There are many questions we can be asked that don’t have a simple “yes” or “no” answer to them. But then there are those questions that shouldn’t be difficult to answer, such as whether or not interracial marriage should be legal. The answer, unless you’re a racist or a bigot, should clearly be “yes.”
Well, not if you’re Texas Attorney General (and gubernatorial candidate) Greg Abbott.
During an interview with San Antonio Express-News’ Peggy Fikac, his defense of Texas’ ban on same-sex marriage was brought up. He was then asked whether or not he would have supported bans on interracial marriage that were overturned in 1967 in the Supreme Court case Loving v. Virginia. Because at that time, Texas had laws prohibiting interracial couples from getting married.
You would think a simple “no” would have been easy to come by, right? After all, who in their right mind would support bans on interracial marriages?
Well, apparently this wasn’t a simple “yes” or “no” question for Abbott.
“Right now, if there was a ban on interracial marriage, that’s already been ruled unconstitutional,” Abbott said. “And all I can do is deal with the issues that are before me. The job of an attorney general is to represent and defend in court the laws of their client, which is the state Legislature, unless and until a court strikes it down.”
Actually, I guess that’s not a full-on refusal to answer the question. In fact, his comments actually seem to confirm that he would have supported bans on interracial marriage. Considering at the time of Love v. Virginia, Texas had laws preventing interracial marriage and Abbott made it perfectly clear that it’s his job to defend the laws of his state.
Then when Fikac apparently expressed uncertainty on how to take Abbott’s answer, he responded by saying, “Actually, the reason why you’re uncertain about it is because I didn’t answer the question. And I can’t go back and answer some hypothetical question like that.”
My theory on questions like these is that if they’re a simple “yes” or “no” question, and the person being asked refuses to give a simple answer, it’s most likely because the one they would give would negatively impact them.
Because like I said, Abbott actually made it fairly clear that it’s his job to defend the laws of Texas. And in 1967, Texas had laws against interracial marriage. Though it should be pointed out that as an attorney general, he is not required to defend laws with which he disagrees.
And while conservatives are trying to point out the fact that Abbott is married to a Hispanic women as a defense for his refusal to directly answer whether or not he would have supported a ban on interracial marriage, it’s important to note that these bans typically targeted marriages between whites and African-Americans.
But answers such as these should be alarming for all Texas voters. Either Abbott is a robot who will blindly defend any law because it’s a law (no matter how ignorant), or he’s really unsure in 2014 whether or not he would have supported bans on interracial marriage.
Though no matter how you look at it, with Abbott currently leading challenger Wendy Davis in the polls, it’s not looking good for the citizens of Texas.
And mark my words, if this state does elect Greg Abbott as its next governor, he’s going to make liberals in Texas long for the “moderate” days of Rick Perry. Which is an absolutely terrifying thought.