Kayleigh McEnany Shoots Down Question About Her Views, as a Student, on Same-sex Marriage

Kayleigh McEnany (Mandel Ngan / AFP / Getty)
Mandel Ngan / AFP / Getty

White House Press Secretary Kayleigh McEnany shot down a question from a member of the White House Press Corps on Friday about the views she held on same-sex marriage as a Harvard Law School student in 2015.

McEnany had argued in favor of letting the states decide the issue for themselves — which had been the position of President Barack Obama as of 2012. (In 2008, he ran in opposition to same-sex marriage, citing his Christian faith.)

Washington Blade reporter Chris Johnson asked McEnany about her views in Friday’s press briefing:

Johnson: In a previous life, as a Harvard Law student, in 2015, you were vocally against the U.S. Supreme Court’s decision in favor of same-sex marriage, calling arguments for it “farcical blabber.” Do you think that’s consistent with the president’s views?

McEnany: Look — you know, I’m not up here to give my personal views on anything. What I’d say is that I’m very proud of this administration, which has been fair equitable, and just to all Americans, and open to all Americans, as [the president] should be. I think our views are entirely consistent, and I’m not up here to give my views on a Supreme Court case from many years ago.

Johnson misquoted McEnany somewhat. She was not referring to all arguments for same-sex marriage as “farcical blabber,” but rather commentary in the mainstream media framing the issue as one of “state-sanctioned discrimination.”

Moreover, her article did not concern the decision at the Supreme Court, but rather the anticipated oral arguments.

McEnany explained that a previous decision in 2013 had framed the issue in terms of federalism and the power of states to define marriage, and wondered whether the Supreme Court would stick to that framework, or abandon it in favor of a substantive decision about the right to marriage. She did not argue her personal views on that subject.

In his own report, Johnson said that McEnany had deflected the question, and quoted a spokesperson for GLAAD, an LGBTQ rights organization, saying that McEnany’s views “should have disqualified her” from a White House job.

Johnson also sought to contrast McEnany’s views with those held by President Donald Trump, who has said that he accepts the Supreme Court’s decisions on same-sex marriage and has not sought to challenge them.

In 2009, Trump defended Miss California, Carrie Prejean, who had answered a question from judge Perez Hilton about same-sex marriage by stating that while she favored traditional marriage, she supported people being able to choose for themselves. Hilton was clearly displeased, and ranted later that Prejean, who was first runner-up, lost because she was “a dumb bitch.”

Trump stood up for her, telling reporters: ““It’s the same answer that the president of the United States gave.”

Joel B. Pollak is Senior Editor-at-Large at Breitbart News and the host of Breitbart News Sunday on Sirius XM Patriot on Sunday evenings from 7 p.m. to 10 p.m. ET (4 p.m. to 7 p.m. PT). His new book, RED NOVEMBER, is available for pre-order. He is a winner of the 2018 Robert Novak Journalism Alumni Fellowship. Follow him on Twitter at @joelpollak.

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