Despite his previous assertion the U.S. Supreme Court decision in favor of same-sex marriage is the law of the land, Marco Rubio now says he’s committed to efforts to reverse the decision and it’s “not settled law.”
The Republican presidential candidate made the comments Tuesday in an interview with David Brody of the social conservative Christian Broadcasting Network.
“It is current law; it is not settled law,” Rubio said. “No law is settled law.”
Rubio compared the marriage ruling to Roe v. Wade, saying just because the decision is current law “doesn’t mean that we don’t aspire to fix it because we think it’s wrong.”
The Florida senator said biblical teachings compel followers to adhere to civil authorities, but also God’s rules.
“When those two come in conflict, God’s rules always win,” Rubio said. “In essence, if we are ever ordered by a government authority to personally violate and sin, violate God’s law and sin, if we’re ordered to stop preaching the gospel, if we’re ordered to perform a same-sex marriage as someone presiding over it, we are called to ignore that. We cannot abide by that because government is compelling us to sin.”
When Brody brought up the case of Kim Davis, a Kentucky clerk who was jailed for disobeying courts on same-sex marriage, Rubio said other action is appropriate.
“If you live in a society where the government creates an avenue and a way for you to peacefully change the law, then you’re called on to participate in that process to try to change it, not ignoring it, but trying to change the law,” Rubio said.
Rubio said changing the law is what “we’re endeavoring to do,” reiterating his position states should be able to ban same-sex marriage.
“I continue to believe that marriage law should be between one man and one woman, and that the proper place for that to be decided is at the state level, where marriage has always been regulated, not by the U.S. Supreme Court, and not by the federal government,” Rubio said.
It’s unclear what action Rubio would like to see against the Supreme Court marriage decision. The candidate has said he doesn’t support a U.S. constitutional amendment against the ruling. His campaign didn’t respond to the Washington Blade’s request to comment on what his approach would look like.
Rubio makes the comment days after his campaign hired as faith outreach director Eric Teetsel, who called same-sex marriage a “cultural sin” and led a coalition of religious groups in calling for civil disobedience over laws that don’t conform to their beliefs. At the same time, Rubio has been endorsed by billionaire GOP philanthropist Paul Singer, who supports same-sex marriage and has contributed to LGBT rights causes.
Evan Wolfson, president of Freedom to Marry, said Rubio is correct people are free to change the law even as “they must obey what he calls ‘current’ law.”
“The freedom to marry is the law of the land — and not just because we persuaded the Supreme Court, but because, through much work, we also persuaded a majority of the American people that ending marriage discrimination and affirming the love and commitment of same-sex couples was the right thing to do,” Wolfson added. “We must continue to engage the marriage conversation in parts of the country where it has only just arrived, harnessing its power to change hearts and minds to the ongoing work of also ending discrimination in the workplace, housing, and public accommodations and promoting inclusion and acceptance.”