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WATCH: Rick Santorum's Marriage Threat Rings Hollow

WATCH: Rick Santorum's Marriage Threat Rings Hollow


Rick Santorum says he'll fight the Supreme Court if it rules for marriage equality this month. Here's why that threat may not matter.

Rick Santorum, who recently launched his second bid for president, repeated a threat last week that if elected he would fight a pro-equality ruling from the Supreme Court. That's a nice bit of right-wing rhetoric, but what could an antigay president actually do? Not that much.

One of Santorum's objections to marriage equality is that he says it violates his freedom of religion. This is an identical argument to one made in the 1960s, when politicians claimed that banning interracial marriage was a form of religious expression. "Almighty God created the races white, black, yellow, malay and red, and he placed them on separate continents," wrote one court in a decision eventually overturned by the Supreme Court's landmark 1967 decision in Loving v. Virginia. "And but for the interference with his arrangement there would be no cause for such marriages."

Then again, the likelihood that Americans will ever be under the thumb of a President Santorum is slim to none. The former Pennsylvania senator is near the back of the pack in polls, pulling in single-digit support numbers, according to FiveThirtyEight. Even in his home state, Santorum's polling numbers are falling short of Gov. Scott Walker, who hasn't formally announced his candidacy yet.

Meanwhile, a new survey from Pew this week shows that support for marriage is holding steady around 60 percent, with opposition in the 30 percent range. And that's the big reason why any attempt to disobey a pro-equality ruling from the Supreme Court will be unsuccessful: There just aren't enough people left who oppose the freedom to marry.

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Matt Baume