RR Leader: Religious Freedom Applies Only to Anti-Gay Christians

by Dan Quinn

Religious-righters claim that barring discrimination against LGBT people violates their religious freedom to, well, discriminate against people they don’t like. Now Tony Perkins, head of the national organization Family Research Council (FRC), is arguing that Christians who support LGBT equality don’t deserve religious freedom themselves.

The Southern Poverty Law Center has designated Perkins’ FRC as an anti-gay hate group. Speaking on the FRC’s May 8 radio program Washington Week, Perkins revealed himself also to be a religious bigot. He suggested that Christians who support marriage equality don’t have “orthodox religious viewpoints” and, therefore, have no legitimate claim to religious freedom:

“I would use that term ‘Christian’ loosely. That title is — let’s talk biblical, here’s the deal, it’s like with the Religious Freedom Restoration Act that we worked on in Mississippi and failed in Arizona and other places, here’s a test of what is a true religious freedom, a freedom that’s based on orthodox religious viewpoints. It has to have a track record, it has to come forth from religious orthodoxy.

You cannot point to the Christian faith and say that same-sex marriage has been a key teaching of the church. You can only point to the opposite, that the church has stood against sexual immorality in terms of sexual relations of those outside of marriage and in particular homosexual behavior. There is no place, there is nothing for them to stand on and say that same-sex marriage has standing in the orthodox Christian faith.

They’re playing games here, trying to turn the effort that so many Americans are now faced with of preserving religious freedom, they’re now trying to do a jujitsu move and say, ‘We’re going to use religious freedom to say we have a right to do same-sex marriage.’ Well, there is no foundation for that, there is no orthodox Christian holding that has ever said marriage is between people of the same sex.”

Our friends at Right Wing Watch have audio from the radio show here.

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