FRC’s Tony Perkins Takes Tampa

In advance of next week’s Republican National Convention, party leaders are crafting an official platform that is “likely to be the most conservative in years,” according to Politico. The influence of the conservative movement – and social conservatives in particular – became apparent this morning when the platform committee rejected a proposal to recognize civil unions between LGBT couples.

In fact, Family Research Council (FRC) president Tony Perkins claims to have written the marriage plank of the platform himself. “You should read the entire plank on marriage, which I wrote. I’m very happy with it,” he said in an interview. Perkins also boasted that FRC had “help[ed] delegates hold the line on social issues,” and that he personally contributed to “amendments on conscience rights, abortion in health care, and stem cell research.”

Perkins’ role is a reminder of the far right’s influence over the national debate, especially when it comes to issues of equality. Beyond its opposition to “counterfeit marriage,” FRC consistently fights against efforts to prevent anti-LGBT discrimination. Here are some lowlights from FRC’s record:

  • FRC: “Counterfeit Marriage” Endangers Society Like “Permitting Unqualified Individuals To Fly Airplanes.” According to a Family Research Council “Issue Brief” titled “Ten Facts About Counterfeit Marriage”: Discrimination occurs when someone is unjustly denied some benefit or opportunity. But it must first be demonstrated that such persons deserve to be treated equally regarding the point in question. For example, FAA and airline regulations rightly discriminate regarding who is allowed into the cockpit of an airplane. Those who are not trained pilots have no rightful claim to ‘discrimination’ because they are denied the opportunity to fly an airplane. Similarly, the accumulated wisdom of thousands of years of human history, as expressed in virtually all cultures, has defined marriage as between a man and a woman.  Homosexual activists conveniently avoid the question of whether homosexual relationships merit being granted equality with marriage. Although not strictly comparable, radically altering the definition of marriage can also pose dangers to society in much the same way as permitting unqualified individuals to fly airplanes.” [, “Ten Facts About Counterfeit Marriage,” accessed 8/21/12]
  • FRC: There Is A “Disturbing Connection” Between “Gay Lifestyle” And Pedophilia. According to the Family Research Council’s “Issue Analysis” page on “Homosexuality and Child Sexual Abuse”: “Many parents have become concerned that children may be molested, encouraged to become sexually active, or even ‘recruited’ into adopting a homosexual identity and lifestyle. Gay activists dismiss such concerns–in part, by strenuously insisting that there is no connection between homosexuality and the sexual abuse of children. However, despite efforts by homosexual activists to distance the gay lifestyle from pedophilia, there remains a disturbing connection between the two. This is because, by definition, male homosexuals are sexually attracted to other males. While many homosexuals may not seek young sexual partners, the evidence indicates that disproportionate numbers of gay men seek adolescent males or boys as sexual partners.” [, “Homosexuality and Child Sexual Abuse,” accessed 8/21/12]
  • Perkins Doubts His Kids Could Be Gay Because “We Are Teaching Them The Right Ways That They Are To Interact As Human Beings.” In an interview on CNN, host Piers Morgan asked Perkins, “What would you do if one of them came home and said, dad, I’m gay?” Perkins answered: “Well, we would have a conversation about it. I doubt that would happen with my children as we are teaching them the right ways that they are to interact as human beings, we’re not allowing them to be indoctrinated by the education system.” [CNN, Piers Morgan Tonight5/8/12]
  • Perkins Labeled ENDA “The Crossdresser Protection Act.” In a statement on August 10, 2010, Family Research Council president Tony Perkins made the following comments about the Employment Non-Discrimination Act: “Speaker Nancy Pelosi may also force a lame-duck vote on the ‘Employment Non-Discrimination Act’ (ENDA), also known as the Crossdresser Protection Act. The legislation would take the bedroom into the workplace and unfairly compel employers to learn about their employees’ sexual lives.” [, 8/10/10]
  • FRC’s Sprigg Supported “Criminal Sanctions Against Homosexual Behavior.” In a February 2010 interview with MSNBC’s Chris Matthews, Family Research Council Senior Fellow for Policy Studies Peter Sprigg said, “I think that the Supreme Court decision in Lawrence v. Texas which overturned the sodomy laws in this country was wrongly decided. I think there would be a place for criminal sanctions against homosexual behavior.” Asked if his statement meant “we should outlaw gay behavior,” Sprigg responded, “Yes.” [MSNBC, Hardball, 2/2/10]

Yesterday, Perkins was also among a handful of social conservative leaders who defended Rep. Todd Akin (R-MO) in the wake of Akin’s outrageous statement that women rarely become pregnant as a result of “legitimate rape.”

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