March 24th, 2013
01:57 PM ET
2 years ago

Republicans see shift in party ahead of same-sex marriage arguments

(CNN) - Republicans on Sunday described cracks appearing in their party's long-held opposition to same-sex marriage, an issue set to gain renewed attention when the Supreme Court hears arguments on its legality this week.

"There is no putting this genie back in the bottle. It is undeniable. The shift is here and we're not going back." Republican strategist and CNN contributor Ana Navarro told CNN chief political correspondent Candy Crowley on "State of the Union."

That shift was evident this week when Sen. Rob Portman, a Republican from Ohio, endorsed same-sex marriage. Portman, who was considered a top potential running mate for Mitt Romney in last year's election, said his decision was influenced by his son, who is gay.

"I've come to the conclusion that for me, personally, I think this is something that we should allow people to do, to get married, and to have the joy and stability of marriage that I've had for over 26 years," Portman told CNN chief congressional correspondent Dana Bash.

Portman was the first Republican in the U.S. Senate to come out in support of same-sex marriage, but other Republicans aren't far behind, predicted veteran Republican strategist Karl Rove.

Asked if he could foresee a Republican presidential candidate in 2016 supporting same-sex marriage, Rove said Sunday, "I could." He was speaking on ABC's "This Week."

One of those potential candidates, Sen. Rand Paul of Kentucky, reiterated his belief Sunday in "traditional marriage" between a man and a woman. But he said a federal ban like the Defense of Marriage Act, known as DOMA, isn't necessary, since states should be determining their own marriage laws.

"I don't want the government promoting something I don't believe in," he said on "Fox News Sunday." "But I also don't mind if the government tries to be neutral on the issue."

The high court will hear two appeals this week pertaining to same-sex marriage - the first involving DOMA, the federal law signed in 1996 that defines marriage as between one man and one woman.

The second case involves California's Proposition 8, a 2008 referendum that abolished same-sex marriage after the state's highest court ruled it legal.

Polls have shown support for same-sex marriage steadily rising in the U.S., with gaps persisting between older and younger Americans. The shift has also played out among national figures who have changed their positions on the issue, including some notable Democrats: President Barack Obama, former President Bill Clinton, and former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, who announced for the first time last week that she supports same-sex marriage.

Republicans, Navarro argued Sunday, were moving in the same direction.

"I do feel an evolution and a shift, a small change, albeit, in the Republican Party," she said. "People who maybe a few years ago were saying, 'Hell, no, we won't go there,' are now saying it should be states' rights. They are talking about it in a different way. The people who are talking in a very strident way are now a minority."

Tony Perkins, the president of the socially conservative Family Research Council, argued the opposite Sunday, saying there was no indication Americans were moving toward supporting same-sex marriage.

"The reality is it's not inevitable," Perkins said on CBS's "Face the Nation." "And the American people, as they've had the opportunity to speak on this, have spoken overwhelmingly. Thirty states, eight additional states, have the definition of natural marriage into their statutes. So we're far from being at a point where America has embraced same-sex marriage."


Filed under: GOP • Same-sex marriage
soundoff (37 Responses)
  1. Fallen Folic

    Anything to attain power. Where are all those high minded, yet demented principals you held so dear? Kinda makes you hypocrites doesn't it?

    March 24, 2013 02:22 pm at 2:22 pm |
  2. P G Williams

    Are you people losing your senses? How can the Supreme Court make something legal that God declares illegal?
    See Ezekiel 3: 18 ; Leviticus 20: 13 ; Jude verse 7."He that is of God heareth God's words: ye therefore hear them not, because ye are not of God" (John 8: 47)

    March 24, 2013 02:26 pm at 2:26 pm |
  3. MaryM

    That's right repubs, the majority of Americans are not buying your product. Change your product or go the way of the dinosaurs

    March 24, 2013 02:47 pm at 2:47 pm |
  4. Donna

    The people of each state are taking care of this issue on a state by state basis. The LAST thing this country needs is another divisive issue being forced down their throats by 9 unelected judges. If you are gay and want to be married then move to one of the states where it is legal. The WORSE thing the USSC could do would be to force the far left liberal ideas of NY and Mass. down the throats of all people in all states. They did this with Roe V, Wade and it has been a disaster.

