Wicker and Musgrove are competing in the Nov. 4 general election, and the winner will serve the final four years of the six-year term Lott started.
Democrats want to strengthen their thin majority by unseating Wicker, and Republicans want to hold onto the seat they’ve had since Lott was elected in 1988.
After the California Supreme Court cleared the way for same-sex marriages in that state several weeks ago, Wicker issued a news release saying: “Since the beginning of man, marriage has been understood to be a union between two people of the opposite sex.”
Wicker wrote that 45 states – including Mississippi – have either a constitutional provision or a law that limits marriage to a man and a woman.
“However, unelected judges are trying to change that,” Wicker wrote. “These judicial activists have opted to ignore the will of the people and have ruled against traditional marriage laws.”
Musgrove said in an interview last week that he has always believed marriage should only be between a man and a woman.
“Certainly, I supported that position in Mississippi,” said Musgrove, who’s nearly a year into his second marriage. “To me, it’s a state issue. You could spend time on the federal level but, again, I think most of the states have addressed that because it’s generally viewed as a state issue.”
In a separate statement, Wicker wrote about the guarantee of life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness and said, “many forget the millions that have never been granted these rights due to abortion” since a U.S. Supreme Court decision in 1973.
“I have introduced legislation that would guard life by establishing personhood for the unborn, which would allow for their recognition and protection under our Constitution,” Wicker wrote.
Wicker and Musgrove have served in the Mississippi Legislature, and both voted for some of the toughest anti-abortion laws in the country.
In the U.S. House, Wicker voted for a bill that became law, making it a crime to kill or harm a fetus during an assault on a pregnant woman.
When Musgrove was governor from January 2000 to January 2004, he allowed activists to temporarily put dozens of crosses on the Capitol lawn to mark their opposition to abortion.
Musgrove said last week he has always believed life begins at conception and he has no problem with Wicker’s legislation.
“While that is an important issue, and certainly it’s not a debatable one with me, we need to also be spending time addressing the issues of the economy, the issues of the high price of gas,” Musgrove said.