- The Washington Times - Wednesday, February 11, 2015

Sen. Ted Cruz, Texas Republican, is renewing a push for legislation that would leave the decision of whether to recognize same-sex marriages up to individual states and said he plans to introduce a constitutional amendment later this year outlining that marriage is a policy question for state legislatures.

“Even though the Supreme Court made clear in United States v. Windsor that the federal government should defer to state ‘choices about who may be married,’ the Obama administration has disregarded state marriage laws enacted by democratically-elected legislatures to uphold traditional marriage,” Mr. Cruz said. “I support traditional marriage and we should reject attempts by the Obama Administration to force same-sex marriage on all 50 states.”

The U.S. Supreme Court is expected to decide this term whether gays and lesbians have a constitutionally-protected right to marry — a prospect Mr. Obama appeared to welcome this week in an interview with Buzzfeed News.

“My sense is that the Supreme Court is about to make a shift, one that I welcome, which is to recognize that — having hit a critical mass of states that have recognized same-sex marriage — that it doesn’t make sense for us to now have this patchwork system,” Mr. Obama said. “It’s time to recognize that under the equal protection clause of the United States [Constitution], same-sex couples should have the same rights as anybody else.”

The Supreme Court declined to intervene in a recent federal ruling against Alabama’s gay marriage ban, with a Thursday court hearing set after Alabama Supreme Court Justice Roy S. Moore instructed state judges to obey the state’s law.

“My recollection is Judge Moore had a similar problem with a federal court ruling that you couldn’t put a huge Ten Commandments statue in the middle of your courthouse and, ultimately, federal law was obeyed, and I think that the same thing will end up happening here,” Mr. Obama said. “I think that the courts at the federal level will have something to say to him.”

Other potential GOP presidential contenders like former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee and Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal have been outspoken in their support of traditional marriage, and with the Supreme Court’s looming decision, the issue could play a role in the upcoming GOP presidential primary.

After gay marriage became legal in Florida last month, former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush, a supporter of traditional marriage, also said that “we live in a democracy, and regardless of our disagreements, we have to respect the rule of law.”

“I hope that we can also show respect for the good people on all sides of the gay and lesbian marriage issue - including couples making lifetime commitments to each other who are seeking greater legal protections and those of us who believe marriage is a sacrament and want to safeguard religious liberty,” Mr. Bush said.

• David Sherfinski can be reached at dsherfinski@washingtontimes.com.

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