During the Fox News GOP presidential debate last night, moderator Bret Baier asked Ted Cruz a question regarding gay marriage and adoption and later asked Donald Trump for his response as well. You can watch both candidates’ answers and read the transcript below:
BRET BAIER: Senator Cruz, the U.S. Supreme Court obviously declared same-sex marriage legal in all 50 states, a decision you have criticized. Given the current status of the law, do you believe a gay couple should be able to adopt?
TED CRUZ: Well, listen, adoption is decided at the state level and I am a believer in the 10th Amendment in the Constitution, I would leave the question of marriage to the states, I would leave the question of adoption to the states.
That’s the way it has been for two centuries of our nation’s history until five unelected judges in an illegitimate and wrong decision decided to seize the authority over marriage and wrongfully tear down the marriage laws of all 50 states.
Now, interconnected to this is the question of religious liberty. And at the last debate, one of my colleagues on this stage said on the question of religious liberty and Supreme Court nominees that he’d be willing to compromise and negotiate.
I can tell you, for me, there are areas that we should compromise on. Marginal tax rates, we can reach a middle ground on. But when it comes to core principles and convictions, when it comes to the Constitution and Bill of Rights, I can tell the men and women at home I will never compromise away your religious liberty.
And for me, Bret, religious liberty has been a lifelong passion. I’ve spent two decades defending religious liberty, including defending the Ten Commandments before the U.S. Supreme Court and winning. Defending the Pledge of Allegiance before the Supreme Court and winning.
And defending the Mojave Desert Veterans Memorial, a lone white Latin cross that was erected to honor the men and women who gave their lives in World War I. I represented 3 million veterans for free defending that memorial and we won 5-4 before the Supreme Court.
BAIER: Senator, thank you.
Senator Cruz definitely avoided saying your name, Mr. Trump, but I think he was referring to you and your religious liberty answer. Would you like to respond?
DONALD TRUMP: I have nothing to say. I mean, generally speaking, agree with what he said. I would have certainly have rather left it to the states. I was always in favor — I was very surprised when they came up with that decision. I would have certainly — I would have preferred had it been left to the states and I think most people would have preferred that.
Thomas Valentine is a researcher for the American Principles Project and a junior at the Franciscan University of Steubenville.