In his first television interview since becoming president-elect, Donald Trump said he does not think the Supreme Court needs to revisit the same-sex marriage issue, calling it “settled” and his feelings on it “irrelevant.”
“It’s law. It was settled in the Supreme Court. It’s done,” Trump told Lesley Stahl on CBS’ “60 Minutes.” “These cases have gone to the Supreme Court. They’ve been settled, and I’m fine with that.”
His views run counter to the Republican Party platform, which states, “Traditional marriage and family, based on marriage between one man and one woman, is the foundation for a free society and has for millennia been entrusted with rearing children and instilling cultural values. We condemn the Supreme Court’s ruling in United States v. Windsor, which wrongly removed the ability of Congress to define marriage policy in federal law. We also condemn the Supreme Court’s lawless ruling in Obergefell v. Hodges, which in the words of the late Justice Antonin Scalia, was a ‘judicial Putsch’ — full of ‘silly extravagances’ — that reduced ‘the disciplined legal reasoning of John Marshall and Joseph Storey to the mystical aphorisms of a fortune cookie.'”
On the campaign trail, Trump said he doesn’t favor same-sex marriage and urged social conservatives to “trust” him on the issue. Trump also said he’d “strongly consider” appointing justices to the U.S. Supreme Court who would reverse the decision for marriage equality. However, he said he doesn’t support the idea of a U.S. Constitutional amendment banning same-sex marriage.
During his speech at the Republican National Convention he pledged to protect LGBT people from a foreign ideology, which marked the first time a Republican presidential nominee mentioned LGBT people in a positive way during an acceptance speech. Critics pounced on Trump for making the remarks without supporting LGBT rights.
Evan Wolfson, former president of the now closed LGBT group Freedom to Marry, said he’s “pleased to hear” Trump is “fine” with the Supreme Court ruling on marriage equality and believes the issue is settled law.
“This is one of many chances he has — and must take — to show the American people that he has credibility and that the administration he is assembling and actions they are preparing are not a threat to their families, their rights, and their place in this country,” Wolfson told the Washington Blade. “Today he said the right thing, but actions speak louder than words — and as I wrote to Freedom to Marry’s supporters earlier this week, we must be as vigilant on this and the many other grave concerns his candidacy raised as we were in our successful and long work to win the freedom to marry in the court of public opinion and then the law.”
Wolfson added the “true test of his integrity in this answer” will be Trump’s appointments to the judiciary and the president-elect’s refusal to “greenlight efforts by any in his administration to carve licenses to discriminate into the law he today says he respects.”