During an interview with MSNBC yesterday, RNC Chairman Reince Priebus implied that gay marriage will indeed be a big part of their campaign in 2016.
The first indication came when Senator and Republican presidential candidate Ted Cruz (R-TX) responded to the Supreme Court’s recent decision by saying he would introduce a constitutional amendment when Congress is back in session.
Priebus, for his part, says that a constitutional amendment, like the one proposed by Ted Cruz, is a long-term goal of the party and the reasons why are absurd.
“I don’t think [marriage equality] is a top here issue for the midterms,” he said. “I think long term it’s an issue in regard to what we need to do in the country to have a strong economy, a strong defense and a strong society.”
It’s not clear how same-sex marriage is related to national defense unless Priebus is subtly implying that we should reinstate Don’t Ask Don’t Tell, but same-sex marriage is undoubtedly a boon to the economy.
Not only does an increased number of marriages lead to increased economic activity, the Congressional Budget Office (CBO) has also found that federal recognition of same-sex marriages will bring in an additional $10 billion over the next ten years in tax revenue.
As for having a “strong society,” it’s not clear to me why Priebus and the Republican party have such a favorable view of Russian society where gay people are literally beaten in the streets.
With all of that said, it’s very easy to picture a scenario in which the first Republican presidential primary debate features a “raise your hand” moment where those who support a constitutional amendment to ban same-sex marriage are separated from those who don’t. And the sad thing is anyone who fails to raise their hand won’t win a single primary.
Even if Ted Cruz doesn’t win, his presence in the primary will push every other candidate further to the right.