Sunday, June 28, 2015

How Does Homosexual Ruling Affect 2016 GOP Presidential Field?

More on the political fallout of the left's culture war victory.

From David Lauter and Mark Barabak, at the Los Angeles Times, "A GOP conundrum: How does a 2016 candidate play the same-sex marriage ruling?":
Within minutes of the Supreme Court's decision declaring a constitutional right for same-sex couples to marry, President Obama joined the celebration, calling one of the gay plaintiffs to congratulate him on live television, then going to the Rose Garden to hail Friday's ruling as a moment when "slow, steady effort is rewarded with justice that arrives like a thunderbolt."

Almost simultaneously, Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker, one of the leading Republicans in the race to succeed Obama, denounced the decision as a "grave mistake" and called for a constitutional amendment to reverse it. Another GOP hopeful, Sen. Ted Cruz of Texas, said the high court had "crossed from the realm of activism into the arena of oligarchy," and called for a constitutional amendment to allow voters to remove Supreme Court justices from office.

By contrast, former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush, also seeking the Republican nomination, stepped softly, saying only that he thought "the Supreme Court should have allowed the states to make this decision." GOP candidate Sen. Marco Rubio of Florida said: "While I disagree with this decision, we live in a republic and must abide by the law."

The widely different approaches highlighted how gay rights — same-sex marriage, in particular — continue to divide and shape American politics.

Republicans running for president face a choice in responding to the court's ruling. They could try to use the strong emotions same-sex marriages evoke as a way to mobilize conservative voters in primaries, but potentially at the cost of undermining their campaigns in next year's general election. Or they could seize on the finality of a Supreme Court ruling as a way of avoiding an issue on which their party is out of step with the majority of voters, but at the risk of alienating conservatives who see the court decision as a violation of deeply held religious principles.

How they choose to navigate the issue will help determine whether the vast majority of the country quickly accepts the court's ruling, as happened with the decision to wipe out laws against interracial marriage nearly half a century ago, or whether it will remain divisive for years to come...

And see my earlier comments on this, from just a few minutes ago, "As Left Wins Culture Battles, Republicans Have Chance to Pivot for 2016."