Tony Perkins, President of the anti-marriage equality group Family Research Council, appeared during a Fox News appearance today to be in full denial of the Supreme Court’s broad ruling on the Defense of Marriage Act. Though the ruling finds that gay couples qualify for “equal protection under the law,” as guaranteed in the constitution, Perkins repeatedly insisted that the debate over marriage equality “is far from settled.”
In fact, Perkins went so far as to suggest that, “there’s still room in this opinion for the federal government — as we’re looking through this for federal purposes only as it pertains to immigration or maybe in the military — to define marriage as between a man and woman.”
He’s wrong on both counts. Just minutes before he went on Fox, Secretary of Defense Chuck Hagel released a statement specifying that “the Department of Defense intends to make the same benefits available to all military spouses — regardless of sexual orientation — as soon as possible. That is now the law, and it is the right thing to do.” That includes insurance and the ability to be buried at Arlington National Cemetery.
And just an hour before that, an immigration judge halted the deportation of a gay Colombian man whose marriage to his American partner was previously unrecognized by immigration courts.
But despite the almost-immediate reversal on the part of the federal government, Perkins added, “I don’t think time is on the side of those who want to redefine marriage.” It’s no surprise: Before the ruling came down, Perkins had already promised to defy a pro-marriage decision.
It’s hard to fault Perkins for self-preservation. The man has dedicated his career to fighting against equal rights for gays and lesbians, and today he watched his effort fail.