Tony Perkins, the anti-LGBT Family Research Council leader who was recently appointed United States Commissioner on International Religious Freedom by Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, says homosexuality should be recriminalized, in a column posted to his group’s website.
Perkins, an outspoken ally of President Trump, decried the 2003 Supreme Court decision in Lawrence v. Texas, which struck down sodomy laws targeting gays and lesbians, and the end of Don’t Ask/Don’t Tell policies barring gays from serving openly in the military. “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell [was] the first major crack in the foundation of marriage and human sexuality,” Perkins stated, “then, the next biggest shoe would drop — Lawrence v. Texas, the Supreme Court ruling that struck down Texas’s ban on sodomy.”
Perkins lamented the progress of LGBTQ rights, invoking the late Supreme Court Judge Antonin Scalia, who was himself a vigorous opponent of laws supporting the LGBT community. “The late Justice Antonin Scalia warned where their mistake would lead: ‘State laws against bigamy, same-sex marriage, adult incest, prostitution, masturbation, adultery, fornication, bestiality, and obscenity are likewise sustainable only in light of Bowers’ validation of laws based on moral choices,” Perkins asserted, adding that acceptance of rights for gays and lesbians would inevitably lead to acceptance of pedophilia. “Once you’ve rejected basic biology and 2,000 years of civilization, there are no boundaries,” Perkins wrote,
The 6-3 decision in Lawrence rendered so-called sodomy laws unenforceable, as they targeted a specific class of Americans engaging in what would otherwise be legal activity, and ended two centuries of gays and lesbians being arrested for their sexual orientation. In the 19 months since Trump became president, however, his administration has systematically reversed protections and rights for LGBT people, including Trump’s signature of an executive order permitting persons and businesses to discriminate against gays, based on religious or moral beliefs. The president also ordered the removal of all transgender troops from the armed forces, ended Title IX protections for transgender students, and scrubbed all references to LGBTQ services and agencies from the government’s websites. The Office of National AIDS Policy (ONAP), a White House agency, was defunded and disbanded, as was the President’s Advisory Council on HIV/AIDS (PACHA).
Trump’s running mate, Vice President Mike Pence, signed a “Turn Away The Gays” bill into law as governor of Indiana, and has affirmed many of Perkins’ views. Although the Southern Poverty Law Center lists the FRC as a “known hate group”, the White House has maintained “close ties” with the organization, according to SPLC officials. The FRC is embroiled in a federal court battle to keep research on the transgender troop ban, which it turned over to Trump, secret. Perkins argued that a second Trump Supreme Court pick would “give us a legitimate opportunity to remove the lie of same-sex ‘marriage’ that was illegitimately imposed on the nation.” The possibility of Lawrence being overturned by a conservative super-majority on the high court, was also suggested by Perkins at a recent Washington Update conference. Brett Kavanaugh, Trump’s nominee to replace the outgoing Anthony Kennedy, for whom he clerked, is a staunch conservative, and a strong supporter of “religious liberties”, as used to deny the rights of other groups, such as in the Masterpiece Cakeshop case.
Legal analysts say Perkins’ views reflect those of the White House, and could lead to the Supreme Court overturning landmark rulings such as Roe v. Wade, Obergefell, and Lawrence, returning LGBT Americans to underground, extralegal status under the law. FRC officials declined comment on Perkins’ remarks.