A federal judge's ruling last week striking down parts of the federal Defense of Marriage Act highlighted a divide between the libertarian leaders of the tea party movement and many social conservatives drawn to the cause. Though the tea party deliberately has tried to focus on fiscal concerns and avoid social issues, some tea party leaders are quietly applauding the court ruling, because it is based on one of their key concerns: states' rights. "On the issue (of gay marriage) itself, we have no stance," Everett Wilkinson, state director for the Florida Tea Party Patriots, told the Washington Post. "But any time a state's rights or powers are encouraged over the federal government, it is a good thing."
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