T. Perkins, as unswayed by teen movie law as he is Equal Protection, thinks cocky is path to happy ending

March 2, 2011 at 10:40 am 67 comments

Cross-posted at Good As You

By Jeremy Hooper

Family Research Council head Tony Perkins writes in USA Today:

The biggest trophy that gay activists now seek is the redefinition of marriage. Currently, only five states allow same-sex marriages. How can a team leading 45-5 be losing? Where the people have decided, 31 out of 31 states have upheld marriage as a male-female union. A 31-game winning streak rarely signals a losing season.

If family members saw that I engaged in behavior that put my physical health at risk, I would expect them to warn me. If my closest friends believed I was in a harmful relationship, I would want them to help me escape it. If I were falling into sin, I would want other Christians to call me to repentance.

Conservatives will speak out [USA Today]


(a) Tony is disingenuous is the way he makes five states (plus the District of Columbia, btw) sound like a minor thing. We’re talking about five states in only a handful of years. Fives states with FULL MARRIAGE EQUALITY under the civil laws of the state. That momentum is beyond huge, and social conservatives know it.

6A00D8341C503453Ef0133F60Fbe65970B(b) 45-5 is a flawed stating of the stakes. Yes, we only have five marriage states (and D.C.) But it’s not like all of the other 45 have dashed all marital hope. We have very reasonable hopes for full marriage in states like Maryland and Rhode Island. We have civil unions or strong domestic partnerships in several other states. We have out-of-state marriage recognition in New York. Etc. etc. So acting like we have a black/white, 45/5, equal/hostile picture? That’s completely flawed and reductive thinking.

(c) “31 out of 31” is also a deceptive portrait. Because in many early states, we weren’t in contention in any real or viable way. The opposition movement came out with guns and bank accounts a’blazin’, because they saw a real threat and saw a real way to rally via their vast church networks. In many states, there wasn’t even a pro-marriage equality movement to speak of until the anti-movement began. So yes, we have lost at the polls in 31 states. But most of them were sucker punches, not fair fights (as if voting on minority rights is ever fair).

(d) Furthermore, Tony’s choice to base momentum all around referenda is about as short-sighted as you can get. Because also in the past decade, we’ve seen Lawrence v. Texas, which was a game changer among game changers. We’ve had the federal Prop 8 ruling, where the opposition movement launched a truly abysmal defense (which even some in the conservative movement have admitted). We’ve seen a growing body of state courts turn our way. We have a growing number of elected officials calling for the repeal of DOMA (which even an AFA staff attorney sees as unconstitutional). And in terms of those referenda that Tony loves so much: Thanks in large part to mean-spirited votes like the Prop 8 one, we have the American public talking about the cruciality of not voting on a minority population’s civil rights. These factors have changed the game far more than the bare majority electoral “victories” ever will.

(e) As for health: I will not even entertain the insane idea that ENCOURAGING. LEGALLY-RECOGNIZED. MONOGAMY. somehow endangers physical health. Sure, marriage does not guarantee/require one partner for life (heterosexuals have more than proven that). But if stewarding sexuality in a way that reduces the social conservatives’ lists of horribles is truly the goal, then groups like FRC should be DEMANDING marriage equality, not banning the same.

But the truth is that (f) Social conservatives like Tony aren’t really concerned about fostering healthy relationships for LGBT people. No, no — the goal, as again evidenced by these quips, is to paint certain relationships as intrinsically “harmful” and “sinful,” with “escape” and/or “repentance” as the only acceptable endgames.

Americans are starting to get what’s really going on here.

Entry filed under: Right-wing.

“Rushing” freedom Segue, Genesis: Maggie again pits our civil equality against personal prayer

67 Comments Add your own

  • 1. Dave in ME  |  March 2, 2011 at 10:44 am

    mee first!

    • 2. Ann S.  |  March 2, 2011 at 10:54 am


      • 3. JonT  |  March 2, 2011 at 1:13 pm

    • 4. Alan E.  |  March 2, 2011 at 11:07 am

      and the Gimme Gimme’s

      • 5. Straight Ally #3008  |  March 2, 2011 at 2:57 pm


    • 6. Kathleen  |  March 2, 2011 at 11:19 am

      Love that AFA’s attorney thinks Sect 2 of DOMA is unconstitutional. Was pleasantly surprised to see one of their attorneys calmly distinguish between the political and legal.

