5 Times Bobby Jindal Reminded Us He’s Really Really Anti-Gay (And Why We’ll Never Vote For Him)
Louisiana Governor Bobby Jindal became the 13th Republican candidate to join the 2016 presidential race Wednesday, and so far, he's chosen to emphasize his stance as a Catholic who stridently opposes same-sex marriage. But just how anti-gay marriage is he, exactly? According to The Washington Post, Jindal issued an executive order in April that Louisiana give absolute protection to businesses that oppose gay marriage on religious grounds. That's just the tip of the iceberg, though. A history of Jindal's anti-gay marriage views shows they have only become stronger over time.
Jindal's opposition to gay marriage can be traced all the way back to 2006, but he has only recently become more vocal about it. (As some speculate, that might be because he's trying to pander to extreme right-wing voters.) In 2009, Jindal was selected to give the GOP response to President Barack Obama's first Congressional address. But as many noted, Jindal spoke slowly with an "earnest and awkward delivery," according to NBC News, and drew criticism from both sides of the aisle. (Some even went so far as to liken him to the uber-geeky Kenneth the Page from 30 Rock, launching some pretty hilarious fodder.) Ever since, Jindal's been working hard trying to rebuild his image — but according to the Post, he's been doing so with things like taking rigid anti-tax stance in Louisiana and remaining staunchly conservative on issues like same-sex marriage. Here's a rundown of his views on the latter:
July 18, 2006
In 2006, Jindal voted for the Marriage Protection Amendment, a bill that would have instituted a constitutional amendment defining marriage as between one man and one woman, according to On the Issues. Proponents of the amendment supported voting "Yes" for for a few reasons, according to On the Issues:
The overwhelming majority of the American people support traditional marriage, marriage between a man and a woman. The people have a right to know whether their elected Representatives agree with them about protecting traditional marriage.
Every child deserves both a father and a mother. Studies demonstrate the utmost importance of the presence of a child's biological parents in a child's happiness, health and future achievements. If we chip away at the institution which binds these parents and the family together, the institution of marriage, you begin to chip away at the future success of that child.
Jindal, yet again, supported a constitutional amendment to ban same-sex marriage in 2008, according to On the Issues. That same year, while he toyed with the idea of a presidential run, Jindal held an interview with CNN's Wolf Blitzer, in which Blitzer asked him point-blank where he stood on the issue. "What about things like abortion and same-sex marriages?" Blitzer asked. "These are not places where McCain likes to go. Would you advise him to talk about those things, maybe to give a speech on some of the social issues that are so near and dear to the heart of the base of your party?" According to On the Issues, Jindal responded with:
Well, yes, and they are important to me. I’m pro-life and I certainly support the traditional definition of marriage. But my advice to Sen. McCain is to continue to be himself. And I think that’s what people respect so much about him. He is famous for doing these town hall meetings. These questions will come up, and I think he should be honest in addressing them. I think he should talk about the fact he is pro-life. I think he should talk about the fact that he supports the traditional view of marriage. He and I disagree. He would leave it to the states. I think, with some of the recent court rulings, I would actually prefer a constitutional amendment. But I wouldn’t advocate that he do anything other than be himself.
June 30, 2010
In 2010, the governor signed into law Louisiana's Religious Freedom Restoration Act, which prohibited the government from making it difficult for people to exercise their religion. This included forcing businesses to serve or work with same-sex couples, although the language didn't specify that that was its intent.
In an interview with CNN's New Day earlier this year, Jindal said definitively that he would not join politicians who have "evolved" on the issue of same-sex marriage, and hopes that the Supreme Court will rule to uphold state bans on same-sex marriage during their decision in June. He also threw in a dig at President Obama and Hillary Clinton, claiming the only reason they each changed their views was because polling indicated that more Americans supported gay marriage. Plain and simple, they wanted more votes, Jindal told CNN. He then continued on to explain why that kind of "political game-playing" won't happen for him:
I'm not one of those politicians. My faith teaches me that marriage is between a man and a woman. I don't believe in discrimination against anybody. I'm not for changing the definition of marriage.
April 23, 2015
In April, Jindal penned a Times op-ed he titled, "Bobby Jindal: I'm Holding Firm Against Gay Marriage." In it, the governor defends Louisiana's Religious Freedom Restoration Act, which was met with national backlash. It was then that Jindal also announced he would issue an executive order to pass the Marriage and Conscience Act, which he explains would further protect religious people from discrimination:
The legislation would prohibit the state from denying a person, company or nonprofit group a license, accreditation, employment or contract — or taking other “adverse action” — based on the person or entity’s religious views on the institution of marriage.
That may sound all well and good at first, but here's the translation: The bill allows any person or business the right to refuse service to a gay couple seeking marriage if doing so conflicts with their personal religious beliefs. (For example, any minister, rabbi, photographer, musician, or caterer, could turn them away, and the government can not intervene.) Jindal also took the time to defend his own beliefs on the issue of gay marriage some more, assuring us yet again that he will never be swayed:
I hold the view that has been the consensus in our country for over two centuries: that marriage is between one man and one woman. Polls indicate that the American consensus is changing — but like many other believers, I will not change my faith-driven view on this matter, even if it becomes a minority opinion.
All things considered, it's pretty clear Jindal is probably fighting a losing battle. Recent Pew Research polls show that 61 percent of young Republicans support same-sex marriage and 57 percent of the population at large. What's more, if the experts are correct, the upcoming SCOTUS decision this month could mean a historic victory for same-sex couples everywhere, legalizing gay marriage in all 50 states.
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