While I would prefer that the Tea Party groups acknowledge how Judge Tauro’s use of the Tenth Amendment could further their small government agenda, I do take a least a little bit of comfort in their decision to remain silent on the ruling:
While many conservative organizations immediately decried a federal judge’s decision last week to invalidate the federal ban on recognizing gay marriages, tea party groups have been conspicuously silent on the issue.
The silence is by design, activists with the loosely affiliated movement said, because it is held together by an exclusive focus on fiscal matters and its avoidance of divisive social issues such as abortion and gay marriage. Privately, though, many said they back the decision because it emphasizes the legal philosophy of states’ rights.
The comfort I take is related to that part I emphasized above. The silence provides further evidence of the Tea Party focus on matters fiscal and further and so helps undermine the left-wing/media/Democratic narrative of sinister racist or anti-gay forces dominating the movement.
Washington Post writer Sandhya Somashekhar quotes one activist who pretty much sums up what’s at issue here:
Everett Wilkinson, state director for the Florida Tea Party Patriots, agreed: “On the issue [of gay marriage] itself, we have no stance, but any time a state’s rights or powers are encouraged over the federal government, it is a good thing.”
NB: Tweaked the text slightly as I had initially written it in haste.