Presidential candidate Carly Fiorina this week reversed her position on a federal constitutional amendment banning same-sex marriage, saying she now opposes such a measure.
The former Hewlett-Packard CEO told Caffeinated Thoughts, a conservative blog in Iowa, that she would accept a potential Supreme Court ruling in favor of same-sex marriage across the country.
“I think the Supreme Court ruling will become the law of the land, and however much I may agree or disagree with it, I wouldn’t support an amendment to reverse it,” Fiorina said. “I very much hope that we would come to a place now in this nation where we can support their decision and at the same time support people to have, to hold religious views and to protect their right to exercise those views.”
But Fiorina, who once defended the controversial Indiana religious freedom law seen to enable anti-LGBT discrimination, added the country should protect religious liberty as it prohibits discrimination.
“I think this is a nation that should be able to accept that government shouldn’t discriminate on how it provides benefits and that people have a right to their religious views and those views need to be protected,” Fiorina said. “We need to protect religious liberty in this country.”
Fiorina’s remarks stand in contrast to the views of Republican presidential candidate Ted Cruz, who in his capacity as a U.S. senator has introduced constitutional amendments that would prohibit courts from overturning state marriage laws. Likely Republican presidential candidate Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker said he would support such an amendment.
Fiorina’s position also stands in contrast to Republican presidential candidate Mike Huckabee, who has said the U.S. Supreme Court lacks the authority to instate a ruling in favor of same-sex marriage.
Fiorina’s remarks also reflect a change in her own views. According to the New Civil Rights Movement, an LGBT blog, Fiorina indicated she supported a federal marriage amendment during her failed 2010 U.S. Senate campaign on a voter guide from the Christian Coalition.
Gregory Angelo, executive director of Log Cabin Republicans, said Fiorina’s change of heart is “not surprising.”
“Ms. Fiorina has emerged as one of the most respectful and sympathetic voices of the GOP presidential field in regard to LGBT Americans,” Angelo said. “Her colleagues would be wise to take a similar position given that support of a Federal Marriage Amendment now amounts to little more than political grandstanding given it would have absolutely zero chance of becoming a reality.”
JoDee Winterhof, the Human Rights Campaign’s vice president for policy and political affairs, said the time has come for other Republican presidential candidates to say where they stand on the issue.
“Carly Fiorina is the latest candidate to say she would not fight a Supreme Court ruling in favor of marriage equality, because she knows more than 70 percent of Americans already live in a state where marriage equality is the law of the land and more than 6 in 10 Americans recognize that all committed couples deserve the right to marry,” Winterhof said. “The silence from candidates like Marco Rubio and Jeb Bush is deafening. Do they agree with Carly Fiorina, or do they side with Ted Cruz and Scott Walker, who would work to overturn a ruling in favor of marriage equality with a constitutional amendment?”