Adam Serwer pointed out yesterday that Gov. Rick Perry’s (R-TX) recent comments about being “fine” with New York’s decision to legalize same-sex marriage should not obscure his long-standing anti-gay track record:
At a campaign rally in 2010, Perry declared, “Would you rather live in a state like this, or in a state where a man can marry a man?” […]
Perry also supports Texas’ anti-sodomy law, which was struck down by the Supreme Court. Perry also appears to oppose anti-discrimination protections for gays and lesbians — Perry defended the Boy Scouts for excluding gay scoutmasters in his 2008 book because “precious few parents enroll their boys in the Scouts to get a crash course in sexual orientation.” A 2009 GOP Primary robocall complained that the president had signed a hate-crimes bill making “homosexuality a protected class.” Ironic, considering Perry signed a similar bill ten years ago.
It’s a fair point, but there is also some indication that Perry may understand the futility of opposing the growing tide towards marriage equality better than most conservative activists. His federalist position may appeal to moderate voters, as Serwer suggests, but it is also in line with his belief that same-sex marriage is in many ways inevitable. As he writes in his book Fed Up: Our Fight to Save America From Washington:
Gay marriage will soon be the policy of the United States, irrespective of federalism, the Constitution, or the wish of the American people. Not because it is actually protected in the Constitution, but because judges will declare it so. [Pg. 110]
Meanwhile, Perry aides are reassuring conservatives that the governor still opposes same-sex marriage. “Nothing has changed with the governor’s philosophy here,” Mark Miner, a spokesman for Perry, told the Statesman, “confirming Perry’s support of a federal constitutional amendment defining marriage as a union between a man and a woman…the Texas Defense of Marriage Act and a state constitutional amendment defining traditional marriage.”