Rick Perry Throws 10th Amendment Under The Bus, Supports Federal Marriage Amendment

Just a week after he raised eyebrows across the nation by saying he thought New York should be permitted to legalize same-sex marriage, Texas Governor Rick Perry is firmly back in the social conservative, anti-gay, corral:

Texas Gov. Rick Perry wants you to know he isn’t fine with gay marriage.

In an interview with Family Research Council President Tony Perkins he hedged controversial comments made at a dinner in Aspen last week when he said, “Our friends in New York six weeks ago passed a statute that said marriage can be between two people of the same sex. You know what? That’s New York, and that’s their business, and that’s fine with me.”

“I probably needed to add a few words after that ‘it’s fine with me,'” Perry admitted to Perkins Thursday.

And he repeated his commitment to the 10th amendment as well as his conviction that marriage should be between a man and a woman. “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.”

“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,” Perry continued.

Perry, however, made clear that he wants to change the state of the law and amend the Constitution to tell states like New York that they cannot legalize same-sex marraige:

The three-term governor sought to pacify his critics as he voiced support for a federal marriage amendment similar to the statewide amendment in Texas passed during his administration that defines marriage as a union between 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,” Perry said.

“Our Constitution was designed to respect states…I have long supported the appointment of judges who respect the Constitution and the passage of a federal marriage amendment. That amendment defines marriage as between one man and one woman and it protects the states from being told otherwise,” he affirmed.

I suppose it shouldn’t be too surprising to see Perry genuflecting to the likes of Tony Perkins, but it is still somewhat disappointing. Although I don’t think that the same-sex marriage debate ends with the 10th Amendment, his apparent willingness to accept the right of states to make their own decision on this was a step above what you hear from the likes of Michele Bachmann and Rick Santorum. As it turns out, Perry is just like them, another right-wing, anti-gay, social conservative.

You can listen to the whole interview here.


FILED UNDER: 2012 Election, US Politics, , , , , , , , ,
Doug Mataconis
About Doug Mataconis
Doug Mataconis held a B.A. in Political Science from Rutgers University and J.D. from George Mason University School of Law. He joined the staff of OTB in May 2010 and contributed a staggering 16,483 posts before his retirement in January 2020. He passed far too young in July 2021.


  1. Ken says:

    Just as well. A spine, and genuine federalist/conservative principles, don’t suit him. He’s better off staying the butt-boy of the religious right.

  2. Michael says:

    Big deal….so what…OTB is getting rather silly. Why do I never see any anti-deomcrat rants here?

  3. WR says:

    This surprises you? I mean, the executing innocent people and covering it up afterwards didn’t kind of tip you off to the fact this isn’t someone you want in higher office?

  4. sam says:


    Well, you know, dude, even if what you allege were true (the lack of pieces slamming the Dems), my question to you is why should you give a shit? I mean, it’s not as if there are no right-leaning blogs that do nothing but slam the the Dems that you could hang out on. (Wizbang comes to mind.) Why get you right-wing panties in a bunch because this site doesn’t tingle your reactionary noogies? If it’s so distasteful, take a cyberhike.

  5. J.P. Cole says:

    How does supporting a constitutional amendment throw another constitutional amendment “under the bus?”

    You sound less like a lawyer than a hysterical gay rights activist.

    Also, why it is that since you joined OTS every other post is about homosexual issues? Isn’t there anything else worth talking about?

  6. Racehorse says:

    The larger issue is the Constitution provision for states rights. The Federal government and activist judges have repeatedly ran all over and ignored this provision. This was done in the 1950’s and ’60’s when the Fed sent troops and attorney generals down here to dictate and take over the south, meddled in our affairs, and generally messed things up. They actually set back the cause of civil rights by creating turmoil and ill will among the citizens down here, most of whom actually supported an orderly civil rights process. The southern people would have solved this problem much better and quicker. Occupation by the Federal government forces never works. Ignoring the feelings and will of the people doesn’t either.
    States rights exist, even if we don’t always like it.

  7. Liberty60 says:


    The ghost of Strom Thurmond rises from the bowels of hell….

  8. OzarkHillbilly says:

    You sound less like a lawyer than a hysterical gay rights activist.

    Also, why it is that since you joined OTS (it is OTB you idiot) every other post is about homosexual issues?

    JP Cole, if Doug was gay, so what? Take your homophobic crap and dump it on Red State.

    As to Doug’s posts, if the Dems were acting as stupid as the Reps, I am sure he would slam them just as enthusiastically as he has always done in the past.

    Unfortunately, he is lacking in material.

  9. OzarkHillbilly says:

    This was done in the 1950′s and ’60′s when the Fed sent troops and attorney generals down here to dictate and take over the south, meddled in our affairs, and generally messed things up.

    Racehorse, were you around in the 50’s and 60’s? I was (60’s anyway) and it was F*CKED UP.

    Let me be the first to call a spade a spade: You are a r*cist piece of sh*t.

    most of whom actually supported an orderly civil rights process.

    Yeah right, lynchings, “the back of the bus”, and “whites only” drinking fountains were all a part of that “orderly civil rights process” you are fantasizing about….

    I was there as**ole. Your lies won’t get by me. I saw it, I remember it, and as long as I live, it will not be forgotten.

    also, if you have not been paying attention, states have no rights, only citizens have rights.

    States don’t have rights. Individuals do.

    I can’t wait to use that quote the next time some one tries to tell me corporations have “free speech” rights.

  10. Cynic in NY says:

    Another conservative hypocrite on the 10th Amendment? Color me shocked. The true liberty position is to get the state out of marriage all together. Get rid of the tax incentives, the whole package but of course don’t expect conservatives to support a position since like the left they love the state and love to grow it as well.

  11. Trumwill says:

    I am pretty strong on state prerogatives, but it’s particularly hard to square the hole when it comes to gay marriage. Allowing New York to have gay marriage really does put Texas one step closer to being forced to acknowledge it. I don’t see how that’s avoidable. I think it’s great! But given our population’s mobility, full faith and credit, and the fact that marriages have always been pretty transferable from one state to the next, I don’t know how you really make this a state issue, in the long run.