November 13, 2016 at 7:08 pm EST | by Chris Johnson
Trump ‘fine’ with Supreme Court ruling on marriage
Donald Trump, gay news, Washington Blade

Donald Trump (Image courtesy C-Span)

Amid fears the next administration would undermine LGBT rights, President-elect Donald Trump said he’s “fine” with the U.S. Supreme Court ruling in favor of same-sex marriage and believes it’s settled law.

Calling himself a “supporter” of LGBT people, Trump made the remarks during an interview on CBS’s “60 Minutes” on Sunday night after Leslie Stahl asked him about fears among LGBT people — as well as black people and Muslims — they’d face persecution with him as president.

Asked whether Trump supports marriage equality, Trump said his views are “irrelevant” because the Supreme Court has already rendered a decision on the issue.

“It’s irrelevant because it was already settled,” Trump said. “It’s law. It was settled in the Supreme Court. I mean it’s done.”

Pressed by Stahl on whether his judicial appointments would reverse the decision, Trump, who previously said he opposes same-sex marriage, said he’s now “fine” with the ruling.

“It’s done,” Trump said. “These cases have gone to the Supreme Court. They’ve been settled. And I’m fine with that.”

On the campaign trail, Trump said he doesn’t favor same-sex marriage and urged social conservatives to “trust” him on the issue. Trump also said he’d “strongly consider” appointing justices to the U.S. Supreme Court who would reverse the decision for marriage equality. However, he said he doesn’t support the idea of a U.S. constitutional amendment banning same-sex marriage.

In the same interview, Trump took a different approach to his view on Roe v. Wade, saying he’d appoint justices who are pro-life and “if it ever were overturned, it would go back to the states.”

Asked by Stahl what would happen if women weren’t able to obtain an abortion, Trump said “they’ll perhaps have to go, they’ll have to go to another state.”

“We’ll see what happens,” Trump said. “It’s got a long way to go, just so you understand. That has a long, long way to go.”

If Trump, as he has pledged, appoints conservatives in the mold of the late U.S. Associate Justice Antonin Scalia to the Supreme Court, he would have little capacity to convince the Supreme Court to abstain from reversing its decision on marriage equality. However, the confluence of events needed for the Supreme Court to revisit the issue and undo the ruling are unlikely to happen.

Stahl raised the issue of marriage equality with Trump in the context of questioning about the fears LGBT people feel about his administration. In response, Trump recalled he “mentioned them at the Republican National Convention.”

“Everybody said, ‘That was so great,'” Trump said. “I have been — you know, I’ve been — a supporter.”

During his speech at the Republican National Convention he pledged to protect LGBT people from a foreign ideology, which marked the first time a Republican presidential nominee mentioned LGBT people in a positive way during an acceptance speech. Critics pounced on Trump for making the remarks without supporting LGBT rights.

Evan Wolfson, former president of the now closed LGBT group Freedom to Marry, said he’s “pleased to hear” Trump is “fine” with the Supreme Court ruling on marriage equality and believes the issue is settled law.

“This is one of many chances he has — and must take — to show the American people that he has credibility and that the administration he is assembling and actions they are preparing are not a threat to their families, their rights, and their place in this country,” Wolfson said. “Today he said the right thing, but actions speak louder than words — and as I wrote to Freedom to Marry’s supporters earlier this week, we must be as vigilant on this and the many other grave concerns his candidacy raised as we were in our successful and long work to win the freedom to marry in the court of public opinion and then the law.”

Wolfson added the “true test of his integrity in this answer” will be Trump’s appointments to the judiciary and the president-elect’s refusal to “greenlight efforts by any in his administration to carve licenses to discriminate into the law he today says he respects.”

Chris Johnson is Chief Political & White House Reporter for the Washington Blade. Johnson is a member of the White House Correspondents' Association. Follow Chris

  • Now, CBS, ask Mike Pence, Reince, Steve and Kellyanne the same question.

    • Mike Pence will be deciding a lot of public policy and will vent SCOTUS nominees to pass a religious litmus test before they allow Trump to put them up as a nomination! Puppet.

  • Before, we hear LCR declare him once again the most gay-friendly President in the universe, what Trump said is that the Supreme Court decided marriage, it’s settled and he is fine with that [being settled] not that he supports marriage equality or that he will assure that it is not overturned. In the next breath, he indicated that he will appoint judges to overturn Roe v. Wade, which is also settled. His shortlist of SC appointees is anything but supportive of gay rights. There is nothing stopping a case on marriage equality to come before a Trumped-up judiciary and the marriage equality being returned to the purview of individual states. Trump would be fine with that as well.

    • That may be true. So, as a possible ‘states’ rights’ obfuscation/dodge, it’s a good followup question to Leslie Stahl’s– and why it’s equally important to get Pence and Priebus on the record.

      Appointing Steve Bannon as chief political strategist, however, is Trump’s first major credibility blunder, IMHO.

      The stench of Bannon’s encouragement of Breitbart racism, sexism and anti-Semitism can’t and won’t be ignored. At the very least, it will render much of what the Trump WH will propose as morally and ethically suspect.

      New presidents only get one chance to make a good first impression. Trump has stumbled badly by permitting racism, sexism and anti-Semitism to sully the WH.

  • Roe V. Wade is settled law for over 40 years, yet Trump made it clear he wants it overturned and would appoint judges to do it. Any judge that would overturn Roe V. Wade would likely also vote to overturn marriage equality.

    While Trump may claim now it’s settled law, during the campaign he said he would appoint judges to overturn marriage equality, but again he flip flops. I’m sure Mike Pence, the Family Research Council, Pat Robertson and Rick Santorum don’t consider it settled law and will push to get it overturn. They’ve been trying to do that to abortion rights without fail, why would they stop with marriage equality simply because Trump says it’s settled law?

    The marriage equality decision was had a more narrow margin of approval than Roe V. Wade, with all conservative “justices” ruling against the right. That leaves it open to challenge later. We got a ruling in the 1980s that there was no constitutional right to sodomy which we overturned 20 years later. Evan Wolfson simply ignores this reality.

  • Not my president, ever.

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