Gov. Rick Perry of Texas’ hard turn the past two days on gay issues, in which he has suggested that gay rights are inconsistent with both American and Christian values, has generated enormous criticism from lesbian and gay organizations and some religious groups, and has even helped split Mr. Perry’s top campaign aides over a new ad.
In that campaign ad, released on Wednesday, Mr. Perry says “you don’t need to be in the pew every Sunday” to know it is wrong that gay men and lesbians openly serve in the military at a time when there is no organized prayer in public schools.
Internally, a top Perry campaign adviser, Tony Fabrizio, was critical of the ad. A Perry aide did not deny division inside the campaign over the commercial — a split first reported by The Huffington Post — but chalked it up to the “occasionally salty” and robust interchanges between advisers.
The ad came a day after Mr. Perry stood out in attacking as “silly” a new Obama administration initiative using diplomatic efforts and foreign aid to promote gay rights around the world and beat back efforts in other nations to criminalize homosexual conduct and persecute gays. This policy, Mr. Perry contended, was an “example of an administration at war with people of faith in this country.”