In a surprise U-turn, Republican Presidential hopeful Donald Trump has ditched his support for same-sex marriage and now says he would consider overturning it.
The billionaire reality TV star-turned-politician is currently leading the Republican Presidential race.
He declared last summer that opposing same-sex marriage is a “dead issue” and admitted to attending a “great” same-sex wedding himself.
He said at the time: “Some people have hopes of passing amendments, but it’s not going to happen… Anybody that’s making that an issue is doing it for political reasons. The Supreme Court ruled on it.”
But in a Fox News interview today, Trump appears to have completely reversed his stance – signalling support for a plan mooted by rival Marco Rubio, to appoint new ultra-conservative Supreme Court justices and then demand a do-over.
Trump said when asked about same-sex marriage: “It has been ruled upon, it has been there.
“[But] if I’m elected I would be very strong in putting certain judges on the bench that maybe could change things.
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“At some point they have to get back down to business, but there’s no question about it, I wish it was done by the state.
— Nick M Duffy (@NickMDuffy) January 31, 2016
“I disagree with the Supreme Court from the standpoint it should be a states’ rights issue. And that’s the way it should have been ruled on, not the way they did it. I can see changes coming down the line, frankly.”
When host Chris Wallace asked point-blank whether he would appoint new justices in order to overturn the ruling, Trump said: “I would strongly consider that, yes.”
The move is a blow to gay Republicans, given until now Trump was the party’s only prominent candidate who doesn’t oppose equal marriage.
He has unclear stances on a number of other LGBT issues – and it is alleged he assured anti-gay evangelical lobbyists that he would not use a Presidential veto to block a law to permit discrimination against married gay people.
Mr Trump recently revealed he’s getting speechwriting assistance from a “great” pastor who compared gay people to paedophiles.
Watch the clip below: