Gay Marriage

Ted Cruz Will Not Be Downplaying His Position on Traditional Marriage

His campaign site plays up his activism in "defending marriage."


Credit: Gage Skidmore / photo on flickr

So first things first. Sen. Ted Cruz's has been catching some flak for not having control over his own .com page. And typing in his name into a Google search (even "Ted Cruz for president") will not get you to his page. The actual page for anybody looking for Cruz's presidential campaign, as opposed to his senate page, is

I bring up his official page in order to take a look at how one of the more socially conservative front-runners will be tackling the gay marriage recognition issue as a candidate. As Nick Gillespie noted yesterday, and I have noted previously, Cruz does not support gay marriage recognition and wants to preserve the authority of the states to make the call as to whether to permit them.

Cruz's position is not unusual among the potential Republican candidates. They're pretty much all on the record in support of "traditional marriage." Some, like governors Scott Walker and Jeb Bush, are a little more ambiguous about what their actual policies might be. Walker has previously said the battle is "over" in Wisconsin, but according to the New York Times, has said behind closed doors to supporters that he will continue to fight. Bush has called for "respect" for committed same-sex couples, but has stopped short of supporting marriage recognition, speculation about potential friendliness notwithstanding. Sen. Rand Paul's position on same-sex marriage recognition is pretty much the same as Cruz's. He opposes it but wants to leave it to the states. In my experience, Paul tends to discuss gay marriage when he's asked about it, but he doesn't bring it up on his own. His position on marriage does not show up in his "issues" for his Senate page.

But Cruz is actively promoting his social conservative positions on same-sex marriage on his new site, though even he has a careful tone. It's all about respecting the process. Here are his two references to his actions on gay marriage recognition, lumped into a section with his anti-abortion actions:

  • "Fought for the right of states to define marriage, without intrusion by unelected federal judges, by drafting the State Marriage Defense Act."
  • "Defended Texas's marriage laws when a renegade state court attempted to grant a divorce to a same-sex couple who had obtained a civil union in Vermont."

Gillespie asked yesterday whether "a candidate can overcome his anti-gay-marriage position to win higher office." It is certainly clear that Cruz is going to be willing to campaign on this issue in the primaries. Whether other likely GOP nominees follow the lead, take a different path, or try to avoid the issue entirely is another matter.

This summer the actual conflict may be resolved—as a legal matter, not necessarily a culture battle—by a pending Supreme Court decision. Committing this language to his campaign site is obviously some advance signaling to those social conservatives who are going to be upset if (when) the Supreme Court strikes gay marriage bans down. That Cruz would probably be unable to do anything to counter such a decision as president (he has called for a constitutional amendment) doesn't mean he can't use that anger to get votes in the primary.

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  1. This election won’t be won or lost on same-sex marriage.

    1. Conversely, I could certainly see a Conservative getting votes and/or securing the nomination specifically by thumbing his nose at SCOTUS.

    2. I don’t know, I seem to remember a lot of “War on Women” talk around 2012 that seemed to scare the sheep.

    3. This election won’t be won or lost on same-sex marriage.

      It won’t be won on it, but it could be lost if the MSM can harp on the issue as a distraction from the issues Democrats are vulnerable on.

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  2. “Cruz would probably be unable to do anything to counter such a decision as president (he has called for a constitutional amendment)”

    Well, he might have the chance to appoint members of the Supreme Court.

    1. That strategy has not worked well at countering Roe v. Wade. It has been excellent at getting votes, though–for both sides.

      1. It came tantalizingly close. Kennedy’s apostasy ruined it.

      2. If Roe ever got overturned and the abortion issue returned to the states the freak-out would be so utterly epic it would almost be worth it.

        1. Not to mention the massive hardship on women.

  3. He can downplay all he wants. Others will make sure his record is in the public view.

  4. But remember. No republican candidate actually cares about this issue, the evil media just keeps tricking them into talking about it.

    1. They may or may not, but they certainly have to at least pretend they do during primary season. I don’t know who has the more absurd litmus test checklist, the left or the right, but it’s always depressing to watch.

  5. “Please don’t bring this issue up because the cousin-fucking idiots I need to vote for me won’t if I’m forced to admit I’m not as much of an ignorant bigoted rube as they are.” Props to Ted Cruz for doing the honest thing and pandering.

    1. I laughed.

      1. I’ll admit it. I did too.

  6. Ted Cruz holds the exact same position as Rand Paul on “marriage equality”.

    Who’s going to write “the libertarian case for Martin O’Malley”?

  7. Anyone who reads Reason should understand the role of the government is to protect our lives and property, I.e. our natural rights. This does not extend to giving out Communion, hearing Confession, absolving sins, …or marrying people. …nor “blessing” certain people’s relationships, one way or the other.
    “Equal Treatment Under Law” should require all mention of marriage be stricken from law on the grounds of discrimination against single people. First Amendment clearly forbids the government from performing religious ceremonies and “blessing” people’s unions, contracts, or dalliances.
    All politicians who respect the constitution should understand and respect Religious Freedom and insist government strictly deal only with security of lives and property.
    Contract law is the proper vehicle to handle the property aspects of a partnership and govern the disposal of shared property and commitments upon dissolution of the partnership.
    Strike down all civil marriage law as unconstitutional and return the freedom of association to the people.

  8. Gillespie asked yesterday whether “a candidate can overcome his anti-gay-marriage position to win higher office.

    Obama did… twice.

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