David Brody: Conservative Christians are real concerned about the culture nowadays, especially on the marriage issue. They want a candidate that is going to fight on this issue. Are you their guy? Because they are concerned about the marriage issue…
Jeb Bush: Well, I’m concerned about it as well. I think traditional marriage is a sacrament. It’s talking about being formed by one’s faith, it’s at the core of the Catholic faith and to imagine how we are going to succeed in our country unless we have committed family life, committed child-centered family system is hard to imagine.
So, irrespective of the Supreme Court ruling because they are going to decide whatever they decide, I don’t know what they are going to do, we need to be stalwart supporters of traditional marriage.
David Brody asked him point blank if he thinks there’s a constitutional right to gay marriage and Jeb said no, although that’s less interesting to me than the “formed by one’s faith” passage above. After all, once upon a time Barack Obama didn’t think there was a right to SSM either. A pol’s view of that can change (and likely will, as the polls change). His view of what’s required of him by the sacraments of his Church is less flexible — or should be, since Obama also cited his faith for his phony opposition to gay marriage in 2008. Jeb, by all accounts I’ve read, takes his Catholic faith seriously, though. If he’s phrasing the question in these terms, presumably his position is fixed. Either that or he’s discovered that his weird “lose the primary to win the general election” approach to the GOP race is a loser, in which case he’s resolved to start making social conservatives happy ASAP.
But maybe we’re missing the point of this answer. Maybe the point is that the gay-marriage question is out of the people’s hands now, or will be soon if SCOTUS rules the way everyone expects, in which case there’s no point quibbling over policy. Gay marriage will be legal and Jeb will oppose it, and that’s really the end of the matter. Once the Court hands down its ruling the GOP need never bother about this topic again, apart from occasional red meat tossed to social cons about stripping the Court of marriage jurisdiction or passing a federal marriage amendment or some other legislative fix that Democrats will never allow. My takeaway from this interview: When Jeb says righties should remain stalwart supporters of traditional marriage even after the Court’s decision, what does that entail? Does it mean civil disobedience of gay-marriage laws by Christian state employees? Or does it mean, as Jeb seems to imply here, basically moving on from gay marriage and focusing on convincing more straight couples to marry in order to provide more stable homes for their kids? Details, please.