Today’s U.S. Supreme Court ruling which has legalized same-sex marriage in all 50 states is drawing both cheers and jeers. Republican presidential candidate Bobby Jindal, campaigning in Iowa today, said the ruling tramples on states’ rights.
“I’m a proponent of traditional marriage between a man and a woman,” Jindal told Radio Iowa this morning. “I don’t think the court should be overturning what states have decided on this. In Louisiana, it’s in our state constitution.”
Jindal said this ruling will “pave the way for an all-out assault on religious liberty.”
“What is happening today is you see that Christian business owners, florists, caterers and musicians — they’re being forced to participate in wedding ceremonies that violate their beliefs, their conscience,” Jindal said. “I think that’s wrong.”
Republican candidate Rick Santorum, campaigning in western Iowa this morning, called the ruling a “bad decision” that will “harm the country.” Santorum favors an amendment to the U.S. Constitution that would ban same-sex marriage.
During a campaign stop in Pella Thursday, Republican presidential candidate Mike Huckabee said he doesn’t accept the “idea” of same-sex marriage.
“I don’t believe it is a Biblical norm. I have friends who are homosexual. I love them. They’re my friends. I don’t quit loving them because of what they do or who they are,” Huckabee said. “I don’t accept the idea of a same-sex marriage not because I don’t like people, but because I believe the institution of marriage is something very sacred, unique, that is not just a human institution. It’s a divine institution that reflects the very relationship of Christ and his church. For me, that’s something I can’t yield.”
Huckabee, Santorum and Jindal are among the nine GOP candidates who will speak in mid-July at the Family Leadership Summit in Ames. The event’s hosted by Bob Vander Plaats of The Family Leader and Vander Plaats told Radio Iowa this morning this ruling will bring “common sense” Americans who oppose same-sex marriage “out of the woodwork.”
“We’re going to start seeing what the candidates are saying,” Vander Plaats predicted.
Democratic presidential candidates Hillary Clinton, Bernie Sanders and Martin O’Malley are praising the court’s decision on same-sex marriage. State Senator Matt McCoy, a Democrat from Des Moines who is the only openly gay member of the legislature, said it’s not a big issue for Democrats and he predicts it won’t be for Republicans either.
“I think this is an issue that’s going to get a lot of oxygen for the next several months, then it is absolutely going to become one of the least important issues of the campaign,” McCoy told Radio Iowa.
However, McCoy said Democrats do need to realize this decision may not have gone the way it did if a Republican president had been in office since 2009.
“I think we need to remind Democratic voters just why we have the decision we have today,” McCoy said. “And that’s primary due to the good appointments that we’ve had on the court.”
Jennifer Harvey of West Des Moines and her partner legally married in 2009, shortly after Iowa’s Supreme Court ruled the state’s ban on same-sex marriage was unconstitutional. Harvey suggests opposition to same-sex marriage is a perilous position for a politician.
“I think for politicians who decide to take a stand on that, it might not be right now, but in the very near future that’ll be a form of political suicide,” Harvey said. “If you watch how political sentiment has changed, people very quickly come ot realize that It just sort of makes sense. I think this is settled. I think this will be a non-starter in the next three, four or five years.”
Harvey was a bit surprised by her emotional reaction to today’s decision.
“Kind of just a big sign of relief, like we can finally stop talking about this,” Harvey said, laughing. “It feels like it’s been small victory, small victory, small victory and I was surprised to find myself feel this ping of real joy and kind of a, ‘Wow! It’s finally done.'”
Harvey and her partner, Chris, are the parents of two children and she says in the past six years that same-sex marriage has been legal in Iowa, there’s been a “climate change” in how her family is treated and perceived by others.