      • 7. Steve  |  March 2, 2011 at 12:22 pm

        More like “AFA’s former attorney”

  • 8. Brett  |  March 2, 2011 at 10:57 am

    Here’s another important point- the “game” didn’t begin at 0-0, it started at 50-0 with their side ahead. Not exactly fair. Yes, the “score” is now 45-5 but we have the ball and we have the momentum!

    • 9. AnonyGrl  |  March 2, 2011 at 12:17 pm

      Excellent point.

    • 10. Rhie  |  March 4, 2011 at 5:41 pm

      Agreed. Excellent analogy.

      Tony Perkins last point is really the big one: He assumes this is a Christian nation, as he defines Christianity. He assumes everyone in this nation is a Christian, like him. If they aren’t, they are abnormals who should be forced to like under One True Christian Morality for their own good.

    • 11. Rhie  |  March 4, 2011 at 5:46 pm

      Ergh what I wouldn’t give for an edit button…

      When Perkins says 45-5 he is implying that the 45 are against marriage equality. That number is actually only 7. 7 states have a state DOMA amendment. So, the game is really 7-5 with the momentum on the side of the equality. The game has also just begun.

      • 12. Alyson  |  March 5, 2011 at 8:42 pm

        Where are you getting 7? I find 30 or more depending on what kind of marriage restriction you are talking about. Would love to think only 7 are against us but this site counts closer to what I heard.

        • 13. Rhie  |  March 5, 2011 at 8:57 pm

          Wiki actually has a better map. Was just counting at a glance, misread the number. There are 9 amendments that ban marriage equality but a further 21 with amendments barring other combinations of marriages, civil unions, etc. so yea, 30 states.

          The interesting thing is how quickly this all happened. 1996 was the FIRST legal definition of marriage between a man and a woman in the us. Not 1776.


        • 14. Mark M (Seattle)  |  March 5, 2011 at 9:05 pm

          Looks like 31 to me :-(


        • 15. Kathleen  |  March 6, 2011 at 12:40 am

          Some states have constitutional amendments; others have legislation, without having amended their constitutions. I think that’s why you’re seeing different numbers.

  • 16. Straight Ally #3008  |  March 2, 2011 at 11:04 am

    You know what side people like Tony were on during slavery, women’s suffrage, and Jim Crow.

  • 17. James Sweet  |  March 2, 2011 at 11:05 am

    I’ve got some numbers for Mr. Perkins: 43-40.

    The 2010 General Social Survey data was released to the public last week, and for the first time ever in the GSS, more Americans favored same-sex marriage (43%) than opposed (40%).

    Or I’ve got another score: 4-zip. During the time that the GSS has asked about same sex marriage, four times approval was significantly higher than the previous times, and at no time did it decline.

    The anti-equality folks are going to really regret hitching their train to argumentum ad populum. Not going to work out well for them…

  • 20. Alan E.  |  March 2, 2011 at 11:06 am

    Everyone MUST read this online magazine. It was created by queer students at a christian college, and these students have opened themselves up in a powerful way. Unfortunately, they had to remain anonymous for their protection, but it’s still a great read.


    Hemant Mehta has a great write-up about it, too.

    • 21. Straight Ally #3008  |  March 2, 2011 at 12:46 pm

      We need this kind of Christianity to supplant fundamentalism. And mark my words, I may not live to see it, but one day fundamentalists of the future will go on and on about how they always supported equal treatment of LGBT folks. Just like…ahem…they always opposed slavery.

  • 22. Ronnie  |  March 2, 2011 at 11:07 am

    (rolls eyes at Tony Perkins)…..he used the word “sin”…therefore his entire statement leading into the use of that word in null-in-void, irrelevant & deemed insufficient since it pertains to his religion…his religion is not my religion, his religion is NOT the law, & demanding that I or any American adhere to his religious tenets is a violation of our 1st amendment rights…..

    “I would want other Christians to call me to repentance.“……LGBT & Straight Christians are calling him to repentance…whether he thinks they are Christian or not is irrelevant since they are entitled to “Freedom of Religion & the free exercise thereof” as American Citizens…so Perkins = FAIL…..what an embarrassingly pathetic little man (& I use the word “man” looser then a alley tomcat in heat…the word “man” implies he actually has a pair….just saying)….. 8 /…Ronnie

  • 23. Sagesse  |  March 2, 2011 at 11:24 am

    USA Today. Because of his association with FRC, an officially designated hate group, he is being marginalized. Of course the Washington Post now lets Brian Brown post in his spot on the opinion page, but progress is progress.

