The Washington Post

Michele Bachmann confuses on gay marriage

The day before declaring her candidacy for the Republican nomination for president, Rep. Michele Bachmann (R-Minn.) went on “Fox News Sunday.” While everyone is talking about host Chris Wallace asking her if she is a “flake,” I’m focused on her inexplicable answer on marriage equality. Take a look.

So, Bachmann is fine with what New York did. That’s what states do, thanks to the 10th Amendment. They’re allowed to determine their own laws without interference from Washington. But in the next breath, Bachmann is also in favor of the federal government trumping a state law legalizing same-sex marriage by defining marriage as a union between one man and one woman through a constitutional amendment.

That didn’t make sense when Bachmann first made this argument at the New Hampshire debate two weeks ago. And it made no sense yesterday. You can be for a state’s right to determine the definition of marriage. You can be for an amendment banning same-sex marriage by etching discrimination into this nation’s founding document. But you can’t be both. If Bachmann wants to be taken as seriously as she professed on “Fox News Sunday” she’s going to have to do better than this. A whole lot better.

Jonathan Capehart is a member of the Post editorial board and writes about politics and social issues for the PostPartisan blog.


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