The Texas governor insists social issues should be handled by the states, and his stance could pit religious conservatives against 10th Amendment fans in 2012
Gov. Rick Perry, the charismatic Texan said to be launching a presidential bid this August, is getting attention for his ongoing flirtation with the 10th Amendment. In a 2010 "Daily Show" interview, he defended states' rights in conversation with Jon Stewart, saying that if Californians want to smoke marijuana and hire trial lawyers to sue one another, that's their prerogative.
In the same interview, he took a federalist position on gay marriage. And even as prepares for the campaign trail, he's sticking to it. "Our friends in New York six weeks ago passed a statute that said marriage can be between two people of the same sex," he told GOP donors over the weekend in Aspen. "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."
Adam Serwer, a progressive blogger who is unimpressed by Perry's record, nevertheless sees the appeal of his rhetoric. "If Perry gets into the race, this kind of positioning could blunt the growing distaste for anti-gay discrimination among American voters," he writes. "In a general election, it could make him more palatable to those with conservative views who aren't willing to countenance anti-gay bigotry."