Tony Perkins of the hard-right Christian Family Research Council came out today on NPR, in a sense. No, he didn’t admit he’s gay. But he did come out to freely admit he thinks that it’s gay kids’ own fault when they commit suicide:
Tony Perkins, president of the evangelical Family Research Council, says gay activists are exploiting the concern over bullying — and twisting the facts.
“There’s no correlation between inacceptance of homosexuality and depression and suicide,” he says.
Rather, Perkins says, there is another factor that leads kids to kill themselves.
“These young people who identify as gay or lesbian, we know from the social science that they have a higher propensity to depression or suicide because of that internal conflict,” he says.
Homosexuality is “abnormal,” he says, and kids know it, which leads them to despair. That’s why he wants to confront gay activism in public schools. For example, his group supports the Day of Truth, when Christian high-schoolers make their case that homosexuality is a sin.
But Warren Throckmorton, an evangelical who teaches psychology at Grove City College in Pennsylvania, says there is a problem with this argument: Many of the kids who commit suicide aren’t gay.
“The common element is not gay identification,” he says. “The common element is anti-gay harassment. And so it isn’t a matter of them being gay and unhappy. It’s a matter of others tormenting them with gay slurs.”
Tony Perkins and his Family Research Council organization aren’t just talking. They’re engaged in two courses of action.
The first course of action taken by Tony Perkins and the Family Research Council is to encourage schoolkids to get in the faces of gay students a little bit more and tell other schoolkids they’re going to hell unless they accept Jesus:
Just what a bullied kid needs more of.
The second action taken by Tony Perkins and the Family Research Council is to try and swing elections with the money they collect from their religious followers. FEC records show that the Family Research Council bought New York Republican congressional candidate Doug Hoffman a radio ad this month. Perkins and the Family Research Council have also bought radio ads to promote Idaho Republican House candidate Raul Labrador, West Virginia Republican House candidate John Raese and Alaska Republican Senate candidate Joe Miller.
Will Doug Hoffman, Raul Labrador, John Raese and Joe Miller do the courageous thing and dissociate themselves from a man and his movement that want to push gay kids around even more than they already are? Or will they stand by quietly and accept the help of this odious man and his movement to bully kids?
I think you know the answer. The answer says something about these candidates.