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CNN Takes Down Tony Perkins: ‘Why Do Homosexuals Bother You So Much?’

by David Badash on May 25, 2012

in Bigotry Watch,Civil Rights,Hate Groups,Marriage,News,Politics

Post image for CNN Takes Down Tony Perkins: ‘Why Do Homosexuals Bother You So Much?’

Tony Perkins Learns He Cannot Lie About Gay People On TV Anymore

Tony Perkins Thursday learned that credible journalists will no longer allow him to lie about gay people, same-sex marriage, or the LGBT community on national TV anymore. Two weeks to the day of Perkins’ horrible, no good, very bad day, during which MSNBC’s Chris Matthews finally played hardball on “Hardball” with Perkins — asking him tough questions and holding his feet to the fire on same-sex marriage and gay rights — with Congressman Barney Frank doing some of the heavy lifting, two weeks to the day when CNN’s Soledad O’Brien took Tony Perkins apart, CNN’s Brooke Baldwin very elegantly annihilated Perkins today.

Perkins is the head of the certified anti-gay hate group Family Research Council.

Below is the video and complete transcript of yesterday’s Tony Perkins interview with Brooke Baldwin, via CNN. We’ve highlighted to important sections, but encourage you to watch and listen to the entire video.

Before you do, a few notes to keep in mind, from GLAAD:

Here are a few of the key questions, along with Perkins’ answers.

  • Baldwin asked Perkins if he had ever been to the home of a married same-sex couple. He had not.
  • She asked how he would explain to a married gay couple that they should not have the protections of marriage. He did not answer.
  • Baldwin asked Perkins why gay people bother him so much. He said they don’t … but he did so very uncomfortably, and it was evident he was not telling the whole truth.
  • When he implied that his was the majority position, she corrected him, citing the latest polls showing only 39% of Americans believing marriage equality should be illegal, opposed to 53% who say it should be legal.
  • And when he told her it was a policy issue, she corrected him, and told him it was a human issue.

Perkins, as he always does, gave his line about “social science” showing “kids do best with a mother and a father.” This is absolute garbage. The studies he is citing compared kids raised by a mother and a father to kids from single parent homes. Every single mainstream study that has ever been conducted, comparing kids raised by two gay parents to kids raised by two straight parents, has found absolutely no difference.

BALDWIN: Tony Perkins is the president of the Family Research Council.

Tony, nice to have you on.

TONY PERKINS, PRESIDENT, FAMILY RESEARCH COUNCIL: Good afternoon, Brooke.

BALDWIN: You heard the president right there. You’re speaking at the top of the hour. Give me a little preview of what you’ll be saying at 3:00 Eastern.

PERKINS: Well, I’m actually joining a large group of pastors from various ethnic and denominational backgrounds who have come to Washington, who are saying that, look, the president has gone one bridge too far. A lot of these African-American pastors saying, look, marriage is very clearly described in the Bible. The president has basically drawn a line in the sand and said, hey, are you going to cross it? And these pastors are going to cross it.

I can tell you this. Based on the polling data, and when you see 32 states that have voted to defend traditional marriage, none voting to redefine it, voters are not going to follow the president down the same-sex marriage aisle. In fact, I don’t think they’re going to hold their piece. I think they’re going to start speaking out. The president is doing too much in trying to redefine our culture by redefining marriage.

BALDWIN: Well, Tony, I know you point to those polls. I do want to show you another poll as well. This is when it comes to opposition of same-sex marriage. It’s actually, if you see the numbers, I don’t know if you have a monitor there on The Hill, it’s a new low here. This is a “Washington Post”/ABC News poll. So you say the question is, should same-sex marriage be legal or illegal? The majority there, 53 percent, say legal. Most people in the country don’t agree with you. 

PERKINS: Well, it’s on — how you ask the question. You look at the various polls out there. And the real poll that matters is when the voters vote on whether or not marriage should be defined as a union of a man and a woman. And again, 30 states have been trying that definition into their constitution with an average vote of 67 percent. It’s not a close issue when it gets to the states.

BALDWIN: OK, well let’s then move away from numbers. And I just want to play a little sound. This is from Secretary of State Colin Powell, Republican, spoke with Wolf Blitz on CNN here. Take a listen to what he said. They talked about this, marriage equality.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

GEN COLIN POWELL (RET.), FORMER SECRETARY OF STATE: In terms of a legal matter, of creating a contract between two people that’s called marriage and allowing them to live together with the protection of law, it seems to me is the way we should be moving in this country. And so I support the president’s decision.

