Tea Party activists likely won’t unite against California gay marriage ruling

Alex Pappas Political Reporter
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With a federal judge striking down California’s Proposition 8 banning gay marriage, don’t expect Tea Party activists to rally together against the ruling. But don’t necessarily expect them to come together in support of the decision either.

“It’s a tough question,” said Ryan Hecker, a Texas activist who developed the idea for a list of Tea Party legislative desires called the “Contract from America,” when asked how Tea Partiers feel about the issue.

There’s disagreement among activists — who usually make the point that the movement has nothing to do with social issues — over it. Some activists are undoubtedly against gays marrying, while others of the more libertarian strand aren’t crazy about the government legislating social issues. In this particular instance, there are Tea Party activists who say the judge’s ruling is a blatant example of judicial activism and overreaching.

“It’s just one of those issues where individuals in the Tea Party have their views, but the general movement will not go one way or the other,” Hecker said, pointing out that what unites those who call themselves Tea Partiers are “economic conservatism, free-markets and limited government.”

Of the 10 items on the “Contract from America,” which include tenets like rejecting cap-and-trade and balancing the budget, there’s not a single mention of any social issue like abortion or gay marriage. Hecker, a Harvard educated attorney, has been working to get members of Congress and candidates for office to sign on to the contract.

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