WASHINGTON, D.C., August 30, 2011 (LifeSiteNews.com) – Presidential candidate Rick Perry has signed a pledge that if elected president he will protect the traditional definition of marriage and oppose homosexual “marriage.” The Republican Texas governor joins Mitt Romney, Michele Bachmann and Rick Santorum in signing the National Organization for Marriage (NOM) pledge.
“Kudos to Gov. Rick Perry for making it clear: he’s a marriage champion,” National Organization for Marriage (NOM) president Brian Brown said in an August 26 statement.
“By doing so, Perry makes crystal clear that, contrary to the conventional wisdom, gay marriage is going to be a bigger issue in 2012 than it was in 2008, because the difference between the GOP nominee and President Obama is going to be large and clear,” Brown said. “We look forward to demonstrating that being for marriage is a winning position for a presidential candidate.”
The NOM marriage pledge lists five commitments. The first commitment is to support passage of a federal constitutional amendment defining marriage as a union between one man and one woman. Perry, a supporter of states-rights, has previously said that the legal definition of marriage is the states’ prerogative.
“Our friends in New York six weeks ago passed a statute that said marriage can be between two people of the same sex. And you know what? That’s New York, and that’s their business, and that’s fine with me,” Perry told an audience in Aspen, Colorado on July 22.
“That is their call,” said Perry. “If you believe in the 10th Amendment, stay out of their business.”
Days later, Perry clarified his stance by saying that he is against homosexual marriage and does not believe it is “fine” that New York passed its new law, but reiterated that the right way to protect marriage was at the state level.
NOM Chairman Maggie Gallagher told LifeSiteNews that she doesn’t view Perry’s support for a federal constitutional amendment as a “flip flop,” but rather a “clarification” of his states-rights position.
“Perry, like most conservatives and unlike President Barack Obama, believes that if you are going to get a federal constitutional right, you have to actually amend the constitution, a process which requires three-fourths of the states to agree,” she said.
“I’m very pleased to see Rick Perry demonstrate he’s a marriage champion.”
The NOM pledge’s second commitment is to appoint federal judges and justices who reject the idea that “our Founding Fathers inserted a right to gay marriage into our Constitution,” and its third is to support the Defense of Marriage Act “vigorously” in court. Perry supported the Texas Defense of Marriage Act when it was under debate and eventually approved by Texans.
The fourth commitment says that, as president, the signatory will “establish a presidential commission on religious liberty” to investigate claims of threats or harassment of individuals who advocate against homosexual “marriage.” And the final commitment is to “advance legislation” allowing for a popular vote in Washington, D.C. on whether to allow homosexual marriage. Bishop Harry Jackson of Hope Christian Church in Beltsville, Maryland had sued Washington to allow for a popular vote on the issue, but was denied.
To find out more about Perry’s record on the life and family issues read Part I, Part II, and Part III of our special report: Who is Rick Perry?