The senator said the Obergefell decision that legalized same-sex marriage was “clearly wrong.”
When the lopsidedly conservative Supreme Court overturned the federal right to reproductive health care last month, it was not simply a seismic, and horrific, repeal of bodily autonomy for millions of people across the country. It was also a klaxon warning that this overtly Christian theocratic body was more than willing to impose further draconian restrictions on any number of marginalized communities should the opportunities arise.
This weekend, Ted Cruz said the loud part even louder for anyone credulous enough to doubt that this is what conservatives had in mind all along, setting his sights on the 2015 Supreme Court ruling that legalized same-sex marriage nationwide.
“Obergefell, like Roe v. Wade, ignored two centuries of our nation’s history,” the Texas senator claimed in a clip of his Verdict podcast shared on YouTube this weekend. “Marriage was always an issue that was left to the states. We saw states before Obergefell, some states were moving to allow gay marriage, other states were moving to allow civil partnerships. There were different standards that the states were adopting.”
To be clear, the “two centuries of our nation’s history” that are being ignored here, per Ted, are the centuries where gay people were legally considered second-class citizens — a state of enshrined discrimination toward which Cruz and his ilk are apparently salivating to return.
“The way the Constitution set up for you to advance that position is convince your fellow citizens, and if you succeeded in convincing your fellow citizens, then your state would change the laws to reflect those views,” Cruz continued. “In Obergefell, the court said, ‘No, we know better than you guys do, and now every state must sanction and permit gay marriage.’ I think that decision was clearly wrong when it was decided.”
Cruz’s comments come after Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas expressly voiced a desire to “reconsider” a suite of cases following the court’s decision to overturn Roe, including Obergefell and other similar rulings pertaining to sodomy and contraceptives. Justice Samuel Alito, meanwhile, has sought to quell any concern over further repeals of bodily autonomy and basic human rights, writing in the court’s majority decision overturning Roe that “[n]othing in this opinion should be understood to cast doubt on precedents that do not concern abortion.”
Given Cruz’s comments, though, it’s clear that Alito’s preemptive lip service to precedent (where have we heard that one before???) notwithstanding, the right is already gearing up to take the opportunity where they obviously see it. And given how fast things have moved already since Roe was struck down, it’s a good bet that we’ll see Cruz and Co. making a serious effort to make good on those homophobic aims sooner than some might like to admit.