Gov. Rick Perry’s support for New York’s same-sex marriage decision seemed like a sign the Republican Party might be changing its stance on the issue. But the potential presidential candidate walked back his statements today and reiterated his commitment to a federal marriage amendment.
“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,” said Perry during an interview with the Family Research Council’s Tony Perkins. “Obviously gay marriage is not fine with me. My stance hasn’t changed.”
But oddly, Perry also used the states’ rights argument to explain his support for a constitutional amendment that would limit marriage to one man and one woman.
“To not pass the federal marriage amendment would impinge on Texas, and other states, not to have marriage forced upon them by these activist judges and these interest groups,” Perry said during the interview.
It’s true some judges have previously tried to impose these decisions. But a federal marriage amendment would also prevent state voters from having the option to allow same-sex marriage. It’s difficult to see how Perry could view this as a victory for states’ rights.
Even though Perry’s position on gay marriage may not have changed, there are indications the Republican Party as a whole is shifting on the issue. Pollsters Joel Benenson and Jan van Lohuizen found that support for gay marriage has accelerated among Republican voters in recent years, according to a study they released this week. And the ABC/Washington Post poll has found that Republican support for same-sex marriage has jumped 8 percent since 2006.