreme Court ruled that all states must recognize same-sex marriage. Naturally, many people will celebrate this decision. Although I disagree with this, I recognize that the Supreme Court’s decision is the law of the land. »
What changed ? Certainly not the meaning of marriage – or the Constitution. Not the party platform or the role of states’ rights. If anything has changed, it’s the fierce war waged against our children’s innocence, religious freedom, parents and human biology. What has changed is that we have a Republican Party ready to hit the mat to play sports but seemingly unwilling to defend an institution whose redefinition has unleashed a storm of persecution in America – the same redefinition that is at the root of so many evils we’re fighting today in school classrooms, public libraries, our daughters’ locker rooms.
Seven years from now, will we say that these questions don’t matter? That the world has “evolved?” That we know someone who is transgender, and the only way to love them is to indulge society in its delusions?
If Republicans want to stick their finger in the cultural winds to decide where they stand on timeless truths, then they throw away everything the American people have come to respect about the party today — their courage, their common sense, their conviction. Maybe these senators think tying guns to the left makes them seem more compassionate or contemporary. But real leaders don’t vote out of fear or political calculation. They are not guided by the courts or by public opinion. They do what is right, no matter what it costs them. This is what voters respect. And that is what the voters, who have defended the values of this party, deserve.
Tony Perkins is president of the Family Research Council.