Michele Bachmann Goes Both Ways On Gay Marriage

If you listened to what Michele Bachmann said on Fox News Sunday today, you’d think that she believed that same-sex marriage is an issue that should be left to the states:

BACHMANN: In New York state, they have passed the law at the state legislative level and, under the 10th amendment, the states have the right to set the laws that they want to set.

WALLACE: So even though you oppose it, then its ok from — your point of view — for New York to say that same-sex marriage is legal.

BACHMANN: That is up to the people of New York. I think that it’s best to allow the people to decide on this issue. I think it’s best if there is an amendment that goes on the ballot, where people can weigh in. […]

WALLACE: But you would agree, if its passed by the state legislature and signed by the governor then that’s the state’s position.

BACHMANN: It’s state law. And the 10th amendmet reserves to the states that right.

Just minutes later, though, Bachmann said this:

On Sunday, GOP presidential contender Rep. Michele Bachmann said she would support a federal constitutional amendment which would overturn New York state’s new law legalizing gay marriage and similar laws in other states.

On Fox News Sunday, Rep. Bachmann reiterated calls for an amendment that would define marriage as “between a man and woman.”

Bachmann has stated her support for a Federal Marriage Amendment before, such as earlier this month at the Faith & Freedom Conference:

So, which is it Congresswoman? Is marriage an issue that should be left to the states, or do you want to impose your will, and your religious beliefs, on everyone else?

I think I know the answer.

FILED UNDER: 2012 Election, 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.


  1. It’s an issue that should be left to the states, but only the “real” states.

  2. In fairness, this is not a contradictory position. She can believe, sans a Federal Marriage Amendment, that states have the right to set marriage rules under the 10th Amendment while still preferring an FMA.

    Of course, the real test of her convictions is her position on DOMA (although even parts of that could still be consistently held, depending on the argument deployed).

    I do think that you are right, however, her ultimate goal is to have her preferences win the day.

    What I always find interesting about these types of debates is that one the one hand the given politician will claim that federalism rocks, and that states should be able to do whatever they want, but on the other, there is a morally best position that ought to be imposed on the states, if a way to do so can be found.

  3. VinceP1974 says:

    I’m sorry.. what’s the conflict here? As far as imposing things… no one does that like the Left.

  4. SteveP says:

    There is no contradiction here. Under the law as it is now, it is a state matter under the 10th Amendment. Bachmann is right that if marriage is to be defined uniformly throughout the country a Constitutional amendment is the right way to do it.
    Supporting such an amendment is hardly imposing her will and her religious beliefs considering the process that’s required and the number of people who have to be persuaded for it to come about.