Texas Governor and perpetually undecided presidential candidate Rick Perry explains his stance on gay marriage. It’s a state decision, through and through.
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. That is their call. If you believe in the 10th Amendment, stay out of their business.
Remarkable consistency, with none of the conscious attempt to honor both of the conflicting impulses of “states’ rights” and fundamentalism. On the flip side, New York Magazine pegs Michele Bachmann’s stance as nonsensical, the result of trying to pander to both camps:
I do support a constitutional amendment on marriage between a man and a woman, but I would not be going into the states to overturn their state law.
But is that inconsistent? I see no conflict here, but to reach that conclusion, we have to imbue Mrs. Bachmann with perhaps more of an intellect than she deserves. Bachmann’s stance admits of a guiding principle; it’s just a legal principle, not a moral one. If we accept the tea party idea that every bit of government power should be laid out explicitly in the Constitution, a federal definition of marriage, accomplished by act of Congress, would be an invasion of states’ rights, in a way that a constitutional amendment is not. Admittedly this dilutes the principle that the government is best which governs least, but it’s in line with a model of federalism requiring strictly enumerated powers. Constitutional theocracy: it’s the American way, to some, apparently.