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

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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.

http://i.cdn.turner.com/cnn/.element/apps/cvp/3.0/swf/cnn_416x234_embed.swf?context=embed&videoId=bestoftv/2012/05/24/exp-tony-perkins.cnn

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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News

Trump’s Scheme for Absolute Immunity From State Prosecutions Forever: Report

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Having successfully obtained delays in his federal trials and his state trial in Georgia, possibly until after the November election, Donald Trump is now seeking an “insurance policy” to protect him from any future state prosecutions if he again becomes president.

The indicted ex-president who turns 78 next month “seems convinced that if he wins another four years in the White House, state prosecutors will still be waiting for him on the other side of his term — ready to put him on trial, or even in prison, just as they are now,” Rolling Stone reports.

“To avoid such risks, the former and perhaps future president of the United States wants Congress to create a very specific insurance policy that would help keep him out of prison forever, two sources familiar with the matter tell Rolling Stone. Trump vaguely alluded to this idea last week outside his New York criminal hush money trial, when he said he has urged Republican lawmakers to pass ‘laws to stop things like this.'”

Trump “has pressured” Republican lawmakers on Capitol Hill to do so, describing it as imperative that he signs such a bill into law, if he again ascends to the Oval Office.”

READ MORE: Pence Defense of Alito’s Insurrectionist Flag Highlights Its Ties to Violent Government Overthrow

Rolling Stone also notes, “Trump appears fixated on the idea of passing a law to give former American presidents the option of moving state or local prosecutions into a federal court instead, the two sources add.”

Trump “has hinted at a legislative push to limit his exposure to such criminal charges. In an improvised press conference outside the Manhattan courthouse on Tuesday, Trump said he’s been telling the Republican lawmakers who want to attend his trial and show solidarity to focus on legislation instead.”

“We have a lot of ’em. They want to come. I say, ‘Just stay back and pass lots of laws to stop things like this.’”

In 1973, while still President but under the cloud of the Watergate scandal, Richard Nixon said, “People have got to know whether or not their President is a crook.”

If Trump is elected in November, he can have his Attorney General drop any federal prosecutions he is currently facing. That may call into question, for some legal experts, the actions of the far-right justices on the U.S. Supreme Court who have delayed ruling on his immunity claim, and U.S. District Judge Aileen Cannon.

On May 7, Judge Cannon indefinitely suspended the Espionage Act case, also known as the classified documents case, against Donald Trump.

READ MORE: ‘You Just Don’t Do It’: Federal Judge Denounces Alito’s Flags as ‘Stop the Steal’ Stickers

Foreign policy, national security, and political affairs analyst and commentator David Rothkopf this week blasted the judge:

“Judge Cannon is not, as commentators and cartoonists would have it, just working on behalf of Trump. She is actively working on behalf of the enemies of the US who have and would benefit from the national security breaches she is effectively defending and making more likely.”

U.S. Rep. Adam Schiff (D-CA) earlier this month declared, “The courts are deliberately delaying justice — and effectively denying it.”

This coming week Americans may get a verdict in the New York criminal case against the ex-president. If it comes, it may be “guilty” or “not guilty,” but it could also be a hung jury, forcing another trial which also would not likely come before the election.

If Trump is elected in November, and can get his “insurance policy” legislation passed, he could possibly avoid all criminal trials for the rest of his life.

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OPINION

Pence Defense of Alito’s Insurrectionist Flag Highlights Its Ties to Violent Government Overthrow

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Mike Pence is defending far-right U.S. Supreme Court Justice Samuel Alito, whose ethics and ability to serve on the nation’s highest court are being questioned after The New York Times revealed he had been flying a highly-controversial flag used by the January 6 insurrectionists, neo-Nazis, and a far-right neo-fascist hate group. Democrats are demanding the justice recuse himself from all cases involving Donald Trump and the 2020 presidential election, and some are also demanding his resignation or impeachment.

The former Trump Vice President, in defending Alito, may have made the situation even worse for the 74-year old jurist by highlighting the flag’s ties to revolution and the overthrow of government. In his defense Pence also encourages all Americans to fly the flag: “The ‘Appeal to Heaven’ flag is part or our proud heritage of Faith and Freedom and every American should be proud to fly it,” he writes.

“The Appeal to Heaven Flag” dates back centuries, to the American Revolution, but in recent years was very clearly co-opted by the radical religious right and was seen being carried by the insurrectionists during the assault on the U.S. Capitol, some of whom who chanted, “hang Mike Pence,” as he and his family were being whisked away by Secret Service on January 6:

MSNBC columnist Sarah Posner, who for years has been writing about religion and politics, on Thursday noted, “the more one knows about the background of the flag, the more chilling its presence at [Alito’s] house becomes.”

READ MORE: ‘You Just Don’t Do It’: Federal Judge Denounces Alito’s Flags as ‘Stop the Steal’ Stickers

Posner says the flag is “an unmistakable emblem for an influential segment of Christian nationalists who claim the 2020 election was stolen from Donald Trump, contrary to God’s will, and that believers’ spiritual warfare is essential to restoring God’s anointed leader to his rightful office.”

“It was one of numerous Christian nationalist flags and other iconography carried by Trump supporters Jan. 6 and at the Jericho March, a series of prayer rallies that were like jet fuel for the insurrection,” Posner explains. “The Jericho March featured right-wing evangelical and Catholic speakers alongside militants such as conspiracist Alex Jones, Trump’s disgraced national security adviser Michael Flynn, and Oathkeepers founder Stewart Rhodes, now serving an 18-year prison sentence for seditious conspiracy and other crimes.”

Posner adds the flag “originated in Revolutionary times as a call to take up arms against unjust rulers who ignored the pleas of their citizens.”

