In an appearance on Meet The Press Sunday morning, Republican National Committee Chairman Reince Priebus attempted to clarify his party’s positions on same-sex marriage and also addressed the question of employment discrimination. Host David Gregory pressured Priebus about comments he made last week that states should make their own decisions about banning same-sex marriage, saying “you can’t federalize that kind of mandate,” — remarks noticeably out of step with Mitt Romney’s support for a constitutional amendment banning same-sex marriage. Priebus completely flipped on these “inartful” comments, aligning the party’s views with the candidate’s:
PRIEBUS: Well, first of all, I agree with the Governor.
GREGORY: Did you misspeak?
PRIEBUS: Perhaps it was inartful. [...]
GREGORY: The issue is: you said, “Don’t federalize it.” The nominee of the party says, “Federalize it,” a constitutional ban. Is that what the party believes?
PRIEBUS: Of course.
GREGORY: And it should be part of the platform?
PRIEBUS: It is part of the platform. And for the record, we do agree with the marriage amendment, and we do agree with DOMA, but as we sit today, we don’t have a federal mandate — excuse me, a federal — excuse me, a constitutional amendment.
Despite this flip against equality, Priebus did claim that gays and lesbians deserve “equal rights, in regards to say, discrimination in the workplace,” which raises new questions about where the Republican party stands on the Employment Non-Discrimination Act. House Speaker John Boehner (R-OH) recently said he “hasn’t thought much” about ENDA, but Republicans like Reps. Allen West (FL), James Lankford (OK), Kenny Marchant (TX), and Sen. Mike Lee (UT) have all opposed the long-proposed bill, arguing the protections are unnecessary.