After months of speculation, Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker is officially running for president, joining the race alongside conservative Govs. Chris Christie of New Jersey and Bobby Jindal of Louisiana. When it comes to his conservative contemporaries, Walker is right in line with the Grand Old Party, particularly on social issues such as abortion and same-sex marriage. On the latter issue, Walker has recently stepped into the stoplight of the far right, coming out against the Supreme Court decision legalizing same-sex marriage in all 50 states — to the chagrin of his more forward-thinking sons. Walker's stance on same-sex marriage is clear and simple: he's against it. Totally. The Human Rights Campaign notes that Walker has a harsh anti-LGBT track record in his home state, having supported bans against same-sex marriage in the past.
When same-sex marriages in Wisconsin resumed in October via a Supreme Court order, Walker said, simply, "For us, [the fight against gay marriage] is over in Wisconsin." But not long after the court order, the governor reportedly sent a letter flaunting his pro-traditional marriage record to Wisconsin Family Action, an anti-abortion and anti-LGBT rights organization that also supports abstinence-only initiatives and rejects to evolution being taught in schools. "I would hope that my record and the stark contrast with my opponent's positions would garner your support," the governor wrote, as quoted by the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel.
In June, Walker had a stronger response to the Supreme Court, calling the landmark Obergefell v. Hodges ruling a "grave mistake" that was determined by "judicial activism" and not the Constitution. "As a result of this decision, the only alternative left for the American people is to support an amendment to the U.S. Constitution to reaffirm the ability of the states to continue to define marriage," Walker said in a statement released by his political action committee.
But this response soon became a PR disaster for Walker. The Wisconsin governor became involved in a very public disagreement over same-sex marriage when his two sons, who both support marriage equality, criticized their father's hard-line stance. A recent Washington Post profile revealed some discord in the Walker household.
"Our sons were disappointed [about Walker's gay marriage comments,]," Walker's wife, Tonette, told the The Washington Post. "I was torn. I have children who are very passionate [in favor of same-sex marriage], and Scott was on his side very passionate."
Walker's two sons, Alex and Matt, followed up the Post profile with an exclusive interview with CNN on Sunday. They admitted they complained to their mother about their father's comments on same-sex marriage, we claimed they respect his opinion. "Matt and I aren't necessarily changing his stances on any issues," Alex told CNN.
Like Alex and Matt say, Walker is unlikely to change his position on same-sex marriage in the near future. And while the governor is trying to play down his unfavorable track record on marriage equality, it's an issue that's on everyone's mind. If anything, we do know that Walker is a-OK with attending gay wedding receptions — he's just against your right to lawfully hold one.
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