    March 24, 2013 04:17 pm at 4:17 pm |
  5. Marco Luxe

    Why does the media give Tony Perkins a soapbox? He only spouts propaganda devoid of analysis or awareness. He's a dinosaur just trying to drum up donations that pay his salary. He is thus not credible on any topic.

    March 24, 2013 04:21 pm at 4:21 pm |
  6. Anonymous

    "There is no putting this genie back in the bottle. It is undeniable. The shift is here and we're not going back."

    Then why do all the ELECTED Republicans who voice any opinion of acceptance spend the next 24 hours explaining they really aren't for [ fill in the blank ] after all? Or have their staff members hand out letters of non compliance explanations? There seems to be a very big disconnect GOP stategists and their elected counterparts. It's very foolish for leadership (elected and otherwise) not to understand the diffence. Very foolish indeed.

    March 24, 2013 04:32 pm at 4:32 pm |
  7. just sayin

    The second case involves California's Proposition 8, a 2008 referendum that abolished same-sex marriage after the state's highest court ruled it legal.
    =========================

    so the supreme court is going to nullify the votes of millions of people in california? and everywhere else around the country where they have voted to not allow it? i doubt it. if they do they undermine our entire election process and the confidence of millions in the system. i doubt they will do this but who knows. one of them found a tax where we were told none existed to legitimize obamacare and jam that disaster down our throats giving the government virtually unlimited power over our lives and practically gutting the bill of rights.

    March 24, 2013 04:33 pm at 4:33 pm |
  8. Greg in Arkansas

    @PG "How can the S upreme Court make something legal that God declares illegal"....WTF, this country was founded because of religious rules in Europe,,,,get with the separation of church and state or move to Iran where the church rules the state

    March 24, 2013 04:58 pm at 4:58 pm |
  9. emskadittle

    i don't see how this is a states issue, states are not allowed to legalize discrimination

    March 24, 2013 05:28 pm at 5:28 pm |
  10. GOP = Greed Over People

    "How can the Supreme Court make something legal that God declares illegal?
    See Ezekiel 3: 18 ; Leviticus 20: 13 ; Jude verse 7."He that is of God heareth God's words: ye therefore hear them not, because ye are not of God" (John. 8:47)"

    Remember, what today's mortal men believe about ancient mortal men's verbal legends, which were compiled by mortal men centuries later, and declared by mortal man to be the "word of God", has absolutely no relevance, to the stated equality rights of mortal men, as written by mortal men and declared to be The Constitution of the United States.

    "for ye are not God", you say those that are for equal eights are not God, yet you invoke the "word of god" to judge others!

    GOP hypocrisy and sweet irony wrapped up in one neat little package

    March 24, 2013 05:38 pm at 5:38 pm |
  11. ThinkAgain

    The only solution is for the GOP to split: moderates, tea partiers and evangelicals.

    March 24, 2013 05:51 pm at 5:51 pm |
  12. ThinkAgain

    @just sayin: "so the supreme court is going to nullify the votes of millions of people in california? and everywhere else around the country where they have voted to not allow it?"

    I hope they do – just like they did with Brown v. The Board of Education.

    March 24, 2013 05:59 pm at 5:59 pm |
  13. ThinkAgain

    People's objection to gay marriage is religious-based. We are NOT a theocracy, and allowing gay couples to marry is a LEGAL matter.

    End of story.

    March 24, 2013 06:00 pm at 6:00 pm |
  14. ThinkAgain

    @just saying: "i doubt they will do this but who knows. one of them found a tax where we were told none existed to legitimize obamacare and jam that disaster down our throats giving the government virtually unlimited power over our lives and practically gutting the bill of rights."

    You do realize, don't you, that the blueprint for Obamacare came from the Heritage Foundation, right? They were the ones who came up with the idea of the individual mandate because they wanted people to "have skin in the game". If it's such an unconstitutional idea, why did Republicans champion it for so long – including Romney who implemented it in Massachusetts.

    And I would think you would want the market to determine price for goods and services – because under Obamacare, health insurance companies have to actually COMPETE, as opposed to the complete monopolies they currently have. (Check out the photo online of him signing it into law, with Dr. Robert Emmet Moffit of the Heritage Foundation behind him. BTW, Moffit praised the law for establishing a new “patient centered” and “consumer-based”
    market where everyone can find affordable coverage.)

    And since when is more than a year of debate with the legislation posted online for all to see and then democratically passed "jamming" something down our throats?

    You really need to grow up and accept that in a civil, democratic society like ours with a representative government, you don't always get what you want.

    March 24, 2013 06:01 pm at 6:01 pm |
  15. Ken

    Who cares what Rand, Rove and Perkins have to say? Republicans don't ROCK!

    March 24, 2013 06:03 pm at 6:03 pm |
  16. ThinkAgain

    @P G Williams: "Are you people losing your senses? How can the Supreme Court make something legal that God declares illegal? See Ezekiel 3: 18 ; Leviticus 20: 13 ; Jude verse 7."He that is of God heareth God's words: ye therefore hear them not, because ye are not of God" (John 8: 47)"

    We are NOT a theocracy! Jesus or God are NOT mentioned in the Constitution or Bill of Rights. The closest the Founders got was by using the word "Creator" – which is totally up to the reader to interpret any way they choose.

    You should be thankful that you live in a country that protects your right to worship as you please. You should also wake up to the fact that the rest of us enjoy that same right.

    March 24, 2013 06:03 pm at 6:03 pm |
  17. ThinkAgain

    @Donna, the problem with your suggestion is that being married and the rights that accompany it must be recognized across all states and your suggestion would infringe on gay couples rights to live where they want. It blows me away that you don't get this.

    March 24, 2013 06:05 pm at 6:05 pm |
  18. Evergreen

    If a gay couple marries in one state but, at some point, the sposes job transfers him or her to a state that does not recognize same sex marriage, then what? Or if a spouse is transferred to a military base in a state that does not recognize same sex marriage.

    March 24, 2013 06:24 pm at 6:24 pm |
  19. A happy independent

    Thank GOD the Republicans have finally figured out that people should have the same rights, gay marriage should have been a right along time ago, now I can finally start to vote for them again. By the way you all need to keep your church out of my house and out of the government, this country was created by the declaration of independence and the constitution not the bible, you can worship how you want so don't tell others how they should think.

    March 24, 2013 06:48 pm at 6:48 pm |
  20. Mr. DeShon

    So the right to marry anyone you chose to is against the law & the bible lovers are going to say that god commanded it. When has anyone ever actually seen or even held a face to face conversation with him? Yet we feel that since a book tells us what he wants us to do that we are bound to do his will. Funny how that same book tells us a whole bunch of good things to do but we somehow forgot about that. Let people marry whoever they want and leave them alone!

    March 24, 2013 07:03 pm at 7:03 pm |
  21. norma jean

    This is an issue the Republicans are really going to lose on so they better just get used to it. There is too large a momentum going in the acceptance of this action for them to fight.... We all ajust to things we approve of and those we don"t....... No matter how you feel about it.....it is becoming FACT... so accept it and get on with your lives!!!!

    March 24, 2013 07:04 pm at 7:04 pm |
  22. Wes

    Fallen Folic wrote:

    Anything to attain power. Where are all those high minded, yet demented principals you held so dear? Kinda makes you hypocrites doesn't it?
    ------------------------------------------------
    You mean like Hillary?

    March 24, 2013 07:44 pm at 7:44 pm |
  23. nothing new here

    I wish politicians would just stick to politics (which is bad enough), and leave the preaching to the preachers on Sunday morning.
    We have heard enough preaching from politicians – do your job, or resign.

    March 24, 2013 07:48 pm at 7:48 pm |
  24. Rageagainstthelies

    This road was gone down in the year 2000. Faith based this and that, as opposed to intelligent, pragmatic governing. The hole you've dug, was done so out of shear stupidity, and greed. The rights of people, regardless of their situation should always trump the greed, or religious blather from any group or individual. But as always, it never matters till it hits close to home, or the need arises to ward off extinction. Leopards can not change their spots. Republicans, can't either.

    March 24, 2013 08:42 pm at 8:42 pm |
  25. Pay Scale

    Here's an idea republican minions. Show what you've done to better the world, not just a few, but all. This time try to do so without filling your pockets to overflowing capacity.

    March 24, 2013 09:25 pm at 9:25 pm |
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