U.S. Sen. Ted Cruz said plainly that he believes the Supreme Court should overturn the landmark decision that established marriage equality in all 50 states.
On his podcast Verdict With Ted Cruz, the Texas Republican discussed the potential of overturning Obergefell v. Hodges, the 2015 Supreme Court decision that established states cannot deny same-sex couples the right to marry.
Cruz long criticized the ruling and in 2015 went so far as to say that states should ignore it. But the specter of marriage equality disappearing rose fresh after the shock ruling from a more conservative court overruling the 1973 Roe v. Wade decision. Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas, who in 2015 wrote his own dissent on Obergefell, signaled the reconsideration of a number of other decisions including the marriage equality ruling and Lawrence v. Texas (2003), which overturned anti-sodomy laws.
The junior senator from Texas apparently can’t wait. On his podcast, he told cohost Michael Knowles that Obergefell was now vulnerable.
“Obergefell, like Roe v. Wade, ignored two centuries of our nation’s history. Marriage was always an issue that was left to the states,” Cruz said. “We saw states before Obergefell that were moving. Some states were moving to allow gay marriage. Other states were moving to allow civil partnerships. There were different standards that the states were adopting and had the court not ruled in Obergefell, the democratic process would have continued to operate.”
“If you believed gay marriage was a good idea, the way the Constitution set up for you to advance that position is to convince your fellow citizens. And if you succeeded in convincing your fellow citizens, then your state would change the laws to reflect those views,” he added.
He repeated a long-held belief by conservatives that the court overstepped in its decision.
“In Obergefell, the court said no, we know better than you,” he said. “Now every state must sanction and permit gay marriage. I think that decision was clearly wrong when it was decided. It was the court overreaching.”
But Cruz did say, despite Thomas writing that the Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization, which threw out a guaranteed right to abortion access, doesn’t completely correlate to a decision on Obergefell.
“In Dobbs, what the Supreme Court said is Roe is different because it’s the only one of the cases that involves the taking of a human life and that’s qualitatively different,” he said. “I agree with that proposition.”