Tony Perkins is President of the Family Research Council, a conservative evangelical organization which has campaigned against homosexuality, abortion, pornography and other evils feared by the selective reader of scripture. Perkins made many dire predictions about the decline of traditional families now that marriage equality for gays and lesbians is the law of the land in all 50 states. He predicts that divorce rates will skyrocket leading to high rates of single parent families like in the evil socialist welfare states of Scandinavia. He goes on to state that gay marriage will eventually cause the number of out-of-wedlock births to skyrocket.
No, you’re not drunk or stoned (although it’s okay if you are:) Tony Perkins actually said that gay mcarriage will cause out-of-wedlock births. Since the Family Research Council believes the only sex education a person should receive is abstinence until marriage, it is entirely possible that Perkins is unaware of the basic facts of human reproduction. After all, the Bible is famously vague on matters of how exactly all those generations of people beget new generations;
And Adam lived an hundred and thirty years, and begat a son in his own likeness, after his image; and called his name Seth (Genesis 5:3, KJV)
Now these are the generations of Terah: Terah begat Abram, Nahor, and Haran; and Haran begat Lot. (Genesis 11:27, KJV)
Since the Bible does not explain in detail how it is that folks go about doing all this begetting, let’s just state for the record that for a person to be born out of wedlock (or born at all,) an egg and a sperm cell are required. Out of wedlock births happen because a man and a woman have sex outside of marriage, not because gay couples are marrying. In fact, since the number of children adopted by gay couples has nearly doubled since 2000, marriage equality for same sex couples could very well mean that more children are brought up in homes in which the parents are married to one another.
Of course, Perkins’ argument is that gay marriage is part of an overall decline in the traditional family, and that this is what will cause heterosexual partners to have their children without being married first. He has the cause and effect backwards on a lot of issues, though: the Scandinavian countries do have high divorce rates, but this is not due to some moral decay caused by gay marriage but rather because social and economic equality has made it possible for women to make it on their own. The rate of births out-of-wedlock in the United States is over 50 percent for Native American and African-American families, but this has more to do with poverty and social breakdown than with any moral decay caused by recognition of the equal marriage rights of all Americans.
Watch the clip below to see how out of touch with reality men like Tony Perkins truly are. He has a vague and convoluted argument that gay and lesbian marriage will lead to the breakdown of traditional values and damage the culture we live in, but when asked to define in some specific way how this will happen he cannot. I would almost feel sorry for someone who needs to cling to his own beliefs to the exclusion of allowing others to have equal rights and feels threatened by inclusiveness and progress, but I’m too busy celebrating that we now live in a country where the vast majority of people agree that the “equal protection of the laws” clause of the 14th Amendment is to be taken literally when it comes to marrying and raising a family with whom you choose.