Meet the Press   |  June 30, 2013

Huelskamp weighs in on congressional viewpoint

Rep. Tim Huelskamp, a leading opponent of gay marriage rights, visits Meet the Press to share the opposing viewpoint from Capitol Hill.

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This content comes from Closed Captioning that was broadcast along with this program.

>> joining me now is republican congressman from kansas tim huelskamp. welcome. i asked you to come on because you are on the leading edge of those conservative opponents of gay marriage within congress who don't want to just have the fights in the states be, in congress. you have proposed a constitutional ban for gay marriage . you have some co-sponsors but you'd have to admit that it seems that the flow of history now, the supreme court and others are sort of working against you, working against the politics of what you're trying to advocate. do you not think that's true?

>> well, our founders made it extraordinarily difficult to amend the constitution, and that's what we're going to try to do. yes, you look at this decision. it's outrageous what the court did. they've taken it upon themselves to rewrite the constitution, and this would make it very clear to them, but to suggest it can't be done, if you look at the issue of life and abortion, we're moving in that direction where most americans oppose most abortions. by that same argument, we should be looking closely at any abortion in this country or something close to that.

>> what is it you have against gays and lesbians marrying?

>> this issue here is the definition of marriage. for centuries in this country and elsewhere around the world in every major rural religion has identified marriage as between a man and a woman. and that's the simple issue here. senator demint did note the research is very clear that the ideal for raising our children should be the issue here, and that's what we need to focus on in this debate.

>> right, but justice kennedy speaks to this. there's also research that indicates -- everybody talks about the interest of children. children tend to prosper in loving -- in homes where there is a loving marriage. right? i mean, there is really not evidence to suggest that if you are a same-sex couple or a heterosexual couple that it makes one difference one way or the other.

>> well, actually, the research does not show that. actually, the research is very clear, as we have indicated here. but --

>> no, but everybody throws that out. no, no, the research actually shows that in broken homes it hurts the children, which i think most people would say that would be true with same-sex couples or heterosexual couples. we don't really know, do we. but we do have a sense that loving marriages provide a good family life for children. right?

>> well, we have an epidemic of fatherlessness here, and that's what i agree with the president on. we should be doing more to promote and protect marriage between a man and a woman after the needs of our children. the desires of adults, the court decided the desires of adults should trump the needs of children, and that's what's gotten lost in all the politics, all the debate, all the hand wringing in washington, d.c.

>> but justice kennedy has weighed in heavily on that point. i do want to ask you a political question and give you kind of the two ends within the republican debate about how to treat this issue. mike huckabee , former governor of arkansas, tweeted this out on wednesday. "my thoughts on the scotus ruling that determines that same-sex marriage is okay, jesus wept ." reflecting that part of the conservative party , the faith-based party. david kochel, a republican operative, worked for mitt romney 's campaign, wrote the following. "however intensely conservatives may oppose marriage, kochel said the country is witnessing an inexorable march of progress on the freedom to marry . there will be people who want to roll back the clock, continue this fight over and over again. there will be a lot of sound and fu fury, but i don't think it's going to amount to a whole lot over time ." why do you think this debate is over that the republicans are having?

>> well, because for the american people it's not over. this court attempted to short circuit the democratic process . what you're hearing from these professional consultants who have lost election after election, by the way, these folks have always wanted us to go light and to abandon our positions on social issues. as i mentioned earlier, there are more folks today that are opposed to abortion than support homosexual marriage . but the real issue here is who gets to decide. do five justices get to decide, or do the american people get to decide? do some consultants in washington, d.c., get to decide? at the end of the day , i'm going to go with the 7 million californians who had their votes discarded by this court.

>> tim huelskamp from kansas, thank you very much for your time this morning. i appreciate it.

>> thank you.