During an interview with an NBC affiliate, Virginia Attorney General Ken Cuccinelli (R) said that states should have the right to enact same-sex marriage legislation, but left the door open for supporting a constitutional amendment that would repeal their laws:
CUCCINELLI: The only amendment I would expect to see to the constitution would be a nationwide protection of traditional marriage and restricting marriage to one man and one woman…There doesn’t have to be uniformity, I certainly see it as one possible course we get on. But there is nothing Constitutionally or historically that demands that this be addressed uniformly across the country…As between these two options, I would certainly prefer for the states to decide.
Cuccinelli’s position sounds eerily similar to that of Gov. Rick Perry (R-TX), who until recently also spouted the very same 10th Amendment rhetoric. But Perry’s comments outraged conservative Republicans, and he quickly placated the party base by reiterating his support for a constitutional amendment that would prohibit states like New York or Vermont or Massachusetts from recognizing same-sex marriages. In other words, when push comes to shove, Republican officials who feel like they need the support of social conservatives to win elections are willing to dismiss the 10th Amendment and force everyone to conform to their views of marriage. Cuccinelli is clearly leaving room for a pivot.
In fact, he has already gone a long way in imposing a radical anti-gay agenda on Virginians. Cuccinelli instructed state universities that they could not protect gays and lesbians from discrimination, opposed extending adoption rights to gay couples, and even terminated the state’s relationship with law firm King & Spalding for backing out of its contract to defend the discriminatory Defense of Marriage Act.