Texas GOPer Greg Abbott won't say if he'd defend interracial marriage ban

Pressed to give a direct answer, the gubernatorial candidate ducks the question

Published October 20, 2014 4:07PM (EDT)

  (Associated Press)
(Associated Press)

Texas Attorney General Greg Abbott, the GOP nominee for governor against Democratic state Sen. Wendy Davis, refused to answer whether he'd defend an interracial marriage ban in court if Texas still had one on the books.

In an interview with the San Antonio Express-News editorial board, flagged by Talking Points Memo, Abbott, who is married to a Latina, objected to answering the "hypothetical" question.

"Right now, if there was a ban on interracial marriage, that's already been ruled unconstitutional," he told the paper. "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."

Challenged on the vagueness of his answer, Abbott continued to evade the question.

"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," Abbott said.

In his role as attorney general, Abbott has led Texas' defense of the state's ban on marriage equality for same-sex couples. In a court brief filed last week, Abbott suggested that keeping same-sex marriage illegal would reduce out-of-wedlock births in the state.

Abbott's back-and-forth with the editorial board comes after the GOP's candidate for attorney general in Wisconsin declared last month that he would defend an interracial marriage ban in court, no matter how personally "distasteful" he found it.

Recent polls show that Abbott is on track to win Texas' governorship on Nov. 4. RealClearPolitics' polling average gives Abbott a 12.3 point lead over Davis.

By Luke Brinker

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2014 Elections Conservatives Greg Abbott Interracial Relationships Marriage Equality Texas Wendy Davis