Dan Savage: Why would Santorum and Huckabee's 'imaginary gay friends' invite them to their wedding?
Columnist Dan Savage is interviewed by 'All In' host Chris Hayes on April 21, 2015. [MSNBC]

The real question is not whether Gov. Scott Walker of Wisconsin or other GOP presidential hopefuls would attend a same-sex wedding, columnist Dan Savage said on Tuesday -- it's how anybody believes they would be invited to one at all.


"When the anti-gay bigots like Rick Santorum are challenged on their anti-gay bigotry, or [Ted] Cruz or [Mike] Huckabee, they always point to their imaginary hypothetical gay friends who might apparently invite them to a gay wedding," Savage told MSNBC host Chris Hayes. "In Walker's case it was his own sister, and that's what's so interesting about it."

Hayes played a clip of Walker telling MSNBC's Kasie Hunt that he went to the reception for an unidentified relative, but not the actual wedding. Hayes described the response as the governor's attempt to "thread a very fine needle" on the issue of marriage equality, which Savage said was pitting Republicans not just against progressives, but against their more conservative supporters.

"When it comes to flesh and blood and family versus base, a lot of Republicans are having a hard time now choosing base over family," Savage argued. "And that's really the whole trajectory of the LGBT civil rights movement right there in a nutshell."

Another prospective GOP candidate, Ohio Gov. John Kasich, told CNN he planned to attend a gay friend's wedding despite his personal opposition to same-sex marriage, a stance Hayes said humanized Kasich while also painting him as an "ideological and philosopical basket case."

"What the heck is the rationale for showing up at something that you think is some sort of deep violation that you think should be illegal?" Hayes asked.

Watch Hayes' interview with Savage, as aired on MSNBC on Tuesday, below.

Watch