    • 24. Felyx  |  March 2, 2011 at 12:29 pm

      If it wasn’t for Courage Campaign and other gay media outlets, I am not sure Perkins would get any real coverage at all!

  • 25. Jon  |  March 2, 2011 at 11:48 am

    Actually, if you believe you’re right, morally right, God is with you right, you don’t count noses as if that added validation. You don’t trumpet scores as if you needed others to agree with you. If anything, you’re proud that your convictions stand regardless of whether anyone else agrees.

    So here Tony reveals perhaps more than he intended to. Sounds to me like he doesn’t have the courage of his convictions.

  • 26. Richard A. Jernigan  |  March 2, 2011 at 12:09 pm

    Not only that, but Tony Perkins himself is sounding more and more like he is heading toward his big outing himself catastrophe! I wonder what hair color his</i. rent boy will have? And will Tony's rent boy have six pack abs? Will he be a fan of "manscaping" and full body waxing?

    • 27. Felyx  |  March 2, 2011 at 12:33 pm

      I noticed that the picture above has a beautiful rainbow stainglass!

    • 28. Straight Ally #3008  |  March 2, 2011 at 12:47 pm

      I agree. My other fantasy is that Lou Engle is outed, and has to do a Jimmy Swaggart-style “I have sinned against you!” in that ridiculous carnival barker/Mach Man Randy Savage voice.

      • 29. Straight Ally #3008  |  March 2, 2011 at 12:48 pm

        *Macho Man that is

      • 30. Richard A. Jernigan  |  March 2, 2011 at 1:47 pm

        Maybe Lou Engle is Tony Perkins’ Rent Boy! Would that be poetic justice, or what!

        • 31. Straight Ally #3008  |  March 2, 2011 at 6:46 pm

          That would only be surpassed by the discovery of a torrid tryst between Scott Lively and Martin Ssempa. That might be fatal levels of Schadenfreude.

  • 32. AnonyGrl  |  March 2, 2011 at 12:47 pm

    In the original letter, Tony says:

    “Krattenmaker urges adherence to “a foundational Christian principle: Treat others as you wish to be treated.” I agree.”

    This, to me, shows a great deal of what is wrong with the Christian ethic. The assumption here is that I WANT to be treated as YOU want to be treated, Tony.

    If I were to treat you as I wished to be treated, I would invite you to sit down and discuss atheism in a positive light. I would take you to celebrate the joy of a gay wedding. I would introduce you to my transsexual friends. I would bring you with me when I went to protest the death penalty, or stand between anti-abortion protesters and the Planned Parenthood building. I would take you to this wonderful little performance art strip club I know. I would invite you on my next vacation… the last one I took was in Morocco and the next may well be to Uganda to support the homosexuals in danger there, who knows? I would feed you at a middle eastern restaurant. I would bring you to the polls and encourage you to vote for Obama.

    How much of that do you think you would like?

    Yet you assume that treating people the way you want to be treated is the way to go. That position, as far as I am concerned, is extremely self-centered, and shows no compassion at all for anyone but yourself.

    If you really want to do the RIGHT thing, try, instead, treating people as they wish to be treated.

    Or, just treat people the way you want to treat them, let them treat you the way they want to treat you, and stop being so smarmy about how “good” you are. Because what you are doing, preaching hate about me, restricting my rights, telling me how evil I am… well, it’s really not all that good of you.

    • 33. Straight Ally #3008  |  March 2, 2011 at 12:50 pm

      I’ve honestly never thought of the Golden Rule that way, AnonyGirl. I think there’s a point that Perkins could decline all of your offers, that you’re not trying to force anything on him, but you’ve given me food for thought.

      • 34. AnonyGrl  |  March 2, 2011 at 1:16 pm

        The thing is, SA, I find that people who really ARE Christians already know this, and do not try to force things on people who don’t want them. They offer, they may even promote, but they don’t insist that you have to take it.

        Tony Perkins and his crowd falls on the wrong side of this, and in “treating” people, they feel it is their job to insist that others live the way they want to live.

        I say “no, thank you.”

        • 35. Felyx  |  March 2, 2011 at 2:17 pm

          Damn! That sounds like a ton of fun! I want to hang out with Anonygrl! Every bit of that is so right up my ally! (Well, there is a question of gender predilection at the strip club but hey, I can appreciate a good burlesque!)

          So, uh… when Kevy gets stateside send is a FB invite!

          Seriously! (He’s never done any of these things.)

