Rick Perry Lays Out His Incomprehensible Views on Gay Marriage

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There’s an inherent conflict between Republicans’ reverence for states’ rights and their support for a constitutional amendment banning gay marriage everywhere. (“States’ rights,” it seems, really means “states’ rights to enact conservative laws.”) This dissonance has never been expressed more perfectly than during the second GOP primary debate in June, when Michele Bachmann actually said these words:


I do support a constitutional amendment on marriage between a man and a woman, but I would not be going into the states to overturn their state law.”

Haaaaa. Okay. Clearly that makes no sense. In fairness, it can be difficult to pander to the social conservative and states’ rights wings of the party at the same time.

Haaaaa. Okay. Clearly that makes no sense. In fairness, it can be difficult to pander to the social conservative and states’ rights wings of the party at the same time.

This is why what Rick Perry did last Friday night was somewhat remarkable: He refused to abandon his states’ rights principles, even if that meant that some states, like New York, might do things he doesn’t personally agree with:


Wow! Consistency from a politician! Sadly, this counts as an impressive feat. In fact, though nobody seemed to take much notice at the time (because he wasn’t running for president then), Perry had laid out the same position on the Daily Show last November. So much consistency! Consistency overload!

It lasted five days.

Earlier today, Perry told Tony Perkins of the Family Research Council that he backs the Federal Marriage Amendment:


In case it wasn’t totally clear, Perry later added, “I hope we also pass a Federal Marriage Amendment as well.” So the situation here is that some states want to legalize gay marriage, and some don’t. The solution? Let each state decide for itself. Amend the Constitution so that no states can have gay marriage. Got it.

Yet in the same interview, Perry also clings to his professed respect for New York’s decision to legalize gay marriage:


Please, just — stop it. Stop doing this. Our heads are going to explode.

Texas Gov. Rick Perry: “Obviously gay marriage is not fine with me…” [FRC Blog]
Rick Perry Flip Flops On Gay Marriage, Backs Federal Ban [TPM DC]