NASHUA, N.H. – Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker, an expected Republican presidential candidate, told reporters Saturday he’s only been to a same-sex marriage reception, when asked if he would attend a gay wedding.
The Wisconsin governor said it is a “personal issue” and explained that he and his wife Tonette already had a family member who had a same-sex wedding.
“I haven’t been to a [same-sex] wedding. That’s true even though my position on marriage is still that’s defined between a man and a woman, and I support the Constitution of the state. But for someone I love, we’ve been at a reception.” Walker was away on business when the wedding happened, but he attended the reception.
According to The New York Times, last June Mrs. Walker’s cousin Shelli Marquardt married her partner at Waukesha County Courthouse outside Milwaukee. The Walkers’ then-19-year-old son, Alex, signed the marriage certificate as a witness. The wedding ceremony happened when a federal judge struck down Wisconsin’s ban on gay marriages. The judge stopped those marriages while the ruling was later appealed.
The controversy over same-sex weddings and whether private businesses or contractors should be mandated to service them came to the surface, when Republican Indiana Gov. Mike Pence signed into law a Religious Freedom Restoration Act for his state. A federal version of the same law exists as do 20 states with RFRA laws.
At a press conference, Walker said of the RFRA controversy that “In our state there’s a balance between wanting to make sure that there’s not discrimination [and] at the same time respecting religious freedoms. … We do that in different ways than what they’ve done in Indiana.”