John M. Becker

Walker Takes the Coward's Way Out on Marriage

Filed By John M. Becker | September 09, 2014 1:00 PM | comments

Filed in: Marriage Equality, Politics
Tags: 2016 election, Constitution, coward, gay marriage, GOP 2014, J.B. Van Hollen, marriage discrimination, marriage equality, same-sex marriage, Scott Walker, Wisconsin

scott-walker-smug2.jpgScott Walker, the Tea Party Republican governor of Wisconsin and likely 2016 GOP presidential candidate, told supporters last week that he still supports the Badger State's marriage discrimination amendment -- even though the measure has been decisively rejected as unconstitutional by two consecutive federal court rulings.

Madison's WKOW reports:

At a campaign stop in Eau Claire, Governor Walker said he and Attorney General J.B. Van Hollen will continue to defend the gay marriage ban.

Walker says, "Until the U.S. Supreme Court either chooses not to take it up or were to rule that the law here and elsewhere is unconstitutional, we are still obligated to support the constitution as it was amended by the voters."

Attorney General J.B. Van Hollen says he plans to appeal the decision, and also says the 'stay' remains in effect until all appeals have been concluded.

Watch WKOW's video report, after the break.

Walker's argument -- that he and Van Hollen are "obligated" to defend marriage discrimination in Wisconsin -- is, to put it bluntly, pure bullshit. In recent years, governors and attorneys general in at least eight states (California, Illinois, Kentucky, Nevada, New Jersey, Oregon, Pennsylvania, and Virginia) have all stopped defending their states' bans on same-sex marriage. In addition, U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder dropped the federal government's defense of DOMA in 2011 after his office thoroughly reviewed the statute and found it to be unconstitutional and therefore indefensible.

So to put it simply, when Scott Walker claims that he and Van Hollen are duty-bound to defend Wisconsin's homophobic marriage laws -- which the people of Wisconsin don't even support anymore -- he's lying. At any time, Walker could choose to follow the example of Republican Governors Tom Corbett of Pennsylvania or Chris Christie of New Jersey and direct Van Hollen to drop the state's appeal, allowing marriage equality to return to Wisconsin.

scott-walker-smirk.jpgBut because he wants to run for president in 2016, Walker's decided to prolong this charade in order to appear strong on "traditional values" and shore up his appeal among the Republican Party's far-right, rabidly anti-LGBT, utterly deranged primary voter base -- you know, the ones who booed an active-duty gay soldier during the last presidential election cycle.

As far as Scott Walker is concerned, if pandering to homophobic GOP primary voters comes at the expense of LGBT Wisconsinites and their families, so be it. After all, he'll get one step closer to fulfilling his presidential dreams, and they'll get their precious marriage rights back through the courts soon enough. Besides, they've gone without them for this long; what's another year or two?

By maintaining his ultimately hopeless fight against marriage equality, Scott Walker is cynically throwing Wisconsin's LGBT community under the bus in service of his presidential ambitions. He's just too much of a coward to admit it.

UPDATE: Van Hollen officially filed Wisconsin's (Walker's) appeal with the U.S. Supreme Court today.

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