Heck on gay marriage: Against it

After not commenting last week on same-sex marriage,  Republican Rep. Joe Heck reiterated his position during a television appearance on Monday.  He's against it.

"I believe marriage is between a man and a woman," Heck said on the "Face to Face" show.

Even as he made headlines by coming out in favor of legalizing gay marriage,  President Barack Obama noted the decision should be left to individual states.  Heck said he was comfortable with the 2000 and 2002 votes by Nevadans that amended the state constitution to say "only a marriage between a male and female person shall be recognized and given effect in this state."

"I believe the people of the state of Nevada have made the decision," Heck said.

Asked by interviewer Jon Ralston if it hurts anybody for members of the same sex to get married, Heck said "it is not hurting anyone," but "it is my personal belief" against the practice.

Nevada does have a domestic partnership law that conveys nearly all the legal rights of marriage, such as hospital visitation and power of attorney, but Heck indicated he would not go beyond that to recognize a same-sex relationship in the same way as "traditional marriage."

After an initial wave of publicity surrounding Obama's announcement,  the issue seems to have settled as analysts try to divine what if any impact gay marriage may have on federal elections this fall.

In the meantime, Republicans including Heck are eager to get back to talking about the economy, an issue they believe can make inroads against Obama's re-election bid.

On a telephone call with reporters this morning,  Heck said he believed Obama chose to talk about gay marriage last week in a "desperate" attempt "to make the election about something else."