You know, I usually enjoy watching two prominent republicans sink their fangs into each other’s throats. But I have to say that I think Huckabee is really off base on this one.
After the SJC passed down the Goodridge ruling, Romney very correctly followed the law and made sure not to directly stand in the way of the commencement of same-sex marriage. Rather, he took the more honorable, front door approach to protest and aided the efforts towards a constitutional amendment. Well now Huckabee has a thing or two to say about it.
From a recent CNS interview, “Online with Terry Jeffrey”.
Huckabee: … You know, it’s interesting, the California decision as well as the Massachusetts decision, I don’t think should ever have been implemented by the governors, Schwarzenegger and Romney. They were both decisions that the governors simply could have said the court has said that we have to do it, but let them enforce it. Because those were administrative decisions that had to put that in place and there was no mandate.
Jeffrey: Right, but Governor Romney actually went ahead and certified same-sex marriages without an act of his state legislature.
Huckabee: It should never have happened. It should never have happened. And while we want to blame the courts-
Jeffrey: Does that disqualify him as a vice presidential nominee for the Republican Party?
Huckabee: Well, you know, I’ve not probably been an advocate for him in that position. And, you know, I am going to let him defend himself. And I don’t want to relive the primary. But I think that that was a very unfortunate position that he took in saying that, “Well, I can’t do anything about it.” Oh, yes you can.
Jeffrey: You hold him responsible for the same-sex marriages in Massachusetts?
Huckabee: Not singularly. I hold him responsible for implementing-
Jeffrey: He could have stopped it?
Huckabee: He could have stopped it, and should have stopped it.
Jeffrey: And if you were governor of Massachusetts you would not have gone ahead and-
Huckabee: I would not have done that.
Jeffrey: You would not have had the clerks and justices of the peace-
Huckabee: Absolutely not.
Jeffrey: Certify those marriages?
Huckabee: In my state, we passed an amendment to our constitution that declared marriage to be one man, one woman, by a 70-percent margin. I would have said that the people have a stronger right, if you will, than does one of three branches of government. And when you have a legislature, an executive branch, and the people, all lined up agreeing that marriage means man and woman, you can’t have a court overturn the collective will of all those other bodies. That, again, it goes back to ninth grade civics. The courts aren’t that powerful, never were intended to be.
Jeffrey: Governor Romney should have stood up to the Court and said, “No”?
Huckabee: He should’ve.
The article containing the above transcript reminds the reader that:
In a 4-3 decision issued on Nov. 18, 2003, the Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court ruled that same-sex couples have a constitutional right to marry in Massachusetts. The court gave the state legislature until May 17, 2004 to enact legislation to allow such marriages to take place.
In the intervening time, the Massachusetts legislature did not enact a law codifying same-sex marriages. Before the May 17, 2004 deadline, however, then-Gov. Romney directed that the words “bride” and “groom” on Massachusetts marriage applications be changed to “Party A” and “Party B.”
Romney’s chief legal counsel, Daniel Winslow, told justices of the peace in Massachusetts that they should carry out the decision of the court and perform same-sex marriages or resign.
“My message was: ‘You took an oath, and you don’t have to agree or disagree with the law, you took an oath to uphold the law. Your only job is to follow the law,'” Winslow told Pete Winn of CNSNews.com in January. “We’ll leave it to the courts to litigate what the law is, but once the courts have ruled, if you’ve taken an oath under the constitution, you have to follow your oath.”
In fact, after the court-ordered May 17, 2004 deadline, then-Gov. Romney himself-who opposes same-sex marriage–did not allow all same-sex marriages to go forward in Massachusetts. Citing a 1913 Massachusetts law that said the state should not carry out marriages of individuals from other states if those marriages would not be recognized in the individuals’ home states, Romney told clerks in Massachusetts not to issue marriage licenses to same-sex couples from out of state.
I am on record as despising Romney for resuscitating the moribund 1913 anti-miscegenation law. However, he was within his rights to do so since it was still on the books and hadn’t been ruled unconstitutional. If even I can see that, why won’t Huckabee cut Romney a break here? Is he trying to undermine people’s trust that Romeny isn’t a pro-gay wolf in sheep’s clothing? It seems pure vindictiveness on his part, because I can’t imagine that he has any chance of being selected McCain’s VP. So what other reason is there for this interview at this time?
h/t Chino Blanco