Tony Perkins

Tony Perkins, leader of Family Research Council, doesn’t like the idea of Mitt Romney becoming our next Secretary of State. Neither do I but we have a Republican making the nominations and Romney is possibly the sanest, most prospectively competent individual under consideration. But I digress. According to Perkins, the State Department has been obsessed with promoting an LGBT agenda:

For the last eight years the Obama State Department has been focused
on pushing sexual orientation and gender identity rather than upholding
core American ideals. The result is a world where few regions are not in
turmoil, the threat of radical Islam is ever-expanding, the loss of
religious freedom continues, and America is weakened on the world stage.

Notice how Perkins frames the rights and protection of a minority as mutually exclusive of American ideals. I thought that they were the same. Indeed, the very fact that Perkins disapproves of LGBT people — is obsessed with their denigration — works to require our attention as a free society that places a high value on treating people fairly and that is the American ideal that we should be exporting. “American exceptionalism” is predicated on the importance of fairness and equality.

Moreover, Perkins makes a number of unsubstantiated claims. Encouraging less developed African nations to treat their LGBT citizens with respect is not “focused” on an agenda that Perkins doesn’t like. He is also suggesting that this encouragement is the direct cause of turmoil in the world. It would be absurd if stated as correlation. As causation (which is how Perkins frames matters) it is utterly preposterous. It represents just one more effort on the part of a hate group leader to make LGBT people the source of all that is wrong with the world. Meanwhile, Perkins, an accomplished hate monger who has direct ties to the Ku Klux Klan, makes me less safe at home. Perkins is a promoter of hate and misinformation about LGBT people. He is more dangerous than any aspect of our foreign policy.

Perkins is not done with LGBT disparagement:

The Obama administration has been spending its energy bullying African nations on LGBT issues instead of working with those countries to advance American interests. The Obama State Department under Secretary Clinton was so obsessed with social activism that it entirely neglected to keep America safe by naming and dealing with the real threat we face: radical Islamic terrorism.

There is nothing in the historical record to suggest that any nation has been bullied. The idea that Secretary Clinton engaged in LGBT advocacy to the exclusion of American security is ridiculous. Encouraging African nations not to hunt down and murder gay people is required of us if American values really mean anything. However, it’s not a zero sum proposition. The important security agenda is not hampered by asking other nations to simply be humane. These are separate issues.

The foreign policy priorities of the Obama administration over the past eight years have been so misguided, so destructive, and so ineffective in tackling the actual issues we face that America is now in a gravely weakened and dangerous position. America’s precarious state of affairs does not just require a small course correction, but a radical break from the status quo. The mandate given to the Trump administration by the voters demands a foreign policy which does this much, and we must have a Secretary of State who embodies this approach.

Perkins is intentionally misstating our concern for treating gay people humanely as a priority of American diplomacy. Yet again, in the same screed, Perkins is claiming that promoting fairness has been to the exclusion of more important matters and that doing so has put us in danger. Mandate? Trump has an historically narrow edge in the electoral college and Clinton has what is expected to be a 2.5 million vote lead. That is not a mandate by any stretch of the imagination.

The first two of Perkins’ paragraphs are explicit with respect to LGBT matters. The third paragraph is in the context of the first two. According to Tony Perkins (who keeps repeating himself) the concern for the safety of LGBT people around the world has put us all in danger. Be afraid.

Kenya, for example, is as interested in keeping its radical Muslim extremists in check as we are in having them do so. Nothing that we have done, in the form of promoting fairness for LGBT people has deteriorated the common agenda. Finally, after sufficiently blaming gay people for all the ills of the world, Perkins gets to Romney.

There are a number of candidates that can accomplish this mission, but unfortunately, Mitt Romney is not one of them. While I like Mitt Romney and supported him after he became the Republican presidential nominee in 2012, there is nothing to suggest he will be a change agent at State. …

In the context of Perkins’ diatribe he means that Romney is too gay friendly for Perkins and his ilk. That is precisely what he has said.

Related Content:

By David Cary Hart

Retired CEO. Formerly a W.E. Deming-trained quality-management consultant. Now just a cranky Jewish queer. Gay cis. He/Him/His.