Sen. Ted Cruz believes the US Supreme Court was “clearly wrong” in its landmark 2015 Obergefell v. Hodges ruling that legalized same-sex marriage, the Texas Republican said Saturday.
“Obergefell, like Roe v. Wade, ignored two centuries of our nation’s history,” Cruz said in a clip posted on his YouTube channel for his podcast. “Marriage was always an issue that was left to the states. We saw states before Obergefell, some states were moving to allow gay marriage, other states were moving to allow civil partnerships. There were different standards that the states were adopting.”
He added: “The way the Constitution set up for you to advance that position is to convince your fellow citizens, and if you succeeded in convincing your fellow citizens, then your state would change the laws to reflect those views. In Obergefell, the court said, ‘No, we know better than you guys do, and now every state must, must sanction and permit gay marriage.’”
“I think that decision was clearly wrong when it was decided,” Cruz continued. ‘It was the court overreaching.”
Cruz, however, is not in favor of overturning Obergefell, saying that to do so would disrupt marriages nationwide, and he also doesn’t believe there’s necessary political interest in revisiting the ruling.
“You’ve got a ton of people who have entered into gay marriages and it would be more than a little chaotic for the court to do something that somehow disrupted those marriages that have been entered into in accordance with the law,” Cruz said. “I think that would be a factor that would, would counsel restraint, that the court would be concerned about. But to be honest, I don’t think this court has any appetite for overturning any of these decisions.”
His remarks come weeks after the Supreme Court overturned Roe v. Wade, ruling there was no longer a federal constitutional right to an abortion.
Cruz, a longtime opponent of same-sex marriage who believes the issue should be left to the states, echoed views expressed by many conservatives, including Justice Clarence Thomas, that the Supreme Court should revisit past rulings such as Obergefell v. Hodges.
In a separate opinion on last month’s abortion decision, Thomas explicitly called for the court to reconsider its earlier rulings striking down state restrictions on contraceptives, state sodomy bans and state prohibitions on same-sex marriage.
“Because any substantive due process decision is ‘demonstrably erroneous,’” Thomas wrote, “we have a duty to ‘correct the error’ established in those precedents.”
This story has been updated with additional comments from Cruz.
CNN’s Tierney Sneed contributed to this report.