The Washington Post

Flake: ‘Inevitable’ that a GOP presidential candidate will support gay marriage

Sen. Jeff Flake (R-Ariz.) said Sunday he believes it's "inevitable" that there will someday be a GOP presidential candidate who supports same-sex marriage, and that he could back such a candidate, even as he opposes gay marriage.

"Could you support a Republican presidential candidate someday who supported same-sex marriage?" NBC News "Meet The Press" guest host Chuck Todd asked Flake.

"Oh, I think that's inevitable. There will be one, and that I think he'll receive Republican support, or she will. So I think that yes, that the answer is yes," responded Flake.

Flake does not support same-sex marriage, and said he doesn't believe his view on the issue will change before he leaves the Senate.

"I believe marriage should be between a man and a woman," said Flake. "I still hold to the traditional definition of marriage."

The Republican Party's platform supports a constitutional amendment defining marriage as between a man and a woman.

Republican strategist Ed Gillespie said on "Fox News Sunday" that he doesn't have a problem with the 2016 Republican Party platform saying marriage is between a man and a woman, but suggested that support for a constitutional amendment might wane.

"I don't think you'd ever see the Republican Party platform say we're in favor of same-sex marriage," said Gillespie, who was a top adviser on Mitt Romney's 2012 presidential campaign. But, he added, "There's been a little bit of a shift, I think, in terms of Republicans saying we should allow this to be worked out through the states, not imposed by courts, and not imposed federally."

Disagreements over same-sex marriage were in the spotlight last week when the Supreme Court heard arguments over California's ban on gay marriage and the federal Defense of Marriage Act.

"I would right now be opposed to gay marriage. Having said that, even if I supported it, I don't believe the Supreme Court should be making that decision," said Rep. Peter King (R-N.Y.) on ABC News's "This Week With George Stephanopoulos."

Newark Mayor Cory Booker (D), who supports same-sex marriage, argued on the same program that it's not a bad thing that the high court has taken up the matter. "Thank God we didn't wait for the states for women's quality under the law. Thank God we didn't wait for the states on African Americans' equality under the law," said Booker.

Sean Sullivan has covered national politics for The Washington Post since 2012.

The Freddie Gray case

Please provide a valid email address.

You’re all set!

Campaign 2016 Email Updates

Please provide a valid email address.

You’re all set!

Get Zika news by email

Please provide a valid email address.

You’re all set!
Comments
Show Comments
The South Carolina GOP primary and the Nevada Democratic caucuses are next on Feb. 20. Get caught up on the race.
Past South Carolina GOP primary winners
South Carolina polling averages
Donald Trump leads in the first state in the South to vote, where he faces rivals Ted Cruz and Marco Rubio.
South Carolina polling averages
The S.C. Democratic primary is Feb. 27. Clinton has a significant lead in the state, whose primary falls one week after the party's Nevada caucuses.
62% 33%
Quoted
We'll have half a million voters in South Carolina. I can shake a lot of hands, but I can't shake that many.
Sen. Marco Rubio, speaking to a group of reporters about his strategy to regain support after a poor performance in the last debate
Fact Checker
Sanders’s claim that Clinton objected to meeting with ‘our enemies’
Sanders said that Clinton was critical of Obama in 2008 for suggesting meeting with Iran. In fact, Clinton and Obama differed over whether to set preconditions, not about meeting with enemies. Once in office, Obama followed the course suggested by Clinton, abandoning an earlier position as unrealistic.
Pinocchio Pinocchio Pinocchio
The complicated upcoming voting schedule
Feb. 20

Democrats caucus in Nevada; Republicans hold a primary in South Carolina.

Feb. 23

Republicans caucus in Nevada.

Feb. 27

Democrats hold a primary in South Carolina.

Upcoming debates
Feb 13: GOP debate

on CBS News, in South Carolina

Feb. 25: GOP debate

on CNN, in Houston, Texas

March 3: GOP debate

on Fox News, in Detroit, Mich.

Campaign 2016
Where the race stands
Most Read

politics

post-politics

Success! Check your inbox for details.

See all newsletters

Close video player
Now Playing

To keep reading, please enter your email address.

You’ll also receive from The Washington Post:
  • A free 6-week digital subscription
  • Our daily newsletter in your inbox

Please enter a valid email address

I have read and agree to the Terms of Service and Privacy Policy.

Please indicate agreement.

Thank you.

Check your inbox. We’ve sent an email explaining how to set up an account and activate your free digital subscription.