Republicans Grapple With Gay Marriage Ruling

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With the Supreme Court's ruling Friday, same-sex marriage is the law of the land — and it's a law that some Republicans like Mike Huckabee, above, are hoping citizens will ignore. (Mallory Benedict / PBS NewsHour / Flickr Creative Commons photo)
With the Supreme Court’s ruling Friday, same-sex marriage is the law of the land — and it’s a law that some Republicans like Mike Huckabee, above, are hoping citizens will ignore. (Mallory Benedict / PBS NewsHour / Flickr Creative Commons photo)

With one order from the nation’s top court, same-sex marriage was legalized Friday in every state across the country.

The ruling came just one day before many large cities in America — including San Francisco, Seattle and New York City — celebrated Pride festivities, and there was no shortage of celebrities, activists, companies and progressive politicians throwing their support behind the now-nationwide acknowledgement of same-sex marriages.

There was also no shortage of conservative politicians — some of whom have declared their interest in clinching the presidency next year — who seized upon the moment to throw verbal temper tantrums against a ruling they did not like.

The Sunday talk shows were a grab bag of Republican politicians expressing their disapproval over the Supreme Court’s order on same-sex marriage, with at least one openly suggesting there would be civil disobedience against the law, primarily from those with religious objections.

“They either are going to follow God, their conscience and what they truly believe is what the scripture teaches them, or they will follow civil law,” Mike Huckabee, the former Arkansas governor who is currently running for the 2016 Republican presidential ticket, said during an appearance on ABC’s “This Week.”

Read more: 50 States of Gay: SOCTUS Overturns Same-Sex Marriage Bans

In what can only be described as both a bizarre and bold attempt to support his argument, Huckabee channeled a famed civil rights leader in his assertion that the ruling handed down by the Supreme Court would face religious opposition.

“They will go the path of Dr. Martin Luther King, who in his brilliant essay, ‘Letters from a Birmingham Jail,’ reminded us based on what St. Augustin said, that an ‘unjust law is no law at all.'”

“An unjust law is a code that a numerical or power majority group compels a minority group to obey but does not make binding on itself. This is difference made legal. By the same token, a just law is a code that a majority compels a minority to follow and that it is willing to follow itself.”

Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.

It was not the first time Huckabee had made a comparison between the Civil Rights Movement and his opposition to same-sex marriage: Over the weekend, Huckabee said at a conference in Denver that civil disobedience against gay marriage would be similar to when President Abraham Lincoln disregarded the Supreme Court’s decision in 1857 stemming from a case in which the court found that slave owners could move slaves into so-called “free states.” Lincoln was president during the conclusion of the Civil War, which saw an end to slavery in the United States.

Other Republicans were more willing to concede defeat on the topic, though no less willing to express their disapproval over the Supreme Court’s decision.

Read more: Following Remarks About Same-Sex Marriage, Justice Scalia Wins Our Dumbass Award

Speaking to NBC’s “Meet the Press,” Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal — who is also running for the Republican presidential ticket — said his state did not “have a choice but to comply” with the ruling on same-sex marriage, but re-iterated that the court, in his view, mad the “wrong” decision.

“I strongly disagree with the court’s ruling,” Jindal said on the program. “I think marriage should be between a man and a woman.”

Jindal, an outspoken advocate on racial issues, said he was offended by the notion that those who oppose same-sex marriage were considered bigots.

“I think it’s offensive to evangelical Christians, to Catholics that are trying to follow their church’s teachings and millions of other Americans who believe that marriage is between a man and a woman,” Jindal said. “It has been taught in our faith for centuries. It was, just a few years ago, the position held by President Obama and [former Secretary of State Hillary] Clinton that this wasn’t just a Republican position.”

There is little doubt in the minds of political analysts that Republicans vying for the presidency will make same-sex marriage a point of contention during their campaigns. But just how Republicans will frame the issue remains unclear, especially considering that the Supreme Court’s ruling on Friday has set the issue in stone from the standpoint of whether same-sex marriage is legal in the country.

Peggy Noonan, a columnist for The Wall Street Journal, told CBS’s “Face the Nation” that Republicans will likely look toward the possibility of introducing a constitutional amendment that would exempt clergy, clerks and others from officiating or ordaining the marriages of gay couples.

But when it comes to that issue, Noonan points to public opinion polls, which show that the majority of Americans would likely not approve of a constitutional amendment that restricted the efforts of same-sex marriages in any way.

“Is it possible? We know where public opinion is and where it is going: It is not possible,” Noonan said. “So are Republicans going to go off chasing a rabbit they’ll never be able to catch?”

For at least one Republican, the Supreme Court’s decision signaled an end to any such contention.

Speaking on “Face the Nation,” Republican Gov. John Kasich of Ohio — a state that banned same-sex marriage until the ban was overturned by Friday’s Supreme Court ruling — said he personally believed in traditional marriages, but that the court’s ruling meant it was time to focus on other things.

“The Supreme Court has ruled, and it’s the law of the land, and we’ll abide by it,” Kasich said. “I do believe in traditional marriage, but the court has ruled and it’s time to move on.”

Matthew Keys is a contributing journalist for TheBlot Magazine

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