Republican presidential candidate Marco Rubio said Wednesday he would oppose a constitutional amendment allowing states to ban same-sex marriage after the Supreme legalized it nationwide, even though he disagrees with the landmark 5-4 decision.
"I don't support a constitutional amendment. I don't believe the federal government should be in the marriage regulation business," the Florida senator told reporters after a speech the Cedar Rapids Country Club in Iowa.
"We can continue to disagree with it. Perhaps a future court will change that decision, in much the same way as it's changed other decisions in the past. But my opinion is unchanged, that marriage should continue to be defined as one man and one woman. The decision is what it is, and that's what we'll live under," he said.
The position sets Rubio apart from some of his rivals, including Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker and Texas Senator Ted Cruz, who are pushing a constitutional amendment that would let states ban same-sex marriage. The chances of it succeeding are vanishingly low given the high bar and the fact that a growing majority of Americans support same-sex marriage. But most evangelicals continue to oppose gay marriage, and the issue could be potent in the Republican primaries.
Rubio said that proponents of same-sex marriage should have gone to state legislatures, not the courts. "I disagree with the decision on constitutional grounds," he said, adding: "Irrespective of how one may feel about the definition of marriage, we're still all Americans."