(CNN) – Texas Gov. Rick Perry’s advice on same-sex marriage? “Stay out of their business.”
Perry, who is publicly mulling a bid for the presidency, brought up New York's legalization of same-sex marriage Friday while discussing the reach of federal government with a group of GOP governors and donors in Aspen, Colorado.
“You know what? That’s New York, and that’s their business, and that’s fine with me,” he said.
The three-term chief executive of Texas has touted his social conservative values as he decides whether to seek the 2012 GOP nomination for president, and has recently been criticized for planning to lead a day of prayer in his home state.
But for Perry, the hot-button issue for some conservatives should be left to the states to decide.
"Our federal goverment is engaged with far too many things they shouldn't be involved with at all," he declared.
"I'm pro-traditional marriage. The fact is, we passed a constitutional amendment in the state of Texas that says marriage is between one man and one woman. Our friends in New York six weeks ago passed a statute that said marriage can be between two people of the same sex."
"That's their call," he continued. "If you believe in the 10th amendment, stay out of their business if you live in some other state or particularly if you're the federal government."
According to a recent CNN/ORC International Poll, most Republicans don't agree, which may affect Perry's chances among some conservatives.
Overall Americans are split on whether marriages between gay and lesbian couples should be recognized as valid, with 51 percent saying they should and 47 percent saying they should not.
But seven out of 10 Republicans said same-sex marriages should not be recognized as valid in the survey. Twenty-seven percent said they should.
Perry told attendees at the dinner hosted by the Aspen Institute that he would decide on a presidential bid in the next three to four weeks.
"I'm going through a thoughtful process," he stated.
"Do you think there's room for a full-throated, unapologetic, fiscal conservative? And if there's room, are you going to help?"
Though Perry called his role as governor of Texas the "best job in America," he said he owes his current presidential contemplation to his wife.
"Someone that I truly love, someone that I've spent the last 42-plus years with, sat me down, looked me in the face and said 'Listen, our country's in trouble,'" he said.
"'She says, 'You need to get out of your comfort zone. Your country's in trouble and you need to do your duty.'"
"And I listen to my wife."
CNN's Steve Brusk contributed to this report.