Pence also refers to the Revolutionary War in his defense of Justice Alito, ignoring that the Revolutionary War was won several hundred years ago, and ignoring that a sitting U.S. Supreme Court justice promoting the very concept of taking up arms against rulers, unjust or otherwise, is, as constitutional scholar and University Professor Emeritus at Harvard University, Laurence Tribe wrote, “close to treason.”

Pence calls the “controversy” of Justice Alito’s flag-flying “absurd and anti-historical.” He quotes English Enlightenment philosopher John Locke, promoting his idea of the right to revolution, to replace a government.

In its Bombshell report Wednesday announcing the existence of a second Alito flag tied to the insurrectionists, The New York Times explains the Locke tie to the “Appeal to Heaven” flag.

READ MORE: Trump Adviser Scanned and Saved Contents of Box That Had Classified Docs: Report

“Since its creation during the American Revolution, the flag has carried a message of defiance: The phrase ‘appeal to heaven’ comes from the 17th-century philosopher John Locke, who wrote of a responsibility to rebel, even use violence, to overthrow unjust rule. ‘It’s a paraphrase for trial by arms,’ Anthony Grafton, a historian at Princeton University, said in an interview. ‘The main point is that there’s no appeal, there’s no one else you can ask for help or a judgment.'”

Coincidentally or not, Grafton’s “trial by arms” seems to echo Trump acolyte Rudy Giuliani’s January 6 speech in which he specifically called for “trial by combat.”

Religious studies scholar Matthew Taylor, quoted in The New York Times’ report on Alito’s “Appeal to Heaven” flag, told CBS News (video below) Christian nationalist leader Dutch Sheets “was given one of these flags and he believed that he received a prophecy when he received this flag, that it was a symbol of a revolution that would take place in America, a spiritual revolution that would reconstitute the United States as a truly Christian nation.”

He adds the “Appeal to Heaven” flag has become a “very potent symbol of Christian nationalism, Christian Trumpism, opposition to abortion, opposition to gay marriage, and the desire for a more Christian America.”

Watch the videos above or at this link.

READ MORE: Trump’s Bronx Rally Attendance Claim Fuels Mockery as Aerial Images Show a Different Story

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‘You Just Don’t Do It’: Federal Judge Denounces Alito’s Flags as ‘Stop the Steal’ Stickers

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A senior U.S. district judge is denouncing U.S. Supreme Court Justice Samuel Alito‘s flying of two insurrection-related flags at his homes in Virginia and New Jersey, declaring the actions “improper. And dumb.”

Judge Michael Ponsor, 77, who has served on the federal bench since 1984, writes in a Friday New York Times op-ed that he has “known scores, possibly hundreds, of federal trial and appellate judges pretty well,” and “can’t think of a single one, no matter who appointed her or him, who has engaged or would engage in conduct like that.”

“You just don’t do that sort of thing, whether it may be considered over the line, or just edging up to the margin. Flying those flags was tantamount to sticking a ‘Stop the steal’ bumper sticker on your car. You just don’t do it.”

Justice Alito’s first flag scandal came late last week, when The New York Times reported an upside down U.S. flag had flown at his Virginia home jut days before Joe Biden was sworn in as President. That flag is associated with the insurrectionists who stormed the Capitol on January 6, 2021. As of January, more than 1200 who were there that day have been arrested and charged with crimes.

Alito blamed his wife, claiming she made the decision to fly the flag upside down, which according to the U.S. flag code should only be done to signal distress. Martha-Ann Alito, her husband claimed, had gotten into an argument with a neighbor and manifested her anger by flying the “Stop the Steal” flag.

READ MORE: ‘Investigate Now’: As Alito Scandal Grows Pressure Mounts on ‘MIA’ and ‘AWOL’ Judiciary Chair

The second flag scandal came on Wednesday, when The Times again revealed an Alito insurrection-related flag, this time at his New Jersey home, where the Alitos were flying the “Appeal to Heaven” flag which has ties both to the insurrectionists, and to extreme right Christian nationalists.

Justice Alito has not made any public comment defending his second flag.

Judge Ponsor offered up a hypothetical to counter Justice Alito’s claim his wife was to blame, in this case, an example of him presiding over a death penalty case.

“Let’s say my wife was strongly opposed to the death penalty and wished to speak out publicly against it. I’m not saying this is true, but let’s imagine it. The primary emotional current in our marriage is, of course, deep and passionate love, but right next to that is equally deep and passionate respect. We would have had a problem, and we would have needed to talk,” Ponsor explained.

“In this hypothetical situation, I hope that my wife would have held off making any public statements about capital punishment, and restrained herself from talking about the issue with me, while the trial unfolded. On the other hand, if my wife had felt strongly that she needed to espouse her viewpoint publicly, I would have had to recuse myself from presiding over the case, based on the appearance of partiality.”

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Note he mentions as a sitting federal judge he would have applied the same standards that jurors are expected to observe: to not discuss the case with anyone, including their spouses.

And should there have been a discussion, or if she were to air her views publicly, he would be forced to recuse himself from the case.

Justice Alito has not recused from any 2020 presidential election cases, any Trump-related cases, any insurrection-related cases.

That includes the Trump “absolute immunity” case the Supreme Court heard in April, for which they have yet to rule.

The Supreme Court “recently adopted an ethics code to ‘guide the conduct’ of the justices,” Ponsor observes. “One of its canons states that a justice should ‘act at all times in a manner that promotes public confidence in the integrity and impartiality of the judiciary.’ That’s all very well. But basic ethical behavior should not rely on laws or regulations. It should be folded into a judge’s DNA. That didn’t happen here.”

READ MORE: Trump Adviser Scanned and Saved Contents of Box That Had Classified Docs: Report

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