Perry’s Hilarious Position on Marriage Equality


Rick Perry got into trouble with the Teavangelists when he said that the states should decide whether to allow same-sex marriage, not the federal government. So listen to this amusing attempt to extricate himself from the problem:

I asked spokesman Mark Miner if Perry still held held to his view that states should be allowed to decide the issue of gay marriage. He said, “Governor Perry is personally opposed to gay marriage, and worked in Texas to pass a constitutional amendment that defines marriage as a union between a man and a woman. Governor Perry supports a federal Defense of Marriage amendment, but until that passes, Governor Perry support states’ ability to protect themselves with laws that define marriage between a man and women. Most importantly, Governor Perry believes we cannot support gay marriage being imported to other states against their will — where those states are forced to recognize gay marriages licensed in other states. That’s why a federal amendment — which requires a majority of states to ratify — is in order.”


Jennifer Rubin points out the obvious:

There are two problems with that. First, Perry said in his book that he’d support states’ ability to pass gay marriage; now he’s saying he’d support their desire to protect themselves against it. And second, in his book and in statements at the Aspen Institute, he never referred to a constitutional amendment to ban gay marriage. In fact, he suggested that it was a positive thing in and of itself to allow states to choose rules for themselves. This answer, if not challenged, may fly. But Santorum will no doubt be ready to pounce in the next debate.

The funny thing is that Perry claims that he isn’t backing off anything he wrote in his book even by “one inch.” Anyone who can think at even a 1st grade level knows otherwise.

Comments

  1. danielrudolph says

    This makes no sense. He wants to ban gay marriage nationwide, but until he manages to do so, he supports states’ right to allow gay marriage? What would not supporting it look like.

    Plus, if the fear is that some states will be forced to recognize gay marriages passed by other states (which is bad because it violates state sovereignty), and the goal is to protect states’ right to determine their own policies, couldn’t this be accomplished far better with an amendment that says states are not obligated to recognize marriages from other states (and laws details how this would work) than an amendment that tells states what their marriage laws must be?

  2. says

    Of course, the way I (and probably a lot of regular commentators here) view the issue: Imagine if someone today suggested that we let individual states decide whether to allow or prohibit interracial marriage.

    We’re talking about a very important human right. People should be able to marry if they want to, based on informed consent. The only rationale used to oppose that idea is religion, which was also used as the rationale for denying interracial couples from marrying.

    As for the motivation for religious people (or politicians with a religious base), I think making the issue a state thing is largely about promoting the illusion of compromise so they don’t alienate the swing voters too much.

  3. Danaleigh says

    Governor Perry supports a federal Defense of Marriage amendment, but until that passes, Governor Perry support states’ ability to protect themselves with laws that define marriage between a man and women.

    Most importantly, Governor Perry believes we cannot support gay marriage being imported to other states against their will — where those states are forced to recognize gay marriages licensed in other states.

    In other words, states have to have the right to define marriage for themselves as long as they define it the way he wants them to. Funny how the Tea Party is all about dismantling the federal government altogether, as far as I can tell, except when it comes to telling states who they can and can’t allow to marry.

  4. says

    Anyone who can think at even a 1st grade level knows otherwise.

    Well, based on his college grades, that may eliminate Perry. It sure as hell eliminates anyone who thinks he’d make a good president.

  5. says

    Plus, if the fear is that some states will be forced to recognize gay marriages passed by other states (which is bad because it violates state sovereignty), and the goal is to protect states’ right to determine their own policies, couldn’t this be accomplished far better with an amendment that says states are not obligated to recognize marriages from other states (and laws details how this would work) than an amendment that tells states what their marriage laws must be?

    That’s exactly what DOMA did, in addition to saying that the federal government wouldn’t recognize such marriages.

  6. danielrudolph says

    DOMA is a law, not an amendment, though and still leaves a lots of legal questions about how marriages that are only recognized in certain states are supposed to work. If two women get married in Iowa, then one of them moves to Minnesota, where she isn’t considered married and marries a man there, is the woman in Iowa now free to marry someone else? What happens to jointly-owned property?

  7. chilidog99 says

    Someone help me out here.

    If just one state recognizes same sex marriage, under the full faith and credit clause, aren’t the rest of the states bound to respect that?

    Even if the don’t allow same sex marraige in their own state, they can’t invalidate the marraige of two people married in another state.

  8. danielrudolph says

    I believe the argument is that marriage isn’t a public act, record or judicial proceeding and therefore states are no more obligated to recognize another states’ marriage than they are to recognize another states’ liquor license. I don’t see how this works in practice as it could easily mean that a pre-nup is valid, but the associated marriage isn’t.

  9. eric says

    Bronze Dog: As for the motivation for religious people (or politicians with a religious base), I think making the issue a state thing is largely about promoting the illusion of compromise so they don’t alienate the swing voters too much.

    Making the issue a state thing is largely about promoting the illusion that they actually believe in states rights, when they don’t.

    Its also largely about promoting the illusion that they agree with white southern racists who use “states rights” as a dog whistle, in order to get their votes.

  10. says

    If just one state recognizes same sex marriage, under the full faith and credit clause, aren’t the rest of the states bound to respect that?

    Read the whole clause. Congress can tell the states via general law to what extent they have to honor the clause (i.e., DOMA section 2). There are also some public policy exceptions.

    Of course, since it is all-but-inevitable that the courts will rule SSM bans unconstitutional, the 14th Amendment will make my first paragraph moot.

  11. says

    This is hugely ironic coming from a member whose party’s message constantly contains the refrain that the federal government’s powers should be limited to a ‘strict constructionist’ reading of the Constitution. What could be more strictly constructionist than a federal government that oversees contracts with interstate implications?

  12. Chiroptera says

    “Yes, I believe that as long as the States are allowed to do something, they should continue to be allowed to do it until they are no longer allowed to do it.”

  13. Trebuchet says

    Shorter Perry and Santorum: We want to limit the power of the Federal Government. Except when we don’t.

  14. D. C. Sessions says

    Of course, since it is all-but-inevitable that the courts will rule SSM bans unconstitutional, the 14th Amendment will make my first paragraph moot.

    Four words to that: Roberts, Alito, Scalia, Thomas.

    And I wouldn’t bet all that heavily on Kennedy or Sotomayor.

  15. hkdharmon says

    States Rights = The states have the right to do whatever they want until they do something we don’t like.

  16. Crip Dyke, Right Reverend Feminist FuckToy of Death & Her Handmaiden says

    Area man responded to:

    Plus, if the fear is that some states will be forced to recognize gay marriages passed by other states (which is bad because it violates state sovereignty), and the goal is to protect states’ right to determine their own policies, couldn’t this be accomplished far better with an amendment that says states are not obligated to recognize marriages from other states (and laws details how this would work) than an amendment that tells states what their marriage laws must be?

    by saying:

    That’s exactly what DOMA did, in addition to saying that the federal government wouldn’t recognize such marriages.

    That is not at all what DOMA did. DOMA said that states are not obligated to recognize same-legal-gender marriages, but they ARE required to recognize different-legal-gender marriages, and, by the way, state marriages that don’t conform to the federal vision will not be considered marriages by the federal government – which means that even within a state, citizens that that state considers married are not treated as married under many laws that govern citizens in that state.

    Thus the state doesn’t really get to pick their own marriage laws. By enacting gender-non-discriminatory marriage, one presumes that a state is saying, among other things, that all people married by the state will face the same marriage-related tax implications and thus receive the same benefits & obligations. But state governments **cannot** actually pay all married citizens the same wages if they work for the state in the same jobs. The federal government forbids it.

    ALSO, the state is required to accept as legal the marriage of close relatives married in a state where 1st cousin marriage is legal, so long as the spouses are of different legal genders, even if the state has decided as a matter of law and policy that its marriage laws exclude the possibility of 1st cousin marriage for rational public health reasons.

    DOMA does not work as you say….and wouldn’t even if it were a constitutional amendment & not a law.

    What would work as you say would be an amendment that declares that no state must recognize a marriage performed in another state if such a marriage is contrary to its laws, but that within a state, all persons treated by that state’s laws as married will be treated by the exact same legal regime from local ordinance to federal (and federal constitutional) law.

    That’s what would really be a “state’s rights” solution. But straight people would never go for it, because it’s so horrible to not know whether you’re married or not as you move from state to state, either on vacation or pursuing jobs, or whatever.

  17. D. C. Sessions says

    One wonders what would happen were some individual with two X chromosomes and a uterus get a court in New York to declare hir a “man” for legal purposes. There’s certainly precedent in various royal histories!

    At that point, does Arizona get to declare that the marriage of such a “legal male” doesn’t count because Arizona refuses to apply the Full Faith and Credit Clause, even though DOMA requires them to recognize such marriages?

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