Tony PerkinsPhoto: Screenshot
Tony Perkins using a recent court ruling and flawed logic to justify anti-LGBT discrimination.
Family Research Council leader Tony Perkins has seized upon a recent court decision that bars can eject pro-Trump patrons to insist that Christians can deny service to LGBTQ patrons.
”If liberals want to hurt themselves by alienating customers, that’s their choice,” Perkins wrote in a recent newsletter to FRC activists. ”But it should also be a choice that Christians are allowed to make when it comes to things like same-sex weddings.”
Perkins is piggybacking on a Manhattan judge’s ruling that political persuasion isn’t a protected status under federal and most state nondiscrimination statutes. That means businesses can deny service to Kanye West or anyone in a MAGA hat.
But Perkins may be painting himself into a political corner.
Twenty-one states currently have laws on the books protecting against both sexual orientation and gender identity discrimination, and more states are working to amend existing statutes to include sexual orientation and gender identity or expression. So, the number of states where Perkins’ logic might hold is dwindling.
Religious zealots like Perkins usually base their positions on the belief that sexual orientation is a choice. If LGBTQ people don’t want to be discriminated against, they can stop being LGBTQ, they claim. The jury is still out, but science leans strongly against sexual orientation being a matter of choice.
On the other hand, there are a couple of things we know for sure are a matter of choice: politics and religion. After all, no one is born with religious beliefs or a political persuasion. Those are things they’re carefully taught and actively choose later in life.
”Tolerance is for everyone, ” Perkins writes, ”or it isn’t tolerance at all.”
But what he means is that the only true tolerance is toleration for his intolerance.