The GOP presidential candidates trekked to Las Vegas last weekend for the “Adelson Primary” to kiss Sheldon Adelson’s
ring ass, and beg for his money.
But several GOP presidential candidates also made the trip to Iowa — which resembles the dystopian Republic of Gilead in The Handmaid’s Tale more every year — for the annual Faith and Freedom Summit.
POLITICO Tiger Beat on The Potomac reported, In Iowa, GOP field stresses opposition to same-sex marriage:
Leading Republican presidential candidates came to Iowa Saturday to assure social conservatives that they still oppose gay marriage, despite shifting public attitudes and the recent backlash against religious liberty laws.
Speaking to some 1,000 evangelicals at the Point of Grace Church in this suburb of Des Moines, a procession of presidential candidates expressed support for a constitutional amendment that would allow states to re-ban gay marriage if the Supreme Court recognizes a right to such unions.
Many GOP elites, in the donor and operative class, want to move beyond gay marriage. They think it’s a losing issue for the party in the long-term and makes outreach to younger voters more difficult. But social conservatives are the most influential constituency in the caucuses, which kick off the nominating process.
The nuanced answers from many Republican candidates in recent months took a backburner Saturday night, as several of the candidates tried to outdo one another on who could speak out most strongly against a right to gay marriage.
“Marriage as an institution existed before even government itself,” declared Florida Sen. Marco Rubio, kicking off the five-hour Faith & Freedom Summit, at which nine likely presidential candidates spoke. “The institution of marriage as between one man and one woman existed even before our laws existed.”
Scott Walker noted that he voted for Wisconsin’s constitutional ban and defended it through the judicial process, until the Supreme Court refused to review a lower court ruling that his state issue marriage licenses to gay couples.
“Let me be clear, I believe marriage is between one man and one woman,” the Wisconsin governor said. “I still hold out hope that the Supreme Court will rule, as has been the tradition in the past, that the states are the places that get to define what marriage is. If for some reason they don’t … I believe it’s reasonable for the people of America to consider a constitutional amendment that would affirm the ability of states to do just that.”
Bobby Jindal got out front on the topic by writing an op-ed [in the New York Times] this week that was headlined, “I’m Holding Firm Against Gay Marriage.” There were hundreds of printouts of the piece, which ran in the New York Times, scattered throughout the mega-church.
The Louisiana governor’s speech was interrupted twice by standing ovations as he pledged his support for a religious freedom law in his home state that’s as strong as the one enacted in Indiana. The Republican governor there, Mike Pence, prodded his legislature to enact a “fix” after threats of boycotts on the state and massive backlash from the business community.
Jindal said he won’t back down. “Corporate America is not going to bully the governor of Louisiana,” he said. “Here’s my message to Hollywood: the United States of America did not create religious liberty. Religious liberty created the United States of America.” Both lines got him standing ovations.
Asked after his speech whether he would attend a gay wedding, Jindal told reporters that he would “if it’s someone I loved and cared for.” So far, he has not been to one.
Other speakers, including former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee, praised Jindal for the Times piece.
Steve King, the Republican congressman from northwest Iowa, devoted his entire speech at the event to arguing that a Supreme Court decision recognizing a right to gay marriage would be illegitimate. He compared such a decision to the 1857 Dred Scott decision, which upheld slavery and said African-Americans were not entitled to the protections of U.S. citizens.
“This Supreme Court has made some good decisions too, but we should not see them as the final answer,” King said. “There’s no way I can accept that kind of decision.”
King touted legislation he introduced that would limit the jurisdiction of federal courts to hear marriage cases. He said he’ll be at the Supreme Court Tuesday when the justices hear arguments, and he asked the crowd to pray with him that they make the right choice.
“Marriage is at stake,” he said. “The arguments before that court may well determine the future of this country.”
Ted Cruz is seen by many Iowa GOP insiders as having the upper hand right now with social conservatives. But the Texas senator has taken heat in the state this week for appearing at a fundraiser at the home of two openly gay men. At that private event, he was asked how he would react if he found out one of his daughters was gay, and he said he would love her unconditionally.
Cruz vigorously defended his appearance at the fundraiser, which he said does not reflect his steadfast opposition to gay marriage. Asked twice if he was aware that a 23-year-old had apparently overdosed on drugs at the same apartment where he went for the fundraiser just six months ago, Cruz declined to answer.
“You don’t have to like my answer, but I do get to give my answer,” Cruz told reporters, stressing that it was primarily a pro-Israel fundraiser.
He declined to say whether he regretted the venue choice but attacked the media for covering the appearance.
