Lawless

The GOP Gay Marriage Freakout

It is wrong for public officials to defy the Supreme Court. Yet that’s what Republican presidential candidates have promised.

06.26.15 5:03 PM ET

Marriage equality has won at the Supreme Court, but the fight over gay marriage is far from over. Now we enter the Republican temper tantrum phase.

Even before the Supreme Court’s ruling, several prominent Republicans had pledged to disobey any high court ruling in favor of marriage equality—and had called on their fellow Republican leaders to do the same.

For instance, Republican presidential candidates Rick Santorum and Mike Huckabee have both signed a pledge that reads, “We will not honor any decision by the Supreme Court which will force us to violate a clear biblical understanding of marriage as solely the union of one man and one woman.” 

Huckabee also challenged the authority of our nation’s highest court when he said, “The Supreme Court can’t overrule God.” 

Republican Senator Ted Cruz and Representative Steve King also called for Congress and any future Republican president to flagrantly ignore such a Supreme Court ruling.

Let’s be clear: These are current and former officeholders, who have taken an oath to uphold the laws of our nation, literally pledging to violate those laws as interpreted by the Supreme Court.

In any reasonable political environment, this should be a disqualifier for elected office. Certainly, measures should be considered to charge those of them who hold office with violating their oath.

Republicans in Congress recently filed suit against President Obama for using his lawful executive authority to de-prioritize certain deportations of immigrants. Said Republicans were outraged! Now here we have Republicans treading far beyond the legal gray area, actually pledging to violate their duties and break the law.

I’d love to say such behavior is unimaginable. But unfortunately, it’s becoming predictable within the GOP.

“If the court tries to do this it will be rampant judicial activism,” Cruz said before the ruling. “It will be lawlessness.”

No, actually, saying that as a senator or as president you will disobey the ruling of the Supreme Court of the United States of America—that is the very definition of lawlessness.

Of course this attitude comes from the same party that after 60 failed votes to repeal Obamacare and two now failed legal challenges rising all the way up to the very same Supreme Court, still pledges to keep trying to undo the law. The modern Republican Party is operating less like a responsible partner in governance and more and more like an underground crime network—continually abusing and threatening the otherwise democratic process if it doesn’t get its way.

So far, in the aftermath of the decision, Republican candidates have offered statements affirming their opposition to the ruling and leaning on the new, more modest GOP chestnut that “religious freedom” must be protected.

Governor Huckabee took to Twitter after the ruling, saying that the Supreme Court could no more overrule “God’s nature” than overrule gravity. But alas, just as it has in fights for justice and equality throughout history, the Supreme Court has done its job—interpreting the Constitution of our nation and applying it equally to all Americans.

Meanwhile, Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker issued one of the more curious formulations. “I call on the president and all governors to join me in reassuring millions of Americans that the government will not force them to participate in activities that violate their deeply held religious beliefs,” he said in a press release. “No one wants to live in a country where the government coerces people to act in opposition to their conscience.” 

Apparently, Walker is afraid people will be forced to get gay married. Don’t worry, America, that’s Phase 143 of the gay agenda. It’s still early. Right now, we’re preoccupied trying to uphold the basic values and laws of America—which elected officials of both parties should be doing, too. But frankly, when it comes to some Republicans, it’s indeed more likely that gravity will be overruled and pigs will fly.