The Washington PostDemocracy Dies in Darkness

Jeb Bush: No constitutional right to same-sex marriage

Jeb Bush speaks May 14 at the Republican National Committee spring meeting in Scottsdale, Ariz. (Ross D. Franklin/AP)
Placeholder while article actions load

Former Florida governor Jeb Bush reiterated in a new interview that he doesn't believe that same-sex marriage is a constitutional right.

The high court is expected to rule next month on the constitutionality of same-sex marriage, and court observers and justices have hinted in recent weeks that the court is likely to expand marriage rights to gay men and lesbians.

Speaking with "The Brody File" on the Christian Broadcasting Network, Bush described marriage between a man and a woman as "a sacrament," one of the seven significant ceremonies of the Catholic 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, a committed child-centered family system, is hard to imagine," he said. "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."

He told CBN's David Brody that he doesn't believe same-sex marriage is a constitutional right, "but I'm not a lawyer and clearly this has been accelerated at a warp pace. What’s interesting is four years ago Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton had the same view that I just expressed to you. It’s thousands of years of culture and history just being changed at warp speed. It’s hard to fathom why it is this way."

Bush isn't the only Republican presidential hopeful who has raised concerns about how quickly courts have been ruling in favor of same-sex marriage rights. Sen. Marco Rubio (Fla.) also has noted in speeches and interviews that traditional marriage is an institution that is centuries old, much older than the United States itself.

"The Brody File" remains a must-do for GOP candidates, given that the network and its programming remain closely watched by evangelical conservatives. Last year when Sen. Rand Paul (R-Ky.) traveled to Guatemala to perform pro-bono eye surgeries, a CBN crew traveled with him and documented portions of the trip.

Watch video of the exchange on same-sex marriage here or below:

In the interview, Bush also said that he plans to campaign in Iowa ahead of its GOP caucuses next year.

"Absolutely," he said. "Look, I'm a really competitive guy to begin with. It’s hard for me to imagine that I’m going to plan for fifth place. I mean, that’s not going to happen. We’re going to work hard here. I’m not going to participate in straw polls anywhere. That’s a distraction, to be honest with you."