Family Research Council president Tony Perkins, in his so-called State of the Family address Monday night, blamed marriage equality for “blood in our streets” and decried the Houston Equal Rights Ordinance as a “special rights” law.
During the speech, in which Perkins gave shout-outs to antigay Kentucky county clerk Kim Davis and a minister who worked against the Houston ordinance, both of whom were in attendance, he also lambasted Planned Parenthood, the Affordable Care Act, the national debt, and the nuclear arms deal with Iran.
“The Supreme Court dismissed the natural and universal meaning of marriage,” Perkins said of last summer’s marriage equality decision. Later in the address he claimed that allowing same-sex marriage is harmful to children, ignoring the vast scientific evidence to the contrary.
“National policies have sown confusion about the very definition of family,” said Perkins, whose religious right organization is classified as a hate group by the progressive Southern Poverty Law Center. “President Obama has extolled the virtues of fatherhood even as he has fought for same-sex marriage, in essence saying two same-gendered persons can parent as well as a mom and a dad. This contradictory message is more than disappointing. For our children throughout the country, it is devastating. It reduces mothers and fathers to genderless caregivers. Our children deserve better: They deserve a mom and a dad.
“And we pay a price for this incoherent, ideological campaign by havoc in our homes and blood in our streets. That’s why we have to reempower American parents. The decision of our courts on contraception for minors, abortion on demand and redefining marriage have gravely weakened the family.”
He wrongly characterized the LGBT-inclusive Houston ordinance, now repealed by voters, as a law that would have provided “special rights to some, based on their sexual behavior and identity, at the expense of others.” He praised minister Hernan Castano, one of the pastors whose sermons were subpoenaed by the city as part of a complicated legal case involving the ordinance, for standing against the “tyrannical overreach” of government. (The subpoenas were eventually dropped.)
He further voiced support for the First Amendment Defense Act, a federal bill that would provide exemptions from antidiscrimination law for businesses, nonprofit groups, and individuals opposed to marriage equality on religious grounds. Several Republican presidential candidates have endorsed it.
Watch Perkins’s speech below.