Just when he thought he had extricated himself from the war quagmire, Jeb Bush has stepped in another one. This time it’s marriage equality.
Jeb Bush reiterated his opinion on a same-sex couple’s right to marry on Sunday, going so far as to say he doesn’t believe in a constitutional right to marriage equality, an issue currently being deliberated in the Supreme Court.
Speaking during an interview with The Brody File on the Christian Broadcasting Network, Bush, whom BuzzFeed dubbed “2016’s Gay-Friendly Republican,’ called traditional marriage ‘a sacrament.’
“To imagine how we are going to succeed in our country unless we have committed family life, a child-centered family system is hard to imagine,” he told David Brody. “So, irrespective of the Supreme Court ruling … because they are going to decide whatever they decide, I don’t know what they are going to do, we need to be stalwart supporters of traditional marriage.”
First, let’s unpack some of this garbage. He’s right; there is no explicit constitutional right to same-sex marriage. Nor is there an explicit constitutional right to straight marriage. There is no mention in the Constitution about marriage at all. However, the Supreme Court has said that marriage “is one of the ‘basic civil rights of man,'” so they’ve got you there, Mr. Bush.
Second, traditional marriage may be a sacrament to some people and faiths, but it is also a legal contract that doesn’t require the blessings of a religion to be binding. (For that matter, circumcision is also a sacrament in certain faiths, but I can provide evidence that in at least one case it had nothing whatsoever to do with religion.) Marriage, however you define it, does not depend on religion. If you want to have a nice wedding in your choice of a place of worship, whether it’s in a cathedral with a priest, a synagogue with a rabbi, or a meeting house with the Friends gathered around, knock yourself out. But twenty minutes in front of a judge at the courthouse has just as much legal weight.
Third, it is demonstrably false that same-sex couples cannot provide for a “committed family life [and] a child-centered family system.” Same-sex couples who adopt or go through surrogacy want children and want to raise them; they don’t get them because someone forgot to make a trip to Walgreens or things got a little too hot and heavy behind the DQ in their mom’s minivan. So marriage equality could actually make the home better for a child who is wanted by the parents, and there is no scientifically valid study to show that having two moms or two dads is any different than being raised by straight parents.
Now that that’s out of the way, let’s look at Mr. Bush’s transparent toadying to the homophobic base of the GOP. Not so long ago he was saying comparatively moderate things about marriage equality, asking people to “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.” But once he’s playing in Pat Robertson’s ball park, all bets are off, even going so far as to muse that discrimination against a gay couple buying flowers is okay because we’re a big country and there’s always room for bigotry dressed up in “religious freedom” drag.
This is beginning to be a pattern with him. First he blew the Iraq war question, which he had to know would come up given that it’s his family’s business. Now he turns into a culture warrior, apparently trying to horn in on the schtick of Ted Cruz, Mike Huckabee and Bobby Jindal, none of whom will give any ground on being sniveling homophobes of the first order.
It makes you wonder what the next turd pile he’s going to step in… Hey, Jeb, how about that auto bailout? Should we have let Detroit go bankrupt?