Tony Perkins has accepted an invitation to dinner in the home of a married same-sex couple and their family. The offer, from Jennifer Chrisler, the executive director of the Family Equality Council, came after Perkins, head of the certified anti-gay hate group Family Research Council, told CNN that he had never stepped inside the home of a gay couple.
“My wife and I will be glad to respond when we receive the invitation to find a time that works,” Perkins said, in an oddly-worded statement that seems to allow room to wiggle out of going.
The New Civil Rights Movement was the first to report the offer to Perkins from Chrisler. Read “Tony Perkins Gets Invitation To A Family Dinner From LGBT Family Group” to see the actual letter sent to Perkins. The offer follows in the footsteps of Dan Savage, who last week invited NOM president Brian Brown to his home for dinner.
“I watched with interest your appearance on CNN Thursday and I was struck by your steadfast opposition to full equality for the 1 million lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender parents who are raising 2 million children in our country today,” Chrisler wrote in her letter, and echoed yesterday on CNN (video below.) “It is especially concerning given your lack of meaningful and personal interaction with those families.”
Many in the LGBT and journalism communities applauded CNN’s Brooke Baldwin for her hard-hitting but fir interview of Perkins last week which led to his admission of never having even been to the home of a gay couple.
“I would like to extend an open invitation for you and your family to visit my home and have dinner with my spouse and children with the full hope that you will witness the love that exists in our families,” Chrisler’s letter continued. “While I recognize it may not change your mind, I hope that it might soften your heart. As Christians, I think we can both agree that ours is not to judge and that we must live by the golden rule. I open my table to you and invite you to get to know me and my family. Even if nothing comes of the experience, at least you can say you spent time with our families and knew us and still deny us our equality. But I know you will find that our families have much in common and share the same hopes and dreams for our children.”
But Chrisler tells CNN’ Brooke Baldwin that while she doesn’t expect to change Perkins’ mind, she hope to soften his heart, and suggests that that is how we move to debate forward and gain equality.
Baldwin asks if Chrisler is worried that Perkins will be harmful to her twin 10-year olds. Chrisler says her kids have heard his kind of anti-gay arguments before.
Chrisler adds that President Obama and Vice President Biden said their exposure to loving same-sex couples led to their support of marriage equality.
Baldwin says, unfortunately, that marriage is a religious institution, which is only half-true. Chrisler, who did a great job, helped to correct that.
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