Not so Fast: Sen. Rubio Telegraphs Intent to Overturn Obergefell v. Hodges

by HRC Staff

WASHINGTON – Sen. Marco Rubio has made headlines in recent days for saying he opposes a constitutional amendment that would allow states to re-ban marriage equality. But he’s made clear that rather than use a constitutional amendment, he’s willing to change the makeup of the court to overturn Obergefell v. Hodges.

“Sen. Rubio's game of bait and switch is offensive to LGBT Americans. He's on the record with both his opposition to same-sex couples' constitutional right to marriage and his desire to remake the court that ruled in favor of equality,” said JoDee Winterhof, HRC Vice President of Policy and Political Affairs. “Make no mistake, regardless of what he says about a constitutional amendment, it's clear that Sen. Rubio will put marriage equality at risk for millions of LGBT Americans.”

In a historic 5-4 ruling, this summer, the Supreme Court of the United States found bans on marriage equality for same-sex couples to be unconstitutional—and that the fundamental right to marriage is a fundamental right for all.

Residents in Rubio’s home state of Florida support same-sex marriage, by a 52-40 margin, according to the nonpartisan Public Religion Research Institute.


Rubio Said “Perhaps A Future Court Will Change That Decision [On Marriage Equality], In Much The Same Way It’s Changed Other Decisions In The Past” In Explaining Opposition To Constitutional Amendment. Bloomberg reported that Rubio said: “‘I don't support a constitutional amendment. I don't believe the federal government should be in the marriage regulation business,’ the Florida senator told reporters after a speech the Cedar Rapids Country Club in Iowa. ‘We can continue to disagree with it. Perhaps a future court will change that decision, in much the same way as it's changed other decisions in the past. But my opinion is unchanged, that marriage should continue to be defined as one man and one woman. The decision is what it is, and that's what we'll live under,’ he said.” [Bloomberg, 7/8/2015]

Rubio Calls For Appointment Of Justices “Committed To Applying The Constitution As Written And Originally Understood.” According to USA Today: “Florida Sen. Marco Rubio said that, while ‘this decision short-circuits the political process that has been underway on the state level for years,’ the nation must abide by the ruling.  ‘As we look ahead,’ Rubio said, ‘it must be a priority of the next president to nominate judges and justices committed to applying the Constitution as written and originally understood.’” [USA Today, 6/26/2015]

Rubio Said “You Have To Really Have A Ridiculous And Absurd Reading Of The U.S. Constitution To Reach The Conclusion That People Have A Right To Marry Someone Of Their Own Sex.” Asked by CBN’s David Brody if there was a constitutional right to same-sex marriage, Rubio said, “It doesn’t exist. There is no federal constitutional right to same sex marriage. There isn’t such a right. You have to really have a ridiculous and absurd reading of the U.S. constitution to reach the conclusion that people have a right to marry someone of the same sex. There is no such constitutional right. Can a state decide to change their laws? Yes, but only through the political process, not through the court system, and that’s what’s happening now. The advocates of same sex marriage refuse to go to the legislatures, because they can’t win that debate. They don’t want to have any debate in society. They want courts to impose it on people.” [CBN, The Brody File, 4/26/2015; VIDEO]

Rubio Said If The Supreme Court Ruled In Favor Of Marriage Equality Opponents Would Be “In The Same Boats As Opponents Of Roe v. Wade.” According to CNN, “Rubio said if ultimately the Supreme Court issued a ruling protecting gay marriage as constitutional, opponents of gay marriage would be ‘in the same boat as opponents of Roe v. Wade,’ the SCOTUS decision that established a woman's constitutional right to an abortion.” [CNN, 1/7/2015]

The Human Rights Campaign is America’s largest civil rights organization working to achieve lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender equality. HRC envisions a world where LGBT people are embraced as full members of society at home, at work and in every community.


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