Just days after Republican presidential frontrunner Donald Trump told a lesbian reporter that we should expect forward momentum on LGBT equality if he’s elected president, the real-estate mogul doubled down on his earlier position to “strongly consider” appointing Supreme Court justices that would overturn marriage equality if given the chance.
Last June, The Supreme Court ruled 5-4 in the landmark Obergefell v. Hodges case that state-level gay marriage bans are unconstitutional because the 14th Amendment requires all states to issue marriage licenses to same-sex couples.
Trump, who has repeatedly made clear that he is a strong supporter of traditional marriage, told ABC’s “This Week” with George Stephanopoulos that he would appoint conservative Supreme Court justices to the bench that would “stand against” same-sex marriage if he were elected president.
Stephanopoulos pointed out that a majority of Americans now support same-sex marriage and that stripping gay couples of their rights could be divisive. He asked Trump how appointing Supreme Court judges who oppose same-sex marriage would move the country toward equality.
“We’ll find out,” Trump replied. “We’re going to find out. There’s a lot of people that want to see that, but more important than anything else to me, this country is so divided right now.”
“This country is so totally divided,” he said. “It is probably almost never been as divided as it is right now and we have to bring it together.”
When pressed again for a clarification by Stephanopoulos, Trump reiterated that he would look at Supreme Court judges when it comes to the issue of same-sex marriage and would prefer “that they stand against it.”
“We are going to do whatever we have to do,” Trump told Stephanopoulos. “I’m going to put the absolute best judges in position. If their views — we’re going to see what their views are. I will make the determination at that time.”
Watch the full interview below (the same-sex marriage remarks begin at the 5:50 mark):
Nearly a week ago, Trump told “Fox News Sunday” host Chris Wallace that he wasn’t happy with the way the Supreme Court handled the same-sex marriage case and believes the issue of same-sex marriage should have been addressed at the state level and not by the federal government.
“It has been ruled upon, it has been there, if I’m elected I would be very strong on putting certain judges on the bench that I think maybe could change things. They’ve got a long way to go. At some point we have to get back down to business but there is no question about it and most people feel this way,” Trump told Wallace when asked about the issue.
“I disagree with the Supreme Court from the standpoint, they should have given the states, it should be a state’s rights issue. And that’s the way it should have been ruled on Chris. Not the way they did it. This was a very surprising ruling and I can see changes coming down the line quite frankly. I would have much preferred that they ruled at a state level and allowed the states to make those rulings themselves,” said Trump.
When asked if he would appoint Supreme Court judges to overturn the decision on same-sex marriage Trump replied: “I would strongly consider that, yes.”
Watch that interview below: