Tony Perkins of the Family Research Council interviewed Texas Gov. Rick Perry today on his thoughts on marriage. The interview will do well to reassure supporters of marriage as a union of one man and one woman.
Just last week Perry commented on New York’s passage of a same-sex “marriage” law, saying: “That’s New York, and that’s their business, and that’s fine with me…”
Those comments caused a backlash and could have threatened Perry’s chances at winning the Republican presidential nomination even before his campaign started.
But Perry told Perkins:
“I probably needed to add a few words after that ‘it’s fine with me,’ and that it’s fine with me that a state is using their sovereign rights to decide an issue. 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. My record as governor of Texas reflects a very strong commitment to defending traditional marriage.”
During his radio interview with Perkins, Perry stressed his active support in 2005 for marriage amendment to Texas’ Constitution.
Perry said his initial remarks simply reflected the federalism found in our Constitutional system.
“My comments reflect 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,” said Perry.
Perkins agreed with Perry on the need for federalism and the 10th amendment but noted that the Defense of Marriage Act passed by Congress in 1996 is only a law, not a constitutional amendment, thus offering only a “thin-line of defense” against activist judges. If DOMA were thrown out, same-sex marriage would be legal in all 50 states.
It was a concern that Perry shared:
“That is the reason that the federal marriage amendment is being offered. It’s the small group of activist judges. And frankly a small handful of states and these liberal special interest groups that are intent on a redefinition 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 not to have (a redefinition of) marriage forced upon them by activists judges and these special interest groups. The Constitution was designed to respect the states, including the amendment process,” said Perry.
Perry noted that the amendment process respects the rights of the states, because any amendment to the Constitution must have the support of 3/4ths of the states to ratify.
“It’s really strong medicine, but our Founding Fathers had great wisdom,” Perry said. “I hope we pass a federal marriage amendment.”
Sounds good to me.
You can listen to the FRC interview here.