At first Rick Perry had no problem that gay marriage became legal in New York state, telling reporters that it was fine with him. But as soon as he was interviewed by the extreme religious right's Family Research Council, he flip-flopped and announced he was against it.
Texas Governor Rick Perry (R), one of the country's most prominent defenders of the 10th Amendment, is making an exception when it comes to gay marriage. After initially telling reporters that it's "fine with me" if states like New York legalize same-sex unions through their own legislature, Perry is pulling a 180 and calling for a Federal Marriage Amendment.
Perry, who is flirting with a presidential bid, clarified his position to Family Research Council president Tony Perkins in an interview.
"I probably needed to add a few words after that 'it's fine with me' and that it's fine with me that a state is using their sovereign rights to decide an issue," he said. "Obviously gay marriage is not fine with me. My stance hasn't changed."
Perry said he supported changing the Constitution in order to ban gay marriage, a position that he characterized as supportive of states' rights even as it would overrule New York's own decision on the matter.
"The real fear is states like New York will change the definition of marriage for Texas," he said. "That is the reason the Federal Marriage Amendment is being offered. It's a small group of activists judges and really a small handful, if you will, of states and these liberal special interest groups that are intent on a redefinition, if you will, of marriage on the nation for all of us, which I adamantly oppose. Indeed, to not pass the Federal Marriage Amendment would impinge on Texas' and other states' right not to have marriage forced upon them by these activist judges and these special interest groups."
His latest statement represents a major about-face and may be a preview of how he might court social conservatives should he run for president. At a fundraiser in Colorado last week, Perry was extremely clear in his support for New York's right to determine their own definition of marriage.
Think Progress writes: Rick Perry Tosses Tentherism Under The Bus To Placate Anti-Gay Hate Group
Perry’s claim that he supports states’ rights to govern themselves, while simultaneously supporting the anti-gay “Federal Marriage Amendment” is impossible to reconcile. The FMA provides that:
Marriage in the United States shall consist only of the union of a man and a woman. Neither this Constitution or the constitution of any State, nor state or federal law, shall be construed to require that marital status or the legal incidents thereof be conferred upon unmarried couples or groups.
So Perry’s position is that we should ram his anti-gay views down New York voters’ throats by rewriting the Constitution to make marriage equality illegal in all 50 states. The states can have any law they want, so long as Perry approves of them.
Perry’s attempt to impose anti-gay bigotry on progressive states is also a stark contrast to his stance on economic issues. While Perry is perfectly willing to let the federal government force New York to discriminate against gay couples, he believes that Texas should have the right to flout Medicaid laws, ignore federal education laws and thumb its nose at environmental regulations.
In other words, Perry doesn’t actually care one bit about the 10th Amendment — he doesn’t even care all that much about his own twisted tenther interpretation of the 10th Amendment — he just wants to force everyone to live the way he wants them to live.
Does America really want another Governor from Texas elected as President? He certainly shares the flip-flopping quality that defines Mitt Romney's political career. But his kowtowing to the religious right is straight out of George W. Bush's playbook.