    • 36. Michelle Evans  |  March 2, 2011 at 2:25 pm

      AnonyGrl said–If I were to treat you as I wished to be treated, I would invite you to sit down and discuss atheism in a positive light. I would take you to celebrate the joy of a gay wedding. I would introduce you to my transsexual friends…–

      Ah, what a wonderful world that would be. The image of that just made my day. Thank you!

    • 37. Marlene  |  March 2, 2011 at 3:01 pm

      AG — The only problem with the hypocrisy of the religious reist is the fact that the nanosecond there’s even a hint that Perkins and their lik begin being treated like the way they treat us, they’ll start whining and crying to their slav… um, I mean followers that they’re being >horrors< OPPRESSED!

  • 38. Kathleen  |  March 2, 2011 at 1:08 pm

    O/T but wanted to let people know that “8: The Mormon Proposition” is currently available for “instant play” on Netflix.

    • 39. AnonyGrl  |  March 2, 2011 at 1:17 pm

      Excellent! Thanks for the heads up!

    • 40. JonT  |  March 2, 2011 at 1:21 pm

      So is “Jesus Camp”.

      Get a couple of bottles of wine, a friend/significant other, and make it a ‘hate’ night. :)

      • 41. AnonyGrl  |  March 2, 2011 at 1:24 pm

        I don’t think I would ask anyone to voluntarily submit to watching Jesus Camp. The promos of that film scare the heck out of me.

      • 42. Phillip R  |  March 2, 2011 at 2:21 pm

        I know it’s a documentary and really when you get down to it, it is most definitely creepy but honestly, I thought that movie was absolutely hilarious.

        • 43. Felyx  |  March 2, 2011 at 2:30 pm

          I watched a roommate watch, praise, agree and finally even get MORE extreme than the movie… it was scary.

          He told me to my face that gays really should be sent to concentration camps until conversion or… just to hold them to protect society… followed by a ‘no offense to you of course’.

          The documentary took on a very dark tone for me that night.

          • 44. Phillip R  |  March 2, 2011 at 2:38 pm

            *nod* Oh, I don’t doubt that it could have that affect. Religious zealots are probably one of the most dangerous groups of people in the world. You can’t reason with it.

        • 45. JonT  |  March 2, 2011 at 4:59 pm

          Oh, it is a bit on the scary side – but it’s always good to know what kind of mindset you are up against.

          One telling thing for me was when that lady-preacher was telling the children how ‘dem mooslims’ raise their children starting at age 5 how to fire weapons and otherwise ‘indoctrinate’ them into a radical version of Islam. Of course to her, all Islam is ‘radical’.

          Then she suggested that that’s what we need here, a ‘christian army’ to counter act them. That’s what these children are to her.

          Get them young, make them hardened, then let the cleansing fires of christianity sweep the world.

          It *is* scary. It is also something to keep an eye on.

          • 46. AnonyGrl  |  March 3, 2011 at 7:46 am

            Being the daughter of a minister, I am aware of that segment of the population all to well.

            Fortunately for me, my father was, if possible, more left wing than I am, so I learned about the Christian right sprinkled LIBERALLY (as it were) with LARGE grains of salt.

            I started to watch Jesus Camp last night… and will probably plow through the rest of it… but I think only in 15 minute doses or so, interspersed with episodes of Dr. Who and Torchwood.

          • 47. JonT  |  March 3, 2011 at 3:29 pm

            …but I think only in 15 minute doses or so, interspersed with episodes of Dr. Who and Torchwood.

            Excellent choices :)

            PS: I heard that a new Torchwood series (Miracle Day – 10 parts) was going to start in the summer :)

        • 48. JonT  |  March 2, 2011 at 5:02 pm

          I thought that movie was absolutely hilarious.

          Well I have to admit the ‘talking in tongues’ nonsense and the ever rocking lou engles scenes were pretty funny.

  • 49. Chris B  |  March 2, 2011 at 1:23 pm

    Of course, “engaged in behavior that put my physical health at risk” is code for “get AIDS”.

    The strange logic is that banning marriage will keep gay people from having sex?

    I hope for a quick cure for HIV/AIDS so the opposition can stop beating us about the head with it like this.

    • 50. Lesbians Love Boies  |  March 2, 2011 at 1:28 pm

      And, of course, the lesbian population is the least risk of getting Aids!

      • 51. AnonyGrl  |  March 2, 2011 at 1:38 pm

        So, logically, lesbians should not be allowed to marry, but rather encouraged to be promiscuous.

        OK… that was utterly silly, and I did not mean a word of it! Please forgive me.

