U.S. Senator Ted Cruz (R-TX) says he is planning on introducing an amendment that would prohibit judges from overturning state same-sex marriage bans, as he believes that same-sex marriage isn't protected under the Constitution.
"I'm a constitutionalist. From the beginning of this country, marriage has been a question of the states, and we should not have the federal government, or unelected judges, setting aside the policy judgment of the elected legislatures and imposing their own instead," the 44-year old Texas Tea Party Senator said.
This is a desperate move on Cruz's part, as same-sex marriage is already legal in 37 states (if you include Friday's Alabama ruling) and the District of Columbia. And this isn't even the first time he's brought it up. After the Supreme Court refused to hear five same-sex marriage cases in October, he released this statement:
“The Supreme Court’s decision to let rulings by lower court judges stand that redefine marriage is both tragic and indefensible,” Cruz said. “Marriage is a question for the States. That is why I have introduced legislation, S. 2024, to protect the authority of state legislatures to define marriage. And that is why, when Congress returns to session, I will be introducing a constitutional amendment to prevent the federal government or the courts from attacking or striking down state marriage laws."
And he's following up on his promise, motivated by President Obama's State of the Union speech.
"I've seen something like gay marriage go from a wedge issue used to drive us apart to a story of freedom across our country, a civil rights now legal in states that seven in ten Americans call home," President Obama said.
Cruz's threats don't actually have any constitutional bearing, however, as the Supreme Court has already stated that "marriage is one of the 'basic civil rights' of man."
"While Sen. Cruz claims to be a 'constitutionalist,' he conveniently ignores the fundamental element of the Constitution that guarantees equal protection of the law for all Americans, including LGBT people," spokesperson for the Human Rights Campaign Stephen Peters said to The Washington Blade. "Loving and committed same-sex couples deserve the same rights, responsibilities and privileges that come with marriage, and the Supreme Court will hopefully soon affirm this. Sen. Cruz’s defiant efforts to try to stop marriage equality place him not only on the wrong side of history, but in a shameful group of people who deplorably use their influence to repress minorities.”