"Tony Perkins: Social Conservatives Are ‘Not Judgmental’"
The Family Research Council’s Tony Perkins appeared on MSNBC this morning to discuss last night’s GOP presidential debate and the recent revelations that Newt Gingrich allegedly asked his second wife for an open marriage.
The conservative leader — who regularly condemns gay people, “churns out brochures that compare same-sex marriages to those bonds which might exist between a man and a horse,” likens gays to terrorists, calls LGBT rights a battle of “good versus evil,” and claims gay teens kill themselves because they know that they’re “abnormal” — expressed concern about Gingrich’s personal past, but also raised questions about the wisdom of asking about his marriage during the debate. Ultimately, he suggested that Evangelical Christians are “not judgmental” and understanding, and could embrace a candidate who has sinned:
PERKINS: More than anybody, Evangelicals understand the story of Redemption, that people make mistakes and there can be a turning point. The tension becomes — have we reached that turning point on these issues and were they mistakes, were they character flaws that remain….People don’t want to be seen as that judgmental, because they’re not judgmental, but at the same time, they’re having some serious questions about the character of the candidate.
The hypocrisy between Gingrich’s private life and his public policies is staggering. The former House speaker describes same-sex relationships as a “temporary aberration” and promises to “support sending a federal constitutional amendment defining marriage as the union of one man and one woman to the states for ratification.” All the while he has been married to three different women and has cheated on at least two of them. Yet for “not judgmental” conservatives like Perkins, this kind of behavior is far more acceptable than allowing for the recognition of monogamous same-sex relationships or even the very existence of gay people.