Tony Perkins’ special rights

Hey, I appreciate an effeminate homophobe as much as the next guy, but Tony Perkins, the head of the anti-civil-rights group Family Research Council, crosses a line when he outright lies. Which is far more often than he should for someone who claims to be a Christian.

The issue is hate crimes legislation. And more specifically, why Tony Perkins already has hate crimes legislation protecting him. And why he hasn’t renounced it.

You see, US has has had hate crimes law for decades. They cover race, religion and national origin. The hate crimes bill you keep hearing about, the past couple of years, isn’t new legislation. It’s a new amendment to OLD legislation that would simply add gender, disability and sexual orientation to the already-existing hate crimes law.

Regardless of your view on hate crimes laws, since the US already has such a law, shouldn’t it cover everybody? Why does Tony Perkins get special rights that you and I don’t have? When I see Tony Perkins send out an action alert about the hate crimes amendments, and spread outright lies, it still surprises me, even though I know that the religious right bigots have no honor. Here is what Perkins wrote today:

Adding “sexual orientation” to thought crimes legislation gives one set of crime victims a higher level of protection than it gives to people like you and me. [emphasis added]

ALL people deserve to be protected from crime, not just certain groups.

Well, no, Ms. Tony. It doesn’t give other people more protection than it gives people like you. People like you are already covered under the “thought crimes” legislation that’s already on the books. You didn’t bother telling your members that fact, did you. You also didn’t tell your members that in the decades that your special rights have been law, no one has been prosecuted for thinking, for example, that you’re a bit fey for a real homophobe. So what makes you think that by letting other people in on your special rights, somehow, suddenly, all legal hell will break loose?

I wonder why it is that Tony Perkins thinks he has to lie to his members in order to keep them hating gay people. Perhaps Tony is afraid that if his members knew the truth, they might like gay people just a little bit more, and him a little bit less.

The media needs to ask Tony Perkins and the rest of his religious right coven why they aren’t calling for the repeal of the current hate crimes laws that already protect them, if they’re so convinced that hate crimes laws are bad.

Follow me on Twitter: @aravosis | @americablog | @americabloggay | Facebook | Instagram | Google+ | LinkedIn. John Aravosis is the Executive Editor of AMERICAblog, which he founded in 2004. He has a joint law degree (JD) and masters in Foreign Service from Georgetown; and has worked in the US Senate, World Bank, Children's Defense Fund, the United Nations Development Programme, and as a stringer for the Economist. He is a frequent TV pundit, having appeared on the O'Reilly Factor, Hardball, World News Tonight, Nightline, AM Joy & Reliable Sources, among others. John lives in Washington, DC. .

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