Last week, Texas Gov. Rick Perry (R) said he is “fine” with New York’s marriage equality law because “if you believe in the 10th Amendment, stay out of their business.” Yet, in an interview with the leader of an anti-gay hate group, Rick Perry announced that he doesn’t “believe in the 10th Amendment” after all:
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. Obviously gay marriage is not fine with me. My stance hasn’t changed. [...] To not pass the Federal Marriage Amendment would impinge on Texas and other states’ right not to have [gay] marriage forced upon them by these activist judges and these special interest groups.
Perry’s claim that he supports states’ rights to govern themselves, while simultaneously supporting the anti-gay “Federal Marriage Amendment” is impossible to reconcile. The FMA provides that:
Marriage in the United States shall consist only of the union of a man and a woman. Neither this Constitution or the constitution of any State, nor state or federal law, shall be construed to require that marital status or the legal incidents thereof be conferred upon unmarried couples or groups.
So Perry’s position is that we should ram his anti-gay views down New York voters’ throats by rewriting the Constitution to make marriage equality illegal in all 50 states. The states can have any law they want, so long as Perry approves of them.
Perry’s attempt to impose anti-gay bigotry on progressive states is also a stark contrast to his stance on economic issues. While Perry is perfectly willing to let the federal government force New York to discriminate against gay couples, he believes that Texas should have the right to flout Medicaid laws, ignore federal education laws and thumb its nose at environmental regulations.
In other words, Perry doesn’t actually care one bit about the 10th Amendment — he doesn’t even care all that much about his own twisted tenther interpretation of the 10th Amendment — he just wants to force everyone to live the way he wants them to live.