Presidential candidate Sen. Marco Rubio (R-Fla.) gave an interview in which he suggested that social conservatives should continue to fight the legalization of marriage equality, raising the specter that the decision in Obergefell v. Hodges could be overturned with the appointment of a few more conservative justices.
Sitting for an interview with David Brody of the Christian Broadcasting Network, Rubio sought to clarify his position on same-sex marriage after Brody suggested that he had said the Supreme Court’s decision legalizing the practice was settled law.
“There are a lot of folks who believe they want to fight this,” Brody told Rubio in a short video clip that was posted to Brody’s Facebook page. “They don’t think it’s settled law, and they believe the Supreme Court has erred in this, just like Dred Scott and some other decisions…”
“So it is current law, it is not settled law. No law is settled. Roe v. Wade is current law, but that doesn’t mean we don’t continue to aspire to fix it, because we think it’s wrong,” Rubio responded, comparing the same-sex marriage decision to the decision that legalized abortion. “And in the interim, until we can get a Supreme Court to overturn Roe v. Wade, we do everything possible within the constraints that is (sic) placed on us, to confront it and certainly to limit the number of abortions and save as many lives as possible.”
Rubio then continued the comparison, offering a Biblical perspective on the conflict between one’s religious beliefs and laws that religious conservatives find objectionable.
“In the Bible, we are clearly called to adhere to our civil authorities,” Rubio said. “But that conflicts with also our requirement to adhere to God’s rules. So when those two come in conflict, God’s rules always win, in essence. If we are ever ordered by a government authority to personally violate God’s law and sin…if we’re ever ordered to perform a same-sex marriage, as someone presiding over it, we are called to ignore that.”
Brody then interjected, saying that was what Kentucky Clerk Kim Davis had done in Kentucky, when she went to jail rather than issue marriage licenses to same-sex couples. Rubio then said that, if a person is not being compelled by the government to endorse same-sex marriage, but disagrees with it, they can work through peaceful means, and involvement in the political process, to try and change the law.
“I continue to believe that marriage law should be between one man and one woman, and that the proper place for that to be defined is at the state level, where marriage has always been regulated. Not by the U.S. Supreme Court, and not by the federal government.”
The comments come as Rubio is hoping to solidify his support from social conservatives, who often play an instrumental role in selecting the GOP’s nominee in the early nominating states of Iowa and South Carolina. He has previously made other comments expressing his support for state bans on same-sex marriage. Last Friday, at the Presidential Family Forum in Des Moines, Iowa — which was cosponsored by several organizations opposed to same-sex nuptials, including The Family Leader Foundation, the National Organization for Marriage (NOM) and the Alliance for Defending Freedom — Rubio said that the debate over marriage equality is not about discrimination, but one of religious liberty.
“The debate is about how do you define an institution, the institution of marriage, which has been defined the same way for all of human history,” he told the audience at the forum. “That’s what the debate is about. It’s not about discriminating against anyone. The debate is about how do you define an institution.”