Marco Rubio speaking at CPAC 2015 in Washington, DC.

Most GOP 2016 hopefuls would go to a loved one's same-sex wedding

Former Gov. Jeb Bush addressed the 2013 Conservative Political Action Conference in National Harbor, Md. Creative Commons image by Gage Skidmore

Former Gov. Jeb Bush said he would attend the gay wedding of someone he cared about.  Creative Commons image by Gage Skidmore

 This image is available for web publication. For questions, contact Sally Morrow.

WASHINGTON (Reuters) -- A majority of U.S. Republicans would attend the same-sex wedding of a loved one, a Reuters/Ipsos poll showed on Wednesday, highlighting the political risks for Republican presidential candidates who stake out positions against gay marriage.

Though some Republican White House hopefuls have tried to insert nuance into their positions on gay marriage -- something that polling shows most Americans back -- their opposition is clear.

Adamant opposition is popular with the party's conservative wing, whose support is critical in the presidential nominating process.

The question of whether or not a candidate would attend the gay wedding of a loved one has become an increasingly common litmus test for candidates on the issue.

Former Florida Governor Jeb Bush said on Tuesday he would attend the same-sex wedding of someone he cared about. U.S. Senator Marco Rubio, also from Florida, told an interviewer he would do the same, though he opposes gay marriage.

Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker said he has been to a gay wedding reception but defines marriage as between a man and a woman. Senator Ted Cruz of Texas, known for his appeal to the party's right-leaning Tea Party wing, has said he has not.

A Reuters/Ipsos poll showed most Republicans across the country would show up for same-sex nuptials.

The poll showed 56 percent of Republicans would attend the gay wedding of a loved one if invited. That compares with 80 percent of Democrats and 70 percent of independents, who said they would go.

Overall, 68 percent of Americans would attend, the poll showed, while 19 percent would not and 13 percent were unsure.

The poll's results suggests Republicans who stake out strong opposition to gay marriage could be on shaky political ground if their ultimate goal is to win the White House.

Though a right-leaning, anti-marriage position may appeal to important conservative voters in states with early nominating contests such as Iowa and New Hampshire, that stand could hurt an eventual nominee in the general election, in which cross-party appeal and independents play a larger role.

The poll comes as the Supreme Court deliberates a legal challenge to laws prohibiting same-sex unions. Justices appeared sharply divided on Tuesday on whether the U.S. Constitution guarantees a right to same-sex marriage.

The online poll was conducted between April 23-27 and included 1,752 adults aged 18 and older, among them 751 Democrats, 567 Republicans and 248 independents.

The Reuters/Ipsos poll is measured with a credibility interval. It has a credibility interval of plus or minus 2.7 percentage points for all adults, 4.7 percentage points for Republicans, 4.1 percentage points for Democrats, and 7.1 percentage points for independents.

(By Jeff Mason with additional reporting by Steve Holland; Editing by Leslie Adler)


  1. Good political move.

    The GOP knows how to sell out like the best of the Libs.

    Don’t want to anger Lot’s neighbors.

  2. Well said, BB. Concise and correct.

    Saying one thing but doing another, is apparently NOT the exclusive province of Barack Obama.

  3. BB and DA-

    We know you are sold too. You’ll vote for them, anyway, showing that you really don’t put your money where your mouth is in the end. Just like how evangelicals still voted for Romney, even though he considers Satan Jesus’ brother. In November, as before, you’ll show us again that republican voters don’t really care about their Bible anymore.

  4. This is bizarre….I put up a post that disappeared.

    Let’s try again:

    Of the 28 stories on today’s RNS site, 11 are on gay marriage or related topics.

    Even given the impending SCOTUS ruling, this is overkill, indicative of a provincial, West-focused orientation.

    Reporters need to visit other countries and cultures, specifically outside the West, and then report on concerns there, which are often quite different from our own.

  5. When most people read the question, they’re interpreting it as asking what one would do if a close friend or family member were involved. Most Americans, conservatives as well as liberals, have a strong loyalty to those closest to them and thus would feel a normal emotional pull toward attending.

    That is not the same thing as asking whether a bakery owner should be forced to bake a cake with a pro-gay-wedding inscription or symbol. There, conservatives would push back because coercion is involved.

  6. Actually, Jon, I voted for Mitt Romney in 2012, specifically because Barack Obama had made it crystal clear, publicly, that he and his little henchman Eric Holder were going to kill DOMA and openly preach to the Supremes to legalize gay marriage in America.

    In 2018, Obama claimed on national TV that he actually supported traditional marriage, — “a sacred union of a man and woman” “God’s in the mix”, — talking all pious and churchy

    (But all that TV piety turned out to be Mr. Fake Obama’s BIG LIE, cynically snagging gullible Christian voters, as Obama top advisor David Axelrod has admitted.)

    So it seriously doesn’t matter to me who **says** they oppose gay marriage. That means pure NOTHING. Gotta show me some **actions** that match the words.

    Other than Mike Huckabee, the GOPs have shown zero so far. Zippo.

    Hillary Clinton, with her huge advantages in money and media, is going to smash up the Republican Party anyway in 2016. So be it.

  7. After thought on this testy issue of attending a loved one’s gay wedding, I, personally would decline…..even if it was one of my children. Why? Because it is an affront to God, and my absence would serve God better than posing as a good father to my son or daughter. I would welcome both into my home and my life, but would never recognize their coupling as marriage….and if they reject that, so be it. Understanding and respect is a two way street.

  8. Typo correction — “2008”, not “2018.”

  9. I agree that RNS stories are disproportionally weighted towards gay issues. There are indeed far more compelling religious stories to be told of all kinds. But, gay issues and stories focused toward Christianity in America seem to generate the most resonance with Americans, who are the primary posters on this site. As a theologically conservative Christian I plead guilty, but I watch, read and meditate on other religious issues as well; it’s a small world after all.
    Thank you Jack, for your thoughtful remarks. And James, I agree, I could not attend my own child’s gay wedding if such were the case, but as with you I’m sure, it would not be out of a lack of love.

  10. I would add, sadly, that unless the Supreme Court reaffirms traditional marriage, then yes, the boat has sailed for marriage in America. I shudder to think of the implications for the future. But then, the death of marriage is only one of a host of ungodly problems we now face. Including divorce rates among putative ‘evangelicals.’

  11. ” I shudder to think of the implications for the future.”

    The same thing as before. Except opportunistic Bible thumping politicians have to come up with a new subject to direct mock outrage towards. They are always good at coming up with this stuff. Anything to keep people voting for economic conservatives who rob their working and middle class constituencies blind.

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