Sen. Ted Cruz, the Texas Republican whose rise to power owes a lot to gay money, is repaying the favor by introducing a bill that would essentially DOMA for states. The measure, the State Marriage Defense Act, would basically stop the federal government from granting marriage benefits to couples living in non-marriage equality states.
“I support traditional marriage,” Cruz said, stating the obvious. “Under President Obama, the federal government has tried to re-define marriage, and to undermine the constitutional authority of each state to define marriage consistent with the values of its citizens. The Obama Administration should not be trying to force gay marriage on all 50 states.”
Of course, the real underminer of constitutional authority was the Supreme Court, which struck down DOMA in the first place. Then again, even Cruz stops short of saying the arbiters of constitutional law have no right to rule on constitutional matters.
Cruz is a beloved by the Tea Party and despised by those who know him best, fellow Republicans in the Senate. He is joined in his quest to return to the 1990s by Sen. Mike Lee of Utah, another Tea Party favorite. A similar measure has been introduced in the House by Randy Weber, another Texas Republican.
In a Senate controlled by Democrats, Cruz’s bill is going nowhere. But Cruz isn’t interested in passing laws. He’s interested in making statements. And he just signaled that he intends to make opposition to marriage equality a litmus test for other Republicans, with a particular eye to the 2016 presidential candidates.