“A robust national debate over marriage will continue in the public square, and it is my hope that states will define marriage as the union between one man and one woman,” said House Speaker John Boehner (R) of Ohio in a statement.
That’s a sentiment echoed by House majority leader Eric Cantor (R) of Virginia and a slew of other congressional Republicans including potential presidential hopefuls Sens. Marco Rubio (R) of Florida and Rand Paul (R) of Kentucky.
One might have expected party leaders to offer muted responses, considering that a review of the GOP’s 2012 election effort turned up two chief policy recommendations for the leaders: back off on gay marriage and get to work on immigration reform.
But even usual GOP firebrands like Rep. Steve Scalise (R) of Louisiana, the head of the influential and deeply conservative Republican Study Committee, saw the future of the fight as one to be joined outside the walls of the Capitol.