Do Tea Partiers Love States’ Rights Even When They Help the Gays Get Married?


It’s a good question — confusing for many — and in the news this weekend after a court ruling in Massachusetts, which is exposing “the fractures and fault lines among groups working to bolster states’ rights.” Those known far and wide as the Tea Party — that ambiguous, all-encompassing amalgam of Birthers/Palin-heads/populists/etc. — usually aren’t that into homosexuals. But sometimes their interests dovetail, as in the court decision “declaring that a state law allowing same-sex marriage in Massachusetts should take precedence over a federal definition of marriage.” When asked about it, it’s one big, Republican “no homo.”

As the New York Timesnews analysis explains, the decision, while supporting gay marriage in the state, also “echoes a central tenet of the Tea Party, 9/12 and Tenth Amendment movements, all of which argue that the authority of the states should trump Washington in most matters not explicitly assigned by the Constitution to the federal government.” But it’s awkward for social conservatives: Which comes first, God or country?

“It’s unconstitutional for the federal government to pass laws superseding state authority — and the judge did affirm states’ rights in this area,” he said. “But I personally believe in the sanctity of marriage between a man and woman and support any state passing laws affirming the sanctity of marriage.”


“As far as an assertion of states’ rights goes, I believe it’s a good thing,” says one woman. But she’s not queer or nothin’: “But I don’t want to come off saying I support gay marriage.” Ugh, politics is so hard. (No homo.)

Basis of Ruling on Gay Unions Stirs Debate [New York Times]