I caught a payload of flak from AmSpec readers a week ago for my column taking Rick Perry to task for telegraphing that he would not support a federal marriage amendment. Since then, Perry has walked back his comments on marriage and the 10th Amendment, eliciting the ire of liberals who, just a short time ago, heaped breathless praise on the Texas governor for his political acumen in winking at New York’s legalization of same-sex marriage.
During an interview with Tony Perkins of the Family Research Council, Perry affirmed his support for amendments protecting traditional marriage and the sanctity of unborn human life, and requiring that the federal government run a balanced budget. (On that last one, the Beach Boys’ tune “Wouldn’t It Be Nice” keeps running through my head, particularly as I watch the Dow nosedive today.)
Specifically on the marriage question, Perry said (emphasis mine):
… That is the reason that the federal marriage amendment is being offered, it’s that small group of activist judges, and frankly a small handful, if you will, of states, and liberal special interests groups that intend on a redefinition of, if you will, marriage on the nation, for all of us, which I adamantly oppose.
Indeed to not pass the federal marriage amendment would impinge on Texas, and other states not to have marriage forced upon us by these activist judges and special interest groups.
Our constitution was designed to respect states including the amendment process. That is one of the beauties and why I talk about in my book “Fed Up” that we need as a nation to get back to really respecting our constitution and the tenth amendment in particular which allows the states to impede against each other, whether it is on taxes or regulations or litigation and create the economic environment.
But the overall constitutional protection, if you will, by and how we amend our United States Constitution to reflect the values of the nation as whole is very important. Balanced budget amendment, another one of those with all of the debt ceiling talk going on right now. The balanced budget amendment and clearly telling those people in Washington, “look your spending too much money, and one way we protect your human nature, which is to say yes to special interest groups, is to prohibit you from doing that by passing a balanced budget amendment.” And I hope we’ll do that, and I hope we also pass the federal marriage amendment as well.
Liberals’ hypocritical outrage over Perry’s so-called “abandonment” of the 10th Amendment is humorous, though hardly unexpected. It underlines their selective reliance on states’ rights and local control — e.g., they support it only when it furthers their political ambitions. After all, if state autonomy is truly such a concern to them, why support ObamaCare, the uber-encroaching federal law that tramples on the rights of states?
Perry’s rationale for a federal marriage amendment is reasonable. Which upholds state autonomy more — having the federal courts impose same-sex marriage nationwide (as they did with abortion on demand), or going through the rigorous amendment process that requires ratification by three-fourths of the states? On this social issue in this day and age, those are the two options. It would be nice if we lived in a world where federal courts respected state autonomy. They don’t.
To date, only a handful of states have legalized same-sex marriage through the legislative process. The others did so through judicial edict. In comparison, 30 states have passed marriage amendments by a popular vote of the people. Despite shifting polls in the issue, a majority of Americans still view marriage as between one man and one woman. A federal imposition of same-sex marriage would run counter to what most Americans want, in addition to crunching states’ rights.
Make no mistake about it: a federal solution is the Left’s ultimate goal on this issue. That means conservatives have to play tough defense. To that end, Perry’s latest remarks haven’t lost him his status as a defender of federal non-intrusion. They’ve bolstered it.