It is Thompson's stance on gay marriage that is likely to deny him any unified backing from . . . the umbrella coalition of almost every major social conservative group in the GOP constellation.
What about Thompson's stance so angers social conservatives? Simple: In keeping with his federalist lodestar, he opposes a constitutional amendment banning gay marriage, and instead favors letting states decide.
But for religious conservatives, that’s not enough. "It’s just not going to happen now," [Paul] Weyrich said of Arlington Group backing for Thompson, noting that "a lot of people who had intended to support him pulled back."
Translation: The religious right couldn't care less about federalism, a building block both of conservatism and of the Constitution. When it comes to reproductive rights or gay rights or even euthanasia, federalism goes out the door and federalization comes in with a vengeance.
Related: "Federalism Should Extend to Marijuana Raids."