(END VIDEO CLIP) BALDWIN: This is a man, you know the history as well as I do in the ’90s, led, you know, the adoption of “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell.” Now he’s saying no problem with gay marriage. My question to you, Tony Perkins, why are Colin Powell and Dick Cheney, why are they wrong?

PERKINS: Well, I think if it were to stop at say the marriage alter, just two people who loved each other, and I think if that were all that we were talking about here, more Americans might agree with Colin Powell. But what we’re talking about here are the — is the curriculum in our public schools and what our children are going to be taught. We’re already seeing that happening. We’re seeing the issue of religious liberty. A clear conflict and a contradiction with what many people believe in the – 

BALDWIN: Well, why are we talking about — forgive me for interrupting. Why are we talking about curriculum in the school when really this is just about — this is about –

PERKINS: Well, because (INAUDIBLE) –

BALDWIN: Love and the law and the ability to get married or not and having those rights recognized.

PERKINS: Well, no, no, no, no. Listen, Brooke, that’s not it. We’ve already seen in places such as Massachusetts that’s legalized same-sex marriage, all of a sudden in the elementary schools it’s taught that homosexual relationships are the same as heterosexual and parents are not able to opt their children out of that teaching. We’ve seen religious institutions that have lost their tax exemption because they refuse to allow their facility to be used for same-sex unions. So this is much more than just whether or not two people love each other.

BALDWIN: Of course.

PERKINS: This is about who we are as a nation.

BALDWIN: It’s about rights. I understand.

PERKINS: No, it’s about religious freedom. It’s about parental rights. It’s about public accommodation. There’s a lot more here than just two people who might have an affinity for one another. 

BALDWIN: You bring up Massachusetts, and we all know, Massachusetts, it was the first state to legalize same sex marriage. That was back in 2004. And the divorce rate actually in that state has only fallen since then. 

PERKINS: Well, absolutely. And what you’re also seeing is the marriage rates are falling, because as we in our public policy devalue marriage, which we began really in 1969 with no fault divorce, we have devalued the institution and, of course, we have 40 years now of social science research that says this public policy change was a disaster. This could very well be the death nail of marriage.

And, of course, the real losers here are children. We found that children who grow up with a mom and a dad are much better economically, they’re better emotionally, they’re better in their educational pursuits. So why would we adopt policy that would move us away from the gold standard? We need to promote that which is good for our children and society as a whole, not just one or two people here and there.

BALDWIN: Would you rather have children then grow up without parents? And also, how is a same-sex relationship, how is that less valued? 

PERKINS: Well, Brooke, I mean that’s a good question. It’s not just the issue of two caregivers. If it were just two caregivers, three would be even better. It’s an issue of a mom and a dad and the fundamental role. And this is not — this is not political hyperbole. This is the social science that shows that children need the developmental aspects of both a mom and a dad. And now while we — obviously we don’t get to that in every situation, we should strive for that and our policy should undergird that and promote it. This moves us away from that. And so that’s why you see pastors from different ethnic backgrounds, denominational backgrounds saying, we’re not going to be silent on this issue.

BALDWIN: Not all, but some. And everyone has the right to opine. But my question is, I guess more on a personal level to you, have you ever been to the home of a married same-sex couple, Tony? 

PERKINS: I have not been to the home of a same-sex married couple, no.

BALDWIN: If you were ever to do so and you’re sitting across from them over dinner, how would you convince them that their life together — either two men, two women — hurts straight couples? What do you tell them?

PERKINS: Well, first, Brooke, we don’t make public policy based on what’s good for me and my family or you and your family or one couple.

BALDWIN: I’m just asking on a personal level. I’m just asking, personal level.

PERKINS: No, but I’m — but we’re engaged here in a discussion about public policy and what’s best for the nation, not anecdotes or what one couple likes or how this –

BALDWIN: But this issue is — it is personal.

PERKINS: I mean, look, I’m sure — look –

BALDWIN: It is personal as well.

PERKINS: But that’s not how we make public policy. Certainly there are some same-sex couple that are probably great parents, but that’s not what the overwhelming amount of social science shows us. And we’ve got some great single moms that are doing a great jobs. And we applaud them and encourage them. But we still know the best environment for a child is with a mom and a dad. And our policy should encourage –

BALDWIN: But shouldn’t public policy in part be dictated by evolving cultures, evolving demographics, reflecting that?

PERKINS: But we’re not evolving to a better standard when we look at children growing up without those critical role models. And, again, we’ve got 40 years of public policy or the research that’s come from the public policy that shows that we’ve not been moving in a better direction by moving away from that standard of marriage being at the center of the family of a mom and a dad. We’ve actually incurred tremendous costs as a society, both emotionally and financially.

