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Perkins: We’re Winning on Marriage Equality

Tony Perkins of the Family Research Council does his best impersonation of the Black Knight from Monty Python and the Holy Grail, saying that the enemies of equality are winning on same-sex marriage and the tide is about to turn back in their favor.

Plenty of states have been processing down the same-sex marriage aisle. But according to pundits, that’s all about to change. Hello, I’m Tony Perkins with the Family Research Council in Washington. Homosexual activists like to say that momentum is on their side. And until recently, they might have been right. Sixteen U.S. states now recognize a right to same-sex marriage. And unfortunately, the Left’s success in places like Hawaii and Illinois have helped feed the lie in America that homosexual marriage is inevitable. But don’t believe it, say experts. All we’ve witnessed lately is the Left taking advantage of easy targets. With the exception of West Virginia, none of the other 34 states are under Democratic control. That means the Left’s toughest battles are yet to come. And in places like Indiana, the tide may already be turning. State liberals are rushing to play defense while a marriage protection amendment works its way to the statewide ballot. So be encouraged. Not all same-sex wedding bills are leading to wedding bells.

What else is he going to say? He can’t say they’re clearly losing and it’s going to get worse because then all that anti-gay money will dry up. But this position is so blatantly contrary to reality that it’s downright perverse to pretend that it’s true. Equality was 4 for 4 in last year’s election. Since then several more states have legally recognized same-sex marriage. The polls are showing nearly 60% support for equality nationally and among younger people it’s more like 80%. You lost, Tony. You lost years ago. But you have to keep your grift going as long as you can, so please do make yourself look ridiculous while playing make-believe.

Comments

  1. Chiroptera says

    And the more states that allow same sex marriage, the more likely that a future Supreme Court will rule that not allowing same sex marriage is unconstitutional.

  2. abb3w says

    As if most of the other 34 states can’t be called the results of the Right “taking advantage of easy targets” earlier on.

    (California is an exception. That was more the right throwing masses of money at trying to shift an obvious target for the Left further out of reach.)

  3. says

    ” With the exception of West Virginia, none of the other 34 states are under Democratic control. ”

    And of course, they will always remain that way, right, Tony?

  4. Doug Little says

    With the exception of West Virginia, none of the other 34 states are under Democratic control. That means the Left’s toughest battles are yet to come.

    I think he is going to be sorely disappointed when the Republicans get on the equality train out of sheer self preservation.

  5. says

    I’d love it if Perkins convinces a lot of the bigots to contribute. I want them to lose money to a huckster, so that they cannot do this anymore. Perkins himself will eventually get caught with some illegal activity.

  6. schism says

    I’m not so optimistic. Conservatives lost on Roe v. Wade too, but, fast-forward a bit, and they’ve successfully turned “abortion” into a dirty word and are busily remaking the law in their favor. I can easily see a similar resurgence against marriage equality happening down the road. The American people are nothing if not fickle and easily distracted, after all.

  7. Taz says

    Well the experts I’ve consulted (my two cats and the gnome who lives under my porch) say Perkins is full of shit.

  8. Michael Heath says

    I don’t think Perkins point is as absurd as its being made out to be. Until the federal government begins to protect the right of gays to marry against state tyranny, gay people in red states are going to continue to suffer discrimination from their own government and the bigots that vote for such governments.

    Getting a national majority on our side is great, but that alone doesn’t completely help gay people in say, Mississippi. And that’ll be true for years to come in many of those 34 states Perkin’s mentions.

    By the way, here’s a very interesting article on attempting to calculate the number of gay men in the U.S.: http://www.nytimes.com/2013/12/08/opinion/sunday/how-many-american-men-are-gay.html?ref=opinion&pagewanted=all&_r=0.

  9. says

    I’m not so optimistic. Conservatives lost on Roe v. Wade too, but, fast-forward a bit, and they’ve successfully turned “abortion” into a dirty word and are busily remaking the law in their favor. I can easily see a similar resurgence against marriage equality happening down the road.

    The difference is that abortion rights have never been supported by more than around 50% of the population, whereas given the demographic trends, support for same sex marriage is almost certainly going to blow past that number significantly. It also helps that this time, the easy positive optics belong to our side. Anti-abortion campaigns use heart-warming stories and images of smiling happy not-aborted babies to great effect. This time, the smiling happy faces belong tothe gay couples getting wed. It makes a big difference in the long run.

  10. abb3w says

    @8, schism

    I’m not so optimistic. Conservatives lost on Roe v. Wade too, but, fast-forward a bit, and they’ve successfully turned “abortion” into a dirty word and are busily remaking the law in their favor. I can easily see a similar resurgence against marriage equality happening down the road. The American people are nothing if not fickle and easily distracted, after all.

    The polling patterns look radically different. Even when the Roe v Wade ruling came down, abortion support was somewhere on one-third to one-fifth the electorate, with a mirror one-fifth to one-seventh thinking it should be never legal, and about half the electorate thinking it should be legal but with restrictions. In contrast, support for gay marriage being legal is over 50%, and has been rising steadily since circa 1990 (when the question was first polled), and sharply in the last decade. There’s also dramatic difference trend in attitude about Teh Gay across generational cohorts; in contrast, abortion attitudes are nigh-flat from the Baby Boom to Gen Y.

    The gay marriage trend line looks a lot more like interracial marriage, which is now almost a political dead issue (save for its litmus test applications in detecting reactionaries).

    Now, I do think the Religious Right have also lost the war against contraception in general; and further, the war against use of contraception to reduce the risk of accidental procreation associated to pre-marital sex; and that their (likely doomed) holding action on the latter is likely to jeopardize their struggle against abortion, as their insane anti-abortion stance leads them to ridiculous opposition to contraception methods, making their stance against abortion seem entirely part and parcel of their prudishness in sexuality. Despite all this, I would not be willing to take a bet on what shape the abortion front of the Culture Wars will be even a mere 10 years down the line — beyond “still contested”.

  11. dugglebogey says

    Two choices:

    Has Tony considered changing his name so that it’s not the same as one of the most famous homosexuals ever?

    Or:

    You’d have to be PSYCHO to think the bigots are winning the fight on gay marriage.

  12. tiredofusernamerules says

    And in Indiana, business and education interests are opposed to any further anti-gay action by the government.

  13. cptdoom says

    @8 schism – I hear your concern, and the use of people like the Colorado baker or the New Mexico photographer (ironic that neither state has official marriage equality yet) as modern-day “Christian” martyrs clearly demonstrates the tack that the religious right is going to take on the matter, but I agree with tacitus and abb3w that the situations are not the same. Aside from the polling, marriage is something you celebrate. Every single state that adopts marriage equality means news coverage and pictures of happy gay and lesbian couples. Those couples also most directly impact their friends, family members and coworkers, who see their happiness and, most importantly, that there is no impact on their lives. That is a marked contrast to abortion, which may be necessary (and the right to which I support whole-heartedly) but is typically not a cause for celebration. “Refusing to supply flowers for Aunt Jane and her fiance Susan” is a whole lot different than “killing your baby,” so the religious right’s rhetorical weapons in this fight are far fewer. Think about the difference in public response to protests outside women’s clinics to those by the Westboro freaks outside funerals. Can you really imagine how negatively people would turn against the religious right if they actually tried to disrupt marriage ceremonies? It’s telling that there has been no real effort to do so even in states where the fight has been long and bitter.

    Well the experts I’ve consulted (my two cats and the gnome who lives under my porch) say Perkins is full of shit.

    Taz, don’t trust the gnome, he’s a total douchebag.

    And the more states that allow same sex marriage…

    Chiroptera – I am going to make one quibble about your statement; it’s something that bugs me a lot about the debate over marriage equality. No state and make same-sex marriages illegal (not after Lawrence v. Texas at least), so they all must allow the ceremonies and relationships under the First Amendment. The fight is for legal recognition of those relationships on an equal basis. I realize it’s a minor point, but when you have religious freaks claiming they can’t, for instance, bake a wedding cake for a same-sex couple in a non-equality state because the marriage is “illegal” it does have an important impact.

  14. eric says

    @8:

    I’m not so optimistic. Conservatives lost on Roe v. Wade too, but, fast-forward a bit, and they’ve successfully turned “abortion” into a dirty word and are busily remaking the law in their favor.

    To add to what @11 and @12 said, I think its also going to be much politically harder to ratchet back gay rights (vs. abortion rights) because it includes a much broader range of benefits. Abortion is a single health procedure that most women rarely or never access (at least, as long as contraception remains legal!); gay rights impacts health coverage, employment rights, inheritance law, tax law, etc., etc., etc.

  15. jnorris says

    Mr Perkins and the Family Research Council (along with numerous other Conservative Tea Party ‘Family” groups) are at a very tenuous point in history:
    1. they are losing their current battle against gays,
    2. do not a any good replacement groups to hate,
    3. its too early for the ‘We fought FOR gay rights first’ signs, and
    4. they still need the base to send in more money.

    So yes, he has to see victory right around the corner until he can manufacture the new boogie man at the next corner.

  16. says

    Ed: … Black Knight…

    Maybe I’m just failing in the pop-culture department; my first thought was of Baghdad Bob.

    Nevertheless, both were pretty damned funny.

  17. lordshipmayhem says

    But don’t believe it, say experts.

    “Expert”: from the words “Ex”, meaning “has-been”, and “spurt”, meaning “drip under pressure”

  18. pocketnerd says

    As far as not having any good replacement groups to hate goes, the poor are always a popular choice for the reactionares’ bile. And the GOP is visibly spinning up the Privileged Outrage Machine for transgendered people as well.

  19. grantly says

    I must be the only person who, upon seeing “winning” in the title, was thinking Charlie Sheen…

  20. hunter says

    Perkin’s “expert” is Brian “Spin It As Hard As You Can” Brown, of NOM — which has been on a strong losing streak since 2009 — but they’re going to win, the tide is turning. (In fact, I seem to remember seeing a comment to the effect that Perkin’s statement is almost identical to a press release from Brown shortly before.)

    Perkins has already started on the “who to hate next” leg — trans people. It’s a natural segue, and like all bullies, he would rather go after those least able to defend themselves.

    And in case none of that pans out, there’s a congressional seat coming vacant in Louisiana, where Tony got his start in politics, working hand in glove with white supremacists.

    (I particularly like the bit about Indiana: “state liberals are rushing to play defense” translates as “nobody wants that amendment on the ballot.”)

  21. lpetrich says

    Gay marriage has been the most successful in “blue states”, and I suspect that it will continue to progress in such states. It may be necessary to repeal various state constitutional amendments forbidding it, but that’s usually much easier than amending the US Constitution. “Red states” are a different story, however.

    Comparison with abortion? It’s mostly in “red states” where the politicians have attempted to regulate it to death, and in the near future, the right to abortion seems safe in most “blue states”.

    So gay marriage, like abortion, will be split by red states vs. blue states.

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