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Beating a Dead Horse

Senator Ted Cruz (R-TX), in a craven attempt to burnish his ultra-conservative credentials (probably for the upcoming Republican presidential primary), has introduced a bill that would strip federal benefits from same-sex couples and leave it up to the states to restrict marriage as the union of one man and one woman. On his website, Cruz states:

Even though the Supreme Court made clear in United States v. Windsor that the federal government should defer to state ‘choices about who may be married,’ the Obama Administration has disregarded state marriage laws enacted by democratically-elected legislatures to uphold traditional marriage. I support traditional marriage and we should reject attempts by the Obama Administration to force same-sex marriage on all 50 states. The State Marriage Defense Act helps safeguard the ability of states to preserve traditional marriage for their citizens.

There are several ironies about this. First, of course, is that it has absolutely no chance of becoming law. A reasonable number of Republicans would vote against it, and even if Congress passed it, it would be vetoed by Obama.

Second, even if it became law, it would have no long-term effect. The courts have been overturning laws discriminating against same-sex couples in state after state (37 now, last week including Alabama of all places!). Once a state allows gay marriage, the law would have no meaning there.

Third, Cruz seems to be blaming Obama for destroying “traditional marriage” and attempting to “force” it on all 50 states. Other than refusing to enforce DOMA because it was unconstitutional (with the Supreme Court agreeing that it was unconstitutional soon after), Obama has done very little to champion gay marriage. Most legal scholars expect the Supreme Court to strike down laws against gay marriage in June.

Cruz claims that he will be “introducing a constitutional amendment to further protect marriage and to prevent judicial activism.” My guess is that is a promise he won’t keep. Republicans have been promising to do this for a long time. And Cruz is purposely vague about what this means, instead using terms like “judicial activism” to fire people up.

Indeed, once upon a time gay marriage was a red meat hot button topic for social conservatives, but even they seem to have given up on it. Nobody cares any more, which is how it should be. Gays are getting married and nothing bad happened. Despite dire predictions from religious conservatives, God hasn’t started smiting gays.

Cruz seems to be willing to say anything to get elected. But in this case I think he is just beating a dead horse.



  1. John wrote:

    ITs not what he says (when his lips are moving) that we need to worry about. Its who listens to him with approval that we should worry about.

    Friday, February 13, 2015 at 7:25 am | Permalink
  2. Michael wrote:

    I believe that he’ll keep the promise to propose such an amendment. It just won’t go anywhere. Members of Congress propose about 100 amendments every year, mostly for show.

    Friday, February 13, 2015 at 9:55 am | Permalink
  3. PATRIOTSGT wrote:

    Like the old philosophical question:
    If a tree falls in the woods and there’s nobody there to hear, does it make a sound?

    If nobody reports his words would they even matter?

    Friday, February 13, 2015 at 11:42 am | Permalink
  4. ralph wrote:

    If there’s a bigger publicity whore in Congress, I can’t think of one off hand.

    Friday, February 13, 2015 at 2:29 pm | Permalink
  5. ralph wrote:

    The biggest oxymoron coming from the right is “traditional marriage”. Makes sense the biggest moron pushing it is Cruz.

    Friday, February 13, 2015 at 2:31 pm | Permalink
  6. redjon wrote:

    Same-sex marriage has been legal in my state for more than a year, and my 24-year conventional marriage remains intact.

    Meanwhile, it never fails to amaze me that, the perpetrators of discrimination or really ANY patently unfair practice against other human beings (be it racial, religious, sexual, wages, taxation, slavery, whatever) are so able to pretend successfully to anyone, including themselves, that they are actually “victims.” Which they MUST do, of course, because the alternative is to admit that they are simply selfish, vicious bigots.

    “If I am not allowed to discriminate against or at minimum cause emotional harm to (in other words, “BULLY”) people I don’t like, whatever the reason, then MY rights are being infringed upon.” Seriously?!?

    The very concept of a right to discriminate against others is, at the most basic level, un-American.

    Friday, February 13, 2015 at 2:38 pm | Permalink
  7. Hmm wrote:


    Based on statements out of the Bible Belt in the past, blaming weather in their area for gays in the Pacific Northwest, God won’t be smiting the gays, he’ll be punishing the Christians in the Bible Belt.

    Bring it on!

    Friday, February 13, 2015 at 3:10 pm | Permalink
  8. David Freeman wrote:

    Even though I live in the Bible Belt, I like your thinking HMM. I’ll gladly take one for the team.

    Friday, February 13, 2015 at 6:37 pm | Permalink
  9. Iron Knee wrote:

    I think I did a post years a while back about “traditional marriage”, and how the “institution” of “traditional marriage” was pretty much invented a few hundred years ago. And there were even countries that allowed same sex marriage.

    See also —

    Friday, February 13, 2015 at 11:33 pm | Permalink