Rick Perry: Social Conservative:
Rick Perry started his political career as a Democrat in Texas' House of Representatives. He served three terms in that office and switched to the Republican party towards the end of his final term. Rick Perry became Governor in December 2000 when George W. Bush resigned the office to become President. He has been the Texas Governor since 2000.
Rick Perry is touting himself as the Champion of Conservative Principles in his election bid.
Rick Perry: Against Gay Marriage:
Rick Perry signed a pledge with the conservative National Organization for Marriage. The pledge says he will support a constitutional amendment
to declare marriage to be a union of one man and one woman. According to National Organization for Marriage president Brian Brown the pledge also includes a vow to support the Defense of Marriage Act
in court and to appoint judges who will support traditional marriage.
Rick Perry: States Rights and Marriage:
Initially Rick Perry was quoted as saying gay marriage in New York was "fine by me" because he supports states rights. But then he went ahead and signed a pledge to support a federal ban on gay marriage.
Perry was quoted as saying, “To not pass the federal marriage amendment would impinge on Texas and other states right not to have marriage forced on them by these activist judges, these special interest groups. Our constitution was designed to respect states including the amendments process.”
Rick Perry and Family Research Council:
Later in an interview with the conservative Family Research Council Rick Perry said “I probably needed to add a few words after that ‘it’s fine with me,’ and that it’s fine with me that a state is using their sovereign rights to decide an issue. Obviously gay marriage is not fine with me. My stance hasn’t changed.”
Gays and Alcoholics the Same?:
In Rick Perry's 2008 book On My Honor
he compares gay people to alcoholics. “Even if an alcoholic is powerless over alcohol once it enters his body, he still makes a choice to drink,” he wrote. “And, even if someone is attracted to a person of the same sex, he or she still makes a choice to engage in sexual activity with someone of the same gender.”
Rick Perry on Gay Rights in Texas:
While Governor, in 2003 Rick Perry signed Texas' Defense of Marriage Act, specifying that Texas does not legally recognize a same-sex marriage or civil unions. Later, he supported a state constitutional amendment, which was passed by voters in 2005 which defines of marriage in the Texas Constitution as the union of one man and one woman. On his Governor's website
, he states, "Gov. Perry believes in the sanctity of marriage between a man and a woman, regarding it as the linchpin of the family unit and, thus, society as a whole."
Rick Perry on Texas Sodomy Laws:
In 2003 in Lawrence v. Texas, the United States Supreme Court overturned Texas' sodomy laws
that made sex between two consenting adults illegal. In a 2002 interview when it was announced the Supreme court would hear the case, Rick Perry stated "I think our law is appropriate that we have on the books."
Rick Perry Against Gays in the Military:
Rick Perry has launched a campaign ad that outs himself as a Christian and asks why soldiers can serve openly in the military while children "can't openly celebrate Christmas or pray in school." Although Rick Perry has not come out and specifically said he would reinstate "Don't Ask, Don't Tell,"
this ad seems to imply that he might.
Rick Perry on Hate Crimes Legislation:
Rick Perry likens the passage of a hate crimes legislation with creating a protected class for gays and lesbians. After President Obama signed the The Matthew Shepard and James Byrd, Jr. Hate Crimes Prevention Act
in 2009, Rick Perry's campaign, who was running a primary election in Texas, sent out robocalls with the following message: "With the president making homosexuality a protected class by signing the hate crimes bill, and Congress poised to vote on socialized health care, do you feel it is critical for more people to earnestly pray for our leaders? If yes, press 1. If no, press 2."
Rick Perry Lashes Out at President Obama and Gay Rights:
On December 6, 2011 President Obama released a plan
to promote human rights and to end discrimination and persecution of gays and lesbians around the world. Rick Perry issued the following statement in response to the human rights declaration:
“This is just the most recent example of an administration at war with people of faith in this country. Investing tax dollars promoting a lifestyle many Americas of faith find so deeply objectionable is wrong. President Obama has again mistaken America’s tolerance for different lifestyles with an endorsement of those lifestyles.”