Texas Gov. Perry: States’ rights trump opposition to gay marriage
July 23rd, 2011
02:15 PM ET
12 years ago

Texas Gov. Perry: States’ rights trump opposition to gay marriage

(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.

Filed under: 2012 • Rick Perry • Same-sex marriage
soundoff (22 Responses)
  1. joe

    Sounds like Gov. Perry has taken a very wide stance on this issue. Kinky.

    July 23, 2011 02:17 pm at 2:17 pm |
  2. Umptysquat

    "And I listen to my wife." So who's running for office? Him or her?

    July 23, 2011 02:23 pm at 2:23 pm |
  3. Claudia, Houston, Tx

    Perry says "stay out of our business" or else we will sucede while our military troops from Texas are serving our country, they don't retreat and run when the going gets tough, but that's Perry's solution, retreat and run away like a coward. I don't think too much of a millionaire who touts his religion then pays $90 a year in Church tides.

    July 23, 2011 02:33 pm at 2:33 pm |
  4. Toni

    His wife should have added, "and you need to change political party". If he identifies with the Tea Party led repubs his aspirations for national office are DOA.

    July 23, 2011 02:35 pm at 2:35 pm |
  5. Nancy

    I agree. Let the states decide what is right for their population and get the federal government out of issues that do not concern them.

    PERRY 2012

    July 23, 2011 02:37 pm at 2:37 pm |
  6. Clwyd

    States Rights like secede from the Union?

    July 23, 2011 02:41 pm at 2:41 pm |
  7. Wow.

    He looks like a freakin' Marlboro Man! Where'd he come from? The Gossip Girl casting room?

    July 23, 2011 02:47 pm at 2:47 pm |
  8. vic , nashville ,tn

    We know he live in a comfort zone but we don’t want one more taxes governor in the white house
    He may have Pervez Musharraf support not from us

    July 23, 2011 02:54 pm at 2:54 pm |
  9. Joe

    The country is indeed in trouble. Why? Because of Teapublicans like Perry, that's why. Their my-way-or-the-highway modus operandi is divisive and basically un-American.

    July 23, 2011 03:04 pm at 3:04 pm |
  10. K in VA

    If he believes each state should decide on marriage equality, then I take it he means the Federal government should recognize what each state decides?

    Just to clarify (since no one in the press ever asks these follow-up questions), is he saying that married same-sex couples in states where marriage is legal should be able to file joint 1040s? Get Social Security survivor benefits when one dies? Get the same breaks on Federal estate taxes that go to opposite-sex married couples? Qualify together for agriculture price-support programs? And, in other words, be treated equally in the over 1000 Federal laws and statutes that base rights and responsibilities on marital status?

    Is that what Perry means? Or not? Would someone please ask?

    July 23, 2011 03:06 pm at 3:06 pm |
  11. Cindy

    Why should the government be involved at all.

    July 23, 2011 03:25 pm at 3:25 pm |
  12. MT

    I'm a native Texan. God save America if Rick Perry is our President.

    July 23, 2011 03:32 pm at 3:32 pm |
  13. GI Joe

    Now he's pandering. If you've never met a Texan, let me tell you, the beer drinking, tobacco spitting, rednecks would rather kill a gay than have one even shine their shoes.

    He's PANDERING for the votes. Nothing more.

    July 23, 2011 03:36 pm at 3:36 pm |
  14. 4merRepubCT

    I agree with Perry as long as all states abide by the Article IV of the Constitution. Full faith and credit shall be given from one state to another in the public acts, records, and judicial proceedings of each state (each state must recognize other states’ legal documents, such as marriage certificates and drivers’ licenses). So a same-sex couple could be married in New York State, and move to Texas, which is required to recognize the marriage.

    July 23, 2011 03:37 pm at 3:37 pm |
  15. thomas

    A politically-connected attorney in Texas told me he has known about Perry's gay side since the 1980s. And two district judges in Odessa told him that the rumor was always there when they served in the Legislature with Perry.

    I don't care if he is gay or bi or whatever, what's appalling is the hypocrisy involved – Perry is going around condemning gays and signing laws against them in public while possibly doing something different in private.
    Under the appropriate heading of "Naked City," the weekly Austin Chronicle became the first media source beyond Internet blogs and ezines to report on the alleged sex scandal involving Republican Texas Governor Rick Perry.

    Log Cabin GOPs for Perry 2012

    July 23, 2011 03:38 pm at 3:38 pm |
  16. lgny

    The Constitution requires that contracts made in one state be honored by the other states. Will Texas recognize the marriage of two gays in NY when that couple moves to Texas?

    July 23, 2011 03:38 pm at 3:38 pm |
  17. Slim Shaddy

    Rick "Toll Road Rick" Perry For President.

    July 23, 2011 03:39 pm at 3:39 pm |
  18. Drew

    Yaaa Hoo or is it Yahoo?

    July 23, 2011 03:41 pm at 3:41 pm |
  19. Drew

    In Texas they call GWB the smart one

    July 23, 2011 03:42 pm at 3:42 pm |
  20. GOP Hate America

    social conservative values = hate

    This guy even talks just like Bush did

    July 23, 2011 03:47 pm at 3:47 pm |
  21. Annie, Atlanta

    Is this the same Rick Perry who was TX campaign manager for Al Gore's primary run in 1988? What the heck happened to him, a head injury, to make him go from Al Gore supporter to secessionist? And what the heck does it say about us that we think people like him, who want to secede from the union, or Michele Bachmann, who held an anti-goverment rally on the capital steps, are qualified to be President of the United States?

    July 23, 2011 03:51 pm at 3:51 pm |
  22. DENNA

    Rick, why don't you go back to kissing up to the Tea Party Regime and kicking puppies. Let the grownups deal with real life in America. It does not matter how you feel about gay people, they have just as much right to "Life, Liberty and the Pursuit of Happiness" as your heterosexual self. Frankly from what I have read your thoughts, I would prefer a gay friend to your heterosexual company. Get lost!

    July 23, 2011 03:59 pm at 3:59 pm |