Progressive Clergy: Get Perkins Off MSNBC

By Trudy Ring

Originally published on Advocate.com February 13 2012 3:50 PM ET

Gay Episcopal bishop Gene Robinson and other clergy members are calling on MSNBC to cease giving airtime to Tony Perkins, head of the antigay Family Research Council.

“FRC has been designated a hate group by the Southern Poverty Law Center for using dishonest, incendiary rhetoric about gay and lesbian Americans,” notes a press release from the online action network Faithful America, “but MSNBC has continued offering a friendly venue for Perkins, neither informing their viewers of FRC’s status nor including any rebuttal from progressive religious leaders. Perkins has appeared on MSNBC more often this year than on any other cable news network.”

The clergy group will hold a press conference at 11 a.m. tomorrow at Rockefeller Center in New York City, the building where MSNBC is headquartered, then deliver petitions bearing 20,000 signatures from Faithful America members. “The delegation will remind MSNBC that the hateful views of Perkins and the Family Research Council aren’t reflective of the faith community and demand that the network stop inviting him on the air to represent the views of Christians and other people of faith,” says the press release.

Joining Robinson will be four New York clergy members: the Reverend Jacqui Lewis, senior minister of Middle Collegiate Church; the Reverend Michael Ellick, minister of Judson Memorial Church; the Reverend Chloe Breyer, executive director of the Interfaith Center of New York; and the Reverend Earl Kooperkamp, pastor of St. Mary’s Episcopal Church.