Gay Marriage Legal Nationwide: Presidential Candidates React - NBC Bay Area
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Gay Marriage Legal Nationwide: Presidential Candidates React

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    The presidential candidates’ reactions to the U.S. Supreme Court’s decision in favor of same-sex marriage broke down predictably along party lines — with Democrats tweeting about love and equality and Republicans criticizing the justices.

    Hillary Clinton’s reaction was short and colorful: “HISTORY” in the rainbow colors.

    Clinton came out in favor of same-sex marriage in 2013 after stepping down as secretary of state. When she ran for president in 2008, she opposed gay marriage.

    Martin O’Malley praised the people of Maryland for leading the way on human dignity and equality.

    He tweeted a photo of then 3-year-old Will Lewis-Benson laughing between his mothers, Amy Lewis and Tricia Benson on the day the Maryland House of Delegates approved same-sex marriage in 2012.

    “There’s no greater human right than love," he said.

    Former Rhode Island Gov. Lincoln Chafee congratulated the Supreme Court for a good ruling.

    And Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders, an independent running for the Democratic nomination, said the Supreme Court had fulfilled the words engraved on its building, "Equal justice under law."

    "For far too long our justice system has marginalized the gay community and I am very glad the Court has finally caught up to the American people," he said.

    But Gov. Bobby Jindal accused the court of following opinion polls and trampling on states’ rights.

    “Marriage between a man and a woman was established by God, and no earthly court can alter that,” he said in a statement.

    He predicted the ruling would open the way for an assault on the religious rights of Christians who disagree with the decision.

    “The government should not force those who have sincerely held religious beliefs about marriage to participate in these ceremonies,” he said.

    Former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee blasted the decision as judicial tyranny and vowed he would not acquiesce to an “imperial court.”

    "The Supreme Court can no more repeal the laws of nature and nature's God on marriage than it can the laws of gravity,” he wrote.

    Like other conservatives, former U.S. Senator Rick Santorum of Pennsylvania accused the Supreme Court of redefining marriage and said leaders do not accept bad decisions that they believe would harm the country.

    "The stakes are too high and the issue too important to simply cede the will of the people to five unaccountable justices," he wrote in a statement.

    Now the public must respond, he said.

    Carly Fiorina called the court an activist one that was ignoring its constitutional duty to say what the law was, not what it should be.

    She said in a statement that although she was in favor of all Americans receiving equal benefits and rights from the government, she did not believe the court could or should redefine marriage.

    “I believe that responsibility should have remained with states and voters where this conversation has continued in churches, town halls and living rooms around the country,” she said.

    New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie, who might run but says he has not made up his mind, said when asked at a press conference that he agreed with Chief Justice John Roberts: This was not a decision for five lawyers.

    Donald Trump wrote, referring to former President George W. Bush and his brother Jeb, another  Republican presidential candidate: "Once again the Bush appointed Supreme Court Justice John Roberts has let us down. Jeb pushed him hard! Remember!"

    Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker, who might run for the Republican nomination, told residents of his state that the government would not coerce them to act against their religious beliefs.

    He called the decision a grave mistake.

    Former Texas Gov. Rick Perry said he was disappointed with the decision. Marriage laws should be left to the states, he said.

    "Our founding fathers did not intend for the judicial branch to legislate from the bench, and as president, I would appoint strict Constitutional conservatives who will apply the law as written," he said in a statement.

    Ben Carson wrote that he strongly disagreed with the Supreme Court's decision, but that the ruling was now the law of the land. He said he supported same-sex civil unions but to him marriage was a religious service.

    "I call on Congress to make sure deeply held religious views are respected and protected," he said in a statement. "The government must never force Christians to violate their religious beliefs."

    U.S. Sen. Lindsey Graham said he believed that the people of each state should have the right to determine their marriage laws. But he also said he would respect the court's decision.

    "Furthermore, given the quickly changing tide of public opinion on this issue, I do not believe that an attempt to amend the U.S. Constitution could possibly gain the support of three-fourths of the states or a supermajority in the U.S. Congress," he said.

    Former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush said that he believed in traditional marriage and thought that the justices should have left the decision to the states.

    But he added, striking an inclusive tone, "I also believe that we should love our neighbor and respect others, including those making lifetime commitments. In a country as diverse as ours, good people who have opposing views should be able to live side by side."

    Gay Marriage Ruling Cheered NationwideGay Marriage Ruling Cheered Nationwide

    Florida Sen. Marco Rubio said the right to change marriage laws should lie with the people not the justices.

    "This decision short-circuits the political process that has been underway on the state level for years," he said.

    The next president must make it a priority to nominate judges and justices who will apply the Constitution as written and originally understood, he said.

    He also called for respecting those who disagree.

    "A large number of Americans will continue to believe in traditional marriage, and a large number of Americans will be pleased with the Court's decision today," he wrote. "In the years ahead, it is my hope that each side will respect the dignity of the other."

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