Where does Republican candidate Rick Perry stand on social issues?

Texas Governor Rick Perry
Texas Governor Rick Perry

The first post from Life News.


Upon entering politics, Perry has maintained a record of defending religious expression in the public sphere.

He supported and signed a Texas bill in 2007, the “Religious Viewpoint Anti-Discrimination Act,” clarifying that students and school employees alike had the right to express religious views in public, and that religious groups had the same right of access to public facilities as secular groups.

[…]But one thing that distinguishes Perry from the typical right-wing politician is his unabashedly public prayer life: the governor has called on Texans to pray and even fast in response to state crises or disasters.When wildfires were raging during a drought in Texas this spring, Perry released an official proclamation over the Easter weekend asking people of all faiths to pray for rain for three days, and to pray for firemen and other officials in danger.


Perry is increasingly famous for championing the 10th Amendment of the US Constitution, by which states are granted whatever powers are not explicitly reserved to the federal government.

Despite a conservative record on marriage – Perry supported Texas’s 2005 amendment defining marriage as the union of a man and a woman – his 10th Amendment loyalties led to some confusion among pro-family advocates when he indicated that New York’s decision to legalize same-sex “marriage” in June was “their business, and that’s fine with me.”

Perry later clarified that he was not defending same-sex “marriage,” but the principle allowing states to decide without intrusion by the federal government. He added that he supported a federal marriage amendment, which would mean an agreement by 3/4 of the states, to define marriage as the union of a man and a woman nationwide.

The Texas governor also defended Texas’s sodomy law, which the US Supreme Court struck down in 2002 in Lawrence v. Texas

I still think Bachmann is better, but Perry has socially conservative accomplishments. In my opinion, this makes him better than Romney, who has nothing to show that he is a social conservative, and much to show that he is a social liberal.

Here’s more about Perry in a second post from Life News.


As governor, Rick Perry signed Texas’s informed consent law, the Woman’s Right to Know Act in 2003, and legislation giving unborn children at any point in gestation separate victim status in a crime (the Prenatal Protection Act 2003). He also signed a parental consent law in 2005, and made Texas the 10th U.S. state to fund abortion alternatives beginning in 2005.

Perry also signed into law a 2005 measure banning abortion after 26 weeks gestation. The law allows exceptions in the cases where the mother faces substantial risk of death, “imminent, severe, irreversible brain damage or paralysis,” or if her unborn child has “severe, irreversible brain impairment.”

During the most recent legislative session, Perry declared a new sonogram bill an “emergency” priority, allowing the legislature to swiftly enact the law that requires abortionists to provide women an ultrasound of their unborn child and an opportunity to hear the fetal heartbeat before making a decision on abortion.

[…]Perry adheres to a strong 10th amendment, or states rights philosophy, especially on abortion. The 10th amendment to the U.S. Constitution iterates that either the states or the people retain governmental powers not explicitly given to the federal government in the Constitution.

Perry has made the case that the states would be in a better position to defend the unborn than the federal government, which has been a prime donor to the abortion industry at home, through subsidizing Planned Parenthood, or funding abortion groups overseas.

The U.S. Supreme Court curtailed the power of the states to restrict or regulate abortion with the Roe v. Wade decision in 1973, making abortion a constitutional right, and therefore a federal issue. This has prevented states from passing pro-life laws that would greatly restrict or ban abortion.

Perry, however, has said that while he believes abortion is a matter for the states, he would support a Human Life Amendment to the U.S. Constitution. Such an amendment would be consistent with his states-based approach, because it would require the common consent of three-quarters of the States and supermajorities in both chambers of Congress.

There’s more in those two articles.

Again, he’s more moderate than I would like, but also more electable. He sounds like he would strike a middle ground between my views and Mitt Romney’s views. He’ll have more broad appeal with Democrats and independents. He’s not conservative enough for me on social issues, but he’s conservative enough to move the ball forward on social issues from where things stand today. I still prefer Michele Bachmann to anyone else by far, but a Perry/Bachmann or Perry/Pawlenty ticket makes sense to me, if it comes to that, with the remaining Minnesota candidate running for the Senate seat in 2012 against that miserable Amy Klobuchar.

I notice that the Club for Growth has a white paper on Michele Bachmann’s record views, but none for Rick Perry, yet. Bachmann gets an excellent review from Club for Growth, naturally. And she’s tied for first place on social issues with Rick Santorum, in my opinion.

5 thoughts on “Where does Republican candidate Rick Perry stand on social issues?”

      1. Well it’s more than that, this one just connects to a social issue. But it’s a big one to ignore for me. Admittedly it’s somewhat emotional – I have 2 daughters. But it’s also objective, because leaders need to show consistency on moral issues especially and he just hasn’t, and this is a big one. I don’t trust him, which is ultimately what it comes down to for me.

        That is probably the biggest reason I support Paul btw. I don’t agree with him on everything (even some big things). But I trust him more than any other candidate right now.

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