April 19, 2016

On Good Morning America today, a married gay Republican name Todd Calogne addressed Ted Cruz and, citing so-called religious freedom laws, asked, "What would you as president do to protect me and my husband from that institutionalized discrimination?" Cruzdanced around the question for a while, and eventually George Stephanopoulos asked him about his support for a constitutional amendment allowing states to ban same-sex marriage. Stephanopoulos's question: “What would that mean for couples like Todd and his husband who already are married?”

Cruz gave what a RedState diarist calls a "perfect response":

“I am a constitutionalist and under the Constitution, marriage is a question for the states. That has been the case from the very beginning of this country -- that it’s been up to the states. And so if someone wants to change the marriage laws, I don’t think it should be five unelected lawyers down in Washington dictating that. And even if you happen to agree with that particular decision, why would you want to hand over every important public policy issue to five unelected lawyers who aren’t accountable to you, who don’t work for you -- instead if you want to change the marriage laws, convince your fellow citizens to change the laws. And by the way, it may end up that -- we’ve got 50 states -- that the laws in one state may be different than another state and we would expect that. We would expect the people of New York to adopt different laws than perhaps the people of Texas or California and that’s the great thing about a big, diverse country is that we can have different laws that respect different values.”

Cruz isn't just saying that states should be able to limit marriage to opposite-sex couples. He's also saying, by implication, that Loving v. Virginia was wrongly decided in 1967. If Cruz believes without qualification that "marriage is a question for the states," then he believes a state ought to be able to restrict marriage to couples of the same race, as did Mildred and Richard Loving's home state of Virginia, along with fifteen other states, until the High Court unanimously declared miscegenation laws unconstitutional in the Loving decision.

Will Ted Cruz be asked whether he believes that the Loving decision was a mistake? I doubt it. If he is, I assume he'll dance around that question, too, until he find some convoluted way to say that that federal ruling on marriage was okay, but the Supreme Court doesn't have a right to rule on same-sex marriage. Or he'll say it's a moot point because no state today would ever want to ban interracial marriages. (I wouldn't be so sure. A 2011 Public Policy Polling survey found that 46% of Mississippi Republicans believed interracial marriage should be illegal.)

C'mon, news media -- surprise me. Ask Cruz about this.

Crossposted at No More Mr. Nice Blog

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