Walker calls for constitutional amendment to let states define marriage
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Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker (R) is calling for a Constitutional amendment to allow states to define marriage and strip the Supreme Court of its authority over the issue after the justices legalized same-sex marriage nationwide.

“As a result of this decision, the only alternative left for the American people is to support an amendment to the U.S. Constitution to reaffirm the ability of the states to continue to define marriage,” Walker, a likely 2016 contender, said in a statement.

The Supreme Court ruled Friday that every state must recognize same-sex marriage under the 14th Amendment’s equal protection clause. 

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Most of the Republican presidential candidates responded by blasting the court’s decision as overreach on a matter they say should be settled on a state-by-state basis. Walker, however, is the only contender to call for an amendment to the Constitution to enshrine into law a state’s right to determine whether gay marriage should be legal.

“The states are the proper place for these decisions to be made,” Walker said. “As we have seen repeatedly over the last few days, we will need a conservative president who will appoint men and women to the Court who will faithfully interpret the Constitution and laws of our land without injecting their own political agendas.”

Walker on Friday highlighted a vote he cast in 2006 to amend the Wisconsin constitution to “protect the institution of marriage from exactly this type of judicial activism.”

He said he recognized how difficult a process it is to amend the U.S. Constitution but that it should be encouraging to conservatives that the first time it ever happened was to protect the free exercise of religion.

“The First Amendment does not simply protect a narrow ‘right to worship,’ but provides broad protection to individuals and institutions to worship and act in accordance with their religious beliefs,” Walker said.

“I call on the president and all governors to join me in reassuring millions of Americans that the government will not force them to participate in activities that violate their deeply held religious beliefs,” he continued.

“No one wants to live in a country where the government coerces people to act in opposition to their conscience. We will continue to fight for the freedoms of all Americans.”

The Wisconsin governor is poised to enter the race for the GOP presidential nomination next month. He currently has a huge lead over the rest of the field in Iowa, which many attribute to his ability to appeal to grassroots conservatives and establishment-minded Republicans alike.