BALDWIN: OK. I know — I know you don’t want to answer the personal questions, but I’m going to try again, Tony. I’m going to try again. And this is really just it for me today. Why do you — you’ve never been to a home of a same-sex couple. Why do homosexuals bother you so much? I mean would it be fair to characterize –

PERKINS: They don’t bother me. They don’t bother me.

BALDWIN: They don’t bother you?

PERKINS: No.

BALDWIN: Not at all.

PERKINS: I’m not going to — I’m not going to be silent while they try to redefine marriage in this country, change policy, what my children are taught in schools and what religious organizations can do. I’m not going to be silent nor are millions of other Christians across this country. It doesn’t mean that we have a dislike for homosexuals.

BALDWIN: But if they don’t bother you, then why shouldn’t they have the same right to get married?

PERKINS: They don’t have a right to redefine marriage for the rest of us. They don’t have a right to take away any religious freedom. They don’t have a right to step between me and what my child is taught. That’s what’s happening. That’s why people are getting involved. And that’s why this issue will not be resolved, whether the president says it should be or not. There are many, many Americans, as we’ve seen in every time — every time this has gone through the ballot box, Americans understand, the definition of a marriage is what it has been for 5,000 years, it’s the union of a man and a woman.

BALDWIN: Tony Perkins, president of Family Research Council. We’ll look for you at the top of the hour there on Capitol Hill with this group preaching what you just explained to us.

PERKINS: All right. OK, Brooke.

BALDWIN: Tony, thanks.

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{ 7 comments }

jeparleaméricain May 25, 2012 at 9:28 am

It's "death knell," not "death nail." (That's a message for CNN, by the way, not TNCRM.)

Robroberts2009 May 25, 2012 at 12:18 pm

Here's Tony Perkins arguement against same sex marriage: "Blah, blah, blah, blah …" and repeat. What a viscious, bigoted turd. I love that CNN has decided to call him to task for his beliefs and so has MSNBC.

macdonaldbank1 May 25, 2012 at 1:31 pm

Being black … left-handed or being gay is just as natural. Bibles and the torah which includes leviticus 18:22 should be immediately banned for promoting hatred against minorities; namely the gay community and the crosses removed from all schools and churches.

The evil writings in Leviticus 18:22 against gays depict; rules for temple rituals or “P” … Priestly Rules & expanded by the pope; homophobes and religious frauds to attack the gay community and never meant to apply to the public but to priests. Leviticus exists in the old testament & torah.

"It is written; so therefore it shall be? We are the chosen people? Such a wicked fantasy." To see the religious lunatics manipulate government and our lives is shameful.

It is a sometimes rare occurrence to fall in Love and to hold that person in your heart and be loved in return … it is something that should be celebrated! If it is between two guys or girls all the better. It takes even more courage to defend that LOVE!

macdonaldbank1 May 25, 2012 at 1:32 pm

Perhaps religious establishments have pushed too far from San Francisco to Washington — and it may backfire to such a degree that the churches should be shut down! Churches are committing hate crimes and more succinctly a violent criminal offence against a federally protected minority namely the gay community. It is actually a bigger moment in history … gays standing up for equality … soldiers being discharged are indeed exposing something far greater … the realization that there is something far more evil at work — hateful religion which should be discharged from society — period. It’s now time to shut down the churches with bibles with leviticus 18:22. Religion and the churches should now be exposed as a bigoted structure that gets away with hate mongering. Tony Perkins and The Family Research Council's opposition to gay rights have landed the outfit onto a list of "hate groups,” like the KKK. Christian colleges should be classified as hate groups and shut down.

macdonaldbank1 May 25, 2012 at 1:32 pm
lankyguy May 25, 2012 at 6:51 pm

He still got off easy, spouting too many talking points that are not, in fact, backed up by any concrete data. But it is a start.

Mojohowitz May 26, 2012 at 11:18 am

Agree, lanky. He got off way too easy. Many of us can see through his BS, but when he starts spouting off about all the "research", too many people take it as gospel and run with it. I really wish she would have turned the tables on him and stated what the research actual found. She also should have nailed him on the religious freedom point. Churches don't have to marry same sex couples if they don't want to. I look at marriage two ways. In religious terms, it is a covenant between two consenting adults and God. In practical terms, it is a contract between two consenting adults. The government should issue those licenses to two consenting adults, regardless of gender. That should be the end of the argument. Instead, fear and hate mongers like Tony Perkins turn it into a religious argument. Churches don't issue the license, the government does. All citizens deserve equal protection and rights under the law. So, churches are free to discriminate and I'm free to not attend their services. I just hate all he lies and fact twisting.

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