A key group sponsoring The Response, a day dedicated to prayer for the nation that has been promoted by Texas Gov. Rick Perry, says he “missed an opportunity” when he answered that he “was fine” with New Yorkers’ plans to adopt same-sex “marriage” in their state.

Bryan Fischer is director of issue analysis for the American Family Association, a key backer of The Response, and told WND that the organization is not changing any plans to work with Perry over the comment.

But he said, “I think there’s probably disappointment in the governor over his comments. … There was an opportunity for him to say New York has the right to establish [homosexual ‘marriage’] but same-sex marriage is not good public policy.”

According to reports, Perry was at a meeting of GOP donors in Aspen, Colo., when he called himself an “unapologetic social conservative” but also said:

“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.”

A spokesman for the governor, Mark Miner, today explained all that Perry has done for traditional marriage, from working on a state constitutional amendment defining marriage as being between one man and one woman to his leadership in passing the Defense of Marriage Act.

But Miner refused to say that the governor, who is considered by many to be running for president although that announcement has not yet been made, should have expressed his support of the 10th Amendment, which allocates to states most of the decision-making prerogatives that exist in government, in a way that stopped short of conceding voters or lawmakers simply could decide to change the millennia-old definition of marriage.

“The governor’s a strong defender of the right of people to govern themselves,” he told WND. He blamed “activist judges” for the imposition of same-sex marriage in several states, which has happened. But in New York it was a vote of the legislature, reported manipulated by the influence of promises of campaign contributions.

“The governor believes marriage is the union of one man and one woman. And his record as governor reflects a commitment to defending traditional marriage,” Miner said.

Fischer said, “We think he missed an opportunity to make a robust defense of natural marriage. … I think we hope that all of the presidential candidates will support a federal marriage amendment. We think ultimately this is the only way we are going to resolve this issue.”

This situation “does not change our working relationship with the governor with regard to the prayer event,” he explained. “It is not a political statement or event. It’s about people coming together on their knees before God.”

According to a compilation from CBS, it might not be the only issue where Perry’s stance, or former positions, may be at odds with many conservative voters in the country.

The report noted that he previously supported ex-New York Mayor Rudy Guiliani, who supports abortion and same-sex marriage. And during the 1980s he was Texas chairman for the presidential campaign of Al Gore.

Further, the report said, critics say he hasn’t worked hard enough for a ban on “sanctuary cities,” actually signed a state version allowing children of illegal aliens to have in-state college tuition, and supported the Trans-Texas Corridor.

He also signed an executive order, later overturned, that would have required sixth-grade girls to be vaccinated for a sexually transmitted disease.

On the prayer event website, Perry states, “Right now, America is in crisis: we have been besieged by financial debt, terrorism, and a multitude of natural disasters. As a nation, we must come together and call upon Jesus to guide us through unprecedented struggles, and thank Him for the blessings of freedom we so richly enjoy.

“Some problems are beyond our power to solve, and according to the Book of Joel, Chapter 2, this historic hour demands a historic response. Therefore, on August 6, thousands will gather to pray for a historic breakthrough for our country and a renewed sense of moral purpose.”

But Peter LaBarbera, chief of Americans for Truth, which deals with issues including same-sex “marriage,” told WND, Perry “should have used the opportunity” to advocate for traditional marriage.

He said politicians today are in the “avoid” mode about the dispute that involves the “profound error” of “taking something long regarded as taboo and detestable and now enshrining in this noble institution of marriage.”

He warned that the growing promotions for same-sex “marriage” soon will give way to demands for polygamous and polyamorous relationships – and society’s approval for those.

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