2016 Presidential candidates react to Supreme Court ruling on same-sex marriage

by Kimberly Pennington , National Correspondent |

(REUTERS/Joshua Roberts)Supporters of gay marriage rally after the U.S. Supreme Court ruled on Friday that the U.S. Constitution provides same-sex couples the right to marry at the Supreme Court in Washington June 26, 2015.

WASHINGTON (Christian Examiner) -- Declared candidates for the 2016 presidential election have issued public statements and taken to social media to express their reaction to today's Supreme Court ruling which legalized same-sex marriage in all 50 states.

Hillary Clinton is the only Democratic candidate to give a public reaction as of this writing. Immediately after the decision was announced, Clinton tweeted, "Proud to celebrate a historic victory for marriage equality - & the courage & determination of LGBT Americans who made it possible. No future generation of LGBT Americans should live in a country that doesn't embrace their full and equal rights."

Clinton changed her Twitter and Facebook icons to a rainbow-colored "H" and along with a rainbow-colored "History" post, she said on Facebook, ""From Stonewall to the Supreme Court, the courage and determination of the LGBT community has changed hearts and changed laws."

Republican candidates are also sharing their views:

Ben Carson statements: "While I strongly disagree with the Supreme Court's decision, their ruling is now the law of the land," he said. "I call on Congress to make sure deeply held religious views are respected and protected," he said. "The government must never force Christians to violate their religious beliefs."

"I support same sex civil unions but to me, and millions like me, marriage is a religious service not a government form."

2016 Republican Candidates Declared for President -- Jeb Bush. Ben Carson. Ted Cruz. Carly Fiorina. Lindsey Graham. Mike Huckabee. Bobby Jindal. George Pataki. Rand Paul. Rick Perry. Marco Rubio. Rick Santorum. Donald Trump.

Jeb Bush statement: "Guided by my faith, I believe in traditional marriage. I believe the Supreme Court should have allowed the states to make this decision. I also believe that we should love our neighbor and respect others, including those making lifetime commitments. In a country as diverse as ours, good people who have opposing views should be able to live side by side. It is now crucial that as a country we protect religious freedom and the right of conscience and also not discriminate."

Ted Cruz on a radio talk show with host Eric Metaxas: ""We are seeing today profound threats to religious liberty in America, I think the greatest threats we've ever seen," Cruz said. "[The Democratic Party has] gotten so extreme and so radical in its devotion to mandatory gay marriage that they've decided there's no room for the religious liberty protected under the First Amendment."

2016 Democratic Candidates Declared for President Democrats -- Lincoln Chafee. Hillary Clinton. Martin O'Malley. Bernie Sanders.

Carly Fiorina on Facebook: "This is only the latest example of an activist Court ignoring its constitutional duty to say what the law is and not what the law should be. Justice Alito spoke for so many of us when he said that [t]oday's decision usurps the constitutional right of the people to decide whether to keep or alter the traditional understanding of marriage...All Americans, whatever their thinking on that issue, should worry about what the majority's claim of power portends.'

"The Court ruled today that all Americans should receive equal benefits and rights from the government under the law. I have always supported this view. However, this decision was also about the definition of marriage itself. I do not agree that the Court can or should redefine marriage. I believe that responsibility should have remained with states and voters where this conversation has continued in churches, town halls and living rooms around the country.

"Moving forward, however, all of our effort should be focused on protecting the religious liberties and freedom of conscience for those Americans that profoundly disagree with today's decision.

"The Court did not and could not end this debate today. Let us continue to show tolerance for those whose opinions and sincerely held beliefs differ from our own. We must lead by example, finding a way to respect one another and to celebrate a culture that protects religious freedom while promoting equality under the law."

Sen. Lindsey Graham statement: "I am a proud defender of traditional marriage and believe the people of each state should have the right to determine their marriage laws. However, the Supreme Court has ruled that state bans on gay marriage are unconstitutional, and I will respect the Court's decision. Furthermore, given the quickly changing tide of public opinion on this issue, I do not believe that an attempt to amend the U.S. Constitution could possibly gain the support of three-fourths of the states or a supermajority in the U.S. Congress. Rather than pursuing a divisive effort that would be doomed to fail, I am committing myself to ensuring the protection of religious liberties of all Americans."

Mike Huckabee on Twitter: "#SCOTUS has spoken with a very divided voice on something only the Supreme Being can do – redefine marriage. This irrational, unconstitutional decision threatens religious liberty – the heart of 1st Amendt. Congress must act. The Supreme Court can no more repeal the laws of nature and nature's God on marriage than it can the laws of gravity. Five lawyers on #SCOTUS can no more repal the laws of nature and nature's God on marriage than they can the laws of gravity. The Supreme Court is not the Supreme Being. We must resist and reject judicial tyranny, not retreat."

Huckabee also referred Twitter followers to a June 18 "Marriage Letter" he wrote on the importance of standing for traditional marriage and the role of the Supreme Court. In a USA Today op/ed piece, Huckabee elaborated on the consequences of today's decision for religious freedom for himself and future generations.

Bobby Jindal on Twitter: "Marriage between a man and a woman was established by God, and no earthly court can alter that. This ruling must not be used as pretext by Washington to erode our right to religious liberty. I will never stop fighting for religious liberty and I hope our leaders in D.C. join me."

George Pataki: None known as of press time

Rand Paul: None known as of press time

Rick Perry statement: "I am disappointed the Supreme Court today chose to change the centuries old definition of marriage as between one man and one woman. I'm a firm believer in traditional marriage, and I also believe the 10th Amendment leaves it to each state to decide this issue. I fundamentally disagree with the court rewriting the law and assaulting the 10th Amendment. Our founding fathers did not intend for the judicial branch to legislate from the bench, and as president, I would appoint strict Constitutional conservatives who will apply the law as written."

Sen. Marco Rubio: "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. People who disagree with the traditional definition of marriage have the right to change their state laws. That is the right of our people, not the right of the unelected judges or justices of the Supreme Court. This decision short-circuits the political process that has been underway on the state level for years."

Rick Santorum on Twitter: "Today, 5 unelected judges redefined the foundational unit of society. Now it is the people's turn to speak. The Court is 1 of coequal branches of government & they have an imperfect record. Stakes are too high to cede marriage to unelected judges."

Donald Trump on Twitter: "Once again the Bush appointed Supreme Court Justice John Roberts has let us down. Jeb pushed him hard! Remember!"

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