Sen. Marco Rubio: I Do Not Support A Constitutional Amendment Banning Marriage Equality

Sen. Marco Rubio, currently in the hunt for the 2016 GOP nomination for president, put some daylight between himself and other Republican hopefuls by saying he does NOT support amending the U.S. Constitution to ban same-sex marriages after the historic 5-4 SCOTUS decision.

“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.

The chances of a constitutional amendment being passed by Congress and two-thirds of states is practically zero with support for marriage equality at or over 60% in the U.S.

And by the way, the haters are really mad at Rubio now.  From anti-gay hate group leader Bryan Fischer of the American Family Association:

Rep. Steve King Wants To Strip Out Article III of US Constitution

Iowa Congressman Steve King has filed legislation, the “Restrain the Judges on Marriage Act,” with the aim of stripping federal courts of the ability to interpret the Constitution in cases of marriage equality.

King’s bill would strip away Article III of the Constitution, which gives federal courts the jurisdiction to hear or decide any question pertaining to the interpretation of, or the validity under the Constitution of, any type of marriage, reports The Hill.

The bill would also prohibit federal funds from being used for any litigation in, or enforcement of any order or judgment by, any federal court.

“For too long, federal courts have overstepped their constitutionally limited duty to interpret the Constitution.” King said in a news release. “Rather, federal courts have perverted the Constitution to make law and create constitutional rights to things such as privacy, birth control, and abortion. These Unenumerated, so-called constitutionally-protected rights were not envisioned by our Founding Fathers.”

King said his bill would stop the courts from “destroying traditional marriage.”

I’m not sure, but I don’t think a bill in Congress would have the jurisdictional “weight” to “strip out” Article III of the Constitution.

Sarah Palin’s Clarion Call For Constitutional Convention

On her Facebook page, constitutional scholar (and former half-term governor of Alaska) Sarah Palin has issued a clarion call for a Constitutional Convention so “gosh-darn-average Joes” and soccer moms can get together and make new laws to stop the “Government Gone Wild.”

“By calling a Convention of the States, average citizens can stop the federal spending spree, power grabs, and other abuses by proposing amendments to rein in the federal government. After the states draft, debate, and vote upon these proposed amendments, they will then be sent to all 50 states for ratification, and three-quarters of the states must agree for any of the proposed amendments to be ratified.

Of course, Ms. Palin’s followers are now drunk with excitement over the possibilities, liking the post over 100,000 times.

Not surprisingly, the push for said constitutional convention is being led by a group out of Texas called Citizens For Self-Governance. However, it should surprise no one that the headline on that group’s official website today is about “religious freedom,” not government spending. You see where this is going, right?

Also, while the nation certainly can call a constitutional convention, the first and only such event has happened once – back in 1787,

(via JMG)

Poll: Fifty percent of Americans believe same-sex marriage is a protected right under the Constitution

According to a new Washington Post/ABC News poll, 50% of Americans believe that same-sex marriage is protected by the US Constitution under the Equal Protection clause. Forty-three percent do not agree.

It is the Equal Protection clause that has been cited in case after case, in state after state, as the basis for successful passage of same-sex marriage rights.

To the broader point of support for marriage equality in general, 56% of Americans support the freedom to marry while 38% oppose.

The Washington Post has an interactive map which shows the current status of same-sex marriage state by state.

Oregon Attorney General Ellen Rosenblum will not defend same-sex marriage ban in court

Oregon Attorney General Ellen Rosenblum announced today that she will not defend the state against the marriage equality lawsuit filed in federal court in October.

Rosenblum said that she will continue to enforce the gay marriage ban until the court rules, but added that the ban “cannot withstand a federal constitutional challenge under any standard of review.”

Several state Attorney Generals across the country have taken several steps regarding state bans on marriage equality. In Pennsylvania, Virginia, Nevada and more, the AG’s say the laws are unconstitutional and can’t withstand court fights.

A Democrat, Rosenblum is the state’s first female Attorney General.

Poll: 32% favor making Christianity official US religion

From a new national HuffPost/YouGov poll:

Thirty-two percent said
that they would favor a constitutional amendment making Christianity the
official religion of the United States, with 52 percent saying they
were opposed. 

An amendment to the US constitution would be necessary seeing as the very first line of the document reads “Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion…”

For those folks who say they honor the Constitution as written by our founders, this would clearly fly in the face of what the framers originally intended for our county.

In addition,  34 percent of adults would favor
establishing Christianity as the official state religion in their own
state, while 47 percent would oppose doing so.

Survey: Majority of constitutional law professors view DOMA as unconstitutional

Gay conservative law Professor Dale Carpenter conducted a survey of nearly 500 of his fellow constitutional law professors asking their views on marriage equality and the Constitution.

The results? Federal marriage discrimination is overwhelmingly viewed as unconstitutional, and a solid majority believe state discrimination is unconstitutional as well:

QUESTION 3: “Section 3 of the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA) forbids the federal government to recognize same-sex marriages legalized in the states. As a matter of federal constitutional law, do you believe the federal government may refuse to recognize same-sex marriages legalized in the states?”

Yes (DOMA Section 3 is constitutional) — 16%
No (DOMA Section 3 is unconstitutional) — 69%
Not sure — 11%
No Answer/Other — 3%

QUESTION 4: “As a matter of federal constitutional law, do you believe that states *must* allow same-sex couples to marry?”

Yes — 54%
No — 28%
Not Sure — 13%
No Answer/Other — 5%

I would guess that the numbers drop a bit in Question 4 because most conservative scholars view marriage laws as a “states’ rights” issue. Still a strong majority – 54% – say state level discrimination is unconstitutional.