Texas Gov. Rick Perry says he will consider running for president after the Legislature adjourns.
Perry reportedly made the statement to reporters at the Capitol this morning. The media has been buzzing for weeks about a possible Perry presidential bid, but until today the governor has not made any indication that he would consider it.
If nothing else, assuming Perry does run, we look forward to finally seeing a a full and thorough investigation of those longstanding gay rumors.
Perry may not be gay. He may not even be bisexual. Who knows? But if he is gay, he certainly has the anti-LGBT cred you’d expect from a closet case. For more on his record on LGBT issues, let’s turn to an excerpt from my 2009 story about his primary against Sen. Kay Bailey Hutchison:
Paul Scott, executive director of Austin-based Equality Texas, said Perry’s only act in favor of LGBT equality in nine years as governor was signing the James Byrd Jr. Hate Crimes Act of 2001, which includes “sexual preference” instead of “sexual orientation.”
“I guess you could say that someone could be worse [on LGBT issues], because they could have opposed the Hate Crimes Act,” Scott said.
Neither Perry’s campaign nor the Governor’s Office responded to a request for an interview about LGBT issues.
According to news reports, Perry actually attempted to derail the Hate Crimes Act as it moved through the state Senate, but quickly signed it under political pressure once it reached his desk.
In 2003, Perry signed Texas’ Defense of Marriage Act, which prohibits the recognition of civil unions and other same-sex relationships from out of state. And in 2005, he would become a vocal supporter of Proposition 2, Texas’ constitutional amendment banning same-sex marriage.
Perry hosted a ceremony at a Fort Worth church to sign the resolution placing the amendment on the ballot even though his signature was not required, and he overtly used Prop 2 to try to build support among conservative evangelical voters in advance of his 2006 re-election campaign.
Perry once called Texas’ anti-sodomy statute “appropriate,” and, asked during the Prop 2 fight what he would tell gay and lesbian veterans returning from Iraq who wanted to wed, he said, “If there is some other state that has a more lenient view than Texas, then maybe that’s a better place for them to live.”
“He’s not known as a champion of LGBT rights in any way, form or fashion,” Scott said.