Saturday, November 12, 2016

Hate group leader Tony Perkins still hates marriage equality

Tony Perkins
Late Friday at Family Research Council's blog Tony Perkins, the leader of the hate group, writes: “Voters Don't Want to Alter the Altar.” Following on the heels of Donald Trump's election Perkins wants you to know just how much he dislikes same-sex marriage.
America may recognize same-sex marriage now -- but not because voters asked it too! And if the Left thinks the Supreme Court has finally decided the issue, they're in for a major surprise. Turns out, the court of public opinion has its own verdict on the subject -- and new polling shows it's anything but liberal.
Perkins writes for his stunningly uneducated constituency. Fewer than 16% of Evangelical Christians have college degrees (I know, call me an elitist). I'll get to the polls shortly. However, they are irrelevant. Even if Perkins' polls were accurate, constitutional rights are independent of popular thinking. There is no edict from Trump nor even an act of Congress that can undo marriage equality. Only a constitutional amendment can change the Supreme Court's ruling in Obergefell v. Hodges and Mr. Perkins is woefully short of 38 states to ratify.

Could Trump pack the Court with conservatives and allow another case to cause a different outcome? Perhaps but there are a number of problems. First of all 60 votes in the Senate are required to confirm a justice of the Supreme Court. Republicans only have 52 seats. Then there is the issue of Article III standing. Someone is going to have to litigate on the basis of having sustained a real injury as a result of same-sex marriage. It cannot be prospective or hypothetical. Then overturning Obergefell  has to be the only means of achieving redress. Furthermore, right now there is only one open seat on the Court and the same five judges who voted in favor of marriage equality continue to serve.

Getting back to Perkins:
A year and a half into this experiment in judicial activism, the opinion of most voters hasn't budged. When asked by Wilson Perkins Allen Opinion Research if they agreed with this statement -- "I believe marriage should be defined only as a union between one man and one woman" -- a solid 53 percent agreed. That's a 16-point difference between those who disagreed at 37 percent (another 10 percent were undecided). No wonder liberals had to win same-sex marriage through the courts. It isn't nearly as popular as the Left insists it is! Sixteen months into this illegitimate ruling, nothing about the people's opinion has changed. According to Wilson, the 53 percent support for natural marriage is identical to what it was pre-Obergefell. Even the five justices of the Supreme Court haven't managed to move the needle on America's views!
In May, 2016, nearly a year after Obergefell, Gallup asked if same-sex marriage should be valid and afforded the same rights as traditional marriage. 61 % said yes, 37% said no and 2% had no opinion. The month following the Obergefell ruling support for marriage equality was at 58%. Thus, approval seems to be on the rise. So why such a huge difference between Gallup and Perkins' poll.

Simple. The folks at Wilson Perkins Allen Opinion Research are whores and Tony Perkins (who possibly commissioned the poll) is their pimp. The founder of the firm, Chris Wilson, is a conservative Christian out of Oklahoma. He was a key strategist for Ted Cruz's presidential campaign. He is a Republican operative who has served as the executive director of the Texas Republican Party. The firm is not exactly a disinterested researcher of opinion. With the right sampling they can claim that a majority of citizens say that we are secretly controlled by aliens from a distant planet.

Perkins continues:
For once in her life, House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) was right. If it weren't for the Supreme Court forcing this decision on America, redefining marriage would have taken years for the Left to accomplish -- if ever. "Legislatively, we couldn't really succeed," she admitted in May, "but from the courts and the rest... that victory has been won." For years, the media managed to create this phony narrative of support -- even when ballot boxes and state laws told another story. It's encouraging to see that even when the laws change, people's understanding of right and wrong do not. Obviously, voters -- especially conservative Christians -- are looking for politicians who will stand up to the cultural elites and their radical agenda.
Whether or not there was a legislative opportunity for marriage equality is irrelevant. The issue has been settled by the Supreme Court and upending that decision would be very difficult. As for the media creating “this phony narrative of support,” it had nothing to do with the media. Pollsters agnostic to the outcome found that a majority of Americans supported marriage equality and they still do. Yet again I must remind people that the Supreme Court made a decision based upon Equal Protection and Due Process in contrast to popularity.
That may be one reason why Donald Trump enjoyed such overwhelming support. As the poll goes on to say, nearly six in 10 Trump voters were swayed by the pro-life, pro-religious liberty planks of the GOP platform. And, as someone who served on the RNC Platform Committee, I can tell you that the 2016 document is the most conservative it's ever been on every issue, including marriage.
Donald Trump has absolutely no say over marriage equality. There is nothing that Trump (nor these Christian voters) can do to affect marriage equality. And I will remind Perkins that Hillary Clinton received more votes than Trump.
So when 66 percent of voters tell pollsters that the “Government should leave people free to follow their beliefs about marriage between one man and one woman as they live their daily lives at work and in the way they run their businesses,” …
I am pretty sure that is the way that things are. People are free to believe anything they want and I do not think that the government is requiring anyone to enter into a same-sex marriage. Perkins is probably referring to the state and municipal nondiscrimination laws that he does not like. He thinks that Christians have a right to discriminate. That is understandable given that Perkins has ties to another Christian organization — The Klan (Perkins is as anti-Semitic as he is homophobic). Moreover, the government did not enact those laws in a vacuum. They were legislated by the elected representatives of the citizens. They were signed into law by someone elected by the citizens. Perkins is denigrating those citizens. Furthermore, in an opinion written by Justice Scalia (Employment Division v. Smith), the Supreme Court has said that there are no religious exemptions to otherwise valid laws.

As Perkins concludes, something is noticeably absent from his diatribe

As I told Fox News's Todd Starnes, the Republican Party's platform positions on the unborn and religious liberty were the bridge between Donald Trump and Christian conservatives. And he sealed that deal in the final debate when he vividly described a partial-birth abortion and pledged to appoint pro-life justices. If the liberal press had bothered to listen to what voters believe -- instead of telling them what to believe -- this election wouldn't have been nearly as shocking. Because if there's one overwhelming message everyone should have heard on Tuesday, it's this: the media, the courts, and the Left don't speak for the American people.
Aside from the fact that there is no such thing as a partial birth abortion, Perkins' sole rationale for upending marriage equality is that some Christians (including Tony Perkins) don't like it. It is safe to say that their dislike is based upon a religious objection. How, exactly, have any of these Christians been negatively affected by same-sex marriage? In truth after 17 months they haven't been affected at all. Furthermore, precisely when did we become a theocracy? When did our courts start to make rulings based upon religion? When did the Establishment Clause cease to mean exactly what it says? And what about all of those Christians and Jews who think that marriage equality is a good thing? There are many churches and synagogues in America that consecrate same-sex marriages. If we are going to base law on religion, what about their religious rights?

Tony Perkins is not terribly smart but he is shrewd. He knows that ginning up opposition to same-sex marriage results is, in effect, support for Family Research Council without the tediousness of fund-raising letters and emails. Shrewd? Maybe that is the wrong word to use. Cynical seems a more apt description for the hate group leader.

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