Even if Sen. Rand Paul were to suddenly embrace same-sex marriages, I certainly would neither invite nor expect him to show up to my wedding to, uh, let's say the actor who played Colossus in the X-Men movies. I mean, as long as we're fantasizing here. Anyway, the point is that I've met Sen. Paul exactly once so far, and the idea that he would attend my wedding, regardless of whether it was to a man or a woman, is absurd.
Neverthless, as people cast about for ways to keep gay marriage in the news as a political issue, even though it's likely the Supreme Court may well settle the matter very soon, we've reached a silly place where people are asking candidates or potential candidates for president whether they would personally attend a gay wedding. Interestingly, this was all actually started by conservative host Hugh Hewitt and spread from there, as Howard Kurtz notes at Fox News:
Ted Cruz deflected the question. "I haven't faced that circumstance," he said. "I have not had a loved one have a gay wedding."
Rick Santorum, whose base is on the evangelical right, was unequivocal. "That would be something that would be a violation of my faith," he said.
Marco Rubio had gotten the same question from Fusion host Jorge Ramos, and he sent a signal of tolerance: "If there's somebody that I love that's in my life, I don't necessarily have to agree with their decisions or the decisions they've made to continue to love them and participate in important events," Rubio said.
The question soon went viral. A reporter asked Scott Walker about it in New Hampshire, and he said that "for someone I love"—a cousin of his wife's—he had attended a reception. And potential candidate John Kasich told a CNN reporter that after talking it over with his wife, he had just told a gay friend that he'd be at the man's wedding.
CNN has also taken note of the questions, and the responses are all over gay blogs and media. I don't want to be too dismissive of the idea that voters are electing people, not just a series of policy choices (if that). But because so much is dependent on that upcoming Supreme Court case (they will hear arguments April 28, next Tuesday), this whole debate feels utterly disconnected from any policy decisions a potential president may be able to introduce or pass through Congress. And since presidential candidates (or, you know, people in general) don't often attend the weddings of complete strangers, none of these politicians are going to be showing up at mine or most of yours.
When I blogged recently that gay marriage may be essentially "over" as a political debate, I wondered whether Republicans would be willing to let it go. Some commenters wondered if the media would be able to let the issue go, not just the candidates. This may be a good example, but you can't blame progressive journalists for this one.