WASHINGTON: Gay marriage, once a rallying political issue among Republicans, is no longer a hot button topic for the party as it loses its fervor to fight same-sex unions.
Same-sex couples will soon be able to wed in up to 30 US states after the Supreme Court on Monday declined to consider a nationwide ruling on the divisive issue.
In the second piece of good news for same-sex marriage supporters in as many days, the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals swept away bans in Nevada and Idaho, in a ruling Tuesday that would likely also apply to three other states under its jurisdiction — Alaska, Arizona and Montana. The ruling, however, was temporarily stayed by Justice Anthony Kennedy.
Following the high court’s decision, reactions from Republican representatives were scant, and came mostly from Tea Party ranks.
Texas Senator Ted Cruz called the court’s decision “astonishing” and said the federal government should play no role in defining marriage laws.
“Marriage is a question for the states,” Cruz said, calling the move “tragic and indefensible.”
“That is why… I will be introducing a constitutional amendment to prevent the federal government or the courts from attacking or striking down state marriage laws,” said Cruz, a potential White House hopeful in the 2016 elections.
But some of his colleagues were less impassioned, resigning themselves to the law and choosing instead to focus on next month’s congressional race.
“It is the law in Virginia today,” said Republican Senate candidate Ed Gillespie of Virginia, where same-sex marriage was legalized Monday.
“Of course I accept the ruling, the decision by the Supreme Court,” he said. “While I believe marriage is between one man and one woman, I don’t believe that it’s the proper role of the United States Senate to enact a federal marriage amendment.”
Republican candidate for the Colorado Senate Cory Gardner, in a debate Tuesday night, said he too supported traditional marriage.
“But I also believe people must be treated with dignity and respect. And that’s why I will abide by the decision of the court,” he said.