“Unfortunately, our good friends in the press caricature support for traditional marriage in terms of animus,” he said. “The only explanation that makes sense to reporters is that anyone who supports traditional marriage … must be somehow motivated by hatred for those who are homosexuals. It’s why this story seems so puzzling to the media.”
Cruz said he is concerned that women like the owner of an Indiana pizzeria will suffer because they oppose gay marriage. “The Scripture commands us to love everyone, and that ought to be a standard that applies across the board,” he said.
During his speech to the group, Cruz said liberals are obsessed with “mandatory gay marriage in all 50 states.” Like King, he asked the audience to join him in prayer on the day of the oral arguments. He told the story of an Iowa couple who stopped putting on weddings after a court ordered them to perform services for gays.
He touted his support for the constitutional amendment that would let states choose, and he said he has introduced a bill similar to King’s that strips the federal courts of any jurisdiction over gay marriage-related litigation.
Huckabee has taken heat this week in the press for saying that the United States is rapidly moving toward “the criminalization of Christianity.”
The former governor, who won the 2008 Iowa caucuses and is expected to announce he’s running again on May 5, doubled down on his comment.
“Let me be clear: I’m not backing off because what I’m saying is true,” he said. “We’re criminalizing Christianity in this country by telling people who hold to an orthodox worldview of biblical marriage that if you still believe that … you will be guilty of discrimination, which could result in some kind of civil or criminal action against you.”
Jeb Bush skipped the cattle call – this crowd is unlikely to go for him in the caucuses – but sent a surrogate to speak for him. Jordan Sekulow told the room that “Gov. Bush supports traditional marriage.”
“He was the first of the potential candidates to say, ‘I stand with Gov. Pence in doing the right thing,’” said Sekulow, who added that a Bush Justice Department would protect religious freedom.
One of the only potential candidates who did not mention gay marriage in his speech was Rand Paul, the Kentucky senator who is trying to appeal to libertarians and social conservatives. He’s taken a nuanced position, in which he says he believes in traditional marriage but that the law should be neutral on the matter and that it should ultimately be up to the states.
So let’s review: The GOP presidential candidates all want a constitutional amendment to ban gay marriage — one which presumably would retroactively invalidate legal gay marriages already entered into — as well as a license to discriminate against gays in employment and public accommodations, and for good measure, they want to strip Article 3 federal courts of judicial review.
No, that’s not radical or extreme at all (sarcasm). These people are insane!
Look, the Christian Reconstructionists and Dominionists want a theocracy. A constitutional democracy does not suit them. “Huckajesus” Mike Huckabee Plans To Run For President To Fight The Secualr Theocracy. Rick “man on dog” Santorum finds a new, completely nonsensical object of hate: President Obama’s “secular theocracy”. Never heard of this? Google it. This is a big effin’ deal among the radical Christian Right. And they are a major constituency bloc of the GOP.
They are out of touch with the majority of Americans. Poll: Gay-marriage support at record high:
A record-high 6 in 10 Americans support same-sex marriage and a similar share say individual states should not be allowed to define marriage as only between a man and a woman, according to a new Washington Post-ABC News poll.
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The Post-ABC poll finds 61 percent of Americans support allowing gays to marry and 35 percent are opposed. Support is up only slightly from last year but is a reversal from public sentiment a decade ago, when opponents outnumbered supporters 58 percent to 39 percent.
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Among those under age 30, support has grown since 2005 from 57 percent to 78 percent. Among those 65 and over, it has increased from 18 percent to 46 percent. Support has also risen by double digits across partisan groups, though Democrats and independents have shifted the most.
Despite that, wide swaths of opposition persist among important voting groups. More than 6 in 10 Republicans oppose allowing gay couples to marry, and that increases to 71 percent of conservative Republicans, who play a critical role in the party’s presidential primaries and caucuses.
The tail is wagging the dog in GOP primaries, and is pushing GOP candidates to adopt radical extremist positions to win a primary — only to risk electoral defeat in a general election.
By contrast, the Post-ABC poll finds that majorities of Democrats, independents and every age group under 65 support allowing same-sex marriages.
There are 37 states, plus the District of Columbia, where, through the legislative process or court order, gay couples are allowed to marry. In those place, 64 percent say such unions should be legal. But even in the 13 states where same-sex marriage is not legal, 54 percent say it should be.
The public’s perspective on whether states may forbid same-sex marriage mirrors overall views on the subject, according to the poll. Sixty-one percent oppose allowing states to prohibit same-sex marriages, and 62 percent support requiring states to recognize same-sex marriages performed in other states.
The GOP presidential candidates all took the exact opposite position to kowtow to the radical Religious Right.