Jimmy Carter To The Right Of Dick Cheney On Same-Sex Marriage?

Former President Jimmy Carter sounds more like a Republican than a Democrat on same-sex marriage these days:

Former President Jimmy Carter said in an interview published Sunday that decisions on same-sex marriage should be left up to the states.

“I don’t think that the government ought to ever tell the church to marry people, if the church doesn’t want to. I’m a Baptist and the congregation of our church will decide whether we have a man or a woman as pastor, and whether we’ll marry gay people or not,” Carter, the first elected evangelical Christian president, told WFAA-TV.

When asked if he saw same-sex marriage being established nationwide, Carter said, “I’m kind of inclined to let the states decide individually.”

“As you see more and more states are deciding on gay marriage every year. If Texas doesn’t want to have gay marriage, then I think that’s a right for Texas people to decide,” Carter said.

His remarks are a departure from the comments he made last summer, when he said the Supreme Court should have established same-sex marriage across all states.

“It should be a right nationwide … it’s coming,” Carter told CNN in June 2013.

Carter’s not so subtle change on this issue may be due to the fact that his Grandson Jason Carter is locked in a tight election race against Georgia’s Republican Nathan Deal. While the younger Carter has said that he supports marriage equality, he has remained rather mum on the issue during the campaign and hasn’t said exactly if he believes that marriage equality should be the rule nationwide or whether he supports making it legal in Georgia via legislation if the people support it. Whatever the case may be, it somewhat amuses me that former President Carter is apparently to the right of Dick Cheney and sitting Republican Senators like Ohio’s Rob Portman on this issue.

FILED UNDER: Campaign 2014, US Politics, , , , , , , , , ,
Doug Mataconis
About Doug Mataconis
Doug Mataconis held a B.A. in Political Science from Rutgers University and J.D. from George Mason University School of Law. He joined the staff of OTB in May 2010 and contributed a staggering 16,483 posts before his retirement in January 2020. He passed far too young in July 2021.

Comments

  1. LaMont says:

    I really do not understand how someone wanting same-sex marriage to be decided by the states is considered a right or extreme right issue. I think everyone realizes that same-sex marriage is protected by federal law so arguing about what level of government should decide it really amounts to nothing other than semantics. I believe the actual right-wing view of same –sex marriage is that it should not be allowed under law because of individual religion (basically). This is just Carter’s way of saying nothing in spite of what he truly believes as I can understand that although he is against it, he understands that it is a civil right.

  2. gVOR08 says:

    …former President Carter is apparently to the right of Dick Cheney and sitting Republican Senators like Ohio’s Rob Portman on this issue.

    Both of whose views are driven left of the Republican mean by having gays in their immediate families. Portman, my Senator god help us, supported DOMA until his son came out a couple years ago.

  3. Mu says:

    Baptist preacher to the right of a guy with a gay kid. Also, water wet, sun rising in east.

  4. Franklin says:

    @gVOR08: THIS.

  5. Tyrell says:

    @Mu: I t think that Carter is a fine, Christian man. I voted twice for him, but he was sabotaged by the Iranians and the Federal Reserve’s corrosive high interest rates (10%+ for a mortgage !!). I had hopes that a second Carter term would see improvements in the economy, but he lost to Reagan.
    I respect and agree with Carter’s views about marriage. That is the way that most people around here feel, and all of the churches. It does not mean anything personal against gay people.

  6. DrDaveT says:

    “I don’t think that the government ought to ever tell the church to marry people, if the church doesn’t want to.

    I am greatly disappointed that Jimmy Carter, whom I admire personally, doesn’t understand the difference between marriage the legal contract (which has nothing to do with any church) and what rites his church chooses to perform (which has nothing to do with legal rights).

    It’s like being confused about the difference between giving your child a legal name and having your child christened. It’s not hard; I don’t understand why it’s so ubiquitous.