Rich Beeson, a deputy campaign manager for Sen. Marco Rubio, is causing a bit of a stir among the conservative evangelical crowd after reports surfaced he signed a petition pressing the U.S. Supreme Court to side with the pro-“gay” marriage plaintiffs in the landmark case Obergefell v. Hodges.
Rubio didn’t sign the brief, which staffers with other Republican presidential campaigns, both past and present, have also signed. But Rubio, according to LifeSite News, has other ties to homosexual activists that, when combined with his campaign staffer’s signature, could prove problematic for the public-relations image he’s worked to create as a supporter of traditional marriage.
And Tony Perkins, president of the Family Research Council, raised this point, while tweeting a reaction to the report: “Troubling if true. Would top advisors in a Rubio administration be the same?”
Eric Teetsel, Rubio’s director of faith outreach, was quick to counter that Texas Sen. Ted Cruz’s legal counsel, Chris Gober, also signed the brief.
“@tperkins… @tedcruz’s legal counsel is on pg. 51 on the list. Must have missed that,” Teetsel tweeted.
The Christian Post reported Friday that Ted Cruz for President paid over $245,000 to the campaign strategy firm Targeted Victory in 2015. The president and senior director of the firm, Zac Moffat and Abe Adams, were also signatories.
The Obergefell case heralded in same-sex marriage rights around the nation, over the opposition of even states where voters had made clear they wanted to keep the definition of marriage as between one man and one woman.
Beeson and Gober signed an amicus curiae brief arguing the court’s determination of a national right to same-sex “marriage” upheld “conservative values,” LifeSite News reported.
The brief specifically said state laws defining marriage as between a single man and a single woman “run afoul of our constitutional order by submitting a fundamental right to legislative or popular referendum.”
LifeSite News clarified Beeson’s name wasn’t on the original list of signers but he added it to a later-released amended version, as reported by the Baptist Messenger.
Rubio has recently fielded criticisms over revelations his staff met quarterly with the Log Cabin Republicans, a group that supports “gay” rights and that pressed for government approval of “gay” marriage. Rubio was not present at those meetings, LifeSite News reported. But in an interview with Reuters months ago, the Log Cabin Republicans’ president, Gregory Angelo, said Rubio’s staffers who did attend sought to find common ground on certain issues and to determine which ones they could “partner on,” the outlet reported.
And then, Angelo reportedly said: “[Rubio’s] not as adamently opposed to all things LGBT as some of his statement suggest.”
On top of that, Rubio’s campaign has received dollar infusions from billionaire Paul Singer, a businessman known for supporting candidates with strong same-sex marriage views.
As LifeSite News reported, Rubio’s called the Obergefell ruling “bad law,” but nonetheless refused to support an amendment to the Constitution that defines marriage as between one man and one woman.
“[Doing so] would be conceding that the current Constitution … needs to be fixed,” he said, adding the way to fix the ruling is to nominate justices who hold potential to overturn it, LifeSite News said.
At the same time, Rubio’s taken steps on the campaign trail to show his support for traditional marriage, announcing the formation of a “Marriage and Family Advisory Board” with members who are outspoken defenders of the one man, one woman view of marriage.
Moreover, Rubio’s campaign is hardly the only one tied to the amicus brief.
As LifeSite News reported: “Multiple staffers of Governor Jeb Bush signed the amicus brief … An additional Bush staffer, Sally Bradshaw, said she encouraged her pastor to publicly preach in favor of same-sex ‘marriage’ despite pressure from more traditional Christians. Brian Jones, an adviser to Gov. Chris Christie’s moribund presidential campaign and a former functionary in the unsuccessful campaigns of Mitt Romney and John McCain, signed on, as well. Ohio Gov. John Kasich’s New Day for America super PAC hired Matt David, a leader of Young Conservatives for the Freedom to Marry, a group of Republicans who support redefining marriage.”
Members of Donald Trump’s campaign did not sign the brief.
Rubio, who just won South Carolina Gov. Nikki Haley’s endorsement, is fighting for poll favor in the southern state, where the evangelical population is both active and prominent.