Politics

GOP Leader Kevin McCarthy shows tepid support for marriage equality as “law of the land”

House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-CA) listens to a question at a press conference.
House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-CA) listens to a question at a press conference.Photo: Screenshot

House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-CA) stumbled his way through a question about his support for marriage equality, years after the Supreme Court ruled in favor of same-sex relationships.

Asked if he still opposes marriage equality a week after Rep. Liz Cheney (R-WY) expressed regret for her past opposition, McCarthy gave his tepid support while doing a delicate dance in an attempt to avoid angering his base. McCarthy instead said he supports “the law of the land.”

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While the GOP made opposition to marriage equality a major part of the party platform, using it repeatedly in campaign advertisements and rile up their base, many lawmakers didn’t personally care one way or another.

Even Democrats weren’t immune to the calculated decision to dance around the subject at best, using moves McCarthy busted out at today’s press conference.

Former President Barack Obama said he supported same-sex marriage as a state legislator, but once he was elected to federal office, he switched his support to civil unions instead. Obama only “evolved” on the issue after then-Vice President Joe Biden announced his full support for marriage equality.

But some Republicans have said they were wrong to oppose same-sex marriages recently. Cheney made her apologies earlier this week when asked about her infamous opposition. Cheney’s sister, Mary, is a married lesbian, and her father, former Vice President Dick Cheney, supported marriage equality while in office.

After McCarthy was asked if he too had “evolved” on same-sex marriages, a visibly uncomfortable McCarthy deflected.

“Same-sex marriage is the law of the land and it’s, uh, I support the law of the land,” he said before quickly moving on before a follow-up question could be asked.

In response to video of the back-and-forth posted on Twitter, one user reacted with an apt summation.

“This is what they said about abortion too,” they quipped.

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