        • 52. phillykarl  |  March 2, 2011 at 2:11 pm

          Some wise person once said that a bit of silliness to blow off steam is perfectly all right.

          • 53. AnonyGrl  |  March 2, 2011 at 7:42 pm


      • 54. Rhie  |  March 2, 2011 at 6:22 pm

        Yup. The group at most risk for STDs in general is the over 60 crowd. Wonder what they Religious Right makes of that…

    • 55. Mark M (Seattle)  |  March 2, 2011 at 2:43 pm

      They also seem to forget that there is not one single bit of behavior (sex act) Gay people do that straights aren’t doing as well.

      • 56. Alyson  |  March 5, 2011 at 8:34 pm

        Thank you for pointing that out. I’m tired of that hypocrisy. Not only are they doing all those things but they are doing them 95% more of the time then we are as there are 95% more of them!

  • 57. Josh  |  March 2, 2011 at 4:16 pm

    Being gay is not unhealthy nor in need of repentance. His opinion of Christianity is that people need to repent for being gay, but not all Christians think this way. This is a perfect example of why religious opinions need to stay OUT of our legal system and government. The founders knew that religion causes too much disagreement and we’ve gotten away from that principle due to those who claim to be so constitutional. Bunch of hypocrites as usual.

  • 58. JoeRH  |  March 2, 2011 at 5:24 pm

    I think an important aspect of the number of states that adopted a gay marriage ban was the apathy of the people who weren’t afraid of gay marriage. A good percentage of voters don’t vote, but the fear that was spread was enough to drive those people to vote against us. The voters who don’t normally vote, and who didn’t find us a threat, were apathetic and did nothing to help us fight. I’m glad that we are sending our message more strongly, but we need to remember that the only reason those states did what they did was because people were afraid. The Right will never admit that because they use the vote factor as some kind of evidence of their cause being more successful that it really is.

    I think, when our groups talk about gay marriage to the general public (or people we want to sway), showing them the signs the anti-gay organizations made or flyers they handed out, to show everyday people EXACTLY what the other side does to win. I think people really need to see that because it would really help discredit the opposition and also inspire empathy with us and listen more closely to what’s really going on.

  • 59. VoxCanaille  |  March 2, 2011 at 7:19 pm

    There’s another point that was neglected. Prop 8 (and the Maine referendum, plus others) were passed based on the misinformation (and outright lies) put out by AFA, NOM, and similar groups.

    Any team that has to cheat to win, is not winning.

    • 60. Sheryl Carver  |  March 2, 2011 at 7:42 pm

      Good point, Vox!

      Based on their collective behavior of lies, actual crimes (illegal campaign finance activities), total disregard for LGBT folks and especially their children, etc, it seems to me that we are dealing with sociopaths, not just bigots.

    • 61. JonT  |  March 2, 2011 at 8:49 pm

      I agree with both of you.

      I’ve always believed that if you have to lie, you’ve already lost.

      • 62. AnonyGrl  |  March 3, 2011 at 7:53 am

        Very true.

    • 63. Sheryl, Mormon Mother of a wonderful son who just happens to be gay  |  March 2, 2011 at 11:50 pm

      Ah yes, those wonderful innuendos that Protect Marriage used. Saw a Yes on 8 car window sign tonight. One I hadn’t seen before: “Yes on 8, Restore Marriage.”

      Didn’t realize that marriage needed restored. Didn’t realize that giving equal rights somehow made my marriage old and outdated so that it would need restored.

      Sheryl, Mormon Mother

      • 64. Kate  |  March 3, 2011 at 8:04 am

        Indeed! And just ask Michelle and Cherie how restored THEIR marriage would be.

        • 65. AnonyGrl  |  March 3, 2011 at 8:22 am

          By the way, Kate… SMOOCH! (haven’t smooched you in a while).

  • 66. Michael  |  March 3, 2011 at 6:58 pm

    Shrill anti-gay activist Perkins chooses to deliberately disobey God. As a pro-equality person of faith, I’ve called him and other militant anti-gay activists to repentance several times. I’m sure I’m not the only one. He chooses to ignore it. Homophobia is a sin like lying, stealing and murder. It leads to violence, inequality, suicide and murder–does anti-gay activist Perkins consider these “good” for society? Who in there right mind would? The Bible is clear that revilers are going to hell. Strident, professional anti-gay activist Perkins needs to worry more about his own soul than the private lives of gay taxpayers.

    • 67. Alyson  |  March 5, 2011 at 8:38 pm

      Excellent points.


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