Rick Perry, should he run for president, will campaign on a strict states’ rights platform regarding key social issues, like abortion and gay marriage, even though he personally is against both.
At a retreat in Aspen last week with the Republican Governors’ Association, which he chairs, Perry was asked about the New York law legalizing gay marriage in the state. His response:
“Our friends in New York six weeks ago passed a statue that said marriage can be between two people of the same sex, and you know what, that’s New York, 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.”
“That’s fine with me” is hardly a culture war rallying cry, and Perry has already come under fire for the comment. One of his potential rivals for the GOP nomination, Rick Santorum, told an audience in Iowa earlier this week:
“I am not, as some in this race have said, OK with New York doing what they’re doing. What New York did was wrong. I will oppose it and I will go to New York, if necessary, and help overturn it.”
Asked about the Aspen comments today by Tony Perkins of the Family Research Council, Perry clarified his own personal position on the issue: “Obviously gay marriage is not fine with me.”
But he also emphasised that New York has a “sovereign right” to define the issue for itself, so long as such a decision does not impede on the right of other states to define marriage as between one man and one woman.
Perry has staked a similar position on abortion, arguing that Roe v. Wade should be overturned so abortion can go back to being an issue for the states to decide for themselves, as it was before the 1973 Supreme Court decision.
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