Ultraconservative congresswoman and former presidential hopeful Michele Bachmann is having to walk back on comments implying that she’s tired of fighting marriage equality.
Marriage equality is “not an issue,” Bachmann told gay journalist and Sirius XM ratio host Michelangelo Signorile Friday at the Values Voter Summit, a gathering of right-wing activists in Washington, D.C. “In fact, it’s boring,” she added before walking away.
There was immediate outcry from the others on the right, with the American Family Association’s Bryan Fischer telling Signorile, “Well, I’d have to know more about what Representative Bachmann meant when she said that. The debate is far from settled. We’ve got a long way to go.”
The Minnesota Republican congresswoman did some damage control Sunday in an interview with conservative news site WND, essentially blaming the media. “What I said is that this won’t be the issue that drives the 2014 election,” she said (Signorile posted a clarification to this effect in his Huffington Post column). “I told the reporter it’s getting boring having them only press this issue with Republicans while ignoring Democrats. The media loves to divide us on this issue. They look for something all the time. I said nothing different. I’m the woman who carried the traditional marriage amendment in Minnesota, and I stand firm in my belief that marriage should be between one man and one woman.”
That amendment, which would have written a ban on same-sex marriage into the state constitution, was turned away by voters in 2012. The Minnesota legislature then approved marriage equality the following year. And since June 2013, when the U.S. Supreme Court struck down a key section of the federal Defense of Marriage Act, there have been 40 federal and state court rulings in favor of marriage equality and only two against. Still, marriage equality opponents say it’s not time to give up.
“When the homosexual lobby was 0 and 31 [having lost at the ballot in 31 states on marriage], the gay lobby didn’t quit,” Fischer told Signorile. “They didn’t give up. They didn’t do it. They didn’t give up, and neither are we.”
Listen to Bachmann’s brief comments to Signorile below — she’s barely audible, however.