Tony Perkins, president of the Family Research Council, got into a debate with a caller over marriage equality on February 11, during which he said that same-sex marriages turn kids gay and these children grow up to become “super-sexualized beings” who are incapable of competing in the global economy. Through the call, Perkins failed to offer credible answers and continued to pitch dubious arguments against same-sex marriages instead.
The debate was sparked off by Perkins’ use of the phrase “natural marriage” since the definition of marriage has seen significant changes through history. When the caller asked him whether natural marriages include polygamy, Perkins said that it does not matter what polygamy qualifies as because the fact remains that same-sex marriages have never existed in history.
Perkins then moved on to suggest that same-sex marriages also threaten America’s prospects “of giving birth to the next generation.” When the caller told him that marriage equality would not affect America’s fertility rate because people do not choose to be gay, Perkins responded saying it is not about marriage because public schools teach “kids how to engage in homosexual behavior,” which he fears will turn kids gay and affect America’s economic competitiveness with other countries.
This is not the first time Perkins has made such bizarre comments against homosexuality. Earlier he said that same-sex relationships were part of the government’s ploy to control population.
Here is a transcript of the exchange between Perkins and the caller from February 11:
Perkins: There’s actually more of a historical basis for polygamy than there’s ever been for same-sex marriage because same-sex marriage has never existed for the last ten years at best.
Caller: Well it is a new thing I’ll grant you that, I understand that the phrasing ‘natural marriage’ is great, it fits really great on a bumper sticker, but I just don’t think it means anything and I’m trying to understand what that’s supposed to mean.
Perkins: How do you plan on giving birth to the next generation?
Caller: That’s the thing, how many same-sex marriages are there out there? What is it, 2 percent, 3 percent of the total number of marriages? I don’t think that we’re going to have to worry about the next generation.
Perkins: But if it’s normative and it’s normal then we would say we would want more of it if it’s beneficial.
Caller: Well no, I don’t think that’s it at all. People don’t suddenly one day decide to become gay, you’re either gay or you’re not. I’ve never met anyone who just scratched their head and went, ‘you know what I think I’m into guys now’ or ‘I think I’m into girls now,’ it just doesn’t happen.
Perkins: Okay. What does that have to do with marriage? What does that have to do with redefining marriage, redefining the curriculum in our schools?
Caller: Well you’re saying that we have to worry about the next generation, I’m saying that there is a very small portion of the population, probably less than 10 percent, that are gay. I think that the next generation is going to come along whether we want it to or not, it’s not about…
Perkins: No, because what happens when you change and you say heterosexual marriage is the same as homosexual marriage, then you change the curriculum in your schools and you have kids, as a natural part of growing up and developing, they’re curious and they don’t know, and we’re exposing them to even more sexuality and overt sexual messages and we’re telling them, ‘hey experiment.’ And that is what leads, in many cases, to children going down a particular path, is early childhood sexual exposure, sometimes it’s traumatic. And by normalizing that and mainstreaming that, what you will do is you will have more children going down that path and that’s why they want to get this message into our schools.
Caller: I understand your argument but is there any data to support that?
Perkins: What do you mean any data to support it?
Caller: You are saying if you expose children to homosexuality you will have more homosexuals.
Perkins: Well if you sexualize a culture — I can tell you the data is very clear on what’s happened in the last 30 to 40 years where we have inundated young people, children, with sexual messages and they become sexually active. So when you take and mix into that homosexuality and other forms of sexuality into that, yes they are going to move down that path, they are going to engage in what you tell them about. That is why it’s problematic, that is why parents are upset about what is happening in Hawaii and other states that are teaching their kids how to engage in homosexual behavior, or heterosexual for that matter. I don’t want my kids that are 11, 12 and 13 years-old taught how to put on a condom or taught about how to engage in sexual behavior with someone who has HIV in a safe fashion. That is not what the schools should be about. They should be about teaching our kids to read, to write, to engage in science. How do we ever expect to compete globally when we’re fixated on teaching our kids about sex?
Photo Credits: Family Research Council