The first edition of the “Social Conservative Insider Poll” released at The Pulse 2016 Monday found that, in general, participants say that even if the U.S. Supreme Court decides in favor of same-sex marriage: “It’s not over.”
Asked how GOP candidates should respond to the Supreme Court’s ruling on same-sex marriage, one “insider” said the decision is “nothing more than legislating from the bench.”
“From all of [the candidates], I am looking for a Lincolnesque response – that the decision, like Dred Scott, is wrong and unacceptable,” the insider said.
Insiders also want to hear candidates affirm the basic nature of marriage and “God’s design for marriage as one man and one woman.”
Another SoCon insider, however, said, “I want candidates to make the larger case that marriage has been in all cultures between a man and a woman and why children need a mother and father.”
“One prominent conservative activist said he is looking for acknowledgement that these are GOP-appointed justices making this call and a pledge to do a more thorough vetting of judicial nominees,” The Pulse 2016 adds. “Another proposed that, given past failures, social conservatives should elicit a promise to appoint particular Supreme Court justices if elected.”
Many of the insiders said it is important both to have a candidate who supports a constitutional amendment and one who will promise to pass religious liberty legislation to protect the tax-exempt status of Christian schools and ministries. However, when asked to choose between the two, SoCon insiders favored practical religious liberty protection by a 3-1 margin.
“While I would love to see a constitutional amendment passed, I have been unable to come up with any political scenario that results in the super-majority necessary to pass one,” one insider said. “I fear that if we demand fidelity to an unachievable remedy, we hurt candidates while further demoralizing the grassroots because they are unlikely to see it accomplished.”
Regarding the presidential candidates, one SoCon said, “If they say the Court has spoken and it’s time to move on, that will be completely unacceptable.”
According to The Pulse 2016, in general, SoCons “are looking for courage and leadership on marriage.”
“I feel very strongly that the candidate needs to show leadership on marriage, by refusing to be intimidated and using his or her bully pulpit to argue for natural marriage,” one leader said.
Social Conservative Insiders participating in the survey were: Gary Bauer, Kim Bengard, Frank Cannon, Clint Cline, Steve Deace, Chuck Donovan, Erick Erickson, Michael Farris, Maggie Gallagher, Kathryn Lopez, Shannon McGinley, Eric Metaxas, Gaston Mooney, Frank Schubert, Alan Sears, Todd Starnes, Bob Vanderplaats, Bill Witchterman, Becky Norton-Dunlop, Penny Nance, Marjorie Dannenfelser, Tony Perkins, Ellen Barrosse, James Robison, Fr. Frank Pavone, Dr. James Dobson, David Barton, Marvin Olasky, and Charmaine Yoest.