Florida Senator Marco Rubio has decided to stand behind a piece of legislation that for now keeps the ban on women from being required to register for a hypothetical military draft.
National Review reported Thursday that both Rubio and fellow Republican presidential candidate Ted Cruz have decided to cosponsor legislation from Sen. Mike Lee, R-Utah, that keeps the ban on drafting women and leaves sole power to Congress to change the rules for registration in the future if needed.
"Senator Rubio agrees with Senator Lee that Congress needs to determine the future of the Selective Service system and is working on legislation to codify that role and plans to support it," said Rubio spokesman Alex Burgos.
Rubio was one of a number of GOP candidates, including former Florida governor Jeb Bush and New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie, who suggested at the last Republican debate that women having to register for Selective Service would be a matter of fairness. After the debate, Rubio reiterated the position in a blog post on his campaign website.
Rubio doesn't appear to have changed his position, but rather supports the legislation to ensure the decision will be left to Congress and not the president.
Not all candidates agreed with Bush, Christie and Rubio. Cruz not only slammed the idea of requiring women to register for the military draft, but even argued that such a scenario would be both "immoral" and "nuts."
Former Congresswoman Michele Bachmann, R-Minn., further argued that the idea was pushed forward by leftists who think "gender doesn't matter," and who want to "bring about the end of male-female."
"They're getting it wrong in that the American people have no interest in having their daughters be drafted to serve in combat," Bachmann said, according to CNS News. "That isn't a value the American people hold. … It is crazy."
The sentiments where echoed by a number of evangelical voices, including the Institute on Religion & Democracy, which called on all Christians to stand together against such a proposal.
"Christian leaders should oppose conscripting women into the military. Not only evangelicals, but also Catholics and Christian pacifists should speak out. Can the Church be silent about the potentially coercive militarization of America's daughters?" asked IRD's Evangelical Action Director Chelsen Vicari.
"Women are serving and have been serving their country alongside men. We support and thank them for their sacrifices. Women have important roles to fill in the military, but women also play vital roles in the home. Forcing mothers, daughters, and our sisters to register for Selective Service would be a tragic mistake," she added.
In an opinion column for Mediaite titled, "Marco Rubio's Stance on Drafting Women Makes No Freaking Sense," Alex Griswold argued that Lee's legislation is unnecessary, and Rubio's support for the bill is intended to undo the political damage caused by his position on Selective Service for women.
Russell Moore, President of the Southern Baptist Ethics & Religious Liberty Commission, also Tweeted out his support for Lee's legislation.
"I totally support this bill. Thank you @marcorubio and @tedcruz for co-sponsoring it," Moore wrote.
National Review pointed out that Lee's bill is expected to be introduced before Congress sometime around February 23, when the legislative body returns from a week of recess.