Fiorina: GOP Must Protect Religious Liberty

Fiorina: GOP Must Protect Religious Liberty
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DENVER -- In a preview of GOP presidential candidates’ discourse on same-sex marriage, Carly Fiorina said Friday that the Supreme Court’s decision to legalize gay marriage should prompt the party to “focus on preserving and protecting religious liberty.”

“Marriage means something specific to millions and millions and millions of people of every faith, and it has meant that for thousands of years, and I do not think it is the purview of five people on the Supreme Court — unelected, unaccountable — to think in their hubris that they have the power to change that,” Fiorina said at an event here Friday hosted by RealClearPolitics. “I hope that we will, after this decision, focus on preserving and protecting religious liberty.”

During a discussion with RCP’s Carl Cannon, the former Hewlett-Packard CEO and White House hopeful suggested that the debate over the decision, which will likely continue during the primary season, would focus on the role of the Supreme Court in making such a momentous decision and whether the justices overstepped.

In Fiorina’s opinion, they did.

“I do think we are witnessing here something very important and, frankly, concerning, when literally five people can say: Anyone who doesn’t support something that 15 years ago most people didn’t, is now going to be described as a bigot and against the Constitution,” Fiorina asserted. “I think that’s a big leap.”

That opinion meshes with others expressed by Republican candidates for president in the hours following the Supreme Court’s historic ruling. The greatest division was among those Republicans who expressed outrage and vowed to fight the decision, and those who accepted the decision and sought to frame their opposition in a compassionate tone.

For her part, Fiorina underscored that although she personally does not believe same-sex couples should be granted the right to marry, she does support those couples receiving full tax and other benefits.

“I personally am one of those people who believe marriage is between a man and a woman. It has religious significance, because only a man and a woman can create life, which is a gift that comes from God,” she said. “At the same time, I believe we should never discriminate and that same-sex couples should have all the same rights from government or from companies that heterosexual couples have.”

Indeed, Fiorina has acted on this principle: During her tenure leading Hewlett-Packard, she allowed same-sex couples the same company benefits as heterosexual couples.

She currently ranks 11th among the GOP candidates for president, according to the RCP polling average.

Rebecca Berg is a national political reporter for RealClearPolitics. She can be reached at rberg@realclearpolitics.com.

 

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