Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg hit back at Florida Republican Senator Marco Rubio after Rubio claimed that the Respect for Marriage Act (RMA), a bill proposed by the House to codify marriage equality, is a "stupid waste of time."
Speaking during an appearance on CNN’s State of the Union over the weekend, Buttigieg said that if Rubio has "got time to fight against Disney, I don’t know why he wouldn’t have time to help safeguard marriages like mine," referring to Rubio's public criticisms of the Disney Corporation for speaking out against Florida's controversial "Don't Say Gay" law.
You can hear what Buttigieg said in the video below.
Buttigieg, who is the father of twin boys with his husband, the educator and activist Chasten Buttigieg, went on to explain just how the House bill affects him:
“That half-hour of my morning had me thinking about how much I depend on and count on my spouse every day, and our marriage deserves to be treated equally."
“I don’t know why this would be hard."
“I just don’t understand how such a majority of House Republicans voted ‘no’ on our marriage as recently as Tuesday, hours after I was in a room with a lot of them talking about transportation policy, having what I thought were perfectly normal conversations with many of them on that subject, only for them to go around the corner and say that my marriage doesn’t deserve to continue.”
“If they don’t want to spend a lot of time on this, they can vote ‘yes,’ and move on, and that would be really reassuring for a lot of families around America, including mine."
Concerns about the future of marriage equality have taken on fresh urgency in the weeks since the Supreme Court's decision in Dobbs v. Jackson Women's Health Organization overturned Roe v. Wade, the 1973 landmark decision that once protected a person's right to choose reproductive healthcare without excessive government restriction.
The decision on Roe, which hinged on a right to privacy that while not explicitly granted in the United States Constitution was nonetheless accepted per the Due Process Clause of the Fourteenth Amendment (which grants all citizens “equal protection of the laws"), suggested other Supreme Court rulings, such as those regarding contraception, same-sex and interracial marriage, are now in doubt.
Associate Justice Clarence Thomas suggested in a solo concurring opinion that established gay rights (Lawrence v. Texas and Obergefell v. Hodges) and contraception rights (Griswold v. Connecticut) should be reconsidered now that the federal right to reproductive freedom has been revoked, calling them "demonstrably erroneous" and calling on the Court to "correct the error."
Many have echoed Buttigieg's criticisms while praising him for speaking out.
Rubio is only the latest Republican to go on the record opposing the marriage equality bill.
Last week, Texas Republican Senator Ted Cruz said that the Supreme Court "was clearly wrong about about its 2015 same-sex marriage ruling," insisting that the case had not been correctly decided.
Speaking on his podcast Verdict with Ted Cruz, he said that in Obergefell "the Court said, 'no, we know better than you,' and now every state must sanction and permit gay marriage," constituting what he considers governmental overreach.
Just before that, Ohio Republican Representative Jim Jordan urged Republicans not to vote for the measure and took to the House floor to declare the bill "is simply the latest installment of the Democrats’ campaign to delegitimize and attempt to intimidate the United States Supreme Court.”