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CNN Host Grills Tony Perkins: “Why Do Homosexuals Bother You So Much?”

May 24, 2012 5:24 pm ET by Carlos Maza

Earlier today, Family Research Council (FRC) president Tony Perkins appeared on CNN Newsroom to discuss his opposition to same-sex marriage and his support for the federal Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA). Before the interview, CNN anchor Brooke Baldwin promised to ask the anti-gay hate group leader “tough questions” about his positions. She wasn’t kidding:

Throughout the nearly nine minute segment, Baldwin repeatedly pressed Perkins on his anti-gay positions, asking him why same-sex couples deserved to be “less valued” than heterosexual couples and pointing out that the divorce rate has dropped in Massachusetts, where same-sex marriage is legal.

Perkins predictably responded by resorting to his favorite anti-gay falsehoods, including:

  • School children in Massachusetts have been forced to learn about homosexuality in class
  • Most Americans oppose President Obama’s endorsement of same-sex marriage
  • Social science proves children need a mom and a dad to develop correctly
  • Churches have lost their tax-exempt status for refusing to rent their facilities to same-sex weddings

Baldwin eventually directed her questions at Perkins’ personal opposition to homosexuality, grilling him over whether he’d ever visited the home of a same-sex couple (he hasn’t) and asking what he would say to convince such a couple that their relationship was harmful. Perkins attempted to change the topic, asserting that personal stories weren’t relevant to questions of public policy.

Later in the interview, Baldwin again brought up Perkins’ personal views again, asking:

BALDWIN: I know you don’t want to answer the personal questions, but I’m going to try again, Tony. I’m going to try again, and this is really just going to be it for me today. Why, why do – you’ve never been to the home of a same-sex couple – why do homosexuals bother you so much? Would it be fair to characteri–

PERKINS: They don’t bother, they don’t bother me.

BALDWIN: They don’t bother you.


BALDWIN: Not at all?

PERKINS: I’m not going to be silent while they try to redefine marriage in this country, change policy, what my children are taught in schools, and what religious organizations can do. I’m not going to be silent, nor are millions of other Christians across this country. Doesn’t mean I have a dislike for homosexuals.

To be fair, Baldwin’s interview still suffered from some of the problems that plague news anchors who interview Perkins. As GLAAD’s Aaron McQuade pointed out, she failed to challenge Perkins on his claims about the social science concerning same-sex parents. She also failed to acknowledge that Perkins’ group has been labeled a “hate group” for promoting known falsehoods about LGBT people.

Still, Baldwin deserves kudos for treating Perkins like the anti-gay hate monger that he really is. After being criticized for a number of softball interviews with Perkins earlier this month, CNN demonstrated that Chris Matthews isn’t the only one capable of putting someone like Perkins in his place. 


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