Tony Perkins: We Can Do For Gay Rights What We’ve Done To Abortion Rights

Family Research Council
Tony Perkins speaks to media at Voters Value Summit 2017. (Photo: Jared Holt for Right Wing Watch)

The Family Research Council’s Tony Perkins devoted his June 28 Washington Update to celebrating the fact that pro-choice Republicans have been nearly completely purged from the party.

“Endangered species are usually something we try to protect — but not when those endangered species are pro-abortion Republicans!” he wrote. “Over the past few years, the GOP has become a tough environment for Republicans who aren’t committed to advocating for the unborn. Now, with President Trump boldly leading the charge for life, most of the party’s more liberal members have seen the writing on the wall.”

Perkins cited a Politico story saying that, thanks to a couple of retirements, pro-choice Republicans in the House of Representatives “will finally be extinct.” He called anti-choice dominance of the GOP “the answer to decades of prayer,” adding, “So, many would argue, is the retirement of Justice Anthony Kennedy.”

Trump’s appointment of anti-choice judges has vindicated religious conservatives who backed him, according to Perkins. “They took a risk — and the reward is five solid votes for life.”

Perkins said the successes of the anti-abortion movement, including Trump’s judges, “are the fruits of decades of hard work from pro-lifers.” And he suggested that Religious Right activists opposing the achievements of the LGBTQ equality movement should take heart.

If we remain persistent in our stand for the truth, God promises that we will see a harvest like we’re witnessing today. That ought to be an encouragement to pastors who are engaging the culture on moral issues today. Our friends in California — entire congregations — are challenging laws that would take away their freedom to speak openly about areas of sexual bondage.

Quick note: Perkins is mischaracterizing proposed legislation in California that would declare so-called “reparative therapy” to be fraudulent—which Religious Right activists have falsely said would make it criminal to sell the Bible in the state. Back to Perkins:

Right now, they’re caught up in the present and can’t see the long view — but understand from the life movement: where we are now is not where we’ll be in three decades if we stand firm on the transcendent truth of God. Yes, the LGBT issue has different dynamics, but truth is truth. And it will stand the test of time.

Perkins is not the only Religious Right leader looking to the anti-choice movement for inspiration and lessons on how to reverse the advance of LGBTQ equality. Almost immediately after the Supreme Court’s 2015 marriage equality ruling, the Heritage Foundation’s Ryan Anderson pushed out a book offering opponents of marriage equality a road map to overturning it. Speaking about the book at Heritage, he said, “The central thesis of my new book…is that the pro-marriage movement is in the same exact situation culturally that the pro-life movement found itself in 42 and a half years ago after Roe v. Wade.”

Of course, anti-LGBTQ activists may not have to wait or work nearly as long to overturn marriage equality as they have to “eradicate” a woman’s right to an abortion. The dissents in Obergefell were unusually vehement, and with Trump planning to choose from his pre-vetted far-right list of potential justices, Obergefell could be at risk in the near future. Anti-equality activist Brian Brown said that if Trump and the Republican Senate put another Gorsuch on the Supreme Court, “we will go from a 5-4 split that redefined marriage to a 5-4 pro-marriage majority. It will give us a legitimate opportunity to remove the lie of same-sex ‘marriage’ that was illegitimately imposed on the nation.”