Republican presidential candidates are slamming the Supreme Court for legalizing same-sex marriage, calling Friday’s ruling an assault against Christian values and religious liberty.

Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal, who has made religious liberty a major theme of his bid for the Republican presidential nomination, said the decision will “pave the way for an all out assault against the religious freedom rights of Christians who disagree with this decision.”

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"The Supreme Court decision today conveniently and not surprisingly follows public opinion polls, and tramples on states' rights that were once protected by the 10th Amendment of the Constitution,” Jindal said in a statement. “Marriage between a man and a woman was established by God, and no earthly court can alter that.”



Former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee vowed not to “acquiesce to an imperial court any more than our Founders acquiesced to an imperial British monarch.”

"The Supreme Court has spoken with a very divided voice on something only the Supreme Being can do — redefine marriage,” Huckabee said. “We must resist and reject judicial tyranny, not retreat.”

Next week, Huckabee will embark on a “Religious Liberty Townhall Tour” through Iowa. 

He called the ruling the “irrational, unconstitutional rejection of the expressed will of the people in over 30 states,” and said it would go down in history as “one of the court's most disastrous decisions.”

“The only outcome worse than this flawed, failed decision would be for the President and Congress, two co-equal branches of government, to surrender in the face of this out-of-control act of unconstitutional, judicial tyranny,” Huckabee said. “The Supreme Court can no more repeal the laws of nature and nature's God on marriage than it can the laws of gravity.”

Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker called the court’s decision a “grave mistake,” and called for an amendment to the Constitution to strip the courts of their authority on the issue.

“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 said.

“The states are the proper place for these decisions to be made,” he continued. “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.” 


Carly Fiorina said Friday’s ruling is “the latest example of an activist Court ignoring its constitutional duty,” declaring that the Supreme Court “did not and could not end this debate today.”

“I do not agree that the Court can or should redefine marriage,” Fiorina said. “I believe that responsibility should have remained with states and voters where this conversation has continued in churches, town halls and living rooms around the country. Moving forward, however, all of our effort should be focused on protecting the religious liberties and freedom of conscience for those Americans that profoundly disagree with today's decision.”


Former Pennsylvania Sen. Rick Santorum vowed to keep fighting against the implementation of same-sex marriage, saying “the stakes are too high and the issue too important to simply cede the will of the people to five unaccountable justices."

“Leaders don't accept bad decisions that they believe harm the country, they have the courage of their convictions and lead the country down the better path,” Santorum said. “As president … I will stand for the preservation of religious liberty and conscience, to believe what you are called to believe free from persecution. And I will ensure that the people will have a voice in decisions that impact the rock upon which our civilization is built.”

Former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush and retired neurosurgeon Ben Carson had the most tempered responses of the 2016 hopefuls.

“Guided by my faith, I believe in traditional marriage,” Bush said. “I believe the Supreme Court should have allowed the states to make this decision.”

However, Bush added that he also believes “we should love our neighbor and respect others, including those making lifetime commitments.”

“In a country as diverse as ours, good people who have opposing views should be able to live side by side,” he said. “It is now crucial that as a country we protect religious freedom and the right of conscience and also not discriminate.”

Carson said that he strongly disagrees with the court’s decision, but supports same-sex civil unions.

“To me, and millions like me, marriage is a religious service not a government form,” Carson said.

“Their ruling is now the law of the land,” he continued. “I call on Congress to make sure deeply held religious views are respected and protected. The government must never force Christians to violate their religious beliefs.”

— This story was updated at 11:28 a.m.