Marco Rubio at CPAC 2015
Photo credit: Dave Davidson – Prezography.com

Would you attend a gay wedding?  This appears to be the litmus question du jour among members of the mainstream media for prospective or declared Republican presidential candidates.  Brian Myers and I discussed this on Caffeinated Thoughts Radio on Saturday, but I wanted to discuss it here as well.

Jorge Ramos, a host for Univision and Fusion, first asked Marco Rubio if he would attend a gay wedding of a loved one if invited.

“If it’s somebody in my life that I care for, of course I would,” Rubio told Ramos during his interview on America with Jorge Ramos last Wednesday.

“I’m not going to hurt them simply because I disagree with a choice they’ve made or because I disagree with a decision they’ve made, or whatever it may be. Ultimately, if someone that you care for and is part of your family has decided to move in one direction or another or feels that way because of who they love, you respect that because you love them,” he added.

He gave the example of being a Catholic and attending the weddings for people’s 2nd marriages even though the Catholic Church disagrees with remarriage as well.

Rubio did reiterate his opposition to same-sex marriage, and said states, not federal courts are the ones who should decide the issue of marriage.

Hugh Hewitt, a conservative radio talk show host, mocked the question, but then turned around and asked former Senator Rick Santorum (R-PA) and U.S. Senator Ted Cruz (R-TX) if they would attend a gay marriage of a loved one.

Santorum, who is also a Catholic, said, “No, I would not.”

Santorum added that it would violate his faith. “I would love them and support them, but I would not participate in that ceremony,” he stated.

“Well I would tell you I have not faced that circumstance. I have not had a loved one go to a—have a gay wedding,” Cruz said. “At the end of the day, what the media tries to twist the question of marriage into, is they try to twist it into a battle of emotions and personalities.”

A member of the media asked Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker this question during the (inappropriately named) First in the Nation Summit in New Hampshire if he would attend a gay wedding.

“Even though my position on marriage is still that its defined as between a man and a woman, and I support the constitution of the state, but for someone I love, we’ve been to a reception,” Walker said.

Why, why, why is this relevant?  How in the world does this speak to someone’s qualifications for President?  Candidates should avoid questions such as these because you end up making people mad no matter how you answer.  A yes answer can ding you in the primaries with certain folks, and a “no” answer will be replayed during the general election.

The answer should be, that is a personal matter, my record on this issue is quite clear and whether I attend a gay wedding or not is not relevant to this election.  Next question please.

Cruz’ response, I believe, is one of the best.  The media does try to put an emotional spin on this story.  I know my position on this, and it would be a difficult decision, but standing for principles is not always easy.  It is a personal decision and a matter of conscience as well.  It isn’t a question that is going to decide whom I will support for President.

The next litmus test question that it looks like candidates can now expect is this… “Is being gay a choice?”

Rubio said on Sunday on Face the Nation on CBS that it is not.

“I also don’t believe that your sexual preferences are a choice for the vast and enormous majority of people. In fact, the bottom line is, I believe that sexual preference is something people are born with,” Rubio said.

While this is a gotcha question as well, and Rubio is doing nothing to help himself with social conservatives at this point, it is a question that could very well impact a person’s policy when it comes to gay rights and religious liberty.

I’m troubled by this answer as it has zero basis in scientific fact.  Any study that has suggested this has been thoroughly debunked.  I am concerned about how strong he would actually be in fighting for religious liberty.

Rubio should have replied by saying, “the relevant question is whether they should be afforded special rights?” to which the answer should be no.  That would be consistent with his same-sex marriage position.

Candidates should stick to answering questions related to policy and try to circumvent gotcha questions.

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