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Carly Fiorina softens on gay marriage

Who is Carly Fiorina?

May 8, 201511:51

GOP presidential candidate Carly Fiorina softened her stance on gay marriage on Monday, telling a blogger that she didn’t support a Constitutional amendment to ban gay marriage any more.

“I think the Supreme Court ruling will become the law of the land, and however much I may agree or disagree with it, I wouldn’t support an amendment to reverse it and I very much hope that we would come to a place now in this nation where we can support their decision and at the same time support people’s right to have, to hold religious views and to protect their right to exercise those views,” Fiorina told the blog Caffeinated Thoughts after an event in Iowa. “I think this is a nation that should be able to accept and government shouldn’t discriminate in how it provides benefits and the people have a right to their religious freedoms."

Related: Carly Fiorina fires back at critics of 'Domaingate'

In 2010, however, Fiorina supported such an amendment, according the Christian Coalition voting card from her unsuccessful bid to unseat Sen. Barbara Boxer in California. Her newly softened view sets her to the left of several other Republican presidential candidates, including Sen. Ted Cruz, who recently introduced a bill proposing a constitutional amendment that would protect states that prohibit gay marriage and another bill that barred federal courts from ruling until the first bill is resolved.  

Fiorina is otherwise a staunch social conservative, fighting against abortion and access to certain kinds of birth control. Still, her stance on the issue of same-sex marriage could help the candidate make inroads with younger Republicans and women, who support gay marriage in larger numbers, according to polling, and it situates her far more in keeping with the Republican National Committee's 2012 autopsy report, which wrote that "for many younger voters, [gay rights] are a gateway into whether the Party is a place they want to be."

Fiorina first declared her support for same-sex unions in 2010 and reaffirmed her position last month, writing, “the debate about gay marriage is really a debate about how the government bestows benefits and whether they should be bestowed equally."

Fiorina also supports the controversial religious freedom laws many believe will result in discrimination. In her April statement, she continued:  "I also believe that people of religious conviction know that marriage is a religious institution with a spiritual foundation because only a man and a woman can create life, which is a gift that comes from God. We must protect their rights as well.”