With the GOP candidates locked in a struggle to win over socially conservative voters, it was unsurprising that each condemned the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals decision on Tuesday overturning California's Proposition 8, which banned gay marriage.
Here are the candidates' responses to the ruling:
"With today’s decision on marriage by the Ninth Circuit, and the likely appeal to the Supreme Court, more and more Americans are being exposed to the radical overreach of federal judges and their continued assault on the Judeo-Christian foundations of the United States.
"I was drawn back into public life by the Ninth Circuit’s 2002 decision that held that the words 'under God' in the Pledge of Allegiance were unconstitutional. Today’s decision is one more example that the American people cannot rest until we restore the proper role of the judicial branch and bring judges and the courts back under the Constitution.
"The Constitution of the United States begins with 'We the People'; it does not begin with 'We the Judges.' Federal judges need to take heed of that fact."
“Today, unelected judges cast aside the will of the people of California who voted to protect traditional marriage. This decision does not end this fight, and I expect it to go to the Supreme Court. That prospect underscores the vital importance of this election and the movement to preserve our values. I believe marriage is between a man and a woman and, as president, I will protect traditional marriage and appoint judges who interpret the Constitution as it is written and not according to their own politics and prejudices.”
"Today's decision by the 9th Circuit is another in a long line of radical activist rulings by this rogue circuit - and it is precisely why I have called for that circuit to be abolished and split up. Marriage is defined and has always been defined as 'one man and one woman.' We simply cannot allow 50 different definitions of marriage.
"The people of California spoke clearly at the ballot box that they wanted marriage defined in the traditional manner of one man and one woman. And for a court, any court, to usurp the power and will of the people in this manner on an issue this fundamental to the foundation of our society is wrong."