GOP Congress Hopeful: Religion Should Decide Gay Marriage, Polygamy

Republican congressional hopeful Pedro Celis says allowing same-sex couples to marry should be left up to religious doctrine.

BY Michelle Garcia

June 23 2014 3:14 PM ET

Pedro Celis

A front-runner in a congressional race in Washington State says determining whether marriage rights for same-sex couples are acceptable should be left up to religions to determine, just like polygamy.

“Marriage is something more for religion to decide," Pedro Celis said last week at a Republican candidate forum. "Is this marriage or not? Polygamy — is it fine or not? It’s a religion thing.”

Celis had been avoiding what he considered superfluous discussion of social issues such as abortion and marriage equality, reports The Seattle Times. Instead, his campaign focused on Obamacare and the economy. But when asked by reporters, Celis said he did not vote in favor of the 2012 initiative to establish legal marriage equality across the state because he supported civil unions.

Celis is backed by local and national Republican leaders and conservative-leaning organizations, and Thursday he touted that he is the only candidate in the race endorsed by anti-abortion group Human Life of Washington. Celis is running to unseat Democratic incumbent Suzan DelBene.

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