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Video: FRC's Perkins equates same-sex marriage with incestuous unions

by Jeremy Hooper

If Fox News wanted a rational debate on marriage, it wouldn't have booked a man who has years of saying outrageous things about LGBT people. But since they did book Tony Perkins, who is not a lawyer, to debate actual attorney and former solicitor general Ted Olson, they got an unsurprising moment where the FRC head directly equated a fair, equal, court-tested right with which a majority of Americans already live to, well—unions between a father and his daughter:

OLSON: Well, in the first place, in 1967 the Supreme Court struck down laws prohibiting interracial marriages, striking down the laws in 16 states. Today we don't even understand that we could possibly have prohibited same -- marriage between people of different races. The president's mother and father couldn't have been married in Virginia, they would have been guilty of a felony. Overwhelmingly now young people particularly support the right of individuals to get married to the person that they love. The American people now are 55 to 60 percent in support of same-sex marriage. People recognize that this is an important right, it hurts gay and lesbian people to discriminate against them and it does no harm to heterosexual marriage to allow those people to marry the person that they love.

FOX NEWS' SHANNON BREAM: Let me ask you, though, Tony, because I talked to you, and I'm sure you've talked to some civil rights leaders who don't like the comparison. They don't feel it's appropriate for them. Not some of them.

TONY PERKINS: No, because it's suspicious argument. I mean because there you had a manmade barrier keeping the races apart. Here you have judges attacking a natural bridge that brings the sexes together. And if we take down the states right to define marriage for public policy purposes, I mean if two people who love each other can get married, I guess, Ted is OK with the story out of "New York" magazine this week that an 18-year-old daughter wants to marry her biological father. I mean are you OK with that?

TED OLSON: Are you all of a sudden interested in what you read in "New York" magazine? For how -- ...

PERKINS: It was on Fox, too.

[Fox News]

Such obvious catnip for those who want to connect us to a never-ending parade of horribles. Tony's been playing this game for years, as loudly and frequently as anyone in American politics. The only real question was which "scary thing" he was going to put into the receptive Fox News viewer's mind on this morning.

But of course the truth is that the same bible that Tony uses today to "justify" the limitation of civil marriage in a way that he finds favorable is the same bible that past opponents used to "justify" the manmade barrier against interracial marriage that Tony now publicly disfavors. The barriers of today are made by men like Tony, who see ordering our society in a way that more fully recognizes people of all sexual orientations as some great big social ill; the barriers of yesterday were made by men who believed ordering our society in a way that was more colorblind would be what set us down a fast track toward our doom. If it were the mid-50s, Tony's predecessor would be just as adamant with his "natural" arguments as Tony is today. Time has given us perspective. And it will again.

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