Sen. Ted Cruz, Republican candidate for president and so far the most vocal among the big names in opposition to same-sex marriage recognition, attended a reception at the Manhattan apartment of a couple of gay hoteliers. And he said he would still love his daughters if any of them turned out gay. Is this a softening or moderating of his position against gay marriage?
No, of course it's not. It's just another over-analysis of everything candidates are saying in order to try to shape some sort of narrative. Cruz's personal opposition to same-sex marriage has not resulted in a policy recommendation for a complete ban. Like Sens. Rand Paul and Marco Rubio, he wants to leave control to the states.
As I've noted previously, unlike Paul, he's also willing to court publicity for his position with legislation that has no chance of going anywhere while Barack Obama is still president, even with a Republican Congress. Yesterday he moved forward with introducing a bill and a resolution relating to gay marriage recognition. S.1080 would "limit the jurisdiction of Federal courts to consider cases involving same-sex marriage." And S.J. Res.12 would propose a constitutional amendment giving states the authority to determine whether to recognize same-sex marriage. The text of the two bills were not yet available on Congress' website.
These are things that Cruz has already said he was going to do. It's silly to think that Cruz saying he wouldn't cast out his daughters for being gay or just being generally polite to gay people (this reception he went to was actually primarily about foreign policy and Israel, according to The New York Times) indicates some sort of change. But nevertheless, every statement from a candidate's mouth (the candidates being treated seriously, anyway) is going to be pawed over like a blind item from a gossip columnist for meaning.
Oh, and even though this reception was specifically not a fund-raiser for Cruz, according to the Times, some folks in the gay community are calling for a boycott of the hoteliers just for talking to the senator. What next: boycotting television networks for interviewing him? For televising the debates? If I had the opportunity to sit down with Cruz privately and press him on gay marriage to try to change his mind, I would grab it, too.
The Supreme Court will be hearing a pack of cases on state-level marriage recognition bans next week. Their ruling is expected in June.