Wendy Long, GOP Senate Candidate, Defends Gay Marriage View, Says She Would Have Married Mother

A Republican U.S. Senate candidate in New York defended her past legal analysis that declared gay marriage could lead to legalizing nuptials with someone's parents or pets by saying she would have liked to marry her severely ill mother.

Wendy Long, one of three Republicans seeking the right to challenge U.S. Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand (D), said on Capitol Tonight that a past legal analysis she did that said gay marriage would lead to parent and pet marriage was just an analysis, not an expression of support for such things. She said that by not defining marriage as between a man and a woman, other types of marriages could be supported. Long then pointed to a moment in her own life when she would have been interested in marrying her mom.

"And, in my own personal life for example, someone very dear to me, whom I love very much, my mother, who was dying of Lou Gehrig's disease and was having terrible problems with health insurance. I loved her very much. I would have loved to have legally married her so that we could have cured a lot of her insurance problems."

"I was just saying there's no rational basis to forbid me from doing that. So it was just a legal analysis. I wasn't suggesting that we would have ended up with any of these other arrangements that we're discussing."

City and State reported in March that Long had made her initial comments about allowing marriage with parents and pets during a 2010 radio interview with conservative radio host Laura Ingraham regarding the gay marriage debate in California. Long is a conservative judicial activist best known for her work as chief counsel to the conservative Judicial Confirmation Network.

"Who says I can't marry my mother?" Long said to Ingraham. "You and I love our dogs. Who says we can't marry our dogs?"

She continued, "The rationale -- and it's not to cast any aspersions or to discredit my mother or the dog -- it's simply saying there are no principle distinctions. There's no principle distinction to why you and I and five other people can't get married, if we wanted to form a commune and say we are married."

Long is facing off against U.S. Rep. Bob Turner and Nassau County Comptroller George Maragos in a June 26 primary to take on Gillibrand. Long has gained backing from GOP leaders across the state and has secured the nomination of the state Conservative Party in the race. Maragos has also said that he believes that gay marriage could lead to the allowing people to marry their pets.