Though the strong majorities of Americans who support marriage equality and equal federal benefits for gay couples celebrated today’s historic Supreme Court rulings, several prominent conservatives reacted with fear and fury. Though the conservative establishment (by in large) had little to say about the marriage equality cases, the vitriol that came from these particular conservatives stood out:
1. Rand Paul and Glenn Beck worry about Muslims and animals: In a video captured by Buzzfeed’s Andrew Kaczynski, the purportedly libertarian Senator and popular talk show host worry about a host of bizarre “logical” consequences of the moves toward marriage equality, with Beck asking “who are you to say that, if I’m a devout Muslim, I come over here and I have three wives, who are you to say if I’m an American citizen that I can’t have multiple wives?” Paul nodded, saying “people take it to one extension further — does it have to be humans?…I’m kinda with you…we should not just say ‘oh, we’re punting on it, marriage can be anything.”
2. Mike Huckabee channels Jesus’ tearducts: On Twitter, the former Governor and leading GOP Presidential candidate had two words: “Jesus wept.” He later elaborated, saying that the Supreme Court declared itself “bigger than God.”
3. Congressmen declare the apocalypse is imminent: At a press conference ThinkProgress watched after the ruling, Rep. Tim Walberg (R-MI) declared that “society itself is at risk and cannot continue.” At the same presser, Rep. Louie Gohmert (R-TX) said that same-sex marriage was “usually tried at the end of a great civilization.” Walberg and Gohmert’s comments echoed House Judiciary Chair Bob Goodlatte (R-VA), who had said earlier that “preserving the institution of traditional marriage is crucial to the stability of our society.”
4. Ralph Reed sees “Orwellian” threat to federalism, rule of law, and Western civilization: In a press release emailed to ThinkProgress, the influential evangelical activist falsely claimed that there “has never been any attempt by either party to repeal or modify” DOMA, and that the overturning the act was “an Orwellian act of judicial fiat.” He added that the Prop 8 ruling “endangers federalism as well as the most time-honored tradition in the history of Western civilization,” and that “these twin decisions will undermine the already low respect for the federal courts and the rule of law.
5. The National Organization for Marriage suggests the Supreme Court is corrupt and smells bad: The leading anti-marriage equality organization’s press release blamed a conspiracy of “homosexual” and “liberal” lower circuit judges for the Court’s rulings. “There is a stench coming from this case that has now stained the Supreme Court,” said Brian Brown, the organization’s President, in a confusingly mixed metaphor. “They’ve allowed corrupt politicians and judges to betray the voters, rewarding them for their betrayal.” The organization vowed to challenge any efforts by marriage advocates to overturn bans in the states, and looks to have an ally in Rep. Tim Huelskamp (R-KS), who announced he would introduce a federal constitutional amendment prohibiting same-sex marriage in response to the court rulings.
Another fiery reaction — outgoing Rep. Michele Bachmann’s declaration that “no man, not even a Supreme Court, can undo what a holy God has instituted” — didn’t have quite the intended impact. “Who cares?” responded House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-CA), when asked for comment on Bachmann’s outburst.