A week after suggesting that he was OK with New York’s decision to legalize same-sex marriage, Texas Gov. Rick Perry clarified his position on the issue today by coming out strongly against marriage equality and saying he supports a federal constitutional amendment defining marriage as between one man and one woman.
Perry issued the clarification today in an interview with Family Research Council President Tony Perkins, during the anti-gay group’s radio show.
“I probably needed to add a few words after that ‘it’s fine with me’ — it’s fine with me that a state is using their sovereign rights to decide an issue,” Perry told Perkins. “Obviously gay marriage is not fine with me. My stance hasn’t changed. I believe marriage is the union of one man and one woman, and my record as governor of Texas reflects a very strong commitment to defending traditional marriage, including those efforts to pass the Texas Defense of Marriage Act, which — you were at some of those events where we were promoting the people of the state of Texas to go and defend traditional marriage. And I might add that it overwhelmingly was adopted by 75 percent of Texas voters. My comment reflects my recognition that marriage and most issues of the family have historically been decided by the people at the state and local level, and that is absolutely the state of law under our Constitution.”
Perkins then asked Perry whether that wouldn’t lead to states like New York imposing same-sex marriage on Texas.
“Right, and that is the reason that the Federal Marriage Amendment is being offered,” Perry said. “It’s a small group of activist judges and frankly 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. Our Constitution was designed to respect states, including the amendment process.”
Last week, Perry told a group of GOP donors in Aspen, Colo.: “Our friends in New York six weeks ago passed a statute that said marriage can be between two people of the same sex. And you know what? That’s New York, and that’s their business, and that’s fine with me. That is their call. If you believe in the 10th Amendment, stay out of their business.”
Perry, a likely GOP presidential candidate, has been heavily criticized for those comments by social conservatives who don’t believe marriage should be left up to the states.
You can listen to audio of Perry’s follow-up statements today by going here.