Scott Walker's 2016 Strategy Involves Having No Position At All on Same-Sex Marriage

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As his state's attorney general appeals a federal court ruling against its ban on same-sex marriage, Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker is refusing to have an opinion on the matter of marriage equality. Walker, who has previously been a vocal supporter of "traditional" marriage and Wisconsin's ban, faced questions from reporters on Thursday about his state's appeal of the ruling. After several statements where the 2016 hopeful declined to state his opinion on same-sex marriage, someone asked Walker whether he was now rethinking his position. "No," he said, adding, "I'm just not stating one at all."

According to the Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel, Walker's statements indicate that he doesn't see the relevance of his opinion in the issue. "It really doesn't matter what I think now," Walker told reporters, adding, "It's in the constitution." The paper then reported the following uncharacteristic exchange for the outspoken governor: 

"If the people voted to change something in the state's constitution, I think it is right for the state's attorney general to uphold the constitution," Walker said, without explicitly stating whether he agreed with the idea of prosecuting county clerks.

Ultimately, he argued, the matter could be decided by the U.S. Supreme Court, and the state will follow that ruling.

But where is Walker on the issue now? He is up for re-election in just five months and he is considering a presidential bid in 2016.

"I don't comment on everything out there," he responded.

Although Walker has previously expressed opinions against marriage equality, he has recently indicated that he does not believe opposition to same-sex marriages is a politically solvent strategy. In March of last year, Walker told NBC's David Gregory that he believes younger voters in both parties aren't interested in seeing the government restrict marriage rights to heterosexual couples only. 

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Meanwhile a few of Walker's potential rivals for 2016 have gone in quite a different direction on gay marriage. Texas Gov. Rick Perry compared an LGBT identity to being an alcoholic, with the (scientifically dubious) explanation that sexual orientation can be "cured," a notion the Texas GOP just endorsed in its 2014 platform. Fellow 2016 hopeful Rick Santorum defended Perry's comments on Friday, telling USA Today that he also believes homosexuality is a choice and that the Texas politician's overall position on the issue was "accurate," despite the choice of metaphor. 

Although Walker has hardly made any moves to change his position on same-sex marriage, his hesitance to state one at this point does indeed seem to be a smart idea: 50 percent of the country believe that same-sex marriage is a constitutionally-protected right, according to a recent Washington Post poll. And the percentage of Republicans who support same-sex marriage rises dramatically among younger age groups. 

This article is from the archive of our partner The Wire.