Tony Perkins, head of the hate group Family Research Council, is on a roll these days. He’s thrilled at the influence the religious right has in the Trump administration, and he’s exulting in the State Department’s summit on religious freedom, which Secretary of State Mike Pompeo promoted on Perkins’ radio show.
So it’s not surprising that Perkins wants to build on the momentum. How? By waxing nostalgic for the good old days when LGBTQ people could be jailed.
In a column on FRC’s website, Perkins uses the 25th anniversary of Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell to complain that it marked “the first major crack in the foundation of marriage and human sexuality.” Once it was followed by the Supreme Court ruling striking down sodomy laws, Perkins laments, it’s all been downhill.
Perkins approvingly quotes at length from the late Justice Antonin Scalia’s dissent in the sodomy case. Scalia, whom Perkins calls “prophetic,” complained that the Court decision opened the way to strike down state laws on “bigamy, same-sex marriage, adult incest, prostitution, masturbation, adultery, fornication, bestiality, and obscenity.”
In short, by decriminalizing gay sex, Perkins says, the U.S. has opened the door “to obliterating every moral and cultural boundary humans have ever known.”
You may not know it (because it’s not true), but the ultimate goal of marriage equality is polygamy and legalized pedophilia – at least according to Perkins. If you argue otherwise, you shouldn’t be believed because of your “track record of such intentional deception.”
Now, this rant is typical of Perkins, who has been on the losing edge of the culture wars for decades. What’s interesting is that he’s revisiting the Court’s sodomy law decision at the same time as Brett Kavanaugh’s nomination to the bench is in process.
Perkins is signalling that rolling back the ban on sodomy laws is on his wish list for the Court. Should the Court restrict abortion rights, as is widely expected, the religious right will have achieved it’s number one goal. Guess what would be second on the list.
The odds of Perkins getting his wish are low. But they aren’t zero. Anything that erodes the gains that the LGBTQ community has made would be a step in the right direction for him. Unfortunately for us, the chances of that happening with a conservative Court are very high indeed.