Apparently, over the weekend, the media was absolutely obsessed with asking Republican candidates whether they would ever take part in a family member of friend’s same-sex wedding. Turns out, a few had never had the opportunity to attend one, Ted Cruz would probably go but would definitely carry a copy of the Constitution in case anyone asked about the legal validity of the union on a Federal level, Scott Walker totally has a gay friend, and Rick Santorum, who was definitely not asked for his thoughts on the subject, would avoid the gay wedding like he’d get Ebola for coming within a 30 foot radius.
If you’re more of a masochist than I, please feel free to make yourself a rubric of their positions to reference later, because I’m positive it’ll be important. Not as important as, say, what each of the respective candidates plan to do to address economic instability or the burgeoning nuclear apocalypse across the Atlantic, but important.
Anyway, since John Kasich is the latest Republican to express an interest in the White House without anyone expressing any real interest in him running for it, he’d like the opportunity to weigh in on the Great Gay Marriage Debate of 2015. And his answer is, well, he was totally invited to a gay wedding and then he was going to say no, but now that it’s really important to you guys, he’s going to adjust his schedule so that he can take the appropriate and necessary publicity photo.
He’s not a flamethrower. He doesn’t criticize his fellow Republicans or even the GOP’s favorite punching bag, President Barack Obama. His positions aren’t designed to rile up the GOP base.
When asked if he would attend a same-sex wedding — Kasich is opposed to gay and lesbian nuptials — he said his friend just invited him to one and he and his wife are planning to go.
“I went home and I said to my wife, ‘my friend’s getting married. What do you think? You wanna go?’ She goes, ‘Oh, I’m absolutely going.’ I called him today and said, ‘Hey, just let me know what time it is,’” Kasich said. “My friend knows how I feel about the issue, but I’m not here to have a war with him. I care about my friend, and so it’s pretty simple for me.”
To paraphrase Ted Cruz on the subject (a phrase I’m rather shocked I’m even typing), the question itself is a red herring. There are lots of things people do for their friends that they might not agree with or do themselves. I’m sure the people I’m dragging to Chicago’s C2E2 Comic Convention this weekend wouldn’t randomly decide to dress up and spend three days hanging out with nerds, but they love me, so they’ll gladly hold my purse and take my photo with large billboards of upcoming movies. Heck, I really don’t even know if they approve of my lifestyle choice to dress up as a giant spacefaring raccoon, but it’s my thing and they support me. Because, in the end, the relationship is personal and transcends the political.
Whether they’re asked, in the abstract, whether compelling states to, say, honor same-sex unions performed in other states by including same-sex domestic partners in their state-sponsored health and welfare programs, or whether states should have the right to limit state-sanctioned unions to only opposite-sex couples are questions of Constitutional law, and regardless of your feelings on the subject of gay marriage (yet again), your answer to those questions hinges on your favored method of Constitutional interpretation. Yet again, the question transcends the merely political.
The good news is, aside from Santorum, whose voter base wasn’t going to support same-sex unions in any legal capacity anyway, the candidates have been fairly clear on this, and have shied away from pandering. So far. I don’t suspect that will last very long. But I suspect this question is only surfacing because the Democrats are currently regrouping on the subject of abortion, after Rand Paul successfully managed to back Debbie Wasserman Schultz into a corner over the prospect of “womens’ health issues” including the practice of killing a seven-pound kid with a pair of scissors while it traverses the birth canal. Sooner or later, we’ll return to the War on Women. Hopefully, it’ll be before John Kasich records his gay wedding experience with a GoPro.