On Hardball, Donohue Condemns “Bigotry” While Defending His Anti-Gay Friends
October 14, 2011 3:09 pm ET by Carlos Maza
As the media continues to focus on the controversy surrounding Pastor Robert Jeffress’ remarks about Mormonism, anti-gay zealots are jumping at the opportunity to distinguish themselves as reasonable and well-behaved members of the religious right.
On October 13, anti-gay hate group leader Tony Perkins appeared on MSNBC’s Andrea Mitchell Reports to downplay Jeffress’ comments and explain that he’s more interested in “building coalitions around shared values” than focusing on “theological differences.”
A few hours later, MSNBC’s Hardball with Chris Matthews turned to Bill Donohue, president of the Catholic League for Religious and Civil Rights, for his view on the story. Donohue was quick to distance himself – and his “eminently decent” friend Perkins – from Jeffress “bigotry”:
DONOHUE: I don’t hold Perry accountable for these remarks. In fact, I was told on a good trusted source today, my friend Tony Perkins, who is an eminently decent Evangelical, that Perry had no knowledge of this nor would he countenance this. So to make that separation. On the other hand, what Jeffress said is despicable, and Perry I think, for his own good, ethically speaking, he should say “I want nothing to do with this guy again.”
DONOHUE: You’re a Catholic, and we’re both Catholics, and we grew up in a time when there was much more open bigotry coming from some Protestant circles. I think tremendous progress has been made. Certainly I’ve seen over the last twenty years. I was with Tony Perkins, and Don Wildmon, and Dr. Richard Land and other Evangelicals last week in Washington, DC. Nothing like this came out of their mouth, because they’re not, they’re no more bigoted than you and I are. But there’s still progress that has to be made. For some reason, there are still some people, I’m sure we have them in the Catholic community too, who exercise a kind of bigotry towards others. It has to be condemned no matter who says it, but particularly in a presidential campaign.
Donohue has called homosexuality a “death style,” compared marriage equality to incest and polygamy, asked gay people to “apologize to straight people for all the damage that they have done” while “acting so morally delinquent,” asserted that gay adoption goes “against nature,” and likened LGBT equality to apartheid. He’s also promoted the myth that “there’s a connection between homosexuality and the sexual abuse of minors.” He’s no stranger to making extreme and bigoted comments about gays, Jews, and progressives.
Donohue’s “eminently decent” friend, Tony Perkins, has called pedophilia “a homosexual problem,” argued that LGBT youth commit suicide because they know they’re “abnormal,” compared gays and lesbians to terrorists, criticized the “It Gets Better” Project for supposedly trying to “recruit” children into a “lifestyle” of “perversion,” and warned that gay people are determined to “destroy innocence, religious freedom, and ultimately, the family.”
Donohue and Perkins are some of the most well-known anti-gay bigots on the religious right, which is why Donohue’s concern about Jeffress’ “bigotry” is so laughable.
What isn’t laughable is the fact that major news networks like MSNBC continue providing people like Donohue and Perkins with free publicity on national television without holding them accountable for their own anti-gay extremism.