Former Christian Coalition leader Ralph Reed, now head of the Faith and Freedom Coalition, conceded in an interview at the Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC) on Friday that a federal marriage amendment that would ban gay marriage in the U.S. Constitution is a dead issue for GOP presidential candidates. Mitt Romney vowed to push for an amendment banning gay marriage in 2012, and George W. Bush announced his support for an amendment in 2004 and made it a big part of his re-election campaign.
Reed, who in his speech at CPAC attacked "left-wing bullies" whom he said forced Gov. Jan Brewer to veto an anti-gay bill in Arizona and railed against the Obama administration for fomenting a "war on religion," said in an interview with me on SiriusXM Progress that he doesn't "know of anyone [among possible GOP contenders] who plans to run for president in 2016" who supports gay marriage.
However, agreeing that no potential GOP 2016 candidate has yet to come out in favor of a federal marriage amendment, Reed conceded that it would be "trying to put the genie back in the bottle."
"Even if you passed a federal marriage amendment," he said, "I would assume it would grandfather in anyone who's been married, so I don't know. It was always a very difficult option. I don't think we ever got 50 votes in the U.S. Senate for that amendment. So, we always knew that the amendment was going to be very difficult to pass."