Prominent members of the Senate Communications Subcommittee overseeing communications had very different views of the decision communicated by the Supreme Court that same-sex marriage is legal in all 50 states.
Presidential candidate and prominent committee member Marco Rubio (R-Fla.) came out squarely against the decision, saying it short circuited the political process and suggested he would be appointing constitutional originalists if he were President.
“I believe that marriage, as the key to strong family life, is the most important institution in our society and should be between one man and one woman," Rubio said in a statement to reporters Friday after the Supreme Court's landmark decision in Obergefell v. Hodges. "People who disagree with the traditional definition of marriage have the right to change their state laws," he said.
"[I]t must be a priority of the next president to nominate judges and justices committed to applying the Constitution as written and originally understood," he said.
Ranking member Sen. Brian Schatz (D-Hawaii) saw it very differently. “Today’s Supreme Court decision is a big win for gay rights, for civil rights, and for human rights," he said. "Every committed couple, whether they are gay or straight, deserves to be treated equally under the law. With this historic ruling, the Supreme Court has reaffirmed what most Americans already know – the Constitution protects the rights of every American, regardless of who they love.”
The court in a 5-4 decision ruled that the Fourteenth Amendment guarantee of "equal protection of the laws" included the right to marry.
But Rubio did say that his beef was with the definition of marriage, not the dignity of the people involved.
"Every American has the right to pursue happiness as they see fit. Not every American has to agree on every issue, but all of us do have to share our country," he said. "A large number of Americans will continue to believe in traditional marriage, and a large number of Americans will be pleased with the Court’s decision today. In the years ahead, it is my hope that each side will respect the dignity of the other.”
CNN found itself in the middle of a historic moment Friday when its interview with lead plaintiff Jim Obergefell from outside the court was interrupted by OBergefell's cell phone--a call from President Obama in which he said his leadership had "changed the country."
Contributing editor John Eggerton has been an editor and/or writer on media regulation, legislation and policy for over four decades, including covering the FCC, FTC, Congress, the major media trade associations, and the federal courts. In addition to Multichannel News and Broadcasting + Cable, his work has appeared in Radio World, TV Technology, TV Fax, This Week in Consumer Electronics, Variety and the Encyclopedia Britannica.
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