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’sÂ 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 donâ€™t â€¦ 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 theÂ latest pollsÂ 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 â€œsocial scienceâ€ showing â€œkids do best with a mother and a father.â€ 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 foundÂ 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.Â
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 –Â
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.Â
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.Â
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?Â
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?Â
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?
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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Lindsey Graham Admonished by Senate Ethics Committee
U.S. Senator Lindsey Graham (R-SC) has been formally admonished by the Senate Ethics Committee for violating ethics rules and standards by repeatedly soliciting campaign donations during an interview at the Capitol.
The bipartisan committee issued Graham a Public Letter of Admonition after the South Carolina Republican solicited donations for Georgia GOP Senate nominee Herschel Walker.
“Based upon all available information, the Committee concluded that on November 30, 2022, you conducted a media interview with Fox News in the rotunda of the Russell Senate Office Building and that your interview was slightly over nine minutes, with over four minutes devoted to a discussion of the 2022 senatorial run-off election in Georgia. The Committee further concluded that during your discussion of the senatorial run-off election, you directly solicited campaign contributions on behalf of Mr. Walker’s campaign committee, www.teamherschel.com, five separate times.”
The letter notes that Sen. Graham had previously violated the same standards when he solicited campaign donations in a federal building in October of 2020, but said it was an “unplanned media interview.” When a reporter had asked him about fundraising, Graham “directly solicited campaign contributions” for his re-election campaign.
READ MORE: Watch: GOP Lawmaker Orders Grieving Parkland Parents Removed From ‘ATF Overreach’ Hearing
The Committee noted “mitigating” circumstances and did not cite him for that violation.
“The public must feel confident that Members use public resources only for official actions in the best interests of the United States, not for partisan political activity,” the letter concludes. “Your actions failed to uphold that standard, resulting in harm to the public trust and confidence in the United States Senate. You are hereby admonished.”
CNN’s Manu Raju posted the letter to social media.
You can read the letter below or at this link.
In a letter to Sen. Lindsey Graham, the bipartisan Senate Ethics Committee admonished him for soliciting campaign contributions five times during a media interview in the Russell Senate office building. It is against Senate rules to solicit campaign donations on Capitol grounds pic.twitter.com/amc5ipcosw
— Manu Raju (@mkraju) March 23, 2023
RIGHT WING EXTREMISM
Watch: GOP Lawmaker Orders Grieving Parkland Parents Removed From ‘ATF Overreach’ Hearing
U.S. Rep. Pat Fallon (R-TX) is being criticized for having the parents of a victim of the Parkland school massacre removed from a GOP-led House committee hearing on “ATF Overreach” after he deemed them “out of order” for remarks they made while a Member was speaking. Minutes later, Capital Police pinned the father to the ground in the hallway and arrested him.
“See this is, exactly what we have to avoid!” Rep. Fallon, chairing the joint hearing, angrily declared as he pointed his finger after the father, Manuel Oliver, made a remark that was inaudible. “Which is some minority of folks trying to silence dissent. Dissent shouldn’t be kryptonite.”
“There’s a decorum that should be adhered to,” Fallon, who recently refused to sign a statement denouncing white supremacy, said as he chastising Oliver.
After another, louder outburst, Fallon mockingly asked, “Is this an insurrection? So will they be held to the same — I don’t want another January 6.”
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Congressman David Cicilline (D-RI) responded, “If they’re trying to overthrow the government, they oughta be held to the same standard, but I think they’re trying to express their frustrations.”
Angrily again, Rep. Fallon interjected.
“Whoa whoa whoa whoa,” he shouted as he banged the gavel.
“Member’s out of line,” Fallon said (incorrectly. The term is “out of order.”)
Rep. Pat Fallon (R-TX) on gun reform protests: “Is this an insurrection? Will they be held to the same —”
Rep. David Cicilline (D-RI): “If they’re trying to overthrow the government, they oughta be held to the same standard, but … they’re trying to express their frustrations.” pic.twitter.com/SFrMId1fh3
— The Recount (@therecount) March 23, 2023
Shortly thereafter, Rep. Fallon had both Manuel and Patricia Oliver removed.
“You took my son away from me!”
— Parkland parents Patricia and Manuel Oliver are removed after interrupting a House hearing on Second Amendment protections pic.twitter.com/Bjjoq9k93W
— The Recount (@therecount) March 23, 2023
ABC News reporter Will Steakin, who was in the hearing, tweeted video and said bot Manuel and Patricia Oliver “appear to leave without resistance… moments later there was a loud thud outside the hearing room and I found Manuel being pinned to the ground by multiple officers.”
Video of Manuel and Patrica Oliver being removed from the hearing at direction of GOP Chair Rep. Pat Fallon
Both appear to leave without resistance… moments later there was a loud thud outside the hearing room and I found Manuel being pinned to the ground by multiple officers: https://t.co/ZebugeU98Z pic.twitter.com/zdpfPGHjDn
— Will Steakin (@wsteaks) March 23, 2023
“Manuel Oliver, the father of a 17-year-old Parkland shooting victim, was arrested Thursday on Capitol Hill after he appeared to shout at a Republican lawmaker who was speaking during a hearing on gun regulations,” NBC News reports. Patricia Oliver, his wife and the mother of their 17-year old son, Joaquin Oliver, who was one of 17 people who died in the 2018 Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School massacre, was not arrested.
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On social media critics expressed anger at Fallon.
“Rep. Pat Fallon (R) thinks parents of slaughtered children should just sit down & shut up as Republicans maintain outrageously dangerous gun laws. He had this parent expelled rather than just giving a warning, which is the usual,” wrote one Twitter user.
“Texas Rep. Pat Fallon: You are the EXACT problem with the gun violence and why it keeps being the leading cause of death in children today,” wrote another.
According to the NIH, gun violence is the leading cause of childhood death.
Still another Twitter user blasted Fallon: “What disgraceful & despicable behavior by Representative Pat Fallon. Exercising your right to free speech is being an insurrectionist? The man lost his son. Have you no compassion? I think he has more than earned the right to be heard by Congress. Such an abuse of power.”
And one called Fallon “feckless.”
‘Repercussions’: Biden White House Warns Uganda ‘Kill the Gays’ Bill Could Force US to Cancel $950 Million in Annual Aid
The Biden administration may cancel the $950 million in annual assistance the U.S. provides to Uganda if President Yoweri Museveni signs into law its latest “Kill the Gays” bill, which calls for the death penalty for “aggravated homosexuality” and between ten and 20 years in prison for other LGBTQ “acts.”
National Security Council Coordinator for Strategic Communications John Kirby on Wednesday made clear if Uganda further criminalizes homosexuality and the LGBTQ community there could be “repercussions that we would have to take.”
“That would be really unfortunate because so much of the economic assistance that we provide Uganda is health assistance,” Admiral Kirby said at a White House press briefing.
National Security Council’s John Kirby suggests the U.S. would consider economic punishments if Uganda’s law criminalizing LGBTQ people goes into effect:
“That would be really unfortunate because so much of the economic assistance that we provide Uganda is health assistance.” pic.twitter.com/hWrRrHqd6q
— The Recount (@therecount) March 22, 2023
White House Press Secretary Karine Jean-Pierre also told reporters Wednesday the Biden administration has “grave concerns” over the Anti-Homosexuality Act (AHA), and “increasing violence targeting LGBTQIA+ persons.”
READ MORE: Florida GOP Lawmaker Who Wrote ‘Don’t Say Gay’ Bill Facing Up to 35 Years After Pleading Guilty in COVID Fraud Case
“If the AHA is signed into law and enacted, it would impinge upon universal human rights, jeopardize progress in the fight against HIV/AIDS, deter tourism and invest in Uganda and damage Uganda’s international reputation,” Jean-Pierre warned. “The bill is one of the most extreme anti-LGBTQI+ laws in the world.”
WH Press Sec. Karine Jean-Pierre denounces the Ugandan parliament’s passage of a bill criminalizing LGBTQ people:
“If the AHA is signed into law and enacted, it would impinge upon universal human rights … The bill is one of the most extreme anti-LGBTQI+ laws in the world.” pic.twitter.com/WSzCY5Vlq4
— The Recount (@therecount) March 22, 2023
Kirby and Jean-Pierre’s remarks came on the same day as U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken denounced Uganda’s “Kill the Gays” legislation, saying it “would undermine fundamental human rights of all Ugandans and could reverse gains in the fight against HIV/AIDS.”
“The United States provides more than $950 million in aid to Uganda each year, according to the State Department. The money supports development and health care measures, such as combating HIV/AIDS,” Courthouse News reported Wednesday. “Uganda is already among 30 African countries that ban same-sex relations. The new proposal would broaden penalties and appears to be the first to outlaw identifying as LGBTQ+, according to Human Rights Watch.”
Watch the videos above or at this link.
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