Even though he calls himself an “unapologetic social conservative,” Texas Gov. Rick Perry says he’s so dedicated to states’ rights that the state of New York’s approval of gay marriage is fine by him.
Perry opposes gay marriage, but said that the 10th Amendment, which gives power not afforded to the federal government to state governments, is more important than his personal beliefs. (Texas reps: Perry will get in)
“Our friends in New York six weeks ago passed a statute that said marriage can be between two people of the same sex. And you know what? That’s New York, and that’s their business, and that’s fine with me,” Perry told top Republican donors in at an event in Colorado.
“That is their call. If you believe in the 10th Amendment, stay out of their business,” the Associated Press reports Perry said to strong applause from the crowd.
The comments may be controversial with social conservatives, despite Perry’s constitutional justification for his opinion. Perry has been criticized in the past for his record on immigration and health issues. The governor was active in the Democratic Party before becoming a Republican in 1989.
At the same event, a forum held by the Aspen Institute and attended by governors Scott Walker (R-WI), Nikki Haley (R-SC), Susana Martinez (R-NM) and Bob McDonnell (R-VA), Perry reiterated that he’d announce his 2012 primary intentions sometime in the next few weeks.
Perry told the audience what his wife said to him: “Your country is in trouble and you need to do your duty.”
“I listen to my wife,” he joked.
“I’m asking the right questions,” Perry said. “I’m basically asking people, ‘Do you think there’s room in this presidential election for a full-throated, unapologetic fiscal conservative? And if you do think there’s room, are you going to help?’”