Texas Governor Rick Perry — who recently cozied up to the anti-gay, and certified hate group, American Family Association, for a day-long prayer rally — on Saturday entered the GOP field as a candidate for the Republican nomination for President.
Perry, a former Democrat who supported Al Gore in the 1988 Democratic presidential primaries as chairman of the Gore campaign in Texas, switched to the Republican Party in 1989, and since then has worked to shore up his right wing credentials.
In 2002, Perry described the Texas same-sex anti-sodomy law as “appropriate.” The landmark United States Supreme Court decision in Lawrence vs. Texas struck down the law the following year, and invalidated similar laws across the country.
(And yet, “homosexual conduct” is still a crime in Perry’s home state of Texas, eight years after the Supreme Court decision.)
Perry also opposes all legal recognition of same sex marriages.
But he kicked up a firestorm of criticism recently when he told a group of Republican donors at the Aspen Institute in Colorado on July 22, that he was “fine” with the marriage equality bill passed in New York in June.
“That’s New York, and that’s their business, and that’s fine with me … If you believe in the 10th Amendment, stay out of their business.”
“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.”
Earlier this month, Perry partnered with the American Family Association to co-host a Christian worship event at Houston’s Reliant Stadium on August 6, where worshipers prayed for a “historic breakthrough for our country and a renewed sense of moral purpose.”
Perry has also been the subject of unfounded rumors dating back to as early as 2004 that he is gay.
According to the Dallas Voice, “The rumors that the governor’s wife caught him involved in a sexual act with another high-level male government official became so widespread several years ago that Perry denied them in an Austin newspaper story, calling them a ‘